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Sample records for age-related neurodegenerative disease

  1. Quantitative proteomic analysis of age-related subventricular zone proteins associated with neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xianli; Dong, Chuanming; Sun, Lixin; Zhu, Liang; Sun, Chenxi; Ma, Rongjie; Ning, ke; Lu, Bing; Zhang, Jinfu; Xu, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Aging is characterized by a progressive decline in the function of adult tissues which can lead to neurodegenerative disorders. However, little is known about the correlation between protein changes in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and neurodegenerative diseases with age. In the present study, neural stem cells (NSCs) were derived from the SVZ on postnatal 7 d, 1 m, and 12 m-old mice. With age, NSCs exhibited increased SA-β-gal activity and decreased proliferation and pool size in the SVZ zone, and were associated with elevated inflammatory chemokines and cytokines. Furthermore, quantitative proteomics and ingenuity pathway analysis were used to evaluate the significant age-related alterations in proteins and their functions. Some downregulated proteins such as DPYSL2, TPI1, ALDH, and UCHL1 were found to play critical roles in the neurological disease and PSMA1, PSMA3, PSMC2, PSMD11, and UCHL1 in protein homeostasis. Taken together, we have provided valuable insight into the cellular and molecular processes that underlie aging-associated declines in SVZ neurogenesis for the early detection of differences in gene expression and the potential risk of neurological disease, which is beneficial in the prevention of the diseases. PMID:27857231

  2. Metabolomics of human brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Jové, Mariona; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Naudí, Alba; Ferrer, Isidre; Pamplona, Reinald

    2014-07-01

    Neurons in the mature human central nervous system (CNS) perform a wide range of motor, sensory, regulatory, behavioral, and cognitive functions. Such diverse functional output requires a great diversity of CNS neuronal and non-neuronal populations. Metabolomics encompasses the study of the complete set of metabolites/low-molecular-weight intermediates (metabolome), which are context-dependent and vary according to the physiology, developmental state, or pathologic state of the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. Therefore, the use of metabolomics can help to unravel the diversity-and to disclose the specificity-of metabolic traits and their alterations in the brain and in fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid and plasma, thus helping to uncover potential biomarkers of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review the current applications of metabolomics in studies of CNS aging and certain age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Neurometabolomics will increase knowledge of the physiologic and pathologic functions of neural cells and will place the concept of selective neuronal vulnerability in a metabolic context.

  3. What's on TV? Detecting age-related neurodegenerative eye disease using eye movement scanpaths

    PubMed Central

    Crabb, David P.; Smith, Nicholas D.; Zhu, Haogang

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: We test the hypothesis that age-related neurodegenerative eye disease can be detected by examining patterns of eye movement recorded whilst a person naturally watches a movie. Methods: Thirty-two elderly people with healthy vision (median age: 70, interquartile range [IQR] 64–75 years) and 44 patients with a clinical diagnosis of glaucoma (median age: 69, IQR 63–77 years) had standard vision examinations including automated perimetry. Disease severity was measured using a standard clinical measure (visual field mean deviation; MD). All study participants viewed three unmodified TV and film clips on a computer set up incorporating the Eyelink 1000 eyetracker (SR Research, Ontario, Canada). Eye movement scanpaths were plotted using novel methods that first filtered the data and then generated saccade density maps. Maps were then subjected to a feature extraction analysis using kernel principal component analysis (KPCA). Features from the KPCA were then classified using a standard machine based classifier trained and tested by a 10-fold cross validation which was repeated 100 times to estimate the confidence interval (CI) of classification sensitivity and specificity. Results: Patients had a range of disease severity from early to advanced (median [IQR] right eye and left eye MD was −7 [−13 to −5] dB and −9 [−15 to −4] dB, respectively). Average sensitivity for correctly identifying a glaucoma patient at a fixed specificity of 90% was 79% (95% CI: 58–86%). The area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve was 0.84 (95% CI: 0.82–0.87). Conclusions: Huge data from scanpaths of eye movements recorded whilst people freely watch TV type films can be processed into maps that contain a signature of vision loss. In this proof of principle study we have demonstrated that a group of patients with age-related neurodegenerative eye disease can be reasonably well separated from a group of healthy peers by considering these eye movement

  4. Schisandrin B as a Hormetic Agent for Preventing Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Philip Y.; Ko, Kam Ming

    2012-01-01

    Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, with the latter preceding the appearance of clinical symptoms. The energy failure resulting from mitochondrial dysfunction further impedes brain function, which demands large amounts of energy. Schisandrin B (Sch B), an active ingredient isolated from Fructus Schisandrae, has been shown to afford generalized tissue protection against oxidative damage in various organs, including the brain, of experimental animals. Recent experimental findings have further demonstrated that Sch B can protect neuronal cells against oxidative challenge, presumably by functioning as a hormetic agent to sustain cellular redox homeostasis and mitoenergetic capacity in neuronal cells. The combined actions of Sch B offer a promising prospect for preventing or possibly delaying the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as enhancing brain health. PMID:22666518

  5. NF-κB in Innate Neuroprotection and Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lanzillotta, Annamaria; Porrini, Vanessa; Bellucci, Arianna; Benarese, Marina; Branca, Caterina; Parrella, Edoardo; Spano, Pier Franco; Pizzi, Marina

    2015-01-01

    NF-κB factors are cardinal transcriptional regulators of inflammation and apoptosis, involved in the brain programing of systemic aging and in brain damage. The composition of NF-κB active dimers and epigenetic mechanisms modulating histone acetylation, finely condition neuronal resilience to brain insults. In stroke models, the activation of NF-κB/c-Rel promotes neuroprotective effects by transcription of specific anti-apoptotic genes. Conversely, aberrant activation of NF-κB/RelA showing reduced level of total acetylation, but site-specific acetylation on lysine 310, triggers the expression of pro-apoptotic genes. Constitutive knockout of c-Rel shatters the resilience of substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic (DA) neurons to aging and induces a parkinsonian like pathology in mice. c-rel−/− mice show increased level of aberrantly acetylated RelA in the basal ganglia, neuroinflammation, accumulation of alpha-synuclein, and iron. Moreover, they develop motor deficits responsive to l-DOPA treatment and associated with loss of DA neurons in the SN. Here, we discuss the effect of unbalanced activation of RelA and c-Rel during aging and propose novel challenges for the development of therapeutic strategies in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26042083

  6. Advancing neurotrophic factors as treatments for age-related neurodegenerative diseases: developing and demonstrating "clinical proof-of-concept" for AAV-neurturin (CERE-120) in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Bartus, Raymond T; Baumann, Tiffany L; Brown, Lamar; Kruegel, Brian R; Ostrove, Jeffrey M; Herzog, Christopher D

    2013-01-01

    Neurotrophic factors have long shown promise as potential therapies for age-related neurodegenerative diseases. However, 20 years of largely disappointing clinical results have underscored the difficulties involved with safely and effectively delivering these proteins to targeted sites within the central nervous system. Recent progress establishes that gene transfer can now likely overcome the delivery issues plaguing the translation of neurotrophic factors. This may be best exemplified by adeno-associated virus serotype-2-neurturin (CERE-120), a viral-vector construct designed to deliver the neurotrophic factor, neurturin to degenerating nigrostriatal neurons in Parkinson's disease. Eighty Parkinson's subjects have been dosed with CERE-120 (some 7+ years ago), with long-term, targeted neurturin expression confirmed and no serious safety issues identified. A double-blind, controlled Phase 2a trial established clinical "proof-of-concept" via 19 of the 24 prescribed efficacy end points favoring CERE-120 at the 12-month protocol-prescribed time point and all but one favoring CERE-120 at the 18-month secondary time point (p = 0.007 and 0.001, respectively). Moreover, clinically meaningful benefit was seen with CERE-120 on several specific protocol-prescribed, pairwise, blinded, motor, and quality-of-life end points at 12 months, and an even greater number of end points at 18 months. Because the trial failed to meet the primary end point (Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor-off, measured at 12 months), a revised multicenter Phase 1/2b protocol was designed to enhance the neurotrophic effects of CERE-120, using insight gained from the Phase 2a trial. This review summarizes the development of CERE-120 from its inception through establishing "clinical proof-of-concept" and beyond. The translational obstacles and issues confronted, and the strategies applied, are reviewed. This information should be informative to investigators interested in translational

  7. Computer Aided Drug Design Studies in the Discovery of Secondary Metabolites Targeted Against Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Scotti, Luciana; Scotti, Marcus Tullius

    2015-01-01

    Secondary metabolites are plant products that occur usually in differentiated cells, generally not being necessary for the cells themselves, but likely useful for the plant as a whole. Neurodegeneration can be found in many different levels in the neurons, it always begins at the molecular level and progresses toward the systemic levels. Usually, alterations are observed such as decreasing cholinergic impulse, toxicity related to reactive oxygen species (ROS, inflammatory "amyloid plaque" related processes, catecholamine disequilibrium, etc. Computer aided drug design (CADD has become relevant in the drug discovery process; technological advances in the areas of molecular structure characterization, computational science, and molecular biology have contributed to the planning of new drugs against neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses scientific CADD studies of the secondary metabolites. Flavonoids, alkaloids, and xanthone compounds have been studied by various researchers (as inhibitory ligands in molecular docking; mainly with three enzymes: acetylcholinesterase (AChE; EC 3.1.1.7, butyrylcholinesterase (BChE; EC 3.1.1.8, and monoamine oxidase (MAO; EC 1.4.3.4. In addition, we have applied ligand-based-virtual screening (using Random Forest, associated with structure-based- virtual screening (docking of a small dataset of 469 alkaloids of the Apocynaceae family from an in-house data bank to select structures with potential inhibitory activity against human AChE. This computer-aided drug design study selected certain alkaloids that might be useful in further studies for the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

  8. Role of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) in the pathogenesis of alzheimer disease and other selected age-related neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Di Domenico, Fabio; Tramutola, Antonella; Butterfield, D Allan

    2016-10-24

    Oxidative stress is involved in various and numerous pathological states including several age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Peroxidation of the membrane lipid bilayer is one of the major sources of free radical-mediated injury that directly damages neurons causing increased membrane rigidity, decreased activity of membrane-bound enzymes, impairment of membrane receptors and altered membrane permeability and eventual cell death. Moreover, the peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids leads to the formation of aldehydes, which can act as toxic by-products. One of the most abundant and cytotoxic lipid -derived aldehydes is 4-hydroxy 2-nonenal (HNE). HNE toxicity is mainly due to the alterations of cell functions by the formation of covalent adducts of HNE with proteins. A key marker of lipid peroxidation, HNE-protein adducts, were found to be elevated in brain tissues and body fluids of Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis subjects and/or models of the respective age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Although only a few proteins were identified as common targets of HNE modification across all these listed disorders, a high overlap of these proteins occurs concerning the alteration of common pathways, such as glucose metabolism or mitochondrial function that are known to contribute to cognitive decline. Within this context, despite the different etiological and pathological mechanisms that lead to the onset of different neurodegenerative diseases, the formation of HNE-protein adducts might represent the shared leit-motif, which aggravates brain damage contributing to disease specific clinical presentation and decline in cognitive performance observed in each case.

  9. Ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Hung, Chia-Wei; Chen, Yu-Chih; Hsieh, Wan-Ling; Chiou, Shih-Hwa; Kao, Chung-Lan

    2010-11-01

    Ageing, which all creatures must encounter, is a challenge to every living organism. In the human body, it is estimated that cell division and metabolism occurs exuberantly until about 25 years of age. Beyond this age, subsidiary products of metabolism and cell damage accumulate, and the phenotypes of ageing appear, causing disease formation. Among these age-related diseases, neurodegenerative diseases have drawn a lot of attention due to their irreversibility, lack of effective treatment, and accompanied social and economical burdens. In seeking to ameliorate ageing and age-related diseases, the search for anti-ageing drugs has been of much interest. Numerous studies have shown that the plant polyphenol, resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene), extends the lifespan of several species, prevents age-related diseases, and possesses anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. The beneficial effects of resveratrol are believed to be associated with the activation of a longevity gene, SirT1. In this review, we discuss the pathogenesis of age-related neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and cerebrovascular disease. The therapeutic potential of resveratrol, diet and the roles of stem cell therapy are discussed to provide a better understanding of the ageing mystery.

  10. Mood, Memory and Movement: An Age-Related Neurodegenerative Complex?

    PubMed Central

    Granholm, Ann-Charlotte; Boger, Heather; Emborg, Marina E.

    2009-01-01

    The following review was constructed as a concept paper based on a recent workshop on neurodegenerative disease sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the American Geriatric Society (AGS), and the John A. Hartford Foundation. The meeting was entitled “Thinking, moving and feeling: Common underlying mechanisms? 4th Annual Bedside-to-Bench Conference” and had the purpose to connect current basic and clinical findings on common brain-related alterations occurring with aging such as depression, movement disorders, and cognitive decline. Many prominent researchers expressed their opinion on aging and it was revealed that age-related brain dysfunction of any kind seems to share several risk factors and/or pathways. But can something be done to actively achieve “successful aging”? In this review, based largely on the workshop and current literature, we have summarized some of the current theories for depression, movement and cognitive impairment with aging, as well as potential preventive measures. We have also summarized the emerging need for relevant animal models and how these could be developed and utilized. PMID:20021382

  11. The therapeutic potential of cell identity reprogramming for the treatment of aging-related neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Smith, Derek K; He, Miao; Zhang, Chun-Li; Zheng, Jialin C

    2016-02-01

    Neural cell identity reprogramming strategies aim to treat age-related neurodegenerative disorders with newly induced neurons that regenerate neural architecture and functional circuits in vivo. The isolation and neural differentiation of pluripotent embryonic stem cells provided the first in vitro models of human neurodegenerative disease. Investigation into the molecular mechanisms underlying stem cell pluripotency revealed that somatic cells could be reprogrammed to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and these cells could be used to model Alzheimer disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington disease, and Parkinson disease. Additional neural precursor and direct transdifferentiation strategies further enabled the induction of diverse neural linages and neuron subtypes both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we highlight neural induction strategies that utilize stem cells, iPSCs, and lineage reprogramming to model or treat age-related neurodegenerative diseases, as well as, the clinical challenges related to neural transplantation and in vivo reprogramming strategies.

  12. The effect of time-dependent macromolecular crowding on the kinetics of protein aggregation: a simple model for the onset of age-related neurodegenerative disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minton, Allen

    2014-08-01

    A linear increase in the concentration of "inert" macromolecules with time is incorporated into simple excluded volume models for protein condensation or fibrillation. Such models predict a long latent period during which no significant amount of protein aggregates, followed by a steep increase in the total amount of aggregate. The elapsed time at which these models predict half-conversion of model protein to aggregate varies by less than a factor of two when the intrinsic rate constant for condensation or fibril growth of the protein is varied over many orders of magnitude. It is suggested that this concept can explain why the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases associated with the aggregation of very different proteins and peptides appear at approximately the same advanced age in humans.

  13. Meditation and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Newberg, Andrew B; Serruya, Mijail; Wintering, Nancy; Moss, Aleezé Sattar; Reibel, Diane; Monti, Daniel A

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases pose a significant problem for the healthcare system, doctors, and patients. With an aging population, more and more individuals are developing neurodegenerative diseases and there are few treatment options at the present time. Meditation techniques present an interesting potential adjuvant treatment for patients with neurodegenerative diseases and have the advantage of being inexpensive, and easy to teach and perform. There is increasing research evidence to support the application of meditation techniques to help improve cognition and memory in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses the current data on meditation, memory, and attention, and the potential applications of meditation techniques in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

  14. Age-related eye disease.

    PubMed

    Voleti, Vinod B; Hubschman, Jean-Pierre

    2013-05-01

    As with many organs, compromised function of the eye is accompanied with age and has become increasingly prevalent with the aging population. When decreased visual loss becomes significant, patients' ability to perform activities of daily living becomes compromised. This decrease in function is met with morbidity and mortality, as well as a large socioeconomic burden throughout the world. This review summarizes the most common age-related eye diseases, including cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, and age-related macular degeneration. Although our understanding of the genetic and biochemical pathways of these diseases is sill at its primitive stages, we have become able to help our patients improve the quality of life as they age.

  15. Exploring the power of yeast to model aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Ana V; Vilaça, Rita; Santos, Cláudia N; Costa, Vítor; Menezes, Regina

    2017-02-01

    Aging is a multifactorial process determined by molecular, cellular and systemic factors and it is well established that advancing age is a leading risk factor for several neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, the close association of aging and neurodegenerative disorders has placed aging as the greatest social and economic challenge of the 21st century, and age-related diseases have also become a key priority for countries worldwide. The growing need to better understand both aging and neurodegenerative processes has led to the development of simple eukaryotic models amenable for mechanistic studies. Saccharomyces cerevisiae has proven to be an unprecedented experimental model to study the fundamental aspects of aging and to decipher the intricacies of neurodegenerative disorders greatly because the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes are evolutionarily conserved from yeast to human. Moreover, yeast offers several methodological advantages allowing a rapid and relatively easy way of establishing gene-protein-function associations. Here we review different aging theories, common cellular pathways driving aging and neurodegenerative diseases and discuss the major contributions of yeast to the state-of-art knowledge in both research fields.

  16. Optogenetics for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Vann, Kiara T; Xiong, Zhi-Gang

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are devastating conditions that lead to progressive degeneration of neurons. Neurodegeneration may result in ataxia, dementia, and muscle atrophies, etc. Despite enormous research efforts that have been made, there is lack of effective therapeutic interventions for most of these diseases. Optogenetics is a recently developed novel technique that combines optics and genetics to modulate the activity of specific neurons. Optogenetics has been implemented in various studies including neuropsychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. This review focuses on the recent advance in using this technique for the studies of common neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27186317

  17. Glutamate and Neurodegenerative Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, Eric; Duplantier, Allen

    As the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system, glutamate is critically involved in most aspects of CNS function. Given this critical role, it is not surprising that glutamatergic dysfunction is associated with many CNS disorders. In this chapter, we review the literature that links aberrant glutamate neurotransmission with CNS pathology, with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases. The biology and pharmacology of the various glutamate receptor families are discussed, along with data which links these receptors with neurodegenerative conditions. In addition, we review progress that has been made in developing small molecule modulators of glutamate receptors and transporters, and describe how these compounds have helped us understand the complex pharmacology of glutamate in normal CNS function, as well as their potential for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

  18. Nutrition and age-related eye diseases

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vision loss among the elderly is an important health problem. Approximately one person in three has some form of vision-reducing eye disease by the age of 65 [1]. Age-related cataract, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma are the major diseases resulting in visu...

  19. Glycoproteomics in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Hyejin; Zhang, Jianpeng; Chung, Kathryn A.; Leverenz, James B.; Zabetian, Cyrus P.; Peskind, Elaine R.; Jankovic, Joseph; Su, Zhen; Hancock, Aneeka M.; Pan, Catherine; Montine, Thomas J.; Pan, Sheng; Nutt, John; Albin, Roger; Gearing, Marla; Beyer, Richard P.; Shi, Min; Zhang, Jing

    2009-01-01

    Protein glycosylation regulates protein function and cellular distribution. Additionally, aberrant protein glycosylations have been recognized to play major roles in human disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases. Glycoproteomics, a branch of proteomics that catalogs and quantifies glycoproteins, provides a powerful means to systematically profile the glycopeptides or glycoproteins of a complex mixture that are highly enriched in body fluids, and therefore, carry great potential to be diagnostic and/or prognostic markers. Application of this mass spectrometry-based technology to the study of neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease) is relatively new, and is expected to provide insight into the biochemical pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, as well as biomarker discovery. In this review, we have summarized the current understanding of glycoproteins in biology and neurodegenerative disease, and have discussed existing proteomic technologies that are utilized to characterize glycoproteins. Some of the ongoing studies, where glycoproteins isolated from cerebrospinal fluid and human brain are being characterized in Parkinson's disease at different stages versus controls, are presented, along with future applications of targeted validation of brain specific glycoproteins in body fluids. PMID:19358229

  20. Epigenetics of Aging and Aging-related Disease

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Aging is associated with a wide range of human disorders, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. Long thought to be an inexorable road toward decline and diseases, aging is in fact remarkably plastic. Such plasticity could be harnessed to approach age-related diseases from a novel perspective. Although many studies have focused on the genes that impact aging, the nongenetic regulation of aging is gaining increasing attention. Specifically, aging is associated with profound epigenetic changes, resulting in alterations of gene expression and disturbances in broad genome architecture and the epigenomic landscape. The potential reversibility of these epigenetic changes that occur as a hallmark of aging offers exciting opportunities to alter the trajectory of age-related diseases. This short review highlights key epigenetic players in the regulation of aging, as well as both future goals and challenges to the utilization of epigenetic strategies to delay and reverse the main diseases of aging. PMID:24833581

  1. Epigenetics of aging and aging-related disease.

    PubMed

    Brunet, Anne; Berger, Shelley L

    2014-06-01

    Aging is associated with a wide range of human disorders, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. Long thought to be an inexorable road toward decline and diseases, aging is in fact remarkably plastic. Such plasticity could be harnessed to approach age-related diseases from a novel perspective. Although many studies have focused on the genes that impact aging, the nongenetic regulation of aging is gaining increasing attention. Specifically, aging is associated with profound epigenetic changes, resulting in alterations of gene expression and disturbances in broad genome architecture and the epigenomic landscape. The potential reversibility of these epigenetic changes that occur as a hallmark of aging offers exciting opportunities to alter the trajectory of age-related diseases. This short review highlights key epigenetic players in the regulation of aging, as well as both future goals and challenges to the utilization of epigenetic strategies to delay and reverse the main diseases of aging.

  2. Amyloidosis in Retinal Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Masuzzo, Ambra; Dinet, Virginie; Cavanagh, Chelsea; Mascarelli, Frederic; Krantic, Slavica

    2016-01-01

    As a part of the central nervous system, the retina may reflect both physiological processes and abnormalities related to pathologies that affect the brain. Amyloidosis due to the accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) was initially regarded as a specific and exclusive characteristic of neurodegenerative alterations seen in the brain of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. More recently, it was discovered that amyloidosis-related alterations, similar to those seen in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, also occur in the retina. Remarkably, these alterations were identified not only in primary retinal pathologies, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, but also in the retinas of Alzheimer’s patients. In this review, we first briefly discuss the biogenesis of Aβ, a peptide involved in amyloidosis. We then discuss some pathological aspects (synaptic dysfunction, mitochondrial failure, glial activation, and vascular abnormalities) related to the neurotoxic effects of Aβ. We finally highlight common features shared by AD, AMD, and glaucoma in the context of Aβ amyloidosis and further discuss why the retina, due to the transparency of the eye, can be considered as a “window” to the brain. PMID:27551275

  3. Translational strategies in aging and age-related disease.

    PubMed

    Armanios, Mary; de Cabo, Rafael; Mannick, Joan; Partridge, Linda; van Deursen, Jan; Villeda, Saul

    2015-12-01

    Aging is a risk factor for several of the world's most prevalent diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease. Although our understanding of the molecular pathways that contribute to the aging process and age-related disease is progressing through the use of model organisms, how to apply this knowledge in the clinic is less clear. In September, Nature Medicine, in collaboration with the Volkswagen Foundation, hosted a conference at the beautiful Herrenhausen Palace in Hannover, Germany with the goal of broadening our understanding of the aging process and its meaning as a 'risk factor' in disease. Here, several of the speakers at that conference answer questions posed by Nature Medicine.

  4. Pathophysiology of age-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Campisi, Giuseppina; Chiappelli, Martina; De Martinis, Massimo; Franco, Vito; Ginaldi, Lia; Guiglia, Rosario; Licastro, Federico; Lio, Domenico

    2009-01-01

    A Symposium regarding the Pathophysiology of Successful and Unsuccessful Ageing was held in Palermo, Italy on 7-8 April 2009. Three lectures from that Symposium by G. Campisi, L. Ginaldi and F. Licastro are here summarized. Ageing is a complex process which negatively impacts on the development of various bodily systems and its ability to function. A long life in a healthy, vigorous, youthful body has always been one of humanity's greatest dreams. Thus, a better understanding of the pathophysiology of age-related diseases is urgently required to improve our understanding of maintaining good health in the elderly and to program possible therapeutic intervention. PMID:19737378

  5. Proteomics of Human Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jing; Keene, C. Dirk; Pan, Catherine; Montine, Kathleen S.; Montine, Thomas J.

    2009-01-01

    The technology, experimental approaches, and bioinformatics that support proteomic research are evolving rapidly. The application of these new capabilities to the study of neurodegenerative diseases is providing insight into the biochemical pathogenesis of neurodegeneration as well as fueling major efforts in biomarker discovery. Here, we review the fundamentals of commonly used proteomic approaches and the outcomes of these investigations with autopsy and cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients with neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18800015

  6. Age-related eye disease and gender.

    PubMed

    Zetterberg, Madeleine

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, the prevalence of moderate to severe visual impairment and blindness is 285 millions, with 65% of visually impaired and 82% of all blind people being 50 years and older. Meta-analyses have shown that two out of three blind people are women, a gender discrepancy that holds true for both developed and developing countries. Cataract accounts for more than half of all blindness globally and gender inequity in access to cataract surgery is the major cause of the higher prevalence of blindness in women. In addition to gender differences in cataract surgical coverage, population-based studies on the prevalence of lens opacities indicate that women have a higher risk of developing cataract. Laboratory as well as epidemiologic studies suggest that estrogen may confer antioxidative protection against cataractogenesis, but the withdrawal effect of estrogen in menopause leads to increased risk of cataract in women. For the other major age-related eye diseases; glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy, data are inconclusive. Due to anatomic factors, angle closure glaucoma is more common in women, whereas the dominating glaucoma type; primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), is more prevalent in men. Diabetic retinopathy also has a male predominance and vascular/circulatory factors have been implied both in diabetic retinopathy and in POAG. For AMD, data on gender differences are conflicting although some studies indicate increased prevalence of drusen and neovascular AMD in women. To conclude, both biologic and socioeconomic factors must be considered when investigating causes of gender differences in the prevalence of age-related eye disease.

  7. The hippocampus in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Moodley, K K; Chan, D

    2014-01-01

    AD is the commonest neurodegenerative disorder resulting ultimately in dementia, a stage during which there is a loss of previously acquired intellectual skill and independent occupational and social function. Neurodegenerative changes within the hippocampus and an extended neuronal network involving the medial temporal and medial parietal lobe result in the archetypal memory impairment seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). As attention focuses increasingly on early diagnosis and treatment of dementia, this understanding of the hippocampal involvement in AD has helped to develop diagnostic tools for use in early disease. However, hippocampal damage is also a common feature among non-AD neurodegenerative dementias. Neuroimaging techniques, in conjunction with behavioral and pathological techniques, can be used to determine the involvement of the hippocampus in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

  8. Medical bioremediation of age-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Mathieu, Jacques M; Schloendorn, John; Rittmann, Bruce E; Alvarez, Pedro JJ

    2009-01-01

    Catabolic insufficiency in humans leads to the gradual accumulation of a number of pathogenic compounds associated with age-related diseases, including atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and macular degeneration. Removal of these compounds is a widely researched therapeutic option, but the use of antibodies and endogenous human enzymes has failed to produce effective treatments, and may pose risks to cellular homeostasis. Another alternative is "medical bioremediation," the use of microbial enzymes to augment missing catabolic functions. The microbial genetic diversity in most natural environments provides a resource that can be mined for enzymes capable of degrading just about any energy-rich organic compound. This review discusses targets for biodegradation, the identification of candidate microbial enzymes, and enzyme-delivery methods. PMID:19358742

  9. Epigenetic Changes in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Min Jee; Kim, Sunhong; Han, Myeong Hoon; Lee, Sung Bae

    2016-01-01

    Afflicted neurons in various neurodegenerative diseases generally display diverse and complex pathological features before catastrophic occurrence of massive neuronal loss at the late stages of the diseases. This complex nature of neuronal pathophysiology inevitably implicates systemwide changes in basic cellular activities such as transcriptional controls and signal cascades, and so on, as a cause. Recently, as one of these systemwide cellular changes associated with neurodegenerative diseases, epigenetic changes caused by protein toxicity have begun to be highlighted. Notably, recent advances in related techniques including next-generation sequencing (NGS) and mass spectrometry enable us to monitor changes in the post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histone proteins and to link these changes in histone PTMs to the specific transcriptional changes. Indeed, epigenetic alterations and consequent changes in neuronal transcriptome are now begun to be extensively studied in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this review, we will discuss details of our current understandings on epigenetic changes associated with two representative neurodegenerative diseases [AD and polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases] and further discuss possible future development of pharmaceutical treatment of the diseases through modulating these epigenetic changes. PMID:27871175

  10. Nut consumption and age-related disease.

    PubMed

    Grosso, G; Estruch, R

    2016-02-01

    Current knowledge on the effects of nut consumption on human health has rapidly increased in recent years and it now appears that nuts may play a role in the prevention of chronic age-related diseases. Frequent nut consumption has been associated with better metabolic status, decreased body weight as well as lower body weight gain over time and thus reduce the risk of obesity. The effect of nuts on glucose metabolism, blood lipids, and blood pressure is still controversial. However, significant decreased cardiovascular risk has been reported in a number of observational and clinical intervention studies. Thus, findings from cohort studies show that increased nut consumption is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality (especially that due to cardiovascular-related causes). Similarly, nut consumption has been also associated with reduced risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal, endometrial, and pancreatic neoplasms. Evidence regarding nut consumption and neurological or psychiatric disorders is scarce, but a number of studies suggest significant protective effects against depression, mild cognitive disorders and Alzheimer's disease. The underlying mechanisms appear to include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, particularly related to their mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA and PUFA, as well as vitamin and polyphenol content). MUFA have been demonstrated to improve pancreatic beta-cell function and regulation of postprandial glycemia and insulin sensitivity. PUFA may act on the central nervous system protecting neuronal and cell-signaling function and maintenance. The fiber and mineral content of nuts may also confer health benefits. Nuts therefore show promise as useful adjuvants to prevent, delay or ameliorate a number of chronic conditions in older people. Their association with decreased mortality suggests a potential in reducing disease burden, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cognitive impairments.

  11. Omental transplantation for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Rafael, Hernando

    2014-01-01

    Up to date, almost all researchers consider that there is still no effective therapy for neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) and therefore, these diseases are incurable. However, since May 1998, we know that a progressive ischemia in the medial temporal lobes and subcommissural regions can cause Alzheimer’s disease; because, in contrast to this, its revascularization by means of omental tissue can cure or improve this disease. Likewise we observed that the aging process, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; all of them are of ischemic origin caused by cerebral atherosclerosis, associated with vascular anomalies and/or environmental chemicals. On the contrary, an omental transplantation on the affected zone can stop and improve these diseases. For these reasons, I believe that NDDs, are wrongly classified as neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25232510

  12. Prions and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Hope, J

    2000-10-01

    The long-term, progressive decay of the central nervous system typifies prion diseases, a group of rare, transmissible maladies affecting humans, sheep, cattle and some other types of mammal. Little is known about the early molecular events in its pathogenesis but the diverse roles of PrP, the prion protein, in its destructive action have recently been re-emphasised.

  13. Metal imaging in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bourassa, Megan W.

    2014-01-01

    Metal ions are known to play an important role in many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and prion diseases. In these diseases, aberrant metal binding or improper regulation of redox active metal ions can induce oxidative stress by producing cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). Altered metal homeostasis is also frequently seen in the diseased state. As a result, the imaging of metals in intact biological cells and tissues has been very important for understanding the role of metals in neurodegenerative diseases. A wide range of imaging techniques have been utilized, including X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM), particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), all of which allow for the imaging of metals in biological specimens with high spatial resolution and detection sensitivity. These techniques represent unique tools for advancing the understanding of the disease mechanisms and for identifying possible targets for developing treatments. In this review, we will highlight the advances in neurodegenerative disease research facilitated by metal imaging techniques. PMID:22797194

  14. Polyphenols: Multipotent Therapeutic Agents in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bhullar, Khushwant S.; Rupasinghe, H. P. Vasantha

    2013-01-01

    Aging leads to numerous transitions in brain physiology including synaptic dysfunction and disturbances in cognition and memory. With a few clinically relevant drugs, a substantial portion of aging population at risk for age-related neurodegenerative disorders require nutritional intervention. Dietary intake of polyphenols is known to attenuate oxidative stress and reduce the risk for related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Huntington's disease (HD). Polyphenols exhibit strong potential to address the etiology of neurological disorders as they attenuate their complex physiology by modulating several therapeutic targets at once. Firstly, we review the advances in the therapeutic role of polyphenols in cell and animal models of AD, PD, MS, and HD and activation of drug targets for controlling pathological manifestations. Secondly, we present principle pathways in which polyphenol intake translates into therapeutic outcomes. In particular, signaling pathways like PPAR, Nrf2, STAT, HIF, and MAPK along with modulation of immune response by polyphenols are discussed. Although current polyphenol researches have limited impact on clinical practice, they have strong evidence and testable hypothesis to contribute clinical advances and drug discovery towards age-related neurological disorders. PMID:23840922

  15. Glutathione transferases and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Mazzetti, Anna Paola; Fiorile, Maria Carmela; Primavera, Alessandra; Lo Bello, Mario

    2015-03-01

    There is substantial agreement that the unbalance between oxidant and antioxidant species may affect the onset and/or the course of a number of common diseases including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Many studies suggest a crucial role for oxidative stress in the first phase of aging, or in the pathogenesis of various diseases including neurological ones. Particularly, the role exerted by glutathione and glutathione-related enzymes (Glutathione Transferases) in the nervous system appears more relevant, this latter tissue being much more vulnerable to toxins and oxidative stress than other tissues such as liver, kidney or muscle. The present review addresses the question by focusing on the results obtained by specimens from patients or by in vitro studies using cells or animal models related to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. In general, there is an association between glutathione depletion and Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease. In addition, a significant decrease of glutathione transferase activity in selected areas of brain and in ventricular cerebrospinal fluid was found. For some glutathione transferase genes there is also a correlation between polymorphisms and onset/outcome of neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, there is a general agreement about the protective effect exerted by glutathione and glutathione transferases but no clear answer about the mechanisms underlying this crucial role in the insurgence of neurodegenerative diseases.

  16. Autophagy, inflammation and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Alirezaei, Mehrdad; Kemball, Christopher C.; Whitton, J. Lindsay

    2010-01-01

    Autophagy is emerging as a central regulator of cellular health and disease and, in the central nervous system (CNS), this homeostatic process appears to influence synaptic growth and plasticity. Herein, we review the evidence that dysregulation of autophagy may contribute to several neurodegenerative diseases of the CNS. Up-regulation of autophagy may prevent, delay or ameliorate at least some of these disorders, and – based on recent findings from our laboratory – we speculate that this goal may be achieved using a safe, simple, and inexpensive approach. PMID:21138487

  17. Ubiquitin pathways in neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Atkin, Graham; Paulson, Henry

    2014-01-01

    Control of proper protein synthesis, function, and turnover is essential for the health of all cells. In neurons these demands take on the additional importance of supporting and regulating the highly dynamic connections between neurons that are necessary for cognitive function, learning, and memory. Regulating multiple unique synaptic protein environments within a single neuron while maintaining cell health requires the highly regulated processes of ubiquitination and degradation of ubiquitinated proteins through the proteasome. In this review, we examine the effects of dysregulated ubiquitination and protein clearance on the handling of disease-associated proteins and neuronal health in the most common neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25071440

  18. Chameleon sequences in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Bahramali, Golnaz; Goliaei, Bahram; Minuchehr, Zarrin; Salari, Ali

    2016-03-25

    Chameleon sequences can adopt either alpha helix sheet or a coil conformation. Defining chameleon sequences in PDB (Protein Data Bank) may yield to an insight on defining peptides and proteins responsible in neurodegeneration. In this research, we benefitted from the large PDB and performed a sequence analysis on Chameleons, where we developed an algorithm to extract peptide segments with identical sequences, but different structures. In order to find new chameleon sequences, we extracted a set of 8315 non-redundant protein sequences from the PDB with an identity less than 25%. Our data was classified to "helix to strand (HE)", "helix to coil (HC)" and "strand to coil (CE)" alterations. We also analyzed the occurrence of singlet and doublet amino acids and the solvent accessibility in the chameleon sequences; we then sorted out the proteins with the most number of chameleon sequences and named them Chameleon Flexible Proteins (CFPs) in our dataset. Our data revealed that Gly, Val, Ile, Tyr and Phe, are the major amino acids in Chameleons. We also found that there are proteins such as Insulin Degrading Enzyme IDE and GTP-binding nuclear protein Ran (RAN) with the most number of chameleons (640 and 405 respectively). These proteins have known roles in neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore it can be inferred that other CFP's can serve as key proteins in neurodegeneration, and a study on them can shed light on curing and preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

  19. Neurodegenerative diseases and oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Emerit, J; Edeas, M; Bricaire, F

    2004-01-01

    Oxidative stress is now recognized as accountable for redox regulation involving reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). Its role is pivotal for the modulation of critical cellular functions, notably for neurons astrocytes and microglia, such as apoptosis program activation, and ion transport, calcium mobilization, involved in excitotoxicity. Excitotoxicity and apoptosis are the two main causes of neuronal death. The role of mitochondria in apoptosis is crucial. Multiple apoptotic pathways emanate from the mitochondria. The respiratory chain of mitochondria that by oxidative phosphorylation, is the fount of cellular energy, i.e. ATP synthesis, is responsible for most of ROS and notably the first produced, superoxide anion (O(2)(;-)). Mitochondrial dysfunction, i.e. cell energy impairment, apoptosis and overproduction of ROS, is a final common pathogenic mechanism in aging and in neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Nitric oxide (NO(;)), an RNS, which can be produced by three isoforms of NO-synthase in brain, plays a prominent role. The research on the genetics of inherited forms notably ALS, AD, PD, has improved our understanding of the pathobiology of the sporadic forms of neurodegenerative diseases or of aging of the brain. ROS and RNS, i.e. oxidative stress, are not the origin of neuronal death. The cascade of events that leads to neurons, death is complex. In addition to mitochondrial dysfunction (apoptosis), excitotoxicity, oxidative stress (inflammation), the mechanisms from gene to disease involve also protein misfolding leading to aggregates and proteasome dysfunction on ubiquinited material.

  20. Neurodegenerative disorders and metabolic disease.

    PubMed

    Pierre, Germaine

    2013-08-01

    Most genetic causes of neurodegenerative disorders in childhood are due to neurometabolic disease. There are over 200 disorders, including aminoacidopathies, creatine disorders, mitochondrial cytopathies, peroxisomal disorders and lysosomal storage disorders. However, diagnosis can pose a challenge to the clinician when patients present with non-specific problems like epilepsy, developmental delay, autism, dystonia and ataxia. The variety of specialist tests involved can also be daunting. This review aims to give a practical approach to the investigation and diagnosis of neurometabolic disease from the neonatal period to late childhood while prioritising disorders where there are therapeutic options. In particular, patients who have a complex clinical picture of several neurological and non-neurological features should be investigated.

  1. Neuronal Mitophagy in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Vicente, Marta

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal homeostasis depends on the proper functioning of different quality control systems. All intracellular components are subjected to continuous turnover through the coordinated synthesis, degradation and recycling of their constituent elements. Autophagy is the catabolic mechanism by which intracellular cytosolic components, including proteins, organelles, aggregates and any other intracellular materials, are delivered to lysosomes for degradation. Among the different types of selective autophagy described to date, the process of mitophagy involves the selective autophagic degradation of mitochondria. In this way, mitophagy is responsible for basal mitochondrial turnover, but can also be induced under certain physiological or pathogenic conditions to eliminate unwanted or damaged mitochondria. Dysfunctional cellular proteolytic systems have been linked extensively to neurodegenerative diseases (ND) like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), or Huntington’s disease (HD), with autophagic failure being one of the main factors contributing to neuronal cell death in these diseases. Neurons are particularly vulnerable to autophagic impairment as well as to mitochondrial dysfunction, due mostly to their particular high energy dependence and to their post-mitotic nature. The accurate and proper degradation of dysfunctional mitochondria by mitophagy is essential for maintaining control over mitochondrial quality and quantity in neurons. In this report, I will review the role of mitophagy in neuronal homeostasis and the consequences of its dysfunction in ND. PMID:28337125

  2. The Potential of Chitosan and Its Derivatives in Prevention and Treatment of Age-Related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kerch, Garry

    2015-01-01

    Age-related, diet-related and protein conformational diseases, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, cancer, hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases are common in the elderly population. The potential of chitosan, chitooligosaccharides and their derivatives in prevention and treatment of age-related dysfunctions is reviewed and discussed in this paper. The influence of oxidative stress, low density lipoprotein oxidation, increase of tissue stiffness, protein conformational changes, aging-associated chronic inflammation and their pathobiological significance have been considered. The chitosan-based functional food also has been reviewed. PMID:25871293

  3. Stem cell technology for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Lunn, J Simon; Sakowski, Stacey A; Hur, Junguk; Feldman, Eva L

    2011-09-01

    Over the past 20 years, stem cell technologies have become an increasingly attractive option to investigate and treat neurodegenerative diseases. In the current review, we discuss the process of extending basic stem cell research into translational therapies for patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. We begin with a discussion of the burden of these diseases on society, emphasizing the need for increased attention toward advancing stem cell therapies. We then explain the various types of stem cells utilized in neurodegenerative disease research, and outline important issues to consider in the transition of stem cell therapy from bench to bedside. Finally, we detail the current progress regarding the applications of stem cell therapies to specific neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, Alzheimer disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and spinal muscular atrophy. With a greater understanding of the capacity of stem cell technologies, there is growing public hope that stem cell therapies will continue to progress into realistic and efficacious treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

  4. Nanobiomaterials' applications in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Silva Adaya, Daniela; Aguirre-Cruz, Lucinda; Guevara, Jorge; Ortiz-Islas, Emma

    2017-02-01

    The blood-brain barrier is the interface between the blood and brain, impeding the passage of most circulating cells and molecules, protecting the latter from foreign substances, and maintaining central nervous system homeostasis. However, its restrictive nature constitutes an obstacle, preventing therapeutic drugs from entering the brain. Usually, a large systemic dose is required to achieve pharmacological therapeutic levels in the brain, leading to adverse effects in the body. As a consequence, various strategies are being developed to enhance the amount and concentration of therapeutic compounds in the brain. One such tool is nanotechnology, in which nanostructures that are 1-100 nm are designed to deliver drugs to the brain. In this review, we examine many nanotechnology-based approaches to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The review begins with a brief history of nanotechnology, followed by a discussion of its definition, the properties of most reported nanomaterials, their biocompatibility, the mechanisms of cell-material interactions, and the current status of nanotechnology in treating Alzheimer's, Parkinson's diseases, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Of all strategies to deliver drug to the brain that are used in nanotechnology, drug release systems are the most frequently reported.

  5. Sound naming in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Chow, Maggie L; Brambati, Simona M; Gorno-Tempini, Maria Luisa; Miller, Bruce L; Johnson, Julene K

    2010-04-01

    Modern cognitive neuroscientific theories and empirical evidence suggest that brain structures involved in movement may be related to action-related semantic knowledge. To test this hypothesis, we examined the naming of environmental sounds in patients with corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), two neurodegenerative diseases associated with cognitive and motor deficits. Subjects were presented with 56 environmental sounds: 28 sounds were of objects that required manipulation when producing the sound, and 28 sounds were of objects that required no manipulation. Subjects were asked to provide the name of the object that produced the sound and also complete a sound-picture matching condition. Subjects included 33 individuals from four groups: CBD/PSP, Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal dementia, and normal controls. We hypothesized that CBD/PSP patients would exhibit impaired naming performance compared with controls, but the impairment would be most apparent when naming sounds associated with actions. We also explored neural correlates of naming environmental sounds using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of brain MRI. As expected, CBD/PSP patients scored lower on environmental sounds naming (p<0.007) compared with the controls. In particular, the CBD/PSP patients scored the lowest when naming sounds of manipulable objects (p<0.05), but did not show deficits in naming sounds of non-manipulable objects. VBM analysis across all groups showed that performance in naming sounds of manipulable objects correlated with atrophy in the left pre-motor region, extending from area six to the middle and superior frontal gyrus. These results indicate an association between impairment in the retrieval of action-related names and the motor system, and suggest that difficulty in naming manipulable sounds may be related to atrophy in the pre-motor cortex. Our results support the hypothesis that retrieval of action-related semantic knowledge involves motor

  6. Neuroimaging Biomarkers of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Dementia

    PubMed Central

    Risacher, Shannon L.; Saykin, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders leading to dementia are common diseases that affect many older and some young adults. Neuroimaging methods are important tools for assessing and monitoring pathological brain changes associated with progressive neurodegenerative conditions. In this review, the authors describe key findings from neuroimaging studies (magnetic resonance imaging and radionucleotide imaging) in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and prodromal stages, familial and atypical AD syndromes, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with and without dementia, Parkinson’s disease with and without dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder, and prion protein associated diseases (i.e., Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). The authors focus on neuroimaging findings of in vivo pathology in these disorders, as well as the potential for neuroimaging to provide useful information for differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24234359

  7. Pathophysiology of ageing, longevity and age related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bürkle, Alexander; Caselli, Graziella; Franceschi, Claudio; Mariani, Erminia; Sansoni, Paolo; Santoni, Angela; Vecchio, Giancarlo; Witkowski, Jacek M; Caruso, Calogero

    2007-01-01

    On April 18, 2007 an international meeting on Pathophysiology of Ageing, Longevity and Age-Related Diseases was held in Palermo, Italy. Several interesting topics on Cancer, Immunosenescence, Age-related inflammatory diseases and longevity were discussed. In this report we summarize the most important issues. However, ageing must be considered an unavoidable end point of the life history of each individual, nevertheless the increasing knowledge on ageing mechanisms, allows envisaging many different strategies to cope with, and delay it. So, a better understanding of pathophysiology of ageing and age-related disease is essential for giving everybody a reasonable chance for living a long and enjoyable final part of the life. PMID:17683521

  8. Stem cell transplantation improves aging-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ikehara, Susumu; Li, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Aging is a complex process of damage accumulation, and has been viewed as experimentally and medically intractable. The number of patients with age-associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease, atherosclerosis, and cancer has increased recently. Aging-related diseases are related to a deficiency of the immune system, which results from an aged thymus and bone marrow cells. Intra bone marrow-bone marrow transplantation (IBM-BMT) is a useful method to treat intractable diseases. This review summarizes findings that IBM-BMT can improve and treat aging-related diseases, including T2DM, osteoporosis and AD, in animal models. PMID:25364723

  9. Dietary Approaches that Delay Age-Related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Everitt, Arthur V; Hilmer, Sarah N; Brand-Miller, Jennie C; Jamieson, Hamish A; Truswell, A Stewart; Sharma, Anita P; Mason, Rebecca S; Morris, Brian J; Le Couteur, David G

    2006-01-01

    Reducing food intake in lower animals such as the rat decreases body weight, retards many aging processes, delays the onset of most diseases of old age, and prolongs life. A number of clinical trials of food restriction in healthy adult human subjects running over 2–15 years show significant reductions in body weight, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure, which are risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Lifestyle interventions that lower energy balance by reducing body weight such as physical exercise can also delay the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In general, clinical trials are suggesting that diets high in calories or fat along with overweight are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and dementia. There is a growing literature indicating that specific dietary constituents are able to influence the development of age-related diseases, including certain fats (trans fatty acids, saturated, and polyunsaturated fats) and cholesterol for cardiovascular disease, glycemic index and fiber for diabetes, fruits and vegetables for cardiovascular disease, and calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis and bone fracture. In addition, there are dietary compounds from different functional foods, herbs, and neutraceuticals such as ginseng, nuts, grains, and polyphenols that may affect the development of age-related diseases. Long-term prospective clinical trials will be needed to confirm these diet—disease relationships. On the basis of current research, the best diet to delay age-related disease onset is one low in calories and saturated fat and high in wholegrain cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and which maintains a lean body weight. Such a diet should become a key component of healthy aging, delaying age-related diseases and perhaps intervening in the aging process itself. Furthermore, there are studies suggesting that nutrition in childhood

  10. Unraveling a Multifactorial Late-Onset Disease: From Genetic Susceptibility to Disease Mechanisms for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Swaroop, Anand; Chew, Emily Y.; Rickman, Catherine Bowes; Abecasis, Gonçalo R.

    2012-01-01

    Aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases significantly influence the quality of life of affected individuals. Genetic approaches, combined with genomic technology, have provided powerful insights into common late-onset diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Here, we discuss current findings on the genetics of AMD to highlight areas of rapid progress and new challenges. We also attempt to integrate available genetic and biochemical data with cellular pathways involved in aging to formulate an integrated model of AMD pathogenesis. PMID:19405847

  11. The relevance of aging-related changes in brain function to rehabilitation in aging-related disease

    PubMed Central

    Crosson, Bruce; McGregor, Keith M.; Nocera, Joe R.; Drucker, Jonathan H.; Tran, Stella M.; Butler, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    The effects of aging on rehabilitation of aging-related diseases are rarely a design consideration in rehabilitation research. In this brief review we present strong coincidental evidence from these two fields suggesting that deficits in aging-related disease or injury are compounded by the interaction between aging-related brain changes and disease-related brain changes. Specifically, we hypothesize that some aphasia, motor, and neglect treatments using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in stroke patients may address the aging side of this interaction. The importance of testing this hypothesis and addressing the larger aging by aging-related disease interaction is discussed. Underlying mechanisms in aging that most likely are relevant to rehabilitation of aging-related diseases also are covered. PMID:26074807

  12. Nutritional influences on epigenetics and age-related disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nutritional epigenetics has emerged as a novel mechanism underlying gene–diet interactions, further elucidating the modulatory role of nutrition in aging and age-related disease development. Epigenetics is defined as a heritable modification to the DNA that regulates chromosome architecture and modu...

  13. Role of iron in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Li, Kai; Reichmann, Heinz

    2016-04-01

    Currently, we still lack effective measures to modify disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases. Iron-containing proteins play an essential role in many fundamental biological processes in the central nervous system. In addition, iron is a redox-active ion and can induce oxidative stress in the cell. Although the causes and pathology hallmarks of different neurodegenerative diseases vary, iron dyshomeostasis, oxidative stress and mitochondrial injury constitute a common pathway to cell death in several neurodegenerative diseases. MRI is capable of depicting iron content in the brain, and serves as a potential biomarker for early and differential diagnosis, tracking disease progression and evaluating the effectiveness of neuroprotective therapy. Iron chelators have shown their efficacy against neurodegeneration in a series of animal models, and been applied in several clinical trials. In this review, we summarize recent developments on iron dyshomeostasis in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Friedreich ataxia, and Huntington's disease.

  14. Decision-making cognition in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Ibáñez, Agustín; Roca, María; Torralva, Teresa; Manes, Facundo

    2010-11-01

    A large proportion of human social neuroscience research has focused on the issue of decision-making. Impaired decision-making is a symptomatic feature of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, but the nature of these decision-making deficits depends on the particular disease. Thus, examining the qualitative differences in decision-making impairments associated with different neurodegenerative diseases could provide valuable information regarding the underlying neural basis of decision-making. Nevertheless, few comparative reports of decision-making across patient groups exist. In this Review, we examine the neuroanatomical substrates of decision-making in relation to the neuropathological changes that occur in Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson disease and Huntington disease. We then examine the main findings from studies of decision-making in these neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, we suggest a number of recommendations that future studies could adopt to aid our understanding of decision-making cognition.

  15. Mitochondrial Medicine for Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Mitochondria are key cytoplasmic organelles, responsible for generating cellular energy, regulating intracellular calcium levels, altering the reduction-oxidation potential of cells, and regulating cell death. Increasing evidence suggests that mitochondria play a central role in aging and in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Freidriech ataxia. Further, several lines of evidence suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction is an early event in most late-onset neurodegenerative diseases. Biochemical and animal model studies of inherited neurodegenerative diseases have revealed that mutant proteins of these diseases are associated with mitochondria. Mutant proteins are reported to block the transport of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins to mitochondria, interact with mitochondrial proteins and disrupt the electron transport chain, induce free radicals, cause mitochondrial dysfunction, and, ultimately, damage neurons. This article discusses critical issues of mitochondria causing dysfunction in aging and neurodegenerative diseases, and discusses the potential of developing mitochondrial medicine, particularly mitochondrially targeted antioxidants, to treat aging and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18566920

  16. Mitochondrial function and dysfunction in the cell: its relevance to aging and aging-related disease.

    PubMed

    Nicholls, David G

    2002-11-01

    Mitochondria plays a complex multi-factorial role in the cell. In addition to their primary role in ATP generation, the organelles sequester calcium and both generate and detoxify reactive oxygen species. All these functions are intimately inter-linked through the central bioenergetic parameter of the proton electrochemical gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane. Subtle changes in respiratory chain capacity, substrate supply, glutathione levels, cytoplasmic calcium and membrane potential occur in aging and in conditions predisposing towards neurodegenerative disease. These interactions are incompletely understood and in this review I present an overview of some of the current research in this area, and its possible relevance to aging and aging-related disease.

  17. Metal attenuating therapies in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Mot, Alexandra I; Wedd, Anthony G; Sinclair, Layla; Brown, David R; Collins, Steven J; Brazier, Marcus W

    2011-12-01

    The clinical and pathological spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases is diverse, although common to many of these disorders is the accumulation of misfolded proteins, with oxidative stress thought to be an important contributing mechanism to neuronal damage. As a corollary, transition metal ion dyshomeostasis appears to play a key pathogenic role in a number of these maladies, including the most common of neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, studies spanning a wide variety of neurodegenerative disorders are presented with their involvement of transition metals compared and contrasted, including more detailed treatise in relation to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and prion diseases. For each of these diseases, a discussion of the evolving scientific rationale for the development of therapies aimed at ameliorating the detrimental effects of transition metal dysregulation, including results from various human trials, is then provided.

  18. Oligonucleotide-based therapy for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Magen, Iddo; Hornstein, Eran

    2014-10-10

    Molecular genetics insight into the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer׳s disease, Parkinson׳s disease, Huntington׳s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, encourages direct interference with the activity of neurotoxic genes or the molecular activation of neuroprotective pathways. Oligonucleotide-based therapies are recently emerging as an efficient strategy for drug development and these can be employed as new treatments of neurodegenerative states. Here we review advances in this field in recent years which suggest an encouraging assessment that oligonucleotide technologies for targeting of RNAs will enable the development of new therapies and will contribute to preservation of brain integrity.

  19. DNA methylation, a hand behind neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Haoyang; Liu, Xinzhou; Deng, Yulin; Qing, Hong

    2013-01-01

    Epigenetic alterations represent a sort of functional modifications related to the genome that are not responsible for changes in the nucleotide sequence. DNA methylation is one of such epigenetic modifications that have been studied intensively for the past several decades. The transfer of a methyl group to the 5 position of a cytosine is the key feature of DNA methylation. A simple change as such can be caused by a variety of factors, which can be the cause of many serious diseases including several neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we have reviewed and summarized recent progress regarding DNA methylation in four major neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The studies of these four major neurodegenerative diseases conclude the strong suggestion of the important role DNA methylation plays in these diseases. However, each of these diseases has not yet been understood completely as details in some areas remain unclear, and will be investigated in future studies. We hope this review can provide new insights into the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases from the epigenetic perspective. PMID:24367332

  20. Versatile Functions of Caveolin-1 in Aging-related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Kim Cuc Thi

    2017-01-01

    Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is a trans-membrane protein that is a major component of the caveolae structure on the plasma membrane. Cav-1 is involved in the regulation of various cellular processes, including cell growth, differentiation, endocytosis, and in particular it has been implied in cellular senescence. Here we review current knowledge about Cav-1 in cellular signaling and discuss the role of Cav-1 in aging-related diseases. PMID:28184336

  1. Microbial Immuno-Communication in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Main, Bevan S.; Minter, Myles R.

    2017-01-01

    Neuro-inflammation is a critical process by which the brain coordinates chemokine-regulated cellular recruitment, cytokine release, and cell-mediated removal of pathogenic material to protect against infection or brain injury. Dysregulation of this immune response is involved in multiple neurodegenerative disorders, however the precise contribution of neuro-inflammation to the exacerbation and progression of these diseases remains unclear. Evidence now suggests that commensal micro-organisms populating the host and their metabolites, collectively termed the microbiome, regulate innate immunity by influencing peripheral immune cell populations, and modulating microglial phenotype. Recent preclinical studies now demonstrate that perturbations in the host microbiome can induce alterations in pathological phenotypes associated with numerous neurodegenerative diseases. How perturbations in the host microbiome and subsequently altered peripheral immune status are communicated to the brain to influence neuro-inflammatory processes in these neurodegenerative disease settings is far from understood. This review provides insight into the regulation of neuro-inflammatory processes by the host microbiome in the context of neurodegenerative disease and highlights the potential importance of the blood-brain barrier and blood-cerebrospinal fluid-brain barrier, functioning as “immune barriers,” to communicate host immune status to the brain. Understanding the mechanisms by which the commensal microbiome communicates with the brain to influence neuro-inflammatory processes will be critical in the development of microbially-targeted therapeutics in the potential treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:28386215

  2. Advanced magnetic resonance imaging of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Agosta, Federica; Galantucci, Sebastiano; Filippi, Massimo

    2017-01-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is playing an increasingly important role in the study of neurodegenerative diseases, delineating the structural and functional alterations determined by these conditions. Advanced MRI techniques are of special interest for their potential to characterize the signature of each neurodegenerative condition and aid both the diagnostic process and the monitoring of disease progression. This aspect will become crucial when disease-modifying (personalized) therapies will be established. MRI techniques are very diverse and go from the visual inspection of MRI scans to more complex approaches, such as manual and automatic volume measurements, diffusion tensor MRI, and functional MRI. All these techniques allow us to investigate the different features of neurodegeneration. In this review, we summarize the most recent advances concerning the use of MRI in some of the most important neurodegenerative conditions, putting an emphasis on the advanced techniques.

  3. Induced pluripotent stem cells and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chao; Xiao, Shi-Fu

    2011-04-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, are characterized by idiopathic neuron loss in different regions of the central nervous system, which contributes to the relevant dysfunctions in the patients. The application of cell replacement therapy using human embryonic stem (hES) cells, though having attracted much attention, has been hampered by the intrinsic ethical problems. It has been demonstrated that adult somatic cells can be reprogrammed into the embryonic state, called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. It is soon realized that iPS cells may be an alternative source for cell replacement therapy, because it raises no ethical problems and using patient-specific iPS cells for autologous transplantation will not lead to immunological rejection. What's more, certain types of neurons derived from patient-specific iPS cells may display disease-relevant phenotypes. Thus, patient-specific iPS cells can provide a unique opportunity to directly investigate the pathological properties of relevant neural cells in individual patient, and to study the vulnerability of neural cells to pathogenic factors in vitro, which may help reveal the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, the recent development in cellular treatment of neurodegenerative diseases using iPS cells was summarized, and the potential value of iPS cells in the modeling of neurodegenerative disease was discussed.

  4. Type A and B monoamine oxidase in age-related neurodegenerative disorders: their distinct roles in neuronal death and survival.

    PubMed

    Naoi, Makoto; Maruyama, Wakako; Inaba-Hasegawa, Keiko

    2012-01-01

    In neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, type B monoamine oxidase (MAO-B) has been proposed to play a primary role though generating reactive oxygen species in oxidation of monoamine substrates. MAO-B oxidizes MPTP into MPP+, and an MAO-B inhibitor, deprenyl, prevents the MPTP oxidation and also MPP+neutotoxicity. These results suggest the association of MAO-B with neuronal death in neurodegenerative disorders. On the other hand, deprenyl and rasagiline, selective MAO-B inhibitors, have been proved to protect neuronal cells in cellular and animal models of neurodegeneration. These inhibitors decrease oxidation of the substrates, scavenge oxygen radicals, intervene apoptosis signal pathway in mitochondria and induce pro-survival genes coding anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 and neurotrophic factors. However, the association of MAO-B itself with the neuroprotective function of MAO-B inhibitors remains enigmatic. Recently, the involvement of type A MAO (MAO-A) in neuronal death has been shown by upregulation MAO-A expression in cellular models. MAO-A is a target of an endogenous neurotoxin, Nmethyl( R)salsolinol, and MAO-A knockdown (KO) with short interfering (si)RNA protects neuronal death from apoptosis. In addition, MAO-A mediates the increased expression of genes for anti-apoptotic, pro-survival Bcl-2 and neurotrophic factors by MAO-B inhibitors, whereas MAO-B doe not. In this review, we present our recent results on the novel role of MAO-A and MAO-B in neuronal death and also in the neuroprotective gene induction by MAO inhibitors. The future development of new series of neuroprotective drugs is discussed among compounds, which have high affinity to MAO-A and can induce pro-survival genes. MAO-A is expected to play a role in disease-modifying therapy for neurodegenerative disorders.

  5. The application of information theory for the research of aging and aging-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Blokh, David; Stambler, Ilia

    2016-03-19

    This article reviews the application of information-theoretical analysis, employing measures of entropy and mutual information, for the study of aging and aging-related diseases. The research of aging and aging-related diseases is particularly suitable for the application of information theory methods, as aging processes and related diseases are multi-parametric, with continuous parameters coexisting alongside discrete parameters, and with the relations between the parameters being as a rule non-linear. Information theory provides unique analytical capabilities for the solution of such problems, with unique advantages over common linear biostatistics. Among the age-related diseases, information theory has been used in the study of neurodegenerative diseases (particularly using EEG time series for diagnosis and prediction), cancer (particularly for establishing individual and combined cancer biomarkers), diabetes (mainly utilizing mutual information to characterize the diseased and aging states), and heart disease (mainly for the analysis of heart rate variability). Few works have employed information theory for the analysis of general aging processes and frailty, as underlying determinants and possible early preclinical diagnostic measures for aging-related diseases. Generally, the use of information-theoretical analysis permits not only establishing the (non-linear) correlations between diagnostic or therapeutic parameters of interest, but may also provide a theoretical insight into the nature of aging and related diseases by establishing the measures of variability, adaptation, regulation or homeostasis, within a system of interest. It may be hoped that the increased use of such measures in research may considerably increase diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities and the fundamental theoretical mathematical understanding of aging and disease.

  6. Effects of Panax ginseng in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Ik-Hyun

    2012-01-01

    Ginseng, the root of the Panax ginseng, has been a popular and widely-used traditional herbal medicine in Korea, China, and Japan for thousands of years. Now it has become popular as a functional health food and is used globally as a natural medicine. Evidence is accumulating in the literature on the physiological and pharmacological effects of P. ginseng on neurodegenerative diseases. Possible ginseng- or ginsenosides-mediated neuroprotective mechanisms mainly involve maintaining homeostasis, and anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic, and immune-stimulatory activities. This review considers publications dealing with the various actions of P. ginseng that are indicative of possible neurotherapeutic efficacies in neurodegenerative diseases and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. PMID:23717136

  7. Aptamer and its applications in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Qu, Jing; Yu, Shuqing; Zheng, Yuan; Zheng, Yan; Yang, Hui; Zhang, Jianliang

    2017-02-01

    Aptamers are small single-stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotide fragments or small peptides, which can bind to targets by high affinity and specificity. Because aptamers are specific, non-immunogenic and non-toxic, they are ideal materials for clinical applications. Neurodegenerative disorders are ravaging the lives of patients. Even though the mechanism of these diseases is still elusive, they are mainly characterized by the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the central nervous system. So it is essential to develop potential measures to slow down or prevent the onset of these diseases. With the advancements of the technologies, aptamers have opened up new areas in this research field. Aptamers could bind with these related target proteins to interrupt their accumulation, subsequently blocking or preventing the process of neurodegenerative diseases. This review presents recent advances in the aptamer generation and its merits and limitations, with emphasis on its applications in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, Huntington's disease and multiple sclerosis.

  8. Resveratrol: A Focus on Several Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Tellone, Ester; Galtieri, Antonio; Russo, Annamaria; Giardina, Bruno; Ficarra, Silvana

    2015-01-01

    Molecules of the plant world are proving their effectiveness in countering, slowing down, and regressing many diseases. The resveratrol for its intrinsic properties related to its stilbene structure has been proven to be a universal panacea, especially for a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases. This paper evaluates (in vivo and in vitro) the various molecular targets of this peculiar polyphenol and its ability to effectively counter several neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. What emerges is that, in the deep heterogeneity of the pathologies evaluated, resveratrol through a convergence on the protein targets is able to give therapeutic responses in neuronal cells deeply diversified not only in morphological structure but especially in their function performed in the anatomical district to which they belong. PMID:26180587

  9. Parabiosis for the study of age-related chronic disease

    PubMed Central

    Eggel, Alexander; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2014-01-01

    Summary Modern medicine wields the power to treat large numbers of diseases and injuries most of us would have died from just a hundred years ago. In view of this tremendous achievement, it can seem as if progress has slowed, and we have been unable to impact the most devastating diseases of our time. Chronic diseases of age such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, or Alzheimer’s disease turn out to be of a complexity that may require transformative ideas and paradigms to understand and treat them. Parabiosis, which mimics aspects of the naturally occurring shared blood supply in conjoined twins in humans and certain animals, may just have the power to be such a transformative experimental paradigm. Forgotten and now shunned in many countries, it has contributed to major breakthroughs in tumor biology, endocrinology, and transplantation research in the past century, and a set of new studies in the US and Britain report stunning advances in stem cell biology and tissue regeneration using parabiosis between young and old mice. We review here briefly the history of parabiosis and discuss its utility to study physiological and pathophysiological processes. We argue that parabiosis is a technique that should enjoy wider acceptance and application, and that policies should be revisited especially if one is to study complex age-related, chronic disorders. PMID:24496774

  10. Flavonoids and Age Related Disease: Risk, benefits and critical windows

    PubMed Central

    Prasain, JK; Carlson, SH; Wyss, JM

    2010-01-01

    Plant derived products are consumed by a large percentage of the population to prevent, delay and ameliorate disease burden; however, relatively little is known about the efficacy, safety and underlying mechanisms of these traditional health products, especially when taken in concert with pharmaceutical agents. The flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites that are common in the diet and appear to provide some health benefits. While flavonoids are primarily derived from soy, many are found in fruits, nuts and more exotic sources, e.g., kudzu. Perhaps the strongest evidence for the benefits of flavonoids in diseases of aging relates to their effect on components of the metabolic syndrome. Flavonoids from soy, grape seed, kudzu and other sources all lower arterial pressure in hypertensive animal models and in a limited number of tests in humans. They also decrease the plasma concentration of lipids and buffer plasma glucose. The underlying mechanisms appear to include antioxidant actions, central nervous system effects, gut transport alterations, fatty acid sequestration and processing, PPAR activation and increases in insulin sensitivity. In animal models of disease, dietary flavonoids also demonstrate a protective effect against cognitive decline, cancer and metabolic disease. However, research also indicates that the flavonoids can be detrimental in some settings and, therefore, are not universally safe. Thus, as the population ages, it is important to determine the impact of these agents on prevention/attenuation of disease, including optimal exposure (intake, timing/duration) and potential contraindications. PMID:20181448

  11. Nitroxide pharmaceutical development for age-related degeneration and disease

    PubMed Central

    Zarling, Jacob A.; Brunt, Vienna E.; Vallerga, Anne K.; Li, Weixing; Tao, Albert; Zarling, David A.; Minson, Christopher T.

    2015-01-01

    Nitroxide small molecule agents are in development as preventative or therapeutic pharmaceutical drugs for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cardiovascular disease, which are two major diseases of aging. These aging diseases are associated with patient genetics, smoking, diet, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation. Nitroxide drugs preventing aging-, smoking-, high sugar or high fat diet-, or radiation- and other environmental-induced pathophysiological conditions in aging disease are reviewed. Tempol (TP), Tempol Hydroxylamine (TP-H), and TP-H prodrug (OT-551) are evaluated in (1) non-smokers versus smokers with cutaneous microvascular dysfunction, rapidly reversed by cutaneous TP; (2) elderly cancer patients at risk for radiation-induced skin burns or hair loss, prevented by topical TP; and (3) elderly smoker or non-smoker AMD patients at risk for vision loss, prevented by daily eye drops of OT-551. The human data indicates safety and efficacy for these nitroxide drugs. Both TP and TP-H topically penetrate and function in skin or mucosa, protecting and treating radiation burns and hair loss or smoking-induced cutaneous vascular dysfunction. TP and TP-H do not penetrate the cornea, while OT-551 does effectively penetrate and travels to the back of the eye, preserving visual acuity and preserving normal and low light luminance in dry AMD smokers and non-smoker patients. Topical, oral, or injectable drug formulations are discussed. PMID:26594225

  12. Nitroxide pharmaceutical development for age-related degeneration and disease.

    PubMed

    Zarling, Jacob A; Brunt, Vienna E; Vallerga, Anne K; Li, Weixing; Tao, Albert; Zarling, David A; Minson, Christopher T

    2015-01-01

    Nitroxide small molecule agents are in development as preventative or therapeutic pharmaceutical drugs for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cardiovascular disease, which are two major diseases of aging. These aging diseases are associated with patient genetics, smoking, diet, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation. Nitroxide drugs preventing aging-, smoking-, high sugar or high fat diet-, or radiation- and other environmental-induced pathophysiological conditions in aging disease are reviewed. Tempol (TP), Tempol Hydroxylamine (TP-H), and TP-H prodrug (OT-551) are evaluated in (1) non-smokers versus smokers with cutaneous microvascular dysfunction, rapidly reversed by cutaneous TP; (2) elderly cancer patients at risk for radiation-induced skin burns or hair loss, prevented by topical TP; and (3) elderly smoker or non-smoker AMD patients at risk for vision loss, prevented by daily eye drops of OT-551. The human data indicates safety and efficacy for these nitroxide drugs. Both TP and TP-H topically penetrate and function in skin or mucosa, protecting and treating radiation burns and hair loss or smoking-induced cutaneous vascular dysfunction. TP and TP-H do not penetrate the cornea, while OT-551 does effectively penetrate and travels to the back of the eye, preserving visual acuity and preserving normal and low light luminance in dry AMD smokers and non-smoker patients. Topical, oral, or injectable drug formulations are discussed.

  13. Dietary compound score and risk of age-related macular degeneration in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Purpose: Because foods provide many nutrients, which may interact with each other to modify risk for multifactorial diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), we sought to develop a composite scoring system to summarize the combined effect of multiple dietary nutrients on AMD risk. Th...

  14. Implications of glial nitric oxide in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yuste, Jose Enrique; Tarragon, Ernesto; Campuzano, Carmen María; Ros-Bernal, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is a pleiotropic janus-faced molecule synthesized by nitric oxide synthases (NOS) which plays a critical role in a number of physiological and pathological processes in humans. The physiological roles of NO depend on its local concentrations, as well as its availability and the nature of downstream target molecules. Its double-edged sword action has been linked to neurodegenerative disorders. Excessive NO production, as the evoked by inflammatory signals, has been identified as one of the major causative reasons for the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, excessive NO synthesis under neuroinflammation leads to the formation of reactive nitrogen species and neuronal cell death. There is an intimate relation between microglial activation, NO and neuroinflammation in the human brain. The role of NO in neuroinflammation has been defined in animal models where this neurotransmitter can modulate the inflammatory process acting on key regulatory pathways, such as those associated with excitotoxicity processes induced by glutamate accumulation and microglial activation. Activated glia express inducible NOS and produce NO that triggers calcium mobilization from the endoplasmic reticulum, activating the release of vesicular glutamate from astroglial cells resulting in neuronal death. This change in microglia potentially contributes to the increased age-associated susceptibility and neurodegeneration. In the current review, information is provided about the role of NO, glial activation and age-related processes in the central nervous system (CNS) that may be helpful in the isolation of new therapeutic targets for aging and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26347610

  15. The endoplasmic reticulum stress response in aging and age-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Marishka K.; Naidoo, Nirinjini

    2012-01-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum(ER) is a multifunctional organelle within which protein folding, lipid biosynthesis, and calcium storage occurs. Perturbations such as energy or nutrient depletion, disturbances in calcium or redox status that disrupt ER homeostasis lead to the misfolding of proteins, ER stress and up-regulation of several signaling pathways coordinately called the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR is characterized by the induction of chaperones, degradation of misfolded proteins and attenuation of protein translation. The UPR plays a fundamental role in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis and thus is central to normal physiology. However, sustained unresolved ER stress leads to apoptosis. Aging linked declines in expression and activity of key ER molecular chaperones and folding enzymes compromise proper protein folding and the adaptive response of the UPR. One mechanism to explain age associated declines in cellular functions and age-related diseases is a progressive failure of chaperoning systems. In many of these diseases, proteins or fragments of proteins convert from their normally soluble forms to insoluble fibrils or plaques that accumulate in a variety of organs including the liver, brain or spleen. This group of diseases, which typically occur late in life includes Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, type II diabetes and a host of less well known but often equally serious conditions such as fatal familial insomnia. The UPR is implicated in many of these neurodegenerative and familial protein folding diseases as well as several cancers and a host of inflammatory diseases including diabetes, atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. This review will discuss age-related changes in the ER stress response and the role of the UPR in age-related diseases. PMID:22934019

  16. The 'golden age' of DNA methylation in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Fuso, Andrea

    2013-03-01

    DNA methylation reactions are regulated, in the first instance, by enzymes and the intermediates that constitute the 'so called' one-carbon metabolism. This is a complex biochemical pathway, also known as the homocysteine cycle, regulated by the presence of B vitamins (folate, B6, B12) and choline, among other metabolites. One of the intermediates of this metabolism is S-adenosylmethionine, which represent the methyl donor in all the DNA methyltransferase reactions in eukaryotes. The one-carbon metabolism therefore produces the substrate necessary for the transferring of a methyl group on the cytosine residues of DNA; S-adenosylmethionine also regulates the activity of the enzymes that catalyze this reaction, namely the DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). Alterations of this metabolic cycle can therefore be responsible for aberrant DNA methylation processes possibly leading to several human diseases. As a matter of fact, increasing evidences indicate that a number of human diseases with multifactorial origin may have an epigenetic basis. This is also due to the great technical advances in the field of epigenetic research. Among the human diseases associated with epigenetic factors, aging-related and neurodegenerative diseases are probably the object of most intense research. This review will present the main evidences linking several human diseases to DNA methylation, with particular focus on neurodegenerative diseases, together with a short description of the state-of-the-art of methylation assays.

  17. Aging and age-related diseases--from endocrine therapy to target therapy.

    PubMed

    Bao, Qi; Pan, Jie; Qi, Hangfei; Wang, Lu; Qian, Huan; Jiang, Fangzhen; Shao, Zheren; Xu, Fengzhi; Tao, Zhiping; Ma, Qi; Nelson, Peter; Hu, Xueqing

    2014-08-25

    Aging represents an important health issue not only for the individual, but also for society in general. Burdens associated with aging are expanding as longevity increases. This has led to an enhanced focus on issues related to aging and age-related diseases. Until recently, anti-aging endocrine-therapy has been largely limited to hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) that is associated with multiple side effects, including an increased risk of cancer. This has greatly limited the application of HRT in anti-aging therapy. Recently, the focus of anti-aging research has expanded from endocrine signaling pathways to effects on regulatory gene networks. In this regard, the GHRH-GH-IGF-1/Insulin, TOR-S6K1,NAD(+)-Sirtuin, P53, Klotho and APOE pathways have been linked to processes associated with age-related diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases, all of which directly influence health in aging, and represent key targets in anti-aging therapy.

  18. [The role of thiamine in neurodegenerative diseases].

    PubMed

    Bubko, Irena; Gruber, Beata M; Anuszewska, Elżbieta L

    2015-09-21

    Vitamin B1 (thiamine) plays an important role in metabolism. It is indispensable for normal growth and development of the organism. Thiamine has a favourable impact on a number of systems, including the digestive, cardiovascular and nervous systems. It also stimulates the brain and improves the psycho-emotional state. Hence it is often called the vitamin of "reassurance of the spirit". Thiamine is a water-soluble vitamin. It can be present in the free form as thiamine or as its phosphate esters: mono-, di- or triphosphate. The main source of thiamine as an exogenous vitamin is certain foodstuffs, but trace amounts can be synthesised by microorganisms of the large intestine. The recommended daily intake of thiamine is about 2.0 mg. Since vitamin B1 has no ability to accumulate in the organism, manifestations of its deficiency begin to appear very quickly. The chronic state of thiamine deficiency, to a large extent, because of its function, contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. It was proved that supporting vitamin B1 therapy not only constitutes neuroprotection but can also have a favourable impact on advanced neurodegenerative diseases. This article presents the current state of knowledge as regards the effects of thiamine exerted through this vitamin in a number of diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Wernicke's encephalopathy or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and Huntington's disease.

  19. Mitochondrial and Cell Death Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Lee J.

    2010-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are the most common human adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases. They are characterized by prominent age-related neurodegeneration in selectively vulnerable neural systems. Some forms of AD, PD, and ALS are inherited, and genes causing these diseases have been identified. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of the neuronal cell death are unresolved. Morphological, biochemical, genetic, as well as cell and animal model studies reveal that mitochondria could have roles in this neurodegeneration. The functions and properties of mitochondria might render subsets of selectively vulnerable neurons intrinsically susceptible to cellular aging and stress and overlying genetic variations, triggering neurodegeneration according to a cell death matrix theory. In AD, alterations in enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, oxidative damage, and mitochondrial binding of Aβ and amyloid precursor protein have been reported. In PD, mutations in putative mitochondrial proteins have been identified and mitochondrial DNA mutations have been found in neurons in the substantia nigra. In ALS, changes occur in mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes and mitochondrial cell death proteins. Transgenic mouse models of human neurodegenerative disease are beginning to reveal possible principles governing the biology of selective neuronal vulnerability that implicate mitochondria and the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This review summarizes how mitochondrial pathobiology might contribute to neuronal death in AD, PD, and ALS and could serve as a target for drug therapy. PMID:21258649

  20. Inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases--an update.

    PubMed

    Amor, Sandra; Peferoen, Laura A N; Vogel, Daphne Y S; Breur, Marjolein; van der Valk, Paul; Baker, David; van Noort, Johannes M

    2014-06-01

    Neurodegeneration, the progressive dysfunction and loss of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), is the major cause of cognitive and motor dysfunction. While neuronal degeneration is well-known in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, it is also observed in neurotrophic infections, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, neoplastic disorders, prion diseases, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as well as neuropsychiatric disorders and genetic disorders. A common link between these diseases is chronic activation of innate immune responses including those mediated by microglia, the resident CNS macrophages. Such activation can trigger neurotoxic pathways leading to progressive degeneration. Yet, microglia are also crucial for controlling inflammatory processes, and repair and regeneration. The adaptive immune response is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases contributing to tissue damage, but also plays important roles in resolving inflammation and mediating neuroprotection and repair. The growing awareness that the immune system is inextricably involved in mediating damage as well as regeneration and repair in neurodegenerative disorders, has prompted novel approaches to modulate the immune system, although it remains whether these approaches can be used in humans. Additional factors in humans include ageing and exposure to environmental factors such as systemic infections that provide additional clues that may be human specific and therefore difficult to translate from animal models. Nevertheless, a better understanding of how immune responses are involved in neuronal damage and regeneration, as reviewed here, will be essential to develop effective therapies to improve quality of life, and mitigate the personal, economic and social impact of these diseases.

  1. The role of copper in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Waggoner, D J; Bartnikas, T B; Gitlin, J D

    1999-08-01

    Copper is an essential trace metal which plays a fundamental role in the biochemistry of the human nervous system. Menkes disease and Wilson disease are inherited disorders of copper metabolism and the dramatic neurodegenerative phenotypes of these two diseases underscore the essential nature of copper in nervous system development as well as the toxicity of this metal when neuronal copper homeostasis is perturbed. Ceruloplasmin contains 95% of the copper found in human plasma and inherited loss of this essential ferroxidase is associated with progressive neurodegeneration of the retina and basal ganglia. Gain-of-function mutations in the cytosolic copper enzyme superoxide dismutase result in the motor neuron degeneration of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and current evidence suggests a direct pathogenic role for copper in this process. Recent studies have also implicated copper in the pathogenesis of neuronal injury in Alzheimer's disease and the prion-mediated encephalopathies, suggesting that further elucidation of the mechanisms of copper trafficking and metabolism within the nervous system will be of direct relevance to our understanding of the pathophysiology and treatment of neurodegenerative disease.

  2. Ketogenic Diet in Neuromuscular and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Damiani, Ernesto; Bosco, Gerardo

    2014-01-01

    An increasing number of data demonstrate the utility of ketogenic diets in a variety of metabolic diseases as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. In regard to neurological disorders, ketogenic diet is recognized as an effective treatment for pharmacoresistant epilepsy but emerging data suggests that ketogenic diet could be also useful in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer, Parkinson's disease, and some mitochondriopathies. Although these diseases have different pathogenesis and features, there are some common mechanisms that could explain the effects of ketogenic diets. These mechanisms are to provide an efficient source of energy for the treatment of certain types of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by focal brain hypometabolism; to decrease the oxidative damage associated with various kinds of metabolic stress; to increase the mitochondrial biogenesis pathways; and to take advantage of the capacity of ketones to bypass the defect in complex I activity implicated in some neurological diseases. These mechanisms will be discussed in this review. PMID:25101284

  3. Insulin resistance and gray matter volume in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Morris, J K; Vidoni, E D; Perea, R D; Rada, R; Johnson, D K; Lyons, K; Pahwa, R; Burns, J M; Honea, R A

    2014-06-13

    The goal of this study was to compare insulin resistance in aging and aging-related neurodegenerative diseases, and to determine the relationship between insulin resistance and gray matter volume (GMV) in each cohort using an unbiased, voxel-based approach. Insulin resistance was estimated in apparently healthy elderly control (HC, n=21) and neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer's disease (AD), n=20; Parkinson's disease (PD), n=22) groups using Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance 2 (HOMA2) and intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT). HOMA2 and GMV were assessed within groups through General Linear Model multiple regression. We found that HOMA2 was increased in both AD and PD compared to the HC group (HC vs. AD, p=0.002, HC vs. PD, p=0.003), although only AD subjects exhibited increased fasting glucose (p=0.005). Furthermore, our voxel-based morphometry analysis revealed that HOMA2 was related to GMV in all cohorts in a region-specific manner (p<0.001, uncorrected). Significant relationships were observed in the medial prefrontal cortex (HC), medial temporal regions (AD), and parietal regions (PD). Finally, the directionality of the relationship between HOMA2 and GMV was disease-specific. Both HC and AD subjects exhibited negative relationships between HOMA2 and brain volume (increased HOMA2 associated with decreased brain volume), while a positive relationship was observed in PD. This cross-sectional study suggests that insulin resistance is increased in neurodegenerative disease, and that individuals with AD appear to have more severe metabolic dysfunction than individuals with PD or PD dementia.

  4. Tau as a biomarker of neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Schraen-Maschke, Susanna; Sergeant, Nicolas; Dhaenens, Claire-Marie; Bombois, Stephanie; Deramecourt, Vincent; Caillet-Boudin, Marie-Laure; Pasquier, Florence; Maurage, Claude-Alain; Sablonniere, Bernard; Vanmechelen, Eugeen; Buee, Luc

    2008-01-01

    Summary The microtubule associated protein Tau is mainly expressed in neurons of the central nervous system and is crucial in axonal maintenance and axonal transport. The rationale for Tau as a biomarker of neurodegenerative diseases is that it is a major component of abnormal intraneuronal aggregates observed in numerous of these diseases named Tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease. The molecular diversity of Tau is very useful when analysing it in the brain or in the peripheral fluids. Immunohistochemical and biochemical characterisation of Tau aggregates in the brain allows the post-mortem classification and differential diagnosis of Tauopathies. As peripheral biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease in the cerebrospinal fluid, Tau proteins are now validated for diagnosis and predictive purposes. For the future, the detailed characterization of Tau in brain and in peripheral fluids will lead to novel promising biomarkers for differential diagnosis of dementia and monitoring of therapeutics. PMID:20477391

  5. In vitro imaging techniques in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Långström, Bengt; Andrén, Per E; Lindhe, Orjan; Svedberg, Marie; Hall, Håkan

    2007-01-01

    Neurodegeneration induces various changes in the brain, changes that may be investigated using neuroimaging techniques. The in vivo techniques are useful for the visualization of major changes, and the progressing abnormalities may also be followed longitudinally. However, to study and quantify minor abnormalities, neuroimaging of postmortem brain tissue is used. These in vitro methods are complementary to the in vivo techniques and contribute to the knowledge of pathophysiology and etiology of the neurodegenerative diseases. In vitro radioligand autoradiography has given great insight in the involvement of different neuronal receptor systems in these diseases. Data on the dopamine and cholinergic systems in neurodegeneration are discussed in this review. Also, the amyloid plaques are studied using in vitro radioligand autoradiography. Using one of the newer methods, imaging matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry, the distribution of a large number of peptides and proteins may be detected in vitro on brain cryosections. In this overview, we describe in vitro imaging techniques in the neurodegenerative diseases as a complement to in vivo positron emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography imaging.

  6. Engineering enhanced protein disaggregases for neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Meredith E; Shorter, James

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Protein misfolding and aggregation underpin several fatal neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). There are no treatments that directly antagonize the protein-misfolding events that cause these disorders. Agents that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native form and function could simultaneously eliminate any deleterious loss-of-function or toxic gain-of-function caused by misfolded conformers. Moreover, a disruptive technology of this nature would eliminate self-templating conformers that spread pathology and catalyze formation of toxic, soluble oligomers. Here, we highlight our efforts to engineer Hsp104, a protein disaggregase from yeast, to more effectively disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with PD, ALS, and FTD. Remarkably subtle modifications of Hsp104 primary sequence yielded large gains in protective activity against deleterious α-synuclein, TDP-43, FUS, and TAF15 misfolding. Unusually, in many cases loss of amino acid identity at select positions in Hsp104 rather than specific mutation conferred a robust therapeutic gain-of-function. Nevertheless, the misfolding and toxicity of EWSR1, an RNA-binding protein with a prion-like domain linked to ALS and FTD, could not be buffered by potentiated Hsp104 variants, indicating that further amelioration of disaggregase activity or sharpening of substrate specificity is warranted. We suggest that neuroprotection is achievable for diverse neurodegenerative conditions via surprisingly subtle structural modifications of existing chaperones. PMID:25738979

  7. A Potential Alternative against Neurodegenerative Diseases: Phytodrugs

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Hernández, Jesús; Zaldívar-Machorro, Víctor Javier; Villanueva-Porras, David; Vega-Ávila, Elisa; Chavarría, Anahí

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) primarily affect the neurons in the human brain secondary to oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. ND are more common and have a disproportionate impact on countries with longer life expectancies and represent the fourth highest source of overall disease burden in the high-income countries. A large majority of the medicinal plant compounds, such as polyphenols, alkaloids, and terpenes, have therapeutic properties. Polyphenols are the most common active compounds in herbs and vegetables consumed by man. The biological bioactivity of polyphenols against neurodegeneration is mainly due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloidogenic effects. Multiple scientific studies support the use of herbal medicine in the treatment of ND; however, relevant aspects are still pending to explore such as metabolic analysis, pharmacokinetics, and brain bioavailability. PMID:26881043

  8. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Akbarian, Schahram

    2013-01-01

    The exploration of brain epigenomes, which consist of various types of DNA methylation and covalent histone modifications, is providing new and unprecedented insights into the mechanisms of normal neural development, neurological disease and aging. Traditionally, chromatin defects in brain were considered static lesions of early development that occurred in the context of rare genetic syndromes but it is now clear that mutations and maladaptations of the epigenetic machinery cover a much wider continuum, including adult-onset neurodegenerative disease. Here, we describe how recent advances in neuroepigenetics have contributed to an improved mechanistic understanding of developmental and degenerative brain disorders, as well as how they could influence the development of future therapies for these conditions. PMID:22869198

  9. Association of age-related macular degeneration and reticular macular disease with cardiovascular disease.

    PubMed

    Rastogi, Neelesh; Smith, R Theodore

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of adult blindness in the developed world. Thus, major endeavors to understand the risk factors and pathogenesis of this disease have been undertaken. Reticular macular disease is a proposed subtype of age-related macular degeneration correlating histologically with subretinal drusenoid deposits located between the retinal pigment epithelium and the inner segment ellipsoid zone. Reticular lesions are more prevalent in females and in older age groups and are associated with a higher mortality rate. Risk factors for developing age-related macular degeneration include hypertension, smoking, and angina. Several genes related to increased risk for age-related macular degeneration and reticular macular disease are also associated with cardiovascular disease. Better understanding of the clinical and genetic risk factors for age-related macular degeneration and reticular macular disease has led to the hypothesis that these eye diseases are systemic. A systemic origin may help to explain why reticular disease is diagnosed more frequently in females as males suffer cardiovascular mortality at an earlier age, before the age of diagnosis of reticular macular disease and age-related macular degeneration.

  10. Exercise-induced neuroprotective effects on neurodegenerative diseases: the key role of trophic factors.

    PubMed

    Campos, Carlos; Rocha, Nuno Barbosa F; Lattari, Eduardo; Paes, Flávia; Nardi, António E; Machado, Sérgio

    2016-06-01

    Age-related neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, are becoming a major issue to public health care. Currently, there is no effective pharmacological treatment to address cognitive impairment in these patients. Here, we aim to explore the role of exercise-induced trophic factor enhancement in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. There is a significant amount of evidence from animal and human studies that links neurodegenerative related cognitive deficits with changes on brain and peripheral trophic factor levels. Several trials with elderly individuals and patients with neurodegenerative diseases report exercise induced cognitive improvements and changes on trophic factor levels including BDNF, IGF-I, among others. Further studies with healthy aging and clinical populations are needed to understand how diverse exercise interventions produce different variations in trophic factor signaling. Genetic profiles and potential confounders regarding trophic factors should also be addressed in future trials.

  11. Effects of Ashwagandha (roots of Withania somnifera) on neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kuboyama, Tomoharu; Tohda, Chihiro; Komatsu, Katsuko

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases commonly induce irreversible destruction of central nervous system (CNS) neuronal networks, resulting in permanent functional impairments. Effective medications against neurodegenerative diseases are currently lacking. Ashwagandha (roots of Withania somnifera Dunal) is used in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda) for general debility, consumption, nervous exhaustion, insomnia, and loss of memory. In this review, we summarize various effects and mechanisms of Ashwagandha extracts and related compounds on in vitro and in vivo models of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and spinal cord injury.

  12. Role of apolipoprotein E in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Giau, Vo Van; Bagyinszky, Eva; An, Seong Soo A; Kim, Sang Yun

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is a lipid-transport protein abundantly expressed in most neurons in the central nervous system. APOE-dependent alterations of the endocytic pathway can affect different functions. APOE binds to cell-surface receptors to deliver lipids and to the hydrophobic amyloid-β peptide, regulating amyloid-β aggregations and clearances in the brain. Several APOE isoforms with major structural differences were discovered and shown to influence the brain lipid transport, glucose metabolism, neuronal signaling, neuroinflammation, and mitochondrial function. This review will summarize the updated research progress on APOE functions and its role in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Type III hyperlipoproteinemia, vascular dementia, and ischemic stroke. Understanding the mutations in APOE, their structural properties, and their isoforms is important to determine its role in various diseases and to advance the development of therapeutic strategies. Targeting APOE may be a potential approach for diagnosis, risk assessment, prevention, and treatment of various neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases in humans. PMID:26213471

  13. Effects of natural antioxidants in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Albarracin, Sonia Luz; Stab, Ben; Casas, Zulma; Sutachan, Jhon Jairo; Samudio, Ismael; Gonzalez, Janneth; Gonzalo, Luis; Capani, Francisco; Morales, Ludis; Barreto, George E

    2012-01-01

    Polyphenols are secondary metabolites with antioxidant properties and are abundant in the diet. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, and various drinks (tea, wine, and juices) are all sources of these molecules. Despite their abundance, investigations into the benefits of polyphenols in human health have only recently begun. Phenolic compounds have received increasing interest because of numerous epidemiological studies. These studies have suggested associations between the consumption of polyphenol-rich aliments and the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. More specifically, in the last 10 years literature on the neuroprotective effects of a polyphenol-rich diet has grown considerably. It has been demonstrated, in various cell culture and animal models, that these metabolites are able to protect neuronal cells by attenuating oxidative stress and damage. However, it remains unclear as to how these compounds reach the brain, what concentrations are necessary, and what biologically active forms are needed to exert beneficial effects. Therefore, further research is needed to identify the molecular pathways and intracellular targets responsible for polyphenol's neuroprotective effects. The aim of this paper is to present various well-known dietary polyphenols and their mechanisms of neuroprotection with an emphasis on Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  14. Health benefits of methylxanthines in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Oñatibia-Astibia, Ainhoa; Franco, Rafael; Martínez-Pinilla, Eva

    2017-01-11

    Methylxanthines (MTXs) are consumed by almost everybody in almost every area of the world. Caffeine, theophylline and theobromine are the most well-known members of this family of compounds; they are present, inter alia, in coffee, tea, cacao, yerba mate and cola drinks. MTXs are readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and are able to penetrate into the central nervous system, where they exert significant psychostimulant actions, which are more evident in acute intake. Coffee has been paradigmatic, as its use was forbidden in many diseases, however, this negative view has radically changed; evidence shows that MTXs display health benefits in diseases involving cell death in the nervous system. This paper reviews data that appraise the preventive and even therapeutic potential of MTXs in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Future perspectives include the use of MTXs to advance the understanding the pathophysiology of, inter alia, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), and the use of the methylxanthine chemical moiety as a basis for the development of new and more efficacious drugs.

  15. The Role of Copper in Neurodegenerative Disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rose, Francis M.

    My research concerns the fundamental atomistic mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and the methodologies by which they may be discerned. This thesis consists of three primary parts. The introductory material is the raison d'etre for this work and a critical overview of the specific physics, mathematics and algorithms used in this research. The methods are presented along with specific details in order to facilitate future replication and enhancement. With the groundwork of mechanisms and methods out of the way, we then explore a nouveau atomistic mechanism describing the onset of Parkinson's disease, a disease that has been closely linked to misfolded metalloproteins. Further exploration of neurodegeneration takes place in the following chapter, where a remedial approach to Alzheimer's disease via a simulated chelation of a metalloprotein is undertaken. Altogether, the methods and techniques applied here allow for simulated exploration of both the atomistic mechanisms of neurodegeneration and their potential remediation strategies. The beginning portion of the research efforts explore protein misfolding dynamics in the presence a copper ion. Misfolding of the human alpha-synuclein (aS) protein has been implicated as a central constituent in neurodegenerative disease. In Parkinson's disease (PD) in particular, aS is thought to be the causative participant when found concentrated into neuritic plaques. Here we propose a scenario involving the metal ion Cu2+ as the protein misfolding initiator of fibrillized aS, the chief component of neuritic plaques. From experimental results we know these misfolded proteins have a rich beta--sheet signature, a marker that we reproduce with our simulated model. This model identifies a process of structural modifications to a natively unfolded alpha-synuclein resulting in a partially folded intermediate with a well defined nucleation site. It serves as a precursor to the fully misfolded protein. Understanding the nucleation

  16. Spongiform neurodegenerative disease in a Persian kitten.

    PubMed

    Salvadori, Claudia; Lossi, Laura; Arispici, Mario; Cantile, Carlo

    2007-06-01

    A congenital encephalopathy with spongiform degeneration and prominent neuronal apoptosis was observed in a 4-month-old Persian male cat with a history of depressed mental status and ataxia. On clinical examination, signs included right head tilt, ventroflexion of the head and neck, and tetraparesis. Histological examination of the central nervous system revealed multifocal, bilateral and symmetrical vacuolar degeneration of the neuropil, mainly involving the cerebellar and vestibular nuclei area, the caudal colliculi, the mesencephalic nuclei, the tegmental area and the deeper layer of the cerebral cortex. Accumulation of phosphorylated neurofilaments was detected in neuronal perikarya of the deep cortical layers, hippocampus and thalamus. Numerous pyknotic and apoptotic neurons were also observed in the cerebral cortex. These neuropathological changes differ from those observed in previous reports of spongiform degeneration of the grey matter in cats and were suggestive of a congenital neurodegenerative disease.

  17. Mapping Neurodegenerative Disease Onset and Progression.

    PubMed

    Seeley, William W

    2017-03-13

    Brain networks have been of long-standing interest to neurodegeneration researchers, including but not limited to investigators focusing on conventional prion diseases, which are known to propagate along neural pathways. Tools for human network mapping, however, remained inadequate, limiting our understanding of human brain network architecture and preventing clinical research applications. Until recently, neuropathological studies were the only viable approach to mapping disease onset and progression in humans but required large autopsy cohorts and laborious methods for whole-brain sectioning and staining. Despite important advantages, postmortem studies cannot address in vivo, physiological, or longitudinal questions and have limited potential to explore early-stage disease except for the most common disorders. Emerging in vivo network-based neuroimaging strategies have begun to address these issues, providing data that complement the neuropathological tradition. Overall, findings to date highlight several fundamental principles of neurodegenerative disease anatomy and pathogenesis, as well as some enduring mysteries. These principles and mysteries provide a road map for future research.

  18. Exosomes, an Unmasked Culprit in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Soria, Federico N.; Pampliega, Olatz; Bourdenx, Mathieu; Meissner, Wassilios G.; Bezard, Erwan; Dehay, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Exosomes are extracellular nanovesicles (30–100 nm) generated from endosomal membranes and known to be released by all cell lineages of the Central Nervous System (CNS). They constitute important vesicles for the secretion and transport of multilevel information, including signaling, toxic, and regulatory molecules. Initially thought to have a function merely in waste disposal, the involvement of exosomes in neuronal development, maintenance, and regeneration through its paracrine and endocrine signaling functions has drawn particular attention in recent years. These vesicles, being involved in the clearance and cell-to-cell spreading of toxic molecules, have been naturally implicated in aging, and in several neurodegenerative diseases associated with pathological conversion of proteins, as well as in the transport of other disease-associated molecules, such as nucleic acids or pro-inflammatory cytokines. Our understanding of such unique form of communication may provide not only answers about (patho)physiological processes in the brain, but can also offer means to exploit these vesicles as vehicles for the delivery of biologically relevant molecules or as tools to monitor brain diseases in a non-invasive way. A promising field in expansion, the study of exosomes and related extracellular vesicles has just commenced to unveil their potential as therapeutic tools for brain disorders as well as biomarkers of disease state. PMID:28197068

  19. Exosomes, an Unmasked Culprit in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Soria, Federico N; Pampliega, Olatz; Bourdenx, Mathieu; Meissner, Wassilios G; Bezard, Erwan; Dehay, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Exosomes are extracellular nanovesicles (30-100 nm) generated from endosomal membranes and known to be released by all cell lineages of the Central Nervous System (CNS). They constitute important vesicles for the secretion and transport of multilevel information, including signaling, toxic, and regulatory molecules. Initially thought to have a function merely in waste disposal, the involvement of exosomes in neuronal development, maintenance, and regeneration through its paracrine and endocrine signaling functions has drawn particular attention in recent years. These vesicles, being involved in the clearance and cell-to-cell spreading of toxic molecules, have been naturally implicated in aging, and in several neurodegenerative diseases associated with pathological conversion of proteins, as well as in the transport of other disease-associated molecules, such as nucleic acids or pro-inflammatory cytokines. Our understanding of such unique form of communication may provide not only answers about (patho)physiological processes in the brain, but can also offer means to exploit these vesicles as vehicles for the delivery of biologically relevant molecules or as tools to monitor brain diseases in a non-invasive way. A promising field in expansion, the study of exosomes and related extracellular vesicles has just commenced to unveil their potential as therapeutic tools for brain disorders as well as biomarkers of disease state.

  20. High Content Screening in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Shushant; van Kesteren, Ronald E.; Heutink, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The functional annotation of genomes, construction of molecular networks and novel drug target identification, are important challenges that need to be addressed as a matter of great urgency1-4. Multiple complementary 'omics' approaches have provided clues as to the genetic risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms underlying numerous neurodegenerative diseases, but most findings still require functional validation5. For example, a recent genome wide association study for Parkinson's Disease (PD), identified many new loci as risk factors for the disease, but the underlying causative variant(s) or pathogenic mechanism is not known6, 7. As each associated region can contain several genes, the functional evaluation of each of the genes on phenotypes associated with the disease, using traditional cell biology techniques would take too long. There is also a need to understand the molecular networks that link genetic mutations to the phenotypes they cause. It is expected that disease phenotypes are the result of multiple interactions that have been disrupted. Reconstruction of these networks using traditional molecular methods would be time consuming. Moreover, network predictions from independent studies of individual components, the reductionism approach, will probably underestimate the network complexity8. This underestimation could, in part, explain the low success rate of drug approval due to undesirable or toxic side effects. Gaining a network perspective of disease related pathways using HT/HC cellular screening approaches, and identifying key nodes within these pathways, could lead to the identification of targets that are more suited for therapeutic intervention. High-throughput screening (HTS) is an ideal methodology to address these issues9-12. but traditional methods were one dimensional whole-well cell assays, that used simplistic readouts for complex biological processes. They were unable to simultaneously quantify the many phenotypes observed in

  1. Dysregulation of Ubiquitin-Proteasome System in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Qiuyang; Huang, Timothy; Zhang, Lishan; Zhou, Ying; Luo, Hong; Xu, Huaxi; Wang, Xin

    2016-01-01

    The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is one of the major protein degradation pathways, where abnormal UPS function has been observed in cancer and neurological diseases. Many neurodegenerative diseases share a common pathological feature, namely intracellular ubiquitin-positive inclusions formed by aggregate-prone neurotoxic proteins. This suggests that dysfunction of the UPS in neurodegenerative diseases contributes to the accumulation of neurotoxic proteins and to instigate neurodegeneration. Here, we review recent findings describing various aspects of UPS dysregulation in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. PMID:28018215

  2. Folic acid, neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disease.

    PubMed

    Kronenberg, Golo; Colla, Michael; Endres, Matthias

    2009-04-01

    Folic acid plays an important role in neuroplasticity and in the maintenance of neuronal integrity. Folate is a co-factor in one-carbon metabolism during which it promotes the regeneration of methionine from homocysteine, a highly reactive sulfur-containing amino acid. Methionine may then be converted to S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), the principal methyl donor in most biosynthetic methylation reactions. On the cellular level, folate deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia exert multiple detrimental effects. These include induction of DNA damage, uracil misincorporation into DNA and altered patterns of DNA methylation. Low folate status and elevated homocysteine increase the generation of reactive oxygen species and contribute to excitotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunction which may lead to apoptosis. Strong epidemiological and experimental evidence links derangements of one-carbon metabolism to vascular, neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disease, including most prominently cerebral ischemia, Alzheimer's dementia and depression. Although firm evidence from controlled clinical trials is largely lacking, B-vitamin supplementation and homocysteine reduction may have a role especially in the primary prevention of stroke and dementia as well as as an adjunct to antidepressant pharmacotherapy.

  3. Expression of Nrf2 in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ramsey, Chenere P.; Glass, Charles A.; Montgomery, Marshall B.; Lindl, Kathryn A.; Ritson, Gillian P.; Chia, Luis A.; Hamilton, Ronald L.; Chu, Charleen T.; Jordan-Sciutto, Kelly L.

    2008-01-01

    In response to oxidative stress, the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) transcription factor translocates from the cytoplasm into the nucleus and transactivates expression of genes with antioxidant activity. Despite this cellular mechanism, oxidative damage is abundant in Alzheimer and Parkinson disease (AD and PD). To investigate mechanisms by which Nrf2 activity may be aberrant or insufficient in neurodegenerative conditions, we assessed Nrf2 localization in affected brain regions of AD, Lewy body variant of AD (LBVAD), and PD. By immunohistochemistry, Nrf2 is expressed in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm of neurons in normal hippocampi with predominant expression in the nucleus. In AD and LBVAD, Nrf2 was predominantly cytoplasmic in hippocampal neurons and was not a major component of beta amyloid plaques or neurofibrillary tangles. By immunoblotting, we observed a significant decrease in nuclear Nrf2 levels in AD cases. In contrast, Nrf2 was strongly nuclear in PD nigral neurons but cytoplasmic in substantia nigra of normal, AD, and LBVAD cases. These findings suggest that Nrf2-mediated transcription is not induced in neurons in AD despite the presence of oxidative stress. In PD, nuclear localization of Nrf2 is strongly induced, but this response may be insufficient to protect neurons from degeneration. PMID:17204939

  4. Human DNA methylomes of neurodegenerative diseases show common epigenomic patterns.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Mut, J V; Heyn, H; Vidal, E; Moran, S; Sayols, S; Delgado-Morales, R; Schultz, M D; Ansoleaga, B; Garcia-Esparcia, P; Pons-Espinal, M; de Lagran, M M; Dopazo, J; Rabano, A; Avila, J; Dierssen, M; Lott, I; Ferrer, I; Ecker, J R; Esteller, M

    2016-01-19

    Different neurodegenerative disorders often show similar lesions, such as the presence of amyloid plaques, TAU-neurotangles and synuclein inclusions. The genetically inherited forms are rare, so we wondered whether shared epigenetic aberrations, such as those affecting DNA methylation, might also exist. The studied samples were gray matter samples from the prefrontal cortex of control and neurodegenerative disease-associated cases. We performed the DNA methylation analyses of Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer-like neurodegenerative profile associated with Down's syndrome samples. The DNA methylation landscapes obtained show that neurodegenerative diseases share similar aberrant CpG methylation shifts targeting a defined gene set. Our findings suggest that neurodegenerative disorders might have similar pathogenetic mechanisms that subsequently evolve into different clinical entities. The identified aberrant DNA methylation changes can be used as biomarkers of the disorders and as potential new targets for the development of new therapies.

  5. Human DNA methylomes of neurodegenerative diseases show common epigenomic patterns

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez-Mut, J V; Heyn, H; Vidal, E; Moran, S; Sayols, S; Delgado-Morales, R; Schultz, M D; Ansoleaga, B; Garcia-Esparcia, P; Pons-Espinal, M; de Lagran, M M; Dopazo, J; Rabano, A; Avila, J; Dierssen, M; Lott, I; Ferrer, I; Ecker, J R; Esteller, M

    2016-01-01

    Different neurodegenerative disorders often show similar lesions, such as the presence of amyloid plaques, TAU-neurotangles and synuclein inclusions. The genetically inherited forms are rare, so we wondered whether shared epigenetic aberrations, such as those affecting DNA methylation, might also exist. The studied samples were gray matter samples from the prefrontal cortex of control and neurodegenerative disease-associated cases. We performed the DNA methylation analyses of Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer-like neurodegenerative profile associated with Down's syndrome samples. The DNA methylation landscapes obtained show that neurodegenerative diseases share similar aberrant CpG methylation shifts targeting a defined gene set. Our findings suggest that neurodegenerative disorders might have similar pathogenetic mechanisms that subsequently evolve into different clinical entities. The identified aberrant DNA methylation changes can be used as biomarkers of the disorders and as potential new targets for the development of new therapies. PMID:26784972

  6. Mechanistically linking age-related diseases and dietary carbohydrate via autophagy and the ubiquitin proteolytic systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Epidemiological data indicate that consuming diets that deliver sugar to the blood rapidly (called high glycemic index, GI) is associated with enhanced risk for age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). These debilities...

  7. Molecular Diagnostics of Ageing and Tackling Age-related Disease.

    PubMed

    Timmons, James A

    2017-01-01

    As average life expectancy increases there is a greater focus on health-span and, in particular, how to treat or prevent chronic age-associated diseases. Therapies which were able to control 'biological age' with the aim of postponing chronic and costly diseases of old age require an entirely new approach to drug development. Molecular technologies and machine-learning methods have already yielded diagnostics that help guide cancer treatment and cardiovascular procedures. Discovery of valid and clinically informative diagnostics of human biological age (combined with disease-specific biomarkers) has the potential to alter current drug-discovery strategies, aid clinical trial recruitment and maximize healthy ageing. I will review some basic principles that govern the development of 'ageing' diagnostics, how such assays could be used during the drug-discovery or development process. Important logistical and statistical considerations are illustrated by reviewing recent biomarker activity in the field of Alzheimer's disease, as dementia represents the most pressing of priorities for the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the chronic disease in humans most associated with age.

  8. Is age-related macular degeneration a manifestation of systemic disease? New prospects for early intervention and treatment.

    PubMed

    Cheung, C M G; Wong, T Y

    2014-08-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common vision-threatening condition affecting the elderly. AMD shares common risk factors and processes, including vascular and inflammatory pathways, with many systemic disorders. Associations have been reported between AMD and hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, dyslipidaemia, chronic kidney disease and neurodegenerative disorders. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that individuals with AMD are also at risk of systemic diseases such as stroke. In this review, we summarize the latest evidence to support the notion that AMD is an ocular manifestation of systemic disease processes, and discuss the potential systemic side effects of ocular AMD therapy of which general physicians should be aware. Recent genetic discoveries and understanding of the pathogenic pathways in AMD in relation to systemic disorders are also highlighted.

  9. Growth factors, aging and age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Balasubramanian, Priya; Longo, Valter D

    2016-06-01

    Simple organisms including yeast and flies with mutations in the IGF-1 and Tor-S6K pathways are dwarfs, are highly protected from toxins, and survive up to 3 times longer. Similarly, dwarf mice with deficiencies in the growth hormone-IGF-I axis are also long lived and protected from diseases. We recently reported that humans with Growth Hormone Receptor Deficiency (GHRD) rarely develop cancer or diabetes. These findings are in agreement with the effect of defects in the Tor-S6K pathways in causing dwarfism and protection of DNA. Because protein restriction reduces both GHR-IGF-1 axis and Tor-S6K activity, we examined links between protein intake, disease, and mortality in over 6000 US subjects in the NHANES CDC database. Respondents aged 50-65 reporting a high protein intake displayed an increase in IGF-I levels, a 75% increased risk of overall mortality and a 3-4 fold increased risk of cancer mortality in agreement with findings in mouse experiments. These studies point to a conserved link between proteins and amino acids, GHR-IGF-1/insulin, Tor-S6k signaling, aging, and diseases.

  10. Developmental origin of age-related coronary artery disease

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Ke; Díaz-Trelles, Ramon; Liu, Qiaozhen; Diez-Cuñado, Marta; Scimia, Maria-Cecilia; Cai, Wenqing; Sawada, Junko; Komatsu, Masanobu; Boyle, Joseph J.; Zhou, Bin; Ruiz-Lozano, Pilar; Mercola, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Aim Age and injury cause structural and functional changes in coronary artery smooth muscle cells (caSMCs) that influence the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease. Although paracrine signalling is widely believed to drive phenotypic changes in caSMCs, here we show that developmental origin within the fetal epicardium can have a profound effect as well. Methods and results Fluorescent dye and transgene pulse-labelling techniques in mice revealed that the majority of caSMCs are derived from Wt1+, Gata5-Cre+ cells that migrate before E12.5, whereas a minority of cells are derived from a later-emigrating, Wt1+, Gata5-Cre− population. We functionally evaluated the influence of early emigrating cells on coronary artery development and disease by Gata5-Cre excision of Rbpj, which prevents their contribution to coronary artery smooth muscle cells. Ablation of the Gata5-Cre+ population resulted in coronary arteries consisting solely of Gata5-Cre− caSMCs. These coronary arteries appeared normal into early adulthood; however, by 5–8 months of age, they became progressively fibrotic, lost the adventitial outer elastin layer, were dysfunctional and leaky, and animals showed early mortality. Conclusion Taken together, these data reveal heterogeneity in the fetal epicardium that is linked to coronary artery integrity, and that distortion of the coronaries epicardial origin predisposes to adult onset disease. PMID:26054850

  11. Genetic evidence for common pathways in human age-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Simon C; Dong, Xiao; Vijg, Jan; Suh, Yousin

    2015-01-01

    Aging is the single largest risk factor for chronic disease. Studies in model organisms have identified conserved pathways that modulate aging rate and the onset and progression of multiple age-related diseases, suggesting that common pathways of aging may influence age-related diseases in humans as well. To determine whether there is genetic evidence supporting the notion of common pathways underlying age-related diseases, we analyzed the genes and pathways found to be associated with five major categories of age-related disease using a total of 410 genomewide association studies (GWAS). While only a small number of genes are shared among all five disease categories, those found in at least three of the five major age-related disease categories are highly enriched for apoliprotein metabolism genes. We found that a more substantial number of gene ontology (GO) terms are shared among the 5 age-related disease categories and shared GO terms include canonical aging pathways identified in model organisms, such as nutrient-sensing signaling, translation, proteostasis, stress responses, and genome maintenance. Taking advantage of the vast amount of genetic data from the GWAS, our findings provide the first direct evidence that conserved pathways of aging simultaneously influence multiple age-related diseases in humans as has been demonstrated in model organisms. PMID:26077337

  12. Does eating particular diets alter risk of age-related macular degeneration in users of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study supplements?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Recent information suggests that the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) supplement, enhanced intake of omega-3 fatty acids, and diminishing dietary glycemic index (dGI) are protective against advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods: Dietary information was collected a...

  13. Introduction to Aging, Cancer, and Age-related Diseases.

    PubMed

    Perry, Daniel P

    2010-06-01

    A rising tide of chronic age-dependent diseases, co-morbidities, and geriatric syndromes--a veritable Silver Tsunami--will soon present serious challenges for North America, Europe, Japan, and other industrialized nations. Meanwhile, a growing number of scientists, led by biogerontologists, maintain that the key to blunting the societal impact of large-scale decline and disability among older populations lies with better understanding and potential manipulation of biological mechanisms of aging itself. Well-characterized interventions that slow aging and extend health and vigor in animal models may be forerunners of technologies that preserve additional years of healthy productive life in humans. What will it take to validate these momentous insights from biogerontology and their potential applications for human populations? What are the points of resistance for key opinion leaders and policy makers? And how can biogerontologists make common cause with those outside the discipline to inform larger and more politically powerful audiences?

  14. Application of Low Dose Radiation Adaptive Response to Control Aging-Related Disease

    SciTech Connect

    Doss, Mohan

    2013-11-01

    Oxidative damage has been implicated in the pathogenesis of most aging-related diseases including neurodegenerative diseases. Antioxidant supplementation has been found to be ineffective in reducing such diseases, but increased endogenous production of antioxidants from the adaptive response due to physical and cognitive exercises (which increase oxidative metabolism and oxidative stress) has been effective in reducing some of the diseases. Low dose radiation (LDR), which increases oxidative stress and results in adaptive response of increased antioxidants, may provide an alternative method of controlling the aging-related diseases. We have studied the effect of LDR on the induction of adaptive response in rat brains and the effectiveness of the LDR in reducing the oxidative damage caused by subsequent high dose radiation. We have also investigated the effect of LDR on apomorphine-induced rotations in the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) unilaterally-lesioned rat model of Parkinson?s disease (PD). LDR was observed to initiate an adaptive response in the brain, and reduce the oxidative damage from subsequent high dose radiation exposure, confirming the effectiveness of LDR adaptive response in reducing the oxidative damage from the free radicals due to high dose radiation. LDR resulted in a slight improvement in Tyrosine hydroxylase expression on the lesioned side of substantia nigra (indicative of its protective effect on the dopaminergic neurons), and reduced the behavioral symptoms in the 6-OHDA rat model of PD. Translation of this concept to humans, if found to be applicable, may be a possible approach for controlling the progression of PD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Since any translation of the concept to humans would be hindered by the currently prevalent carcinogenic concerns regarding LDR based on the linear no-threshold (LNT) model, we have also studied the justifications for the use of the LNT model. One of the shortcomings of the LNT model is that it

  15. Validation of anti-aging drugs by treating age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Blagosklonny, Mikhail V

    2009-03-28

    Humans die from age-related diseases, which are deadly manifestations of the aging process. In order to extend life span, an anti-aging drug must delay age-related diseases. All together age-related diseases are the best biomarker of aging. Once a drug is used for treatment of any one chronic disease, its effect against other diseases (atherosclerosis, cancer, prostate enlargement, osteoporosis, insulin resistance, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, age-related macular degeneration) may be evaluated in the same group of patients. If the group is large, then the anti-aging effect could be validated in a couple of years. Startlingly, retrospective analysis of clinical and preclinical data reveals four potential anti-aging modalities.

  16. PENN neurodegenerative disease research - in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin.

    PubMed

    Trojanowski, John Q

    2008-01-01

    Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was entrepreneur, statesman, supporter of the public good as well as inventor, and his most significant invention was the University of Pennsylvania (PENN). Franklin outlined his plans for a college providing practical and classical instruction to prepare youth for real-world pursuits in his 'Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania' (1749), and Franklin's spirit of learning to serve society guides PENN to the present day. This is evidenced by the series of articles in this special issue of Neurosignals, describing research conducted by seasoned and newly recruited PENN faculty, addressing consequences of the longevity revolution which defines our epoch at the dawn of this millennium. While aging affects all organ systems, the nervous system is most critical to successful aging. Thus, the articles in this special issue of Neurosignals focus on research at PENN that is designed to prevent or ameliorate aging-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. This research could enhance our chances of aging successfully in the continuing longevity revolution, and the essay here provides context and background on this research.

  17. A future perspective on neurodegenerative diseases: nasopharyngeal and gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Khan, F; Oloketuyi, S F

    2017-02-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are considered a serious life-threatening issue regardless of age. Resulting nerve damage progressively affects important activities, such as movement, coordination, balance, breathing, speech and the functioning of vital organs. Reports on the subject have concluded that neurodegenerative disease can be caused by mutations of susceptible genes, alcohol consumption, toxins, chemicals and other unknown environmental factors. Although several diagnostic techniques can be used to determine aetiologies, the process is difficult and often fails. Research shows that nasopharyngeal and gut microbiota play important roles in brain to spinal cord coordination. However, no conclusive epidemiologic evidence is available on the roles played by respiratory and gut microbiota in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, understanding the connection between respiratory and gut microbiota and the nervous system could provide information on causal links. The present review describes future perspectives on the role played by nasopharyngeal and gut microbiota in the development of neurodegenerative diseases.

  18. Relationships between Stress Granules, Oxidative Stress, and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Cytoplasmic stress granules (SGs) are critical for facilitating stress responses and for preventing the accumulation of misfolded proteins. SGs, however, have been linked to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, in part because SGs share many components with neuronal granules. Oxidative stress is one of the conditions that induce SG formation. SGs regulate redox levels, and SG formation in turn is differently regulated by various types of oxidative stress. These associations and other evidences suggest that SG formation contributes to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. In this paper, we review the regulation of SG formation/assembly and discuss the interactions between oxidative stress and SG formation. We then discuss the links between SGs and neurodegenerative diseases and the current therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases that target SGs. PMID:28194255

  19. Neuron–astrocyte interactions in neurodegenerative diseases: Role of neuroinflammation

    PubMed Central

    Rama Rao, Kakulavarapu V.; Kielian, Tammy

    2015-01-01

    Selective neuron loss in discrete brain regions is a hallmark of various neurodegenerative disorders, although the mechanisms responsible for this regional vulnerability of neurons remain largely unknown. Earlier studies attributed neuron dysfunction and eventual loss during neurodegenerative diseases as exclusively cell autonomous. Although cell-intrinsic factors are one critical aspect in dictating neuron death, recent evidence also supports the involvement of other central nervous system cell types in propagating non-cell autonomous neuronal injury during neurodegenerative diseases. One such example is astrocytes, which support neuronal and synaptic function, but can also contribute to neuroinflammatory processes through robust chemokine secretion. Indeed, aberrations in astrocyte function have been shown to negatively impact neuronal integrity in several neurological diseases. The present review focuses on neuroinflammatory paradigms influenced by neuron–astrocyte cross-talk in the context of select neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26543505

  20. Multimodal comparative studies of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Grossman, Murray

    2013-01-01

    Here we provide a brief description of our program to improve diagnostic accuracy in cases with phenotypically similar presentations that are due to distinct histopathologic abnormalities. We propose a staged approach to diagnosis, beginning with a screening assessment of specific, quantitative neuropsychological measures, and followed by assessments of imaging and biofluid biomarkers. Our goal is to determine the specific histopathologic abnormalities contributing to an individual's neurodegenerative condition.

  1. Aging Changes in Retinal Microglia and their Relevance to Age-related Retinal Disease.

    PubMed

    Ma, Wenxin; Wong, Wai T

    2016-01-01

    Age-related retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, contain features of chronic retinal inflammation that may promote disease progression. However, the relationship between aging and neuroinflammation is unclear. Microglia are long-lived, resident immune cells of the retina, and mediate local neuroinflammatory reactions. We hypothesize that aging changes in microglia may be causally linked to neuroinflammatory changes underlying age-dependent retinal diseases. Here, we review the evidence for (1) how the retinal microglial phenotype changes with aging, (2) the factors that drive microglial aging in the retina, and (3) aging-related changes in microglial gene expression. We examine how these aspects of microglial aging changes may relate to pathogenic mechanisms of immune dysregulation driving the progression of age-related retinal disease. These relationships can highlight microglial aging as a novel target for the prevention and treatment of retinal disease.

  2. Evaluation of Traditional Medicines for Neurodegenerative Diseases Using Drosophila Models

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Soojin; Bang, Se Min; Lee, Joon Woo; Cho, Kyoung Sang

    2014-01-01

    Drosophila is one of the oldest and most powerful genetic models and has led to novel insights into a variety of biological processes. Recently, Drosophila has emerged as a model system to study human diseases, including several important neurodegenerative diseases. Because of the genomic similarity between Drosophila and humans, Drosophila neurodegenerative disease models exhibit a variety of human-disease-like phenotypes, facilitating fast and cost-effective in vivo genetic modifier screening and drug evaluation. Using these models, many disease-associated genetic factors have been identified, leading to the identification of compelling drug candidates. Recently, the safety and efficacy of traditional medicines for human diseases have been evaluated in various animal disease models. Despite the advantages of the Drosophila model, its usage in the evaluation of traditional medicines is only nascent. Here, we introduce the Drosophila model for neurodegenerative diseases and some examples demonstrating the successful application of Drosophila models in the evaluation of traditional medicines. PMID:24790636

  3. The Role of Environmental Exposures in Neurodegeneration and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Cannon, Jason R.; Greenamyre, J. Timothy

    2011-01-01

    Neurodegeneration describes the loss of neuronal structure and function. Numerous neurodegenerative diseases are associated with neurodegeneration. Many are rare and stem from purely genetic causes. However, the prevalence of major neurodegenerative diseases is increasing with improvements in treating major diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases, resulting in an aging population. The neurological consequences of neurodegeneration in patients can have devastating effects on mental and physical functioning. The causes of most cases of prevalent neurodegenerative diseases are unknown. The role of neurotoxicant exposures in neurodegenerative disease has long been suspected, with much effort devoted to identifying causative agents. However, causative factors for a significant number of cases have yet to be identified. In this review, the role of environmental neurotoxicant exposures on neurodegeneration in selected major neurodegenerative diseases is discussed. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were chosen because of available data on environmental influences. The special sensitivity the nervous system exhibits to toxicant exposure and unifying mechanisms of neurodegeneration are explored. PMID:21914720

  4. Alzheimer’s Disease and Age-Related Memory Decline (Preclinical)

    PubMed Central

    Terry, Alvin V.; Callahan, Patrick M.; Hall, Brandon; Webster, Scott J.

    2011-01-01

    An unfortunate result of the rapid rise in geriatric populations worldwide is the increasing prevalence of age-related cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is a devastating neurodegenerative illness that is characterized by a profound impairment of cognitive function, marked physical disability, and an enormous economic burden on the afflicted individual, caregivers, and society in general. The rise in elderly populations is also resulting in an increase in individuals with related (potentially treatable) conditions such as “Mild Cognitive Impairment” (MCI) which is characterized by a less severe (but abnormal) level of cognitive impairment and a high-risk for developing dementia. Even in the absence of a diagnosable disorder of cognition (e.g., AD, MCI), the perception of increased forgetfulness and declining mental function is a clear source of apprehension in the elderly. This is a valid concern given that even a modest impairment of cognitive function is likely to be associated with significant disability in a rapidly evolving, technology-based society. Unfortunately, the currently available therapies designed to improve cognition (i.e., for AD and other forms of dementia) are limited by modest efficacy, adverse side effects, and their effects on cognitive function are not sustained over time. Accordingly, it is incumbent on the scientific community to develop safer and more effective therapies that improve and/or sustain cognitive function in the elderly allowing them to remain mentally active and productive for as long as possible. As diagnostic criteria for memory disorders evolve, the demand for pro-cognitive therapeutic agents is likely to surpass AD and dementia to include MCI and potentially even less severe forms of memory decline. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the contemporary therapeutic targets and preclinical pharmacologic approaches (with representative drug examples) designed to enhance memory

  5. Pharmacological intervention of early neuropathy in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Min Jee; Kim, Jeong-Hoon; Kim, TaeSoo; Lee, Sung Bae

    2017-02-04

    Extensive studies have reported the significant roles of numerous cellular features and processes in properly maintaining neuronal morphology and function throughout the lifespan of an animal. Any alterations in their homeostasis appear to be strongly associated with neuronal aging and the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases, even before the occurrence of prominent neuronal death. However, until recently, the primary focus of studies regarding many neurodegenerative diseases has been on the massive cell death occurring at the late stages of disease progression. Thus, our understanding on early neuropathy in these diseases remains relatively limited. The complicated nature of various neuropathic features manifested early in neurodegenerative diseases suggests the involvement of a system-wide transcriptional regulation and epigenetic control. Epigenetic alterations and consequent changes in the neuronal transcriptome are now begun to be extensively studied in various neurodegenerative diseases. Upon the catastrophic incident of neuronal death in disease progression, it is utterly difficult to reverse the deleterious defects by pharmacological treatments, and therefore, therapeutics targeting the system-wide transcriptional dysregulation associated with specific early neuropathy is considered a better option. Here, we review our current understanding on the system-wide transcriptional dysregulation that is likely associated with early neuropathy shown in various neurodegenerative diseases and discuss the possible future developments of pharmaceutical therapeutics.

  6. Pleiotropic Meta-Analyses of Longitudinal Studies Discover Novel Genetic Variants Associated with Age-Related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    He, Liang; Kernogitski, Yelena; Kulminskaya, Irina; Loika, Yury; Arbeev, Konstantin G.; Loiko, Elena; Bagley, Olivia; Duan, Matt; Yashkin, Arseniy; Ukraintseva, Svetlana V.; Kovtun, Mikhail; Yashin, Anatoliy I.; Kulminski, Alexander M.

    2016-01-01

    Age-related diseases may result from shared biological mechanisms in intrinsic processes of aging. Genetic effects on age-related diseases are often modulated by environmental factors due to their little contribution to fitness or are mediated through certain endophenotypes. Identification of genetic variants with pleiotropic effects on both common complex diseases and endophenotypes may reveal potential conflicting evolutionary pressures and deliver new insights into shared genetic contribution to healthspan and lifespan. Here, we performed pleiotropic meta-analyses of genetic variants using five NIH-funded datasets by integrating univariate summary statistics for age-related diseases and endophenotypes. We investigated three groups of traits: (1) endophenotypes such as blood glucose, blood pressure, lipids, hematocrit, and body mass index, (2) time-to-event outcomes such as the age-at-onset of diabetes mellitus (DM), cancer, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), and (3) both combined. In addition to replicating previous findings, we identify seven novel genome-wide significant loci (< 5e-08), out of which five are low-frequency variants. Specifically, from Group 2, we find rs7632505 on 3q21.1 in SEMA5B, rs460976 on 21q22.3 (1 kb from TMPRSS2) and rs12420422 on 11q24.1 predominantly associated with a variety of CVDs, rs4905014 in ITPK1 associated with stroke and heart failure, rs7081476 on 10p12.1 in ANKRD26 associated with multiple diseases including DM, CVDs, and NDs. From Group 3, we find rs8082812 on 18p11.22 and rs1869717 on 4q31.3 associated with both endophenotypes and CVDs. Our follow-up analyses show that rs7632505, rs4905014, and rs8082812 have age-dependent effects on coronary heart disease or stroke. Functional annotation suggests that most of these SNPs are within regulatory regions or DNase clusters and in linkage disequilibrium with expression quantitative trait loci, implying their potential regulatory influence on

  7. Copper handling by astrocytes: insights into neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Tiffany-Castiglioni, Evelyn; Hong, Sandra; Qian, Yongchang

    2011-12-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element in the brain that can be toxic at elevated levels. Cu accumulation is a suspected etiology in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and prion-induced disorders. Astrocytes are a proposed depot in the brain for Cu and other metals, including lead (Pb). This article describes the physiological roles of Cu in the central nervous system and in selected neurodegenerative diseases, and reviews evidence that astrocytes accumulate Cu and protect neurons from Cu toxicity. Findings from murine genetic models of Menkes disease and from cell culture models concerning the molecular mechanisms by which astrocytes take up, store, and buffer Cu intracellularly are discussed, as well as potential mechanistic linkages between astrocyte functions in Cu handling and neurodegenerative diseases.

  8. Puzzles in modern biology. III.Two kinds of causality in age-related disease.

    PubMed

    Frank, Steven A

    2016-01-01

    The two primary causal dimensions of age-related disease are rate and function. Change in rate of disease development shifts the age of onset. Change in physiological function provides necessary steps in disease progression. A causal factor may alter the rate of physiological change, but that causal factor itself may have no direct physiological role. Alternatively, a causal factor may provide a necessary physiological function, but that causal factor itself may not alter the rate of disease onset. The rate-function duality provides the basis for solving puzzles of age-related disease. Causal factors of cancer illustrate the duality between rate processes of discovery, such as somatic mutation, and necessary physiological functions, such as invasive penetration across tissue barriers. Examples from cancer suggest general principles of age-related disease.

  9. Puzzles in modern biology. III.Two kinds of causality in age-related disease

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Steven A.

    2017-01-01

    The two primary causal dimensions of age-related disease are rate and function. Change in rate of disease development shifts the age of onset. Change in physiological function provides necessary steps in disease progression. A causal factor may alter the rate of physiological change, but that causal factor itself may have no direct physiological role. Alternatively, a causal factor may provide a necessary physiological function, but that causal factor itself may not alter the rate of disease onset. The rate-function duality provides the basis for solving puzzles of age-related disease. Causal factors of cancer illustrate the duality between rate processes of discovery, such as somatic mutation, and necessary physiological functions, such as invasive penetration across tissue barriers. Examples from cancer suggest general principles of age-related disease. PMID:28184283

  10. Gene Therapy-Based Modeling of Neurodegenerative Disorders: Huntington's Disease.

    PubMed

    Young, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by impairments in motor control, and cognitive and psychiatric disturbances. In this chapter, viral vector-mediated approaches used in modeling the key neuropathological features of the disease including the production of abnormal intracellular protein aggregates, neuronal dysfunction and degeneration and motor impairments in rodents are described.

  11. Impaired autophagy: a link between neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases

    PubMed Central

    Polajnar, Mira; Žerovnik, Eva

    2014-01-01

    Protein misfolding, and subsequent aggregation have been proven as the leading cause of most known dementias. Many of these, in addition to neurodegeneration, show profound changes in behaviour and thinking, thus, psychiatric symptoms. On the basis of the observation that progressive myoclonic epilepsies and neurodegenerative diseases share some common features of neurodegeneration, we proposed autophagy as a possible common impairment in these diseases. Here, we argue along similar lines for some neuropsychiatric conditions, among them depression and schizophrenia. We propose that existing and new therapies for these seemingly different diseases could be augmented with drugs used for neurodegenerative or neuropsychiatric diseases, respectively, among them some which modulate or augment autophagy. PMID:25139375

  12. Prion-like transmission of protein aggregates in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Brundin, Patrik; Melki, Ronald; Kopito, Ron

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are commonly associated with the accumulation of intracellular or extracellular protein aggregates. Recent studies suggest that these aggregates are capable of crossing cellular membranes and can directly contribute to the propagation of neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. We propose that, once initiated, neuropathological changes might spread in a ‘prion-like’ manner and that disease progression is associated with the intercellular transfer of pathogenic proteins. The transfer of naked infectious particles between cells could therefore be a target for new disease-modifying therapies. PMID:20308987

  13. Genetic variants associated with neurodegenerative Alzheimer disease in natural models.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Claudia; Valdivia, Gonzalo; Ardiles, Álvaro O; Ewer, John; Palacios, Adrián G

    2016-02-26

    The use of transgenic models for the study of neurodegenerative diseases has made valuable contributions to the field. However, some important limitations, including protein overexpression and general systemic compensation for the missing genes, has caused researchers to seek natural models that show the main biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases during aging. Here we review some of these models-most of them rodents, focusing especially on the genetic variations in biomarkers for Alzheimer diseases, in order to explain their relationships with variants associated with the occurrence of the disease in humans.

  14. Biomarker Discovery in Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Proteomic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Min; Caudle, W. Michael; Zhang, Jing

    2010-01-01

    Biomarkers for neurodegenerative disorders are essential to facilitate disease diagnosis, ideally at early stages, monitor disease progression, and assess response to existing and future treatments. Application of proteomics to the human brain, cerebrospinal fluid and plasma has greatly hastened the unbiased and high-throughput searches for novel biomarkers. There are many steps critical to biomarker discovery, whether for neurodegenerative or other diseases, including sample preparation, protein/peptide separation and identification, as well as independent confirmation and validation. In this review we have summarized current proteomics technologies involved in discovery of biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, practical considerations and limitations of several major aspects, as well as the current status of candidate biomarkers revealed by proteomics for Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. PMID:18938247

  15. Redox Imbalance and Viral Infections in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Limongi, Dolores

    2016-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential molecules for many physiological functions and act as second messengers in a large variety of tissues. An imbalance in the production and elimination of ROS is associated with human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. In the last years the notion that neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by chronic viral infections, which may result in an increase of neurodegenerative diseases progression, emerged. It is known in literature that enhanced viral infection risk, observed during neurodegeneration, is partly due to the increase of ROS accumulation in brain cells. However, the molecular mechanisms of viral infection, occurring during the progression of neurodegeneration, remain unclear. In this review, we discuss the recent knowledge regarding the role of influenza, herpes simplex virus type-1, and retroviruses infection in ROS/RNS-mediated Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). PMID:27110325

  16. Cytoplasmic dynein: a key player in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiang-Jun; Xu, Huan; Cooper, Helen M; Liu, Yaobo

    2014-04-01

    Cytoplasmic dynein is the most important molecular motor driving the movement of a wide range of cargoes towards the minus ends of microtubules. As a molecular motor protein, dynein performs a variety of basic cellular functions including organelle transport and centrosome assembly. In the nervous system, dynein has been demonstrated to be responsible for axonal retrograde transport. Many studies have revealed direct or indirect evidence of dynein in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Among them, a number of mutant proteins involved in various neurodegenerative diseases interact with dynein. Axonal transport disruption is presented as a common feature occurring in neurodegenerative diseases. Dynein heavy chain mutant mice also show features of neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, defects of dynein-dependent processes such as autophagy or clearance of aggregation-prone proteins are found in most of these diseases. Lines of evidence have also shown that dynein is associated with neurodevelopmental diseases. In this review, we focus on dynein involvement in different neurological diseases and discuss potential underlying mechanisms.

  17. DNA Double Strand Breaks: A Common Theme in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Merlo, Daniela; Mollinari, Cristiana; Racaniello, Mauro; Garaci, Enrico; Cardinale, Alessio

    2016-01-01

    Accumulation of DNA damage and impairment of DNA repair systems are involved in the pathogenesis of different neurodegenerative diseases. Whenever DNA damage is too extensive, the DNA damage response pathway provides for triggering cellular senescence and/or apoptosis. However, whether the increased level of DNA damage in neurodegenerative disorders is a cause rather than the consequence of neurodegenerative events remains to be established. Among possible DNA lesions, DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are rare events, nevertheless they are the most lethal form of DNA damage. In neurons, DSBs are particularly deleterious because of their reduced DNA repair capability as compared to proliferating cells. Here, we provide a description of DSB repair systems and describe human studies showing the presence of several types of DNA lesions in three major neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). Then, we analyze the role of DSB accumulation and deficiency of DSB repair systems in neurodegeneration by examining studies on animal models of neurodegenerative diseases.

  18. Unbiased approaches to biomarker discovery in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chen-Plotkin, Alice S.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and frontotemporal dementia have several important features in common. They are progressive, they affect a relatively inaccessible organ, and we have no disease-modifying therapies for them. For these brain-based diseases, current diagnosis and evaluation of disease severity rely almost entirely on clinical examination, which may only be a rough approximation of disease state. Thus, the development of biomarkers – objective, relatively easily measured and precise indicators of pathogenic processes – could improve patient care and accelerate therapeutic discovery. Yet existing, rigorously tested neurodegenerative disease biomarkers are few, and even fewer biomarkers have translated into clinical use. To find new biomarkers for these diseases, an unbiased, high-throughput screening approach may be needed. In this review, I will describe the potential utility of such an approach to biomarker discovery, using Parkinson’s disease as a case example. PMID:25442938

  19. The transition metals copper and iron in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Rivera-Mancía, Susana; Pérez-Neri, Iván; Ríos, Camilo; Tristán-López, Luis; Rivera-Espinosa, Liliana; Montes, Sergio

    2010-07-30

    Neurodegenerative diseases constitute a worldwide health problem. Metals like iron and copper are essential for life, but they are also involved in several neurodegenerative mechanisms such as protein aggregation, free radical generation and oxidative stress. The role of Fe and Cu, their pathogenic mechanisms and possible therapeutic relevance are discussed regarding four of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Metal-mediated oxidation by Fenton chemistry is a common feature for all those disorders and takes part of a self-amplifying damaging mechanism, leading to neurodegeneration. The interaction between metals and proteins in the nervous system seems to be a crucial factor for the development or absence of neurodegeneration. The present review also deals with the therapeutic strategies tested, mainly using metal chelating drugs. Metal accumulation within the nervous system observed in those diseases could be the result of compensatory mechanisms to improve metal availability for physiological processes.

  20. On The Role of Natural Killer Cells in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Maghazachi, Azzam A.

    2013-01-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells exert important immunoregulatory functions by releasing several inflammatory molecules, such as IFN-γ and members of chemokines, which include CCL3/MIP-1α and CCL4/MIP-1β. These cells also express heptahelical receptors, which are coupled to heterotrimeric G proteins that guide them into inflamed and injured tissues. NK cells have been shown to recognize and destroy transformed cells and virally-infected cells, but their roles in neurodegenerative diseases have not been examined in detail. In this review, I will summarize the effects of NK cells in two neurodegenerative diseases, namely multiple sclerosis and globoid cell leukodystrophy. It is hoped that the knowledge obtained from these diseases may facilitate building rational protocols for treating these and other neurodegenerative or autoimmune diseases using NK cells and drugs that activate them as therapeutic tools. PMID:23430541

  1. Molecular Chaperone Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Effects of Curcumin

    PubMed Central

    Frautschy, Sally

    2014-01-01

    The intra- and extracellular accumulation of misfolded and aggregated amyloid proteins is a common feature in several neurodegenerative diseases, which is thought to play a major role in disease severity and progression. The principal machineries maintaining proteostasis are the ubiquitin proteasomal and lysosomal autophagy systems, where heat shock proteins play a crucial role. Many protein aggregates are degraded by the lysosomes, depending on aggregate size, peptide sequence, and degree of misfolding, while others are selectively tagged for removal by heat shock proteins and degraded by either the proteasome or phagosomes. These systems are compromised in different neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, developing novel targets and classes of therapeutic drugs, which can reduce aggregates and maintain proteostasis in the brains of neurodegenerative models, is vital. Natural products that can modulate heat shock proteins/proteosomal pathway are considered promising for treating neurodegenerative diseases. Here we discuss the current knowledge on the role of HSPs in protein misfolding diseases and knowledge gained from animal models of Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, and Huntington's diseases. Further, we discuss the emerging treatment regimens for these diseases using natural products, like curcumin, which can augment expression or function of heat shock proteins in the cell. PMID:25386560

  2. Molecular chaperone dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases and effects of curcumin.

    PubMed

    Maiti, Panchanan; Manna, Jayeeta; Veleri, Shobi; Frautschy, Sally

    2014-01-01

    The intra- and extracellular accumulation of misfolded and aggregated amyloid proteins is a common feature in several neurodegenerative diseases, which is thought to play a major role in disease severity and progression. The principal machineries maintaining proteostasis are the ubiquitin proteasomal and lysosomal autophagy systems, where heat shock proteins play a crucial role. Many protein aggregates are degraded by the lysosomes, depending on aggregate size, peptide sequence, and degree of misfolding, while others are selectively tagged for removal by heat shock proteins and degraded by either the proteasome or phagosomes. These systems are compromised in different neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, developing novel targets and classes of therapeutic drugs, which can reduce aggregates and maintain proteostasis in the brains of neurodegenerative models, is vital. Natural products that can modulate heat shock proteins/proteosomal pathway are considered promising for treating neurodegenerative diseases. Here we discuss the current knowledge on the role of HSPs in protein misfolding diseases and knowledge gained from animal models of Alzheimer's disease, tauopathies, and Huntington's diseases. Further, we discuss the emerging treatment regimens for these diseases using natural products, like curcumin, which can augment expression or function of heat shock proteins in the cell.

  3. Protein misfolding in neurodegenerative diseases: implications and strategies.

    PubMed

    Sweeney, Patrick; Park, Hyunsun; Baumann, Marc; Dunlop, John; Frydman, Judith; Kopito, Ron; McCampbell, Alexander; Leblanc, Gabrielle; Venkateswaran, Anjli; Nurmi, Antti; Hodgson, Robert

    2017-01-01

    A hallmark of neurodegenerative proteinopathies is the formation of misfolded protein aggregates that cause cellular toxicity and contribute to cellular proteostatic collapse. Therapeutic options are currently being explored that target different steps in the production and processing of proteins implicated in neurodegenerative disease, including synthesis, chaperone-assisted folding and trafficking, and degradation via the proteasome and autophagy pathways. Other therapies, like mTOR inhibitors and activators of the heat shock response, can rebalance the entire proteostatic network. However, there are major challenges that impact the development of novel therapies, including incomplete knowledge of druggable disease targets and their mechanism of action as well as a lack of biomarkers to monitor disease progression and therapeutic response. A notable development is the creation of collaborative ecosystems that include patients, clinicians, basic and translational researchers, foundations and regulatory agencies to promote scientific rigor and clinical data to accelerate the development of therapies that prevent, reverse or delay the progression of neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

  4. Neural stem cell-based treatment for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seung U; Lee, Hong J; Kim, Yun B

    2013-10-01

    Human neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are caused by a loss of neurons and glia in the brain or spinal cord. Neurons and glial cells have successfully been generated from stem cells such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and neural stem cells (NSCs), and stem cell-based cell therapies for neurodegenerative diseases have been developed. A recent advance in generation of a new class of pluripotent stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), derived from patients' own skin fibroblasts, opens doors for a totally new field of personalized medicine. Transplantation of NSCs, neurons or glia generated from stem cells in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases, including PD, HD, ALS and AD, demonstrates clinical improvement and also life extension of these animals. Additional therapeutic benefits in these animals can be provided by stem cell-mediated gene transfer of therapeutic genes such as neurotrophic factors and enzymes. Although further research is still needed, cell and gene therapy based on stem cells, particularly using neurons and glia derived from iPSCs, ESCs or NSCs, will become a routine treatment for patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases and also stroke and spinal cord injury.

  5. Pluripotent stem cells in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases.

    PubMed

    Marchetto, Maria C N; Winner, Beate; Gage, Fred H

    2010-04-15

    Most of our current knowledge about cellular phenotypes in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases in humans was gathered from studies in postmortem brain tissues. These samples often represent the end-stage of the disease and therefore are not always a fair representation of how the disease developed. Moreover, under these circumstances, the pathology observed could be a secondary effect rather than the authentic disease cellular phenotype. Likewise, the rodent models available do not always recapitulate the pathology from human diseases. In this review, we will examine recent literature on the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to model neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases. We highlight the characteristics of diseases like spinal muscular atrophy and familial dysautonomia that allowed partial modeling of the disease phenotype. We review human stem cell literature on common neurodegenerative late-onset diseases such as Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis where patients' cells have been successfully reprogrammed but a disease phenotype has not yet been described. So far, the technique is of great interest for early onset monogenetic neurodevelopmental diseases. We speculate about potential further experimental requirements and settings for reprogrammed neurons for in vitro disease modeling and drug discovery.

  6. Pluripotent stem cells in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases

    PubMed Central

    Marchetto, Maria C.N.; Winner, Beate; Gage, Fred H.

    2010-01-01

    Most of our current knowledge about cellular phenotypes in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases in humans was gathered from studies in postmortem brain tissues. These samples often represent the end-stage of the disease and therefore are not always a fair representation of how the disease developed. Moreover, under these circumstances, the pathology observed could be a secondary effect rather than the authentic disease cellular phenotype. Likewise, the rodent models available do not always recapitulate the pathology from human diseases. In this review, we will examine recent literature on the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to model neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases. We highlight the characteristics of diseases like spinal muscular atrophy and familial dysautonomia that allowed partial modeling of the disease phenotype. We review human stem cell literature on common neurodegenerative late-onset diseases such as Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis where patients' cells have been successfully reprogrammed but a disease phenotype has not yet been described. So far, the technique is of great interest for early onset monogenetic neurodevelopmental diseases. We speculate about potential further experimental requirements and settings for reprogrammed neurons for in vitro disease modeling and drug discovery. PMID:20418487

  7. Apocynin, a Low Molecular Oral Treatment for Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    ‘t Hart, Bert A.; Copray, Sjef; Philippens, Ingrid

    2014-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that inflammatory mediators secreted by activated resident or infiltrated innate immune cells have a significant impact on the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. This may imply that patients affected by a neurodegenerative disease may benefit from treatment with selective inhibitors of innate immune activity. Here we review the therapeutic potential of apocynin, an essentially nontoxic phenolic compound isolated from the medicinal plant Jatropha multifida. Apocynin is a selective inhibitor of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase Nox2 that can be applied orally and is remarkably effective at low dose. PMID:25140304

  8. 4 Tesla MRI for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-10-01

    gyrus. Histological studies have shown that these subfields are differently affected by different diseases, e.g. Alzheimer Disease (AD) affects... Neurogenesis by Suppressing Microglia Activation Project start date: 9/16/05 REPORTABLE OUTCOMES Presentations: Yu Zhang, PhD: Tractography

  9. Epigenetic programming of neurodegenerative diseases by an adverse environment.

    PubMed

    Babenko, Olena; Kovalchuk, Igor; Metz, Gerlinde A

    2012-03-20

    Experience and environment can critically influence the risk and progression of neurodegenerative disorders. Epigenetic mechanisms, such as miRNA expression, DNA methylation, and histone modifications, readily respond to experience and environmental factors. Here we propose that epigenetic regulation of gene expression and environmental modulation thereof may play a key role in the onset and course of common neurological conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and multiple sclerosis. For example, epigenetic mechanisms may mediate long-term responses to adverse experience, such as stress, to affect disease susceptibility and the course of neurodegenerative events. This review introduces the epigenetic components and their possible role in mediating neuropathological processes in response to stress. We argue that epigenetic modifications will affect neurodegenerative events through altered gene function. The study of epigenetic states in neurodegenerative diseases presents an opportunity to gain new insights into risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms. Moreover, research into epigenetic regulation of disease may revolutionize health care by opening new avenues of personalized, preventive and curative medicine.

  10. Epilepsy at the prodromal stages of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Cretin, Benjamin; Philippi, Nathalie; Dibitonto, Laure; Blanc, Frédéric

    2017-03-01

    This review provides a clinically grounded description of the links between epilepsy and early common neurodegenerative diseases (i.e. Alzheimer's disease, Lewy body disease, vascular cognitive impairment, fronto-temporal lobar degeneration). It shows that epilepsy does not only concern demented patients displaying convulsive seizures (whether focal or generalized) and obvious atrophy on brain imaging. On the contrary, unprovoked seizures and epilepsy - commonly involving the temporal lobe - are now reported at the prodromal stages of these diseases, when cognitive complaints are mild or even minimal and brain imaging inconstantly abnormal. Thus epilepsy must be considered as a part of the phenotypic spectrum at any stages of the neurodegenerative diseases. This must be kept in mind in everyday practice, and when defining these diseases with clinic-biological criteria. Such entanglement also explains the growing prevalence of elderly epileptic subjects and the need of a close collaboration between geriatricians, cognitivists and epileptologists.

  11. Immunity and inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Cappellano, Giuseppe; Carecchio, Miryam; Fleetwood, Thomas; Magistrelli, Luca; Cantello, Roberto; Dianzani, Umberto; Comi, Cristoforo

    2013-01-01

    Immune reactions inside the central nervous system are finely regulated, thanks to the presence of several checkpoints that have the fundamental purpose to preserve this fragile tissue form harmful events. The current knowledge on the role of neuroinflammation and neuro-immune interactions in the fields of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease is reviewed. Moreover, a focus on the potential role of both active and passive immunotherapy is provided. Finally, we propose a common perspective, which implies that, under pathological conditions, inflammation may exert both detrimental and protective functions, depending on local factors and the timing of immune activation and shutting-off systems. PMID:23844334

  12. Sign Language Aphasia from a Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Falchook, Adam D.; Mayberry, Rachel I.; Poizner, Howard; Burtis, David Brandon; Doty, Leilani; Heilman, Kenneth M.

    2012-01-01

    While Alois Alzheimer recognized the effects of the disease he described on speech and language in his original description of the disease in 1907, the effects of Alzheimer disease on language in deaf signers has not previously been reported. We evaluated a 55 year old right handed congenitally deaf woman with a two year history of progressive memory loss and a deterioration of her ability to communicate in American Sign Language, which she learned at the age of eight. Examination revealed that she had impaired episodic memory as well as marked impairments in the production and comprehension of fingerspelling and grammatically complex sentences. She also had signs of anomia as well as an ideomotor apraxia and visual-spatial dysfunction. This report illustrates the challenges in evaluation of a patient for the presence of degenerative dementia when the person is deaf from birth, uses sign language, and has a late age of primary language acquisition. Although our patient could neither speak nor hear, in many respects her cognitive disorders mirror those of patients with Alzheimer disease who had normally learned to speak. PMID:22823942

  13. Reverse engineering human neurodegenerative disease using pluripotent stem cell technology.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ying; Deng, Wenbin

    2016-05-01

    With the technology of reprogramming somatic cells by introducing defined transcription factors that enables the generation of "induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)" with pluripotency comparable to that of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), it has become possible to use this technology to produce various cells and tissues that have been difficult to obtain from living bodies. This advancement is bringing forth rapid progress in iPSC-based disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine. More and more studies have demonstrated that phenotypes of adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders could be rather faithfully recapitulated in iPSC-derived neural cell cultures. Moreover, despite the adult-onset nature of the diseases, pathogenic phenotypes and cellular abnormalities often exist in early developmental stages, providing new "windows of opportunity" for understanding mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders and for discovering new medicines. The cell reprogramming technology enables a reverse engineering approach for modeling the cellular degenerative phenotypes of a wide range of human disorders. An excellent example is the study of the human neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using iPSCs. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of upper and lower motor neurons (MNs), culminating in muscle wasting and death from respiratory failure. The iPSC approach provides innovative cell culture platforms to serve as ALS patient-derived model systems. Researchers have converted iPSCs derived from ALS patients into MNs and various types of glial cells, all of which are involved in ALS, to study the disease. The iPSC technology could be used to determine the role of specific genetic factors to track down what's wrong in the neurodegenerative disease process in the "disease-in-a-dish" model. Meanwhile, parallel experiments of targeting the same specific genes in human ESCs could also be performed to control

  14. The cellular basis of dendrite pathology in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kweon, Jung Hyun; Kim, Sunhong; Lee, Sung Bae

    2017-01-01

    One of the characteristics of the neurons that distinguishes them from other cells is their complex and polarized structure consisting of dendrites, cell body, and axon. The complexity and diversity of dendrites are particularly well recognized, and accumulating evidences suggest that the alterations in the dendrite structure are associated with many neurodegenerative diseases. Given the importance of the proper dendritic structures for neuronal functions, the dendrite pathology appears to have crucial contribution to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Nonetheless, the cellular and molecular basis of dendritic changes in the neurodegenerative diseases remains largely elusive. Previous studies in normal condition have revealed that several cellular components, such as local cytoskeletal structures and organelles located locally in dendrites, play crucial roles in dendrite growth. By reviewing what has been unveiled to date regarding dendrite growth in terms of these local cellular components, we aim to provide an insight to categorize the potential cellular basis that can be applied to the dendrite pathology manifested in many neurodegenerative diseases. [BMB Reports 2017; 50(1): 5-11].

  15. Mechanisms of action of brain insulin against neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Ramalingam, Mahesh; Kim, Sung-Jin

    2014-06-01

    Insulin, a pancreatic hormone, is best known for its peripheral effects on the metabolism of glucose, fats and proteins. There is a growing body of evidence linking insulin action in the brain to neurodegenerative diseases. Insulin present in central nervous system is a regulator of central glucose metabolism nevertheless this glucoregulation is not the main function of insulin in the brain. Brain is known to be specifically vulnerable to oxidative products relative to other organs and altered brain insulin signaling may cause or promote neurodegenerative diseases which invalidates and reduces the quality of life. Insulin located within the brain is mostly of pancreatic origin or is produced in the brain itself crosses the blood-brain barrier and enters the brain via a receptor-mediated active transport system. Brain Insulin, insulin receptor and insulin receptor substrate-mediated signaling pathways play important roles in the regulation of peripheral metabolism, feeding behavior, memory and maintenance of neural functions such as neuronal growth and differentiation, neuromodulation and neuroprotection. In the present review, we would like to summarize the novel biological and pathophysiological roles of neuronal insulin in neurodegenerative diseases and describe the main signaling pathways in use for therapeutic strategies in the use of insulin to the cerebral tissues and their biological applications to neurodegenerative diseases.

  16. The cellular basis of dendrite pathology in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kweon, Jung Hyun; Kim, Sunhong; Lee, Sung Bae

    2017-01-01

    One of the characteristics of the neurons that distinguishes them from other cells is their complex and polarized structure consisting of dendrites, cell body, and axon. The complexity and diversity of dendrites are particularly well recognized, and accumulating evidences suggest that the alterations in the dendrite structure are associated with many neurodegenerative diseases. Given the importance of the proper dendritic structures for neuronal functions, the dendrite pathology appears to have crucial contribution to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Nonetheless, the cellular and molecular basis of dendritic changes in the neurodegenerative diseases remains largely elusive. Previous studies in normal condition have revealed that several cellular components, such as local cytoskeletal structures and organelles located locally in dendrites, play crucial roles in dendrite growth. By reviewing what has been unveiled to date regarding dendrite growth in terms of these local cellular components, we aim to provide an insight to categorize the potential cellular basis that can be applied to the dendrite pathology manifested in many neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27502014

  17. Chronic hypothermia and water intoxication associated with a neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed Central

    Corbett, E. L.; Sisodiya, S.; Sarkar, D.

    1993-01-01

    We describe a 71 year old man with a neurodegenerative condition who developed chronic inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion and hypothermia resulting in recurrent episodes of impaired consciousness. This combination of abnormalities is attributable to hypothalamic disease and has not to our knowledge been previously reported with clearly documented antidiuretic hormone excess. Images Figure 1 PMID:8121871

  18. Alzheimer's disease: An acquired neurodegenerative laminopathy

    PubMed Central

    Frost, Bess

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The nucleus is typically depicted as a sphere encircled by a smooth surface of nuclear envelope. For most cell types, this depiction is accurate. In other cell types and in some pathological conditions, however, the smooth nuclear exterior is interrupted by tubular invaginations of the nuclear envelope, often referred to as a “nucleoplasmic reticulum,” into the deep nuclear interior. We have recently reported a significant expansion of the nucleoplasmic reticulum in postmortem human Alzheimer's disease brain tissue. We found that dysfunction of the nucleoskeleton, a lamin-rich meshwork that coats the inner nuclear membrane and associated invaginations, is causal for Alzheimer's disease-related neurodegeneration in vivo. Additionally, we demonstrated that proper function of the nucleoskeleton is required for survival of adult neurons and maintaining genomic architecture. Here, we elaborate on the significance of these findings in regard to pathological states and physiological aging, and discuss cellular causes and consequences of nuclear envelope invagination. PMID:27167528

  19. Alzheimer's disease: An acquired neurodegenerative laminopathy.

    PubMed

    Frost, Bess

    2016-05-03

    The nucleus is typically depicted as a sphere encircled by a smooth surface of nuclear envelope. For most cell types, this depiction is accurate. In other cell types and in some pathological conditions, however, the smooth nuclear exterior is interrupted by tubular invaginations of the nuclear envelope, often referred to as a "nucleoplasmic reticulum," into the deep nuclear interior. We have recently reported a significant expansion of the nucleoplasmic reticulum in postmortem human Alzheimer's disease brain tissue. We found that dysfunction of the nucleoskeleton, a lamin-rich meshwork that coats the inner nuclear membrane and associated invaginations, is causal for Alzheimer's disease-related neurodegeneration in vivo. Additionally, we demonstrated that proper function of the nucleoskeleton is required for survival of adult neurons and maintaining genomic architecture. Here, we elaborate on the significance of these findings in regard to pathological states and physiological aging, and discuss cellular causes and consequences of nuclear envelope invagination.

  20. Life stress, glucocorticoid signaling, and the aging epigenome: Implications for aging-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Gassen, Nils C; Chrousos, George P; Binder, Elisabeth B; Zannas, Anthony S

    2017-03-01

    Life stress has been associated with accelerated cellular aging and increased risk for developing aging-related diseases; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. A highly relevant process that may underlie this association is epigenetic regulation. In this review, we build upon existing evidence to propose a model whereby exposure to life stress, in part via its effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis and the glucocorticoid signaling system, may alter the epigenetic landscape across the lifespan and, consequently, influence genomic regulation and function in ways that are conducive to the development of aging-related diseases. This model is supported by recent studies showing that life stressors and stress-related phenotypes can accelerate epigenetic aging, a measure that is based on DNA methylation prediction of chronological age and has been associated with several aging-related disease phenotypes. We discuss the implications of this model for the prevention and treatment of aging-related diseases, as well as the challenges and limitations of this line of research.

  1. Polyphenol Stilbenes: Molecular Mechanisms of Defence against Oxidative Stress and Aging-Related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Reinisalo, Mika; Kårlund, Anna; Koskela, Ali; Kaarniranta, Kai; Karjalainen, Reijo O.

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies have highlighted the key roles of oxidative stress and inflammation in aging-related diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). In aging cells, the natural antioxidant capacity decreases and the overall efficiency of reparative systems against cell damage becomes impaired. There is convincing data that stilbene compounds, a diverse group of natural defence phenolics, abundant in grapes, berries, and conifer bark waste, may confer a protective effect against aging-related diseases. This review highlights recent data helping to clarify the molecular mechanisms involved in the stilbene-mediated protection against oxidative stress. The impact of stilbenes on the nuclear factor-erythroid-2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) mediated cellular defence against oxidative stress as well as the potential roles of SQSTM1/p62 protein in Nrf2/Keap1 signaling and autophagy will be summarized. The therapeutic potential of stilbene compounds against the most common aging-related diseases is discussed. PMID:26180583

  2. Epigenetic mechanisms in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Landgrave-Gómez, Jorge; Mercado-Gómez, Octavio; Guevara-Guzmán, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

    The role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the central nervous system (CNS) and its regulation in diseases is one of the most interesting processes of contemporary neuroscience. In the last decade, a growing body of literature suggests that long-term changes in gene transcription associated with CNS’s regulation and neurological disorders are mediated via modulation of chromatin structure. “Epigenetics”, introduced for the first time by Waddington in the early 1940s, has been traditionally referred to a variety of mechanisms that allow heritable changes in gene expression even in the absence of DNA mutation. However, new definitions acknowledge that many of these mechanisms used to perpetuate epigenetic traits in dividing cells are used by neurons to control a variety of functions dependent on gene expression. Indeed, in the recent years these mechanisms have shown their importance in the maintenance of a healthy CNS. Moreover, environmental inputs that have shown effects in CNS diseases, such as nutrition, that can modulate the concentration of a variety of metabolites such as acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-coA), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and beta hydroxybutyrate (β-HB), regulates some of these epigenetic modifications, linking in a precise way environment with gene expression. This manuscript will portray what is currently understood about the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the function and homeostasis of the CNS and their participation in a variety of neurological disorders. We will discuss how the machinery that controls these modifications plays an important role in processes involved in neurological disorders such as neurogenesis and cell growth. Moreover, we will discuss how environmental inputs modulate these modifications producing metabolic and physiological alterations that could exert beneficial effects on neurological diseases. Finally, we will highlight possible future directions in the field of epigenetics

  3. Human-induced pluripotent stem cells: potential for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Ross, Christopher A; Akimov, Sergey S

    2014-09-15

    The cell biology of human neurodegenerative diseases has been difficult to study till recently. The development of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) models has greatly enhanced our ability to model disease in human cells. Methods have recently been improved, including increasing reprogramming efficiency, introducing non-viral and non-integrating methods of cell reprogramming, and using novel gene editing techniques for generating genetically corrected lines from patient-derived iPSCs, or for generating mutations in control cell lines. In this review, we highlight accomplishments made using iPSC models to study neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Fronto-Temporal Dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Spinomuscular Atrophy and other polyglutamine diseases. We review disease-related phenotypes shown in patient-derived iPSCs differentiated to relevant neural subtypes, often with stressors or cell "aging", to enhance disease-specific phenotypes. We also discuss prospects for the future of using of iPSC models of neurodegenerative disorders, including screening and testing of therapeutic compounds, and possibly of cell transplantation in regenerative medicine. The new iPSC models have the potential to greatly enhance our understanding of pathogenesis and to facilitate the development of novel therapeutics.

  4. Protein aggregate spreading in neurodegenerative diseases: Problems and perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seung-Jae; Lim, Hee-Sun; Masliah, Eliezer; Lee, He-Jin

    2014-01-01

    Progressive accumulation of specific protein aggregates is a defining feature of many major neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, fronto-temporal dementia, Huntington’s disease, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD). Findings from several recent studies have suggested that aggregation-prone proteins, such as tau, α-synuclein, polyglutamine-containing proteins, and amyloid-β, can spread to other cells and brain regions, a phenomenon considered unique to prion disorders, such as CJD and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Cell-to-cell propagation of protein aggregates may be the general underlying principle for progressive deterioration of neurodegenerative diseases. This may also have significant implications in cell replacement therapies, as evidenced by the propagation of α-synuclein aggregates from host to grafted cells in long-term transplants in Parkinson’s patients. Here, we review recent progress in protein aggregate propagation in experimental model systems and discuss outstanding questions and future perspectives. Understanding the mechanisms of this pathological spreading may open the way to unique opportunities for development of diagnostic techniques and novel therapies for protein misfolding-associated neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:21624403

  5. Olfaction in Neurologic and Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Godoy, Maria Dantas Costa Lima; Voegels, Richard Louis; Pinna, Fábio de Rezende; Imamura, Rui; Farfel, José Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Loss of smell is involved in various neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease. However, the olfactory test is usually neglected by physicians at large. Objective The aim of this study was to review the current literature about the relationship between olfactory dysfunction and neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases. Data Synthesis Twenty-seven studies were selected for analysis, and the olfactory system, olfaction, and the association between the olfactory dysfunction and dementias were reviewed. Furthermore, is described an up to date in olfaction. Conclusion Otolaryngologist should remember the importance of olfaction evaluation in daily practice. Furthermore, neurologists and physicians in general should include olfactory tests in the screening of those at higher risk of dementia. PMID:25992176

  6. PET/SPECT imaging agents for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Lin; Ploessl, Karl; Kung, Hank F.

    2014-01-01

    Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or positron emission computed tomography (PET) imaging agents for neurodegenerative disease have a significant impact on clinical diagnosis and patient care. The examples of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) imaging agents described in this paper provide a general view on how imaging agents, ie radioactive drugs, are selected, chemically prepared and applied in humans. Imaging the living human brain can provide unique information on the pathology and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as AD and PD. The imaging method will also facilitate preclinical and clinical trials of new drugs offering specific information related to drug binding sites in the brain. In the future, chemists will continue to play important roles in identifying specific targets, synthesizing target-specific probes for screening and ultimately testing them by in vitro and in vivo assays. PMID:24676152

  7. Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms: Emerging Brain Food for the Mitigation of Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Phan, Chia-Wei; David, Pamela; Sabaratnam, Vikineswary

    2017-01-01

    There is an exponential increase in dementia in old age at a global level because of increasing life expectancy. The prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) will continue to rise steadily, and is expected to reach 42 million cases worldwide in 2020. Despite the advancement of medication, the management of these diseases remains largely ineffective. Therefore, it is vital to explore novel nature-based nutraceuticals to mitigate AD and other age-related neurodegenerative disorders. Mushrooms and their extracts appear to hold many health benefits, including immune-modulating effects. A number of edible mushrooms have been shown to contain rare and exotic compounds that exhibit positive effects on brain cells both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we summarize the scientific information on edible and culinary mushrooms with regard to their antidementia/AD active compounds and/or pharmacological test results. The bioactive components in these mushrooms and the underlying mechanism of their activities are discussed. In short, these mushrooms may be regarded as functional foods for the mitigation of neurodegenerative diseases.

  8. The role of methylglyoxal and the glyoxalase system in diabetes and other age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Maessen, Dionne E M; Stehouwer, Coen D A; Schalkwijk, Casper G

    2015-06-01

    The formation and accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) are related to diabetes and other age-related diseases. Methylglyoxal (MGO), a highly reactive dicarbonyl compound, is the major precursor in the formation of AGEs. MGO is mainly formed as a byproduct of glycolysis. Under physiological circumstances, MGO is detoxified by the glyoxalase system into D-lactate, with glyoxalase I (GLO1) as the key enzyme in the anti-glycation defence. New insights indicate that increased levels of MGO and the major MGO-derived AGE, methylglyoxal-derived hydroimidazolone 1 (MG-H1), and dysfunctioning of the glyoxalase system are linked to several age-related health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and disorders of the central nervous system. The present review summarizes the mechanisms through which MGO is formed, its detoxification by the glyoxalase system and its effect on biochemical pathways in relation to the development of age-related diseases. Although several scavengers of MGO have been developed over the years, therapies to treat MGO-associated complications are not yet available for application in clinical practice. Small bioactive inducers of GLO1 can potentially form the basis for new treatment strategies for age-related disorders in which MGO plays a pivotal role.

  9. Novel gene function revealed by mouse mutagenesis screens for models of age-related disease

    PubMed Central

    Potter, Paul K.; Bowl, Michael R.; Jeyarajan, Prashanthini; Wisby, Laura; Blease, Andrew; Goldsworthy, Michelle E.; Simon, Michelle M.; Greenaway, Simon; Michel, Vincent; Barnard, Alun; Aguilar, Carlos; Agnew, Thomas; Banks, Gareth; Blake, Andrew; Chessum, Lauren; Dorning, Joanne; Falcone, Sara; Goosey, Laurence; Harris, Shelley; Haynes, Andy; Heise, Ines; Hillier, Rosie; Hough, Tertius; Hoslin, Angela; Hutchison, Marie; King, Ruairidh; Kumar, Saumya; Lad, Heena V.; Law, Gemma; MacLaren, Robert E.; Morse, Susan; Nicol, Thomas; Parker, Andrew; Pickford, Karen; Sethi, Siddharth; Starbuck, Becky; Stelma, Femke; Cheeseman, Michael; Cross, Sally H.; Foster, Russell G.; Jackson, Ian J.; Peirson, Stuart N.; Thakker, Rajesh V.; Vincent, Tonia; Scudamore, Cheryl; Wells, Sara; El-Amraoui, Aziz; Petit, Christine; Acevedo-Arozena, Abraham; Nolan, Patrick M.; Cox, Roger; Mallon, Anne-Marie; Brown, Steve D. M.

    2016-01-01

    Determining the genetic bases of age-related disease remains a major challenge requiring a spectrum of approaches from human and clinical genetics to the utilization of model organism studies. Here we report a large-scale genetic screen in mice employing a phenotype-driven discovery platform to identify mutations resulting in age-related disease, both late-onset and progressive. We have utilized N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis to generate pedigrees of mutagenized mice that were subject to recurrent screens for mutant phenotypes as the mice aged. In total, we identify 105 distinct mutant lines from 157 pedigrees analysed, out of which 27 are late-onset phenotypes across a range of physiological systems. Using whole-genome sequencing we uncover the underlying genes for 44 of these mutant phenotypes, including 12 late-onset phenotypes. These genes reveal a number of novel pathways involved with age-related disease. We illustrate our findings by the recovery and characterization of a novel mouse model of age-related hearing loss. PMID:27534441

  10. Amniotic Epithelial Cells: A New Tool to Combat Aging and Age-Related Diseases?

    PubMed Central

    Di Germanio, Clara; Bernier, Michel; de Cabo, Rafael; Barboni, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    The number of elderly people is growing at an unprecedented rate and this increase of the aging population is expected to have a direct impact on the incidence of age-related diseases and healthcare-associated costs. Thus, it is imperative that new tools are developed to fight and slow age-related diseases. Regenerative medicine is a promising strategy for the maintenance of health and function late in life; however, stem cell-based therapies face several challenges including rejection and tumor transformation. As an alternative, the placenta offers an extraordinary source of fetal stem cells, including the amniotic epithelial cells (AECs), which retain some of the characteristics of embryonic stem cells, but show low immunogenicity, together with immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities. Because of these characteristics, AECs have been widely utilized in regenerative medicine. This perspective highlights different mechanisms triggered by transplanted AECs that could be potentially useful for anti-aging therapies, which include: Graft and differentiation for tissue regeneration in age-related settings, anti-inflammatory behavior to combat “inflammaging,” anti-tumor activity, direct lifespan and healthspan extension properties, and possibly rejuvenation in a manner reminiscent of heterochronic parabiosis. Here, we critically discuss benefits and limitation of AECs-based therapies in age-related diseases. PMID:27921031

  11. Targeting New Candidate Genes by Small Molecules Approaching Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Fan, Hueng-Chuen; Chi, Ching-Shiang; Cheng, Shin-Nan; Lee, Hsiu-Fen; Tsai, Jeng-Dau; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Harn, Horng-Jyh

    2015-12-25

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are among the most feared of the disorders that afflict humankind for the lack of specific diagnostic tests and effective treatments. Understanding the molecular, cellular, biochemical changes of NDs may hold therapeutic promise against debilitating central nerve system (CNS) disorders. In the present review, we summarized the clinical presentations and biology backgrounds of NDs, including Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD) and explored the role of molecular mechanisms, including dys-regulation of epigenetic control mechanisms, Ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated protein kinase (ATM), and neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of NDs. Targeting these mechanisms may hold therapeutic promise against these devastating diseases.

  12. Genetic manipulation for inherited neurodegenerative diseases: myth or reality?

    PubMed Central

    Yu-Wai-Man, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Rare genetic diseases affect about 7% of the general population and over 7000 distinct clinical syndromes have been described with the majority being due to single gene defects. This review will provide a critical overview of genetic strategies that are being pioneered to halt or reverse disease progression in inherited neurodegenerative diseases. This field of research covers a vast area and only the most promising treatment paradigms will be discussed with a particular focus on inherited eye diseases, which have paved the way for innovative gene therapy paradigms, and mitochondrial diseases, which are currently generating a lot of debate centred on the bioethics of germline manipulation. PMID:27002113

  13. Cerebral correlates of psychotic syndromes in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Jellinger, Kurt A

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Psychosis has been recognized as a common feature in neurodegenerative diseases and a core feature of dementia that worsens most clinical courses. It includes hallucinations, delusions including paranoia, aggressive behaviour, apathy and other psychotic phenomena that occur in a wide range of degenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, synucleinopathies (Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies), Huntington’s disease, frontotemporal degenerations, motoneuron and prion diseases. Many of these psychiatric manifestations may be early expressions of cognitive impairment, but often there is a dissociation between psychotic/behavioural symptoms and the rather linear decline in cognitive function, suggesting independent pathophysiological mechanisms. Strictly neuropathological explanations are likely to be insufficient to explain them, and a large group of heterogeneous factors (environmental, neurochemical changes, genetic factors, etc.) may influence their pathogenesis. Clinico-pathological evaluation of behavioural and psychotic symptoms (PS) in the setting of neurodegenerative and dementing disorders presents a significant challenge for modern neurosciences. Recognition and understanding of these manifestations may lead to the development of more effective preventive and therapeutic options that can serve to delay long-term progression of these devastating disorders and improve the patients’ quality of life. A better understanding of the pathophysiology and distinctive pathological features underlying the development of PS in neurodegenerative diseases may provide important insights into psychotic processes in general. PMID:21418522

  14. Pain in Neurodegenerative Disease: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    de Tommaso, Marina; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars; Defrin, Ruth; Kunz, Miriam; Pickering, Gisele; Valeriani, Massimiliano

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are going to increase as the life expectancy is getting longer. The management of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias, Parkinson's disease (PD) and PD related disorders, motor neuron diseases (MND), Huntington's disease (HD), spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), is mainly addressed to motor and cognitive impairment, with special care to vital functions as breathing and feeding. Many of these patients complain of painful symptoms though their origin is variable, and their presence is frequently not considered in the treatment guidelines, leaving their management to the decision of the clinicians alone. However, studies focusing on pain frequency in such disorders suggest a high prevalence of pain in selected populations from 38 to 75% in AD, 40% to 86% in PD, and 19 to 85% in MND. The methods of pain assessment vary between studies so the type of pain has been rarely reported. However, a prevalent nonneuropathic origin of pain emerged for MND and PD. In AD, no data on pain features are available. No controlled therapeutic trials and guidelines are currently available. Given the relevance of pain in neurodegenerative disorders, the comprehensive understanding of mechanisms and predisposing factors, the application and validation of specific scales, and new specific therapeutic trials are needed. PMID:27313396

  15. Metabolic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Cai, Huan; Cong, Wei-na; Ji, Sunggoan; Rothman, Sarah; Maudsley, Stuart; Martin, Bronwen

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease and other related neurodegenerative diseases are highly debilitating disorders that affect millions of people worldwide. Efforts towards developing effective treatments for these disorders have shown limited efficacy at best, with no true cure to this day being present. Recent work, both clinical and experimental, indicates that many neurodegenerative disorders often display a coexisting metabolic dysfunction which may exacerbate neurological symptoms. It stands to reason therefore that metabolic pathways may themselves contain promising therapeutic targets for major neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we provide an overview of some of the most recent evidence for metabolic dysregulation in Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and Parkinson's disease, and discuss several potential mechanisms that may underlie the potential relationships between metabolic dysfunction and etiology of nervous system degeneration. We also highlight some prominent signaling pathways involved in the link between peripheral metabolism and the central nervous system that are potential targets for future therapies, and we will review some of the clinical progress in this field. It is likely that in the near future, therapeutics with combinatorial neuroprotective and 'eumetabolic' activities may possess superior efficacies compared to less pluripotent remedies.

  16. Multimodality Imaging of Alzheimer Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Dementias

    PubMed Central

    Nasrallah, Ilya M.; Wolk, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, result in cognitive decline and dementia and are a leading cause of mortality in the growing elderly population. These progressive diseases typically have insidious onset, with overlapping clinical features early in disease course that makes diagnosis challenging. Neurodegenerative diseases are associated with characteristic, although not completely understood, changes in the brain: abnormal protein deposition, synaptic dysfunction, neuronal injury and neuronal death. Neuroimaging biomarkers – principally regional atrophy on structural MRI, patterns of hypometabolism on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET, and detection of cerebral amyloid plaque on amyloid PET – are able to evaluate the patterns of these abnormalities in the brain to assist and improve early diagnosis of these conditions as well as to help predict disease course in the future. There are unique strengths of these techniques as well as synergies in multimodality evaluation of the patient with cognitive decline or dementia. This review will discuss the key imaging biomarkers from MRI, 18F-FDG PET, and amyloid PET, the imaging features of the most common neurodegenerative dementias, the role of various neuroimaging studies in differential diagnosis and prognosis, and introduce some promising imaging techniques currently under development. PMID:25413136

  17. PREFACE: Physics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases Physics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastore, Annalisa

    2012-06-01

    , about 15 years after the original reports, it is clear that amyloids are special structures that occur in nature under several different guises, some good, some evil [3]. The number of diseases associated with misfolding and fibrillogenesis has steadily increased. Examples of fairly common pathologies associated with fibre formation include Alzheimer's disease (currently one of the major threats for human health in our increasingly aging world), Parkinson's disease and several rare, but not less severe, pathologies. On the other hand, it is also clear that amyloid formation is a convenient mechanism for storing peptides and/or proteins in a compact and resistant way. The number of organisms/tissues in which amyloid deposits are found is thus increasing. It is also not too far-fetched to expect that the mechanical properties of amyloids could be used in biotechnology to design new materials. Because of the importance of this topic in so many scientific fields, we have dedicated this special issue of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter to the topic of protein aggregation and disease. In the following pages we have collected two reviews and five articles that explore new and interesting developments in the field. References [1] Olby R 1994 The Path of the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA (New York: Dover) [2] Dobson C M 2004 Principles of protein folding, misfolding and aggregation Semin. Cell Dev. Biol. 15 3-16 [3] Hammer N D, Wang X, McGuffie B A, Chapman M R 2008 Amyloids: friend or foe? J. Alzheimers Dis. 13 407-19 Physics and biology of neurodegenerative diseases contents Protein aggregation and misfolding: good or evil?Annalisa Pastore and Pierandrea Temussi Alzheimer's disease: biological aspects, therapeutic perspectives and diagnostic toolsM Di Carlo, D Giacomazza and P L San Biagio Entrapment of Aβ1-40 peptide in unstructured aggregatesC Corsale, R Carrotta, M R Mangione, S Vilasi, A Provenzano, G Cavallaro, D Bulone and P L San Biagio Elemental micro

  18. Stem cell challenges in the treatment of neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Feng, Zhongling; Gao, Feng

    2012-02-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases result from the gradual and progressive loss of neural cells and lead to nervous system dysfunction. The rapidly advancing stem cell field is providing attractive alternative options for fighting these diseases. Results have provided proof of principle that cell replacement can work in humans with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, three clinical studies of cell transplantation were published that found no net benefit, while patients in two of the studies developed dyskinesias that persisted despite reductions in treatment. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) have major potential advantages because patient-specific neuroblasts are suitable for transplantation, avoid immune reactions, and can be produced without the use of human ES cells (hESC). Although iPSCs have not been successfully used in clinical trials for PD, patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were treated with autologous stem cells and, though they had some degree of decline one year after treatment, they were still improved compared with the preoperative period or without any drug therapy. In addition, neural stem cells (NSCs), via brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), have been shown to ameliorate complex behavioral deficits associated with widespread Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology in a transgenic mouse model of AD. So far, the FDA lists 18 clinical trials treating multiple sclerosis (MS), but most are in preliminary stages. This article serves as an overview of recent studies in stem cell and regenerative approaches to the above chronic neurodegenerative disorders. There are still many obstacles to the use of stem cells as a cure for neurodegenerative disease, especially because we still don't fully understand the true mechanisms of these diseases. However, there is hope in the potential of stem cells to help us learn and understand a great deal more about the mechanisms underlying these devastating neurodegenerative diseases.

  19. Advances in epigenetics and epigenomics for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Irfan A; Mehler, Mark F

    2011-10-01

    In the post-genomic era, epigenetic factors-literally those that are "over" or "above" genetic ones and responsible for controlling the expression and function of genes-have emerged as important mediators of development and aging; gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions; and the pathophysiology of complex disease states. Here, we provide a brief overview of the major epigenetic mechanisms (ie, DNA methylation, histone modifications and chromatin remodeling, and non-coding RNA regulation). We highlight the nearly ubiquitous profiles of epigenetic dysregulation that have been found in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. We also review innovative methods and technologies that enable the characterization of individual epigenetic modifications and more widespread epigenomic states at high resolution. We conclude that, together with complementary genetic, genomic, and related approaches, interrogating epigenetic and epigenomic profiles in neurodegenerative diseases represent important and increasingly practical strategies for advancing our understanding of and the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders.

  20. Aberrant Protein S-Nitrosylation in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomohiro; Tu, Shichun; Akhtar, Mohd Waseem; Sunico, Carmen R.; Okamoto, Shu-ichi; Lipton, Stuart A.

    2013-01-01

    S-Nitrosylation is a redox-mediated posttranslational modification that regulates protein function via covalent reaction of nitric oxide (NO)-related species with a cysteine thiol group on the target protein. Under physiological conditions, S-nitrosylation can be an important modulator of signal transduction pathways, akin to phosphorylation. However, with aging or environmental toxins that generate excessive NO, aberrant S-nitrosylation reactions can occur and affect protein misfolding, mitochondrial fragmentation, synaptic function, apoptosis or autophagy. Here, we discuss how aberrantly S-nitrosylated proteins (SNO-proteins) play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Insight into the pathophysiological role of aberrant S-nitrosylation pathways will enhance our understanding of molecular mechanisms leading to neurodegenerative diseases and point to potential therapeutic interventions. PMID:23719160

  1. Therapeutic targeting of autophagy in neurodegenerative and infectious diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bento, Carla F.

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is a conserved process that uses double-membrane vesicles to deliver cytoplasmic contents to lysosomes for degradation. Although autophagy may impact many facets of human biology and disease, in this review we focus on the ability of autophagy to protect against certain neurodegenerative and infectious diseases. Autophagy enhances the clearance of toxic, cytoplasmic, aggregate-prone proteins and infectious agents. The beneficial roles of autophagy can now be extended to supporting cell survival and regulating inflammation. Autophagic control of inflammation is one area where autophagy may have similar benefits for both infectious and neurodegenerative diseases beyond direct removal of the pathogenic agents. Preclinical data supporting the potential therapeutic utility of autophagy modulation in such conditions is accumulating. PMID:26101267

  2. Cellular senescence in aging and age-related disease: from mechanisms to therapy

    PubMed Central

    Childs, Bennett G; Durik, Matej; Baker, Darren J; van Deursen, Jan M

    2016-01-01

    Cellular senescence, a process that imposes permanent proliferative arrest on cells in response to various stressors, has emerged as a potentially important contributor to aging and age-related disease, and it is an attractive target for therapeutic exploitation. A wealth of information about senescence in cultured cells has been acquired over the past half century; however, senescence in living organisms is poorly understood, largely because of technical limitations relating to the identification and characterization of senescent cells in tissues and organs. Furthermore, newly recognized beneficial signaling functions of senescence suggest that indiscriminately targeting senescent cells or modulating their secretome for anti-aging therapy may have negative consequences. Here we discuss current progress and challenges in understanding the stressors that induce senescence in vivo, the cell types that are prone to senesce, and the autocrine and paracrine properties of senescent cells in the contexts of aging and age-related diseases as well as disease therapy. PMID:26646499

  3. Cellular senescence in aging and age-related disease: from mechanisms to therapy.

    PubMed

    Childs, Bennett G; Durik, Matej; Baker, Darren J; van Deursen, Jan M

    2015-12-01

    Cellular senescence, a process that imposes permanent proliferative arrest on cells in response to various stressors, has emerged as a potentially important contributor to aging and age-related disease, and it is an attractive target for therapeutic exploitation. A wealth of information about senescence in cultured cells has been acquired over the past half century; however, senescence in living organisms is poorly understood, largely because of technical limitations relating to the identification and characterization of senescent cells in tissues and organs. Furthermore, newly recognized beneficial signaling functions of senescence suggest that indiscriminately targeting senescent cells or modulating their secretome for anti-aging therapy may have negative consequences. Here we discuss current progress and challenges in understanding the stressors that induce senescence in vivo, the cell types that are prone to senesce, and the autocrine and paracrine properties of senescent cells in the contexts of aging and age-related diseases as well as disease therapy.

  4. Potential application of lithium in Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lazzara, Carol A.; Kim, Yong-Hwan

    2015-01-01

    Lithium, the long-standing hallmark treatment for bipolar disorder, has recently been identified as a potential neuroprotective agent in neurodegeneration. Here we focus on introducing numerous in vitro and in vivo studies that have shown lithium treatment to be efficacious in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, increasing autophagy, inhibiting apoptosis, and decreasing the accumulation of α-synulcein, with an emphasis on Parkinson's disease. A number of biological pathways have been shown to be involved in causing these neuroprotective effects. The inhibition of GSK-3β has been the mechanism most studied; however, other modes of action include the regulation of apoptotic proteins and glutamate excitotoxicity as well as down-regulation of calpain. This review provides a framework of the neuroprotective effects of lithium in neurodegenerative diseases and the putative mechanisms by which lithium provides the protection. Lithium-only treatment may not be a suitable therapeutic option for neurodegenerative diseases due to inconsistent efficacy and potential side-effects, however, the use of low dose lithium in combination with other potential or existing therapeutic compounds may be a promising approach to reduce symptoms and disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26578864

  5. Protein-Remodeling Factors As Potential Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Meredith E.; Shorter, James

    2017-01-01

    Protein misfolding is implicated in numerous neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington's disease. A unifying feature of patients with these disorders is the accumulation of deposits comprised of misfolded protein. Aberrant protein folding can cause toxicity through a loss or gain of protein function, or both. An intriguing therapeutic approach to counter these disorders is the application of protein-remodeling factors to resolve these misfolded conformers and return the proteins to their native fold and function. Here, we describe the application of protein-remodeling factors to alleviate protein misfolding in neurodegenerative disease. We focus on Hsp104, Hsp110/Hsp70/Hsp40, NMNAT, and HtrA1, which can prevent and reverse protein aggregation. While many of these protein-remodeling systems are highly promising, their activity can be limited. Thus, engineering protein-remodeling factors to enhance their activity could be therapeutically valuable. Indeed, engineered Hsp104 variants suppress neurodegeneration in animal models, which opens the way to novel therapeutics and mechanistic probes to help understand neurodegenerative disease. PMID:28293166

  6. Role of oxidative stress and antioxidants in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Rao, A V; Balachandran, B

    2002-10-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) are a group of illness with diverse clinical importance and etiologies. NDD include motor neuron disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cerebellar disorders, Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), cortical destructive Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Schizophrenia. Numerous epidemiological and experimental studies provide many risk factors such as advanced age, genetic defects, abnormalities of antioxidant enzymes, excitotoxicity, cytoskeletal abnormalities, autoimmunity, mineral deficiencies, oxidative stress, metabolic toxicity, hypertension and other vascular disorders. Growing body of evidence implicates free radical toxicity, radical induced mutations and oxidative enzyme impairment and mitochondrial dysfunction due to congenital genetic defects in clinical manifestations of NDD. Accumulation of oxidative damage in neurons either primarily or secondarily may account for the increased incidence of NDD such as AD, ALS and stroke in aged populations. The molecular mechanisms of neuronal degeneration remain largely unknown and effective therapies are not currently available. Recent interest has focused on antioxidants such as carotenoids and in particular lycopene, a potent antioxidant in tomatoes and tomato products, flavonoids and vitamins as potentially useful agents in the management of human NDD. The pathobiology of neurodegenerative disorders with emphasis on genetic origin and its correlation with oxidative stress of neurodegenerative disorders will be reviewed and the reasons as to why brain constitutes a vulnerable site of oxidative damage will be discussed. The article will also discuss the potential free radical scavenger, mechanism of antioxidant action of lycopene and the need for the use of antioxidants in the prevention of NDD.

  7. Drosophila as an In Vivo Model for Human Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    McGurk, Leeanne; Berson, Amit; Bonini, Nancy M.

    2015-01-01

    With the increase in the ageing population, neurodegenerative disease is devastating to families and poses a huge burden on society. The brain and spinal cord are extraordinarily complex: they consist of a highly organized network of neuronal and support cells that communicate in a highly specialized manner. One approach to tackling problems of such complexity is to address the scientific questions in simpler, yet analogous, systems. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has been proven tremendously valuable as a model organism, enabling many major discoveries in neuroscientific disease research. The plethora of genetic tools available in Drosophila allows for exquisite targeted manipulation of the genome. Due to its relatively short lifespan, complex questions of brain function can be addressed more rapidly than in other model organisms, such as the mouse. Here we discuss features of the fly as a model for human neurodegenerative disease. There are many distinct fly models for a range of neurodegenerative diseases; we focus on select studies from models of polyglutamine disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that illustrate the type and range of insights that can be gleaned. In discussion of these models, we underscore strengths of the fly in providing understanding into mechanisms and pathways, as a foundation for translational and therapeutic research. PMID:26447127

  8. Epidemiology of mild traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Raquel C; Yaffe, Kristine

    2015-05-01

    Every year an estimated 42 million people worldwide suffer a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or concussion. More severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a well-established risk factor for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recently, large epidemiological studies have additionally identified MTBI as a risk factor for dementia. The role of MTBI in risk of PD or ALS is less well established. Repetitive MTBI and repetitive sub-concussive head trauma have been linked to increased risk for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a unique neurodegenerative tauopathy first described in boxers but more recently described in a variety of contact sport athletes, military veterans, and civilians exposed to repetitive MTBI. Studies of repetitive MTBI and CTE have been limited by referral bias, lack of consensus clinical criteria for CTE, challenges of quantifying MTBI exposure, and potential for confounding. The prevalence of CTE is unknown and the amount of MTBI or sub-concussive trauma exposure necessary to produce CTE is unclear. This review will summarize the current literature regarding the epidemiology of MTBI, post-TBI dementia and Parkinson's disease, and CTE while highlighting methodological challenges and critical future directions of research in this field. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:Traumatic Brain Injury.

  9. Age-related eye diseases: an emerging challenge for public health professionals.

    PubMed

    Gohdes, Dorothy M; Balamurugan, Appathurai; Larsen, Barbara A; Maylahn, Christopher

    2005-07-01

    In April 2004, The Eye Disease Prevalence Research Group published a series of articles that included age-specific estimates for the prevalence of low vision and blindness in whites, African Americans, and Hispanics living in the United States. Also included were age-, sex-, and ethnic-specific incidences of the following age-related eye diseases: diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. We reviewed the group's series of articles and highlighted key findings on the overall prevalence of and risk factors for age-related eye diseases, as well as opportunities to preserve and restore vision. We examined publications that show the public health impact of age-related eye diseases and the importance of projected increases in prevalence of low vision and blindness. Approximately 1 in 28 Americans aged older than 40 years is affected by low vision or blindness. Among community-dwelling adults, the prevalence of low vision and blindness increases dramatically with age in all racial and ethnic groups. Whites have higher rates of macular degeneration than African Americans, but glaucoma is more common among older African Americans. Between 2000 and 2020, the prevalence of blindness is expected to double. Age-related eye diseases are costly to treat, threaten the ability of older adults to live independently, and increase the risk for accidents and falls. To prevent vision loss and support rehabilitative services for people with low vision, it is imperative for the public health community to address the issue through surveillance, public education, and coordination of screening, examination, and treatment.

  10. Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 as a Target for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ziyan; Yan, Jingqi; Chang, Yanzhong; Yan, Shirley ShiDu; Shi, Honglian

    2011-01-01

    Hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a transcriptional factor responsible for cellular and tissue adaption to low oxygen tension. HIF-1, a heterodimer consisting of a constitutively expressed β subunit and an oxygen-regulated α subunit, regulates a series of genes that participate in angiogenesis, iron metabolism, glucose metabolism, and cell proliferation/survival. The activity of HIF-1 is controlled by post-translational modifications on different amino acid residues of its subunits, mainly the alpha subunit. Besides in ischemic stroke (see review [1]), emerging evidence has revealed that HIF-1 activity and expression of its down-stream genes, such as vascular endothelial growth factor and erythropoietin, are altered in a range of neurodegenerative diseases. At the same time, experimental and clinical evidence has demonstrated that regulating HIF-1 might ameliorate the cellular and tissue damage in the neurodegenerative diseases. These new findings suggest HIF-1 as a potential medicinal target for the neurodegenerative diseases. This review focuses on HIF-1α protein modifications and HIF-1’s potential neuroprotective roles in Alzheimer’s (AD), Parkinson’s (PD), Huntington’s diseases (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). PMID:21861815

  11. Role of Redox Signaling in Neuroinflammation and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Hsi-Lung; Yang, Chuen-Mao

    2013-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS), a redox signal, are produced by various enzymatic reactions and chemical processes, which are essential for many physiological functions and act as second messengers. However, accumulating evidence has implicated the pathogenesis of several human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders related to increased oxidative stress. Under pathological conditions, increasing ROS production can regulate the expression of diverse inflammatory mediators during brain injury. Elevated levels of several proinflammatory factors including cytokines, peptides, pathogenic structures, and peroxidants in the central nervous system (CNS) have been detected in patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). These proinflammatory factors act as potent stimuli in brain inflammation through upregulation of diverse inflammatory genes, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and adhesion molecules. To date, the intracellular signaling mechanisms underlying the expression of target proteins regulated by these factors are elusive. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms underlying the intracellular signaling pathways, especially ROS, involved in the expression of several inflammatory proteins induced by proinflammatory factors in brain resident cells. Understanding redox signaling transduction mechanisms involved in the expression of target proteins and genes may provide useful therapeutic strategies for brain injury, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24455696

  12. Neuronal network disintegration: common pathways linking neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Rebekah M; Devenney, Emma M; Irish, Muireann; Ittner, Arne; Naismith, Sharon; Ittner, Lars M; Rohrer, Jonathan D; Halliday, Glenda M; Eisen, Andrew; Hodges, John R; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegeneration refers to a heterogeneous group of brain disorders that progressively evolve. It has been increasingly appreciated that many neurodegenerative conditions overlap at multiple levels and therefore traditional clinicopathological correlation approaches to better classify a disease have met with limited success. Neuronal network disintegration is fundamental to neurodegeneration, and concepts based around such a concept may better explain the overlap between their clinical and pathological phenotypes. In this Review, promoters of overlap in neurodegeneration incorporating behavioural, cognitive, metabolic, motor, and extrapyramidal presentations will be critically appraised. In addition, evidence that may support the existence of large-scale networks that might be contributing to phenotypic differentiation will be considered across a neurodegenerative spectrum. Disintegration of neuronal networks through different pathological processes, such as prion-like spread, may provide a better paradigm of disease and thereby facilitate the identification of novel therapies for neurodegeneration. PMID:27172939

  13. Stem cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Dantuma, Elise; Merchant, Stephanie; Sugaya, Kiminobu

    2010-12-10

    Stem cells offer an enormous pool of resources for the understanding of the human body. One proposed use of stem cells has been as an autologous therapy. The use of stem cells for neurodegenerative diseases has become of interest. Clinical applications of stem cells for Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis will increase in the coming years, and although great care will need to be taken when moving forward with prospective treatments, the application of stem cells is highly promising.

  14. Neural Substrates of Spontaneous Narrative Production in Focal Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Gola, Kelly A.; Thorne, Avril; Veldhuisen, Lisa D.; Felix, Cordula M.; Hankinson, Sarah; Pham, Julie; Shany-Ur, Tal; Schauer, Guido P.; Stanley, Christine M.; Glenn, Shenly; Miller, Bruce L.; Rankin, Katherine P.

    2016-01-01

    Conversational storytelling integrates diverse cognitive and socio-emotional abilities that critically differ across neurodegenerative disease groups and may have diagnostic relevance and predict anatomic changes. The present study employed mixed methods discourse and quantitative analyses to delineate patterns of storytelling across focal neurodegenerative disease groups, and to clarify the neuroanatomical contributions to common storytelling characteristics in these patients. Transcripts of spontaneous social interactions of 46 participants (15 behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 7 semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), 12 Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 12 healthy older normal controls) were analysed for storytelling characteristics and frequency, and videos of the interactions were rated for patients' social attentiveness. Compared to controls, svPPAs also told more stories and autobiographical stories, and perseverated on aspects of self during storytelling. ADs told fewer autobiographical stories than NCs, and svPPAs and bvFTDs failed to attend to social cues. Storytelling characteristics were associated with a processing speed and mental flexibility, and voxel-based anatomic analysis of structural magnetic resonance imaging revealed that temporal organization, evaluations, and social attention correlated with atrophy corresponding to known intrinsic connectivity networks, including the default mode, limbic, salience, and stable task control networks. Differences in spontaneous storytelling among neurodegenerative groups elucidated diverse cognitive, socio-emotional, and neural contributions to narrative production, with implications for diagnostic screening and therapeutic intervention. PMID:26485159

  15. Neural substrates of spontaneous narrative production in focal neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Gola, Kelly A; Thorne, Avril; Veldhuisen, Lisa D; Felix, Cordula M; Hankinson, Sarah; Pham, Julie; Shany-Ur, Tal; Schauer, Guido P; Stanley, Christine M; Glenn, Shenly; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2015-12-01

    Conversational storytelling integrates diverse cognitive and socio-emotional abilities that critically differ across neurodegenerative disease groups. Storytelling patterns may have diagnostic relevance and predict anatomic changes. The present study employed mixed methods discourse and quantitative analyses to delineate patterns of storytelling across focal neurodegenerative disease groups, and to clarify the neuroanatomical contributions to common storytelling characteristics. Transcripts of spontaneous social interactions of 46 participants (15 behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 7 semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), 12 Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 12 healthy older normal controls (NC)) were analyzed for storytelling frequency and characteristics, and videos of the interactions were rated for patients' level of social attentiveness. Compared to controls, svPPAs told more stories and autobiographical stories, and perseverated on aspects of self during the interaction, whereas ADs told fewer autobiographical stories than NCs. svPPAs and bvFTDs were rated as less attentive to social cues. Aspects of storytelling were related to diverse cognitive and socio-emotional functions, and voxel-based anatomic analysis of structural magnetic resonance imaging revealed that temporal organization, narrative evaluations patterns, and social attentiveness correlated with atrophy corresponding to known intrinsic connectivity networks, including the default mode, limbic, salience, and stable task control networks. Differences in spontaneous storytelling among neurodegenerative groups elucidated diverse cognitive, socio-emotional, and neural contributions to narrative production, with implications for diagnostic screening and therapeutic intervention.

  16. Compromised respiratory adaptation and thermoregulation in aging and age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Chan, Sic L; Wei, Zelan; Chigurupati, Srinivasulu; Tu, Weihong

    2010-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production are at the heart of the aging process and are thought to underpin age-related diseases. Mitochondria are not only the primary energy-generating system but also the dominant cellular source of metabolically derived ROS. Recent studies unravel the existence of mechanisms that serve to modulate the balance between energy metabolism and ROS production. Among these is the regulation of proton conductance across the inner mitochondrial membrane that affects the efficiency of respiration and heat production. The field of mitochondrial respiration research has provided important insight into the role of altered energy balance in obesity and diabetes. The notion that respiration and oxidative capacity are mechanistically linked is making significant headway into the field of aging and age-related diseases. Here we review the regulation of cellular energy and ROS balance in biological systems and survey some of the recent relevant studies that suggest that respiratory adaptation and thermodynamics are important in aging and age-related diseases.

  17. Common cell biologic and biochemical changes in aging and age-related diseases of the eye: Toward new therapeutic approaches to age-related ocular diseases

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reviews of information about age related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, and glaucoma make it apparent that while each eye tissue has its own characteristic metabolism, structure and function, there are common perturbations to homeostasis that are associated with age-related dysfunction. The c...

  18. Use of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to study Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Adanna G.; Marfil, Vanessa; Li, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Advances in research and technology has increased our quality of life, allowed us to combat diseases, and achieve increased longevity. Unfortunately, increased longevity is accompanied by a rise in the incidences of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is the sixth leading cause of death, and one of the leading causes of dementia amongst the aged population in the USA. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by the prevalence of extracellular Aβ plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, derived from the proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the hyperphosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein tau, respectively. Despite years of extensive research, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathology of AD remain unclear. Model organisms, such as the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, present a complementary approach to addressing these questions. C. elegans has many advantages as a model system to study AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Like their mammalian counterparts, they have complex biochemical pathways, most of which are conserved. Genes in which mutations are correlated with AD have counterparts in C. elegans, including an APP-related gene, apl-1, a tau homolog, ptl-1, and presenilin homologs, such as sel-12 and hop-1. Since the neuronal connectivity in C. elegans has already been established, C. elegans is also advantageous in modeling learning and memory impairments seen during AD. This article addresses the insights C. elegans provide in studying AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, we explore the advantages and drawbacks associated with using this model. PMID:25250042

  19. Single-Chain Fragment Variable Passive Immunotherapies for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Liang; Su, Xiaomin; Federoff, Howard J.

    2013-01-01

    Accumulation of misfolded proteins has been implicated in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including prion diseases, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Huntington’s disease (HD). In the past decade, single-chain fragment variable (scFv) -based immunotherapies have been developed to target abnormal proteins or various forms of protein aggregates including Aβ, SNCA, Htt, and PrP proteins. The scFvs are produced by fusing the variable regions of the antibody heavy and light chains, creating a much smaller protein with unaltered specificity. Because of its small size and relative ease of production, scFvs are promising diagnostic and therapeutic reagents for protein misfolded diseases. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of scFvs in preventing amyloid protein aggregation in preclinical models. Herein, we discuss recent developments of these immunotherapeutics. We review efforts of our group and others using scFv in neurodegenerative disease models. We illustrate the advantages of scFvs, including engineering to enhance misfolded conformer specificity and subcellular targeting to optimize therapeutic action. PMID:24048248

  20. Innate immunity and inflammation in ageing: a key for understanding age-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Licastro, Federico; Candore, Giuseppina; Lio, Domenico; Porcellini, Elisa; Colonna-Romano, Giuseppina; Franceschi, Claudio; Caruso, Calogero

    2005-01-01

    The process of maintaining life for the individual is a constant struggle to preserve his/her integrity. This can come at a price when immunity is involved, namely systemic inflammation. Inflammation is not per se a negative phenomenon: it is the response of the immune system to the invasion of viruses or bacteria and other pathogens. During evolution the human organism was set to live 40 or 50 years; today, however, the immune system must remain active for much a longer time. This very long activity leads to a chronic inflammation that slowly but inexorably damages one or several organs: this is a typical phenomenon linked to ageing and it is considered the major risk factor for age-related chronic diseases. Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes and even sarcopenia and cancer, just to mention a few – have an important inflammatory component, though disease progression seems also dependent on the genetic background of individuals. Emerging evidence suggests that pro-inflammatory genotypes are related to unsuccessful ageing, and, reciprocally, controlling inflammatory status may allow a better chance of successful ageing. In other words, age-related diseases are "the price we pay" for a life-long active immune system: this system has also the potential to harm us later, as its fine tuning becomes compromised. Our immune system has evolved to control pathogens, so pro-inflammatory responses are likely to be evolutionarily programmed to resist fatal infections with pathogens aggressively. Thus, inflammatory genotypes are an important and necessary part of the normal host responses to pathogens in early life, but the overproduction of inflammatory molecules might also cause immune-related inflammatory diseases and eventually death later. Therefore, low responder genotypes involved in regulation of innate defence mechanisms, might better control inflammatory responses and age-related disease development, resulting in an increased chance of long life survival

  1. Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis, Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases: Possible Strategies to Prevent Cognitive Impairment.

    PubMed

    Vivar, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    The adult brain of humans and other mammals continuously generates new neurons throughout life. However, this neurogenic capacity is limited to two brain areas, the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampus and the subventricular zone (SVZ of the lateral ventricle. Although the DG generates new neurons, its neurogenic capacity declines with age and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD and Huntington's disease (HD. This review focuses on the role of newly-born neurons in cognitive processes, and discusses some of the strategies proposed in humans and animals to enhance neurogenesis and counteract age-related cognitive deficits, such as physical exercise and intake of natural products like omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin and flavanols.

  2. Discover the network mechanisms underlying the connections between aging and age-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jialiang; Huang, Tao; Song, Won-min; Petralia, Francesca; Mobbs, Charles V.; Zhang, Bin; Zhao, Yong; Schadt, Eric E.; Zhu, Jun; Tu, Zhidong

    2016-01-01

    Although our knowledge of aging has greatly expanded in the past decades, it remains elusive why and how aging contributes to the development of age-related diseases (ARDs). In particular, a global mechanistic understanding of the connections between aging and ARDs is yet to be established. We rely on a network modelling named “GeroNet” to study the connections between aging and more than a hundred diseases. By evaluating topological connections between aging genes and disease genes in over three thousand subnetworks corresponding to various biological processes, we show that aging has stronger connections with ARD genes compared to non-ARD genes in subnetworks corresponding to “response to decreased oxygen levels”, “insulin signalling pathway”, “cell cycle”, etc. Based on subnetwork connectivity, we can correctly “predict” if a disease is age-related and prioritize the biological processes that are involved in connecting to multiple ARDs. Using Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as an example, GeroNet identifies meaningful genes that may play key roles in connecting aging and ARDs. The top modules identified by GeroNet in AD significantly overlap with modules identified from a large scale AD brain gene expression experiment, supporting that GeroNet indeed reveals the underlying biological processes involved in the disease. PMID:27582315

  3. Is TNF a link between aging-related reproductive endocrine dyscrasia and Alzheimer's disease?

    PubMed

    Clark, Ian A; Atwood, Craig S

    2011-01-01

    This commentary addresses a novel mechanism by which aging-related changes in reproductive hormones could mediate their action in the brain. It presents the evidence that dyotic endocrine signals modulate the expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and related cytokines, and that these cytokines are a functionally important downstream link mediating neurodegeneration and dysfunction. This convergence of dyotic signaling on TNF-mediated degeneration and dysfunction has important implications for understanding the pathophysiology of AD, stroke, and traumatic brain disease, and also for the treatment of these diseases.

  4. [The relationship between the polymorphism of immunity genes and both aging and age-related diseases].

    PubMed

    Ruan, Qing-Wei; Yu, Zhuo-Wei; Bao, Zhi-Jun; Ma, Yong-Xing

    2013-07-01

    Aging is acommon, progressive and irreversible state of multi-cell dysfunction. Immune aging mainly includes the declines of regenerative capacity and lymphoid lineage differentiation potential, the hyporesponsive to infection and vaccination, the hyperresponsive in the context of inflammatory pathology, and the increased risk of autoimmunity. The dysfunction of aged immune system accelerates the occurrence of aging and age-related diseases. The mutation of immunity genes that affect immune responses accelerates or slows aging process and age-related diseases. The frequencies of acquired immunity genes, such as immune protective HLA II DRB1*11 and DRB*16-associated haplotype, are increased in the longevity populations. The increased susceptibility of immune inflammatory response, morbidity and mortality in the elderly is often associated with decreased frequencies of anti-inflammatory factor IL-10 -1082G allele, TNF-β1 haplotype cnd10T/C, cnd25G/G, -988C/C, -800G/A, low proinflammatory fator TNFa level related extended TNF-A genotype -1031C/C, -863C/A, -857C/C, IL-6-174 CC and IFN-γ+874 T allele as well. The innate immunity genes, such as highly expressed anti-inflammatory +896 G KIR4 allele, CCR5Δ32 variant, -765 C Cox-2 allele, -1708 G and 21 C 5-Lox alleles are detected in centenarians. In age-related diseases, a higher CMV-specific IgG antibody level in elderly individuals is associated with a decreased frequency of KIR haplotypes KIR2DS5 and A1B10 and an increased frequency of MBL2 haplotypes LYPB, LYQC and HYPD that result in the absence of MBL2 protein. The increased frequencies of CRP ATG haplotypes and CFH 402 His allele indicate high mortality in the elderly. In the present study, we review the advances in the polymorphism and haplotype of innate and adoptive immunity genes, and their association with both aging and age-related diseases. To strengthen the analysis of extended haplotypes, epigenetic studies of immunity genes and genetic study of

  5. RNAi applications in therapy development for neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, M M

    2009-01-01

    RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) is a powerful tool for experimental manipulation of gene expression and is widely used to investigate gene function both in vitro and in vivo. RNAi refers to an evolutionarily conserved cellular mechanism for sequence-specific post-transcriptional gene silencing, in which double-stranded RNAs promote selective degradation of homologous cellular mRNAs. Because RNAi-based techniques can be employed to reduce expression of specific genes, this approach holds great promise as a therapy for diverse diseases, including devastating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Importantly, in recent years RNAi has also emerged as a key tool in target identification and validation studies designed to complement traditional (i.e., small molecule-based) drug development strategies. These studies harness the power of RNAi-mediated reverse genetics to probe disease-associated pathways in both cell-based and animal models, and thus may provide critical data needed to focus drug development efforts around disease-relevant targets. This review highlights recent progress in the preclinical development of RNAi-based therapeutics for neurodegenerative disease and discusses the particular challenges that disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) pose for this approach. It further describes current applications of RNAi techniques for target identification and validation studies and underscores the importance of this methodology to developing treatments for neurological diseases.

  6. Hormone Replacement Therapy and Risk for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Dye, Richelin V.; Miller, Karen J.; Singer, Elyse J.; Levine, Andrew J.

    2012-01-01

    Over the past two decades, there has been a significant amount of research investigating the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with regards to neurodegenerative disease. Here, we review basic science studies, randomized clinical trials, and epidemiological studies, and discuss the putative neuroprotective effects of HRT in the context of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder. Findings to date suggest a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and improved cognitive functioning of postmenopausal women who use 17β-estradiol. With regards to Parkinson's disease, there is consistent evidence from basic science studies for a neuroprotective effect of 17β-estradiol; however, results of clinical and epidemiological studies are inconclusive at this time, and there is a paucity of research examining the association between HRT and Parkinson's-related neurocognitive impairment. Even less understood are the effects of HRT on risk for frontotemporal dementia and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder. Limits to the existing research are discussed, along with proposed future directions for the investigation of HRT and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22548198

  7. Mitochondrial Quality Control: Decommissioning Power Plants in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarti, Oishee

    2013-01-01

    The cell has an intricate quality control system to protect its mitochondria from oxidative stress. This surveillance system is multi-tiered and comprises molecules that are present inside the mitochondria, in the cytosol, and in other organelles like the nucleus and endoplasmic reticulum. These molecules cross talk with each other and protect the mitochondria from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a fundamental part of early disease pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. These disorders also damage the cellular quality control machinery that protects the cell against oxidative stress. This exacerbates the oxidative damage and causes extensive neuronal cell death that is characteristic of neurodegeneration. PMID:24288463

  8. Pathogenic protein seeding in Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Jucker, Mathias; Walker, Lary C

    2011-10-01

    The misfolding and aggregation of specific proteins is a seminal occurrence in a remarkable variety of neurodegenerative disorders. In Alzheimer disease (the most prevalent cerebral proteopathy), the two principal aggregating proteins are β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau. The abnormal assemblies formed by conformational variants of these proteins range in size from small oligomers to the characteristic lesions that are visible by optical microscopy, such as senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Pathologic similarities with prion disease suggest that the formation and spread of these proteinaceous lesions might involve a common molecular mechanism-corruptive protein templating. Experimentally, cerebral β-amyloidosis can be exogenously induced by exposure to dilute brain extracts containing aggregated Aβ seeds. The amyloid-inducing agent probably is Aβ itself, in a conformation generated most effectively in the living brain. Once initiated, Aβ lesions proliferate within and among brain regions. The induction process is governed by the structural and biochemical nature of the Aβ seed, as well as the attributes of the host, reminiscent of pathogenically variant prion strains. The concept of prionlike induction and spreading of pathogenic proteins recently has been expanded to include aggregates of tau, α-synuclein, huntingtin, superoxide dismutase-1, and TDP-43, which characterize such human neurodegenerative disorders as frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Parkinson/Lewy body disease, Huntington disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Our recent finding that the most effective Aβ seeds are small and soluble intensifies the search in bodily fluids for misfolded protein seeds that are upstream in the proteopathic cascade, and thus could serve as predictive diagnostics and the targets of early, mechanism-based interventions. Establishing the clinical implications of corruptive protein templating will require further mechanistic and epidemiologic investigations

  9. The role of the Wnt canonical signaling in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Libro, Rosaliana; Bramanti, Placido; Mazzon, Emanuela

    2016-08-01

    The Wnt/β-catenin or Wnt canonical pathway controls multiple biological processes throughout development and adult life. Growing evidences have suggested that deregulation of the Wnt canonical pathway could be involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. The Wnt canonical signaling is a pathway tightly regulated, which activation results in the inhibition of the Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β (GSK-3β) function and in increased β-catenin activity, that migrates into the nucleus, activating the transcription of the Wnt target genes. Conversely, when the Wnt canonical pathway is turned off, increased levels of GSK-3β promote β-catenin degradation. Hence, GSK-3β could be considered as a key regulator of the Wnt canonical pathway. Of note, GSK-3β has also been involved in the modulation of inflammation and apoptosis, determining the delicate balance between immune tolerance/inflammation and neuronal survival/neurodegeneration. In this review, we have summarized the current acknowledgements about the role of the Wnt canonical pathway in the pathogenesis of some neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, cerebral ischemia, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, with particular regard to the main in vitro and in vivo studies in this field, by reviewing 85 research articles about.

  10. Targeting New Candidate Genes by Small Molecules Approaching Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Hueng-Chuen; Chi, Ching-Shiang; Cheng, Shin-Nan; Lee, Hsiu-Fen; Tsai, Jeng-Dau; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Harn, Horng-Jyh

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are among the most feared of the disorders that afflict humankind for the lack of specific diagnostic tests and effective treatments. Understanding the molecular, cellular, biochemical changes of NDs may hold therapeutic promise against debilitating central nerve system (CNS) disorders. In the present review, we summarized the clinical presentations and biology backgrounds of NDs, including Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and explored the role of molecular mechanisms, including dys-regulation of epigenetic control mechanisms, Ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated protein kinase (ATM), and neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of NDs. Targeting these mechanisms may hold therapeutic promise against these devastating diseases. PMID:26712747

  11. Genome-Wide Scan Informed by Age-Related Disease Identifies Loci for Exceptional Human Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Fortney, Kristen; Dobriban, Edgar; Garagnani, Paolo; Pirazzini, Chiara; Monti, Daniela; Mari, Daniela; Atzmon, Gil; Barzilai, Nir; Franceschi, Claudio; Owen, Art B.; Kim, Stuart K.

    2015-01-01

    We developed a new statistical framework to find genetic variants associated with extreme longevity. The method, informed GWAS (iGWAS), takes advantage of knowledge from large studies of age-related disease in order to narrow the search for SNPs associated with longevity. To gain support for our approach, we first show there is an overlap between loci involved in disease and loci associated with extreme longevity. These results indicate that several disease variants may be depleted in centenarians versus the general population. Next, we used iGWAS to harness information from 14 meta-analyses of disease and trait GWAS to identify longevity loci in two studies of long-lived humans. In a standard GWAS analysis, only one locus in these studies is significant (APOE/TOMM40) when controlling the false discovery rate (FDR) at 10%. With iGWAS, we identify eight genetic loci to associate significantly with exceptional human longevity at FDR < 10%. We followed up the eight lead SNPs in independent cohorts, and found replication evidence of four loci and suggestive evidence for one more with exceptional longevity. The loci that replicated (FDR < 5%) included APOE/TOMM40 (associated with Alzheimer’s disease), CDKN2B/ANRIL (implicated in the regulation of cellular senescence), ABO (tags the O blood group), and SH2B3/ATXN2 (a signaling gene that extends lifespan in Drosophila and a gene involved in neurological disease). Our results implicate new loci in longevity and reveal a genetic overlap between longevity and age-related diseases and traits, including coronary artery disease and Alzheimer’s disease. iGWAS provides a new analytical strategy for uncovering SNPs that influence extreme longevity, and can be applied more broadly to boost power in other studies of complex phenotypes. PMID:26677855

  12. Age-related changes and diseases of the ocular surface and cornea.

    PubMed

    Gipson, Ilene K

    2013-12-13

    Aging of the ocular surface and corneal tissues, major components of the visual system, causes major eye disease and results in substantial cost in medical and social terms. These diseases include the highly prevalent dry eye disease that affects the ocular surface and its glands, leading to tear film alterations, discomfort, and decreased vision. Studies show that 14.4% of the population in the United States older than 50 years have dry eye disease and demonstrate that it is particularly prevalent among women. Annual medical costs per patient with dry eye in the United States are estimated at $783 per year, with an overall medical cost adjusted to prevalence of $3.84 billion per year. Societal costs, which include loss of productivity, are estimated per patient at $11,302 per year, with overall costs adjusted to prevalence of $55.4 billion per year. Because there are few effective treatments for the disease, more research on its etiology and mechanisms is warranted and needed. Increased public education about risk factors for the disease is also required. Another major age-related eye disease of the cornea that leads to vision impairment and potentially blindness if left untreated is Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy. This disease leads to loss of the endothelial cells on the internal side of the cornea that are responsible for keeping the cornea in the proper hydration state to ensure its transparency to light. The mechanism of cell loss is unknown, and the only treatment available to date is surgical transplantation of the cornea or inner part of the cornea. These medically costly procedures require donor corneas, eye banking, and medical follow-up, with accrued costs. Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy is a major cause of corneal transplantation in the United States; therefore, research support is needed to determine the mechanism of this age-related disease, to develop medical, nonsurgical methods for treatment.

  13. Genome-Wide Scan Informed by Age-Related Disease Identifies Loci for Exceptional Human Longevity.

    PubMed

    Fortney, Kristen; Dobriban, Edgar; Garagnani, Paolo; Pirazzini, Chiara; Monti, Daniela; Mari, Daniela; Atzmon, Gil; Barzilai, Nir; Franceschi, Claudio; Owen, Art B; Kim, Stuart K

    2015-12-01

    We developed a new statistical framework to find genetic variants associated with extreme longevity. The method, informed GWAS (iGWAS), takes advantage of knowledge from large studies of age-related disease in order to narrow the search for SNPs associated with longevity. To gain support for our approach, we first show there is an overlap between loci involved in disease and loci associated with extreme longevity. These results indicate that several disease variants may be depleted in centenarians versus the general population. Next, we used iGWAS to harness information from 14 meta-analyses of disease and trait GWAS to identify longevity loci in two studies of long-lived humans. In a standard GWAS analysis, only one locus in these studies is significant (APOE/TOMM40) when controlling the false discovery rate (FDR) at 10%. With iGWAS, we identify eight genetic loci to associate significantly with exceptional human longevity at FDR < 10%. We followed up the eight lead SNPs in independent cohorts, and found replication evidence of four loci and suggestive evidence for one more with exceptional longevity. The loci that replicated (FDR < 5%) included APOE/TOMM40 (associated with Alzheimer's disease), CDKN2B/ANRIL (implicated in the regulation of cellular senescence), ABO (tags the O blood group), and SH2B3/ATXN2 (a signaling gene that extends lifespan in Drosophila and a gene involved in neurological disease). Our results implicate new loci in longevity and reveal a genetic overlap between longevity and age-related diseases and traits, including coronary artery disease and Alzheimer's disease. iGWAS provides a new analytical strategy for uncovering SNPs that influence extreme longevity, and can be applied more broadly to boost power in other studies of complex phenotypes.

  14. Nutritional Considerations for Healthy Aging and Reduction in Age-Related Chronic Disease.

    PubMed

    Shlisky, Julie; Bloom, David E; Beaudreault, Amy R; Tucker, Katherine L; Keller, Heather H; Freund-Levi, Yvonne; Fielding, Roger A; Cheng, Feon W; Jensen, Gordon L; Wu, Dayong; Meydani, Simin N

    2017-01-01

    A projected doubling in the global population of people aged ≥60 y by the year 2050 has major health and economic implications, especially in developing regions. Burdens of unhealthy aging associated with chronic noncommunicable and other age-related diseases may be largely preventable with lifestyle modification, including diet. However, as adults age they become at risk of "nutritional frailty," which can compromise their ability to meet nutritional requirements at a time when specific nutrient needs may be high. This review highlights the role of nutrition science in promoting healthy aging and in improving the prognosis in cases of age-related diseases. It serves to identify key knowledge gaps and implementation challenges to support adequate nutrition for healthy aging, including applicability of metrics used in body-composition and diet adequacy for older adults and mechanisms to reduce nutritional frailty and to promote diet resilience. This review also discusses management recommendations for several leading chronic conditions common in aging populations, including cognitive decline and dementia, sarcopenia, and compromised immunity to infectious disease. The role of health systems in incorporating nutrition care routinely for those aged ≥60 y and living independently and current actions to address nutritional status before hospitalization and the development of disease are discussed.

  15. Perspectives of Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Age-Related Retinal Degenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Holan, Vladimir; Hermankova, Barbora; Kossl, Jan

    2017-03-17

    Retinal degenerative diseases, which include age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, mostly affect the elderly population, and are the most common cause of decreased quality of vision or even blindness. So far, there is no satisfactory treatment protocol to prevent, stop or cure these disorders. A great hope and promise for patients suffering from retinal diseases is represented by stem cell-based therapy which could replace diseased or missing retinal cells, and support regeneration. In this respect, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which can be obtained from the particular patient, and used as autologous cells, have turned out to be a promising stem cell type for treatment. Here we show that MSCs can differentiate into cells expressing markers of retinal cells, inhibit production of proinflammatory cytokines by retinal tissue and produce a number of growth and neuroprotective factors for retinal regeneration. All of these properties make MSCs a prospective cell type for cell-based therapy of age-related retinal degenerative diseases.

  16. Role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor in age-related lung disease.

    PubMed

    Sauler, Maor; Bucala, Richard; Lee, Patty J

    2015-07-01

    The prevalence of many common respiratory disorders, including pneumonia, chronic obstructive lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, and lung cancer, increases with age. Little is known of the host factors that may predispose individuals to such diseases. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a potent upstream regulator of the immune system. MIF is encoded by variant alleles that occur commonly in the population. In addition to its role as a proinflammatory cytokine, a growing body of literature demonstrates that MIF influences diverse molecular processes important for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis and may influence the incidence or clinical manifestations of a variety of chronic lung diseases. This review highlights the biological properties of MIF and its implication in age-related lung disease.

  17. Regulation of protein homeostasis in neurodegenerative diseases: the role of coding and non-coding genes.

    PubMed

    Sin, Olga; Nollen, Ellen A A

    2015-11-01

    Protein homeostasis is fundamental for cell function and survival, because proteins are involved in all aspects of cellular function, ranging from cell metabolism and cell division to the cell's response to environmental challenges. Protein homeostasis is tightly regulated by the synthesis, folding, trafficking and clearance of proteins, all of which act in an orchestrated manner to ensure proteome stability. The protein quality control system is enhanced by stress response pathways, which take action whenever the proteome is challenged by environmental or physiological stress. Aging, however, damages the proteome, and such proteome damage is thought to be associated with aging-related diseases. In this review, we discuss the different cellular processes that define the protein quality control system and focus on their role in protein conformational diseases. We highlight the power of using small organisms to model neurodegenerative diseases and how these models can be exploited to discover genetic modulators of protein aggregation and toxicity. We also link findings from small model organisms to the situation in higher organisms and describe how some of the genetic modifiers discovered in organisms such as worms are functionally conserved throughout evolution. Finally, we demonstrate that the non-coding genome also plays a role in maintaining protein homeostasis. In all, this review highlights the importance of protein and RNA homeostasis in neurodegenerative diseases.

  18. The Endocannabinoid System: A Putative Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Di Iorio, Giuseppe; Lupi, Matteo; Sarchione, Fabiola; Matarazzo, Ilaria; Santacroce, Rita; Petruccelli, Filippo; Martinotti, Giovanni; Di Giannantonio, Massimo

    2013-01-01

    Background: Following the characterization of the chemical structure of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of marijuana, researchers have moved on with scientific valuable explorations. Objectives: The aim of this review is to highlight the role of endocannabinoid system in neurodegenerative diseases. Materials and Methods: The article is a critical analysis of the most recent data currently present in scientific literature on the subject; a qualitative synthesis of only the most significant articles has been performed. Results: In central nervous system, endocannabinoids show a neuromodulatory function, often of retrograde type. This way, they play an important role in synaptic plasticity and in cognitive, motor, sensory and affective processes. In addition, in some acute or chronic pathologies of central nervous system, such as neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases, endocannabinoids can perform a pro-homeostatic and neuroprotective function, through the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Scientific evidence shows that an hypofunction or a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may be responsible for some of the symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Conclusions: The important role played by endocannabinoid system promises interesting developments, in particular to evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs in both psychiatry and neurology. PMID:24971285

  19. Genetic determinants at the interface of cancer and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Morris, LGT; Veeriah, S; Chan, TA

    2010-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that oncogenesis and neurodegeneration may share common mechanistic foundations. Recent evidence now reveals a number of genes in which alteration leads to either carcinogenesis or neurodegeneration, depending on cellular context. Pathways that have emerged as having critical roles in both cancer and neurodegenerative disease include those involving genes such as PARK2, ATM, PTEN, PTPRD, and mTOR. A number of mechanisms have been implicated, and commonly affected cellular processes include cell cycle regulation, DNA repair, and response to oxidative stress. For example, we have recently shown that the E3 ubiquitin ligase PARK2 is mutated or deleted in many different human malignancies and helps drive loss on chromosome 6q25.2–27, a genomic region frequently deleted in cancers. Mutation in PARK2 is also the most common cause of juvenile Parkinson’s disease. Mutations in PARK2 result in an upregulation of its substrate cyclin E, resulting in dysregulated entry into the cell cycle. In neurons, this process results in cell death, but in cycling cells, the result is a growth advantage. Thus, depending on whether the cell affected is a dividing cell or a post-mitotic neuron, responses to these alterations may differ, ultimately leading to varying disease phenotypes. Here, we review the substantial data implicating specific genes in both cancer and neurodegenerative disease. PMID:20418918

  20. Mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases associated with copper imbalance.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Luisa; Lombardo, Marco F; Ciriolo, Maria R; Rotilio, Giuseppe

    2004-03-01

    Copper is an essential transition metal ion for the function of key metabolic enzymes, but its uncontrolled redox reactivity is source of reactive oxygen species. Therefore a network of transporters strictly controls the trafficking of copper in living systems. Deficit, excess, or aberrant coordination of copper are conditions that may be detrimental, especially for neuronal cells, which are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress. Indeed, the genetic disturbances of copper homeostasis, Menkes' and Wilson's diseases, are associated with neurodegeneration. Furthermore, copper interacts with the proteins that are the hallmarks of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, prion diseases, and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In all cases, copper-mediated oxidative stress is linked to mitochondrial dysfunction, which is a common feature of neurodegeneration. In particular we recently demonstrated that in copper deficiency, mitochondrial function is impaired due to decreased activity of cytochrome c oxidase, leading to production of reactive oxygen species, which in turn triggers mitochondria-mediated apoptotic neurodegeneration.

  1. What can we learn about age-related macular degeneration from other retinal diseases?

    PubMed

    Zack, D J; Dean, M; Molday, R S; Nathans, J; Redmond, T M; Stone, E M; Swaroop, A; Valle, D; Weber, B H

    1999-11-03

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is increasingly recognized as a complex genetic disorder in which one or more genes contribute to an individual's susceptibility for developing the condition. Twin and family studies as well as population-based genetic epidemiologic methods have convincingly demonstrated the importance of genetics in AMD, though the extent of heritability, the number of genes involved, and the phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of the condition remain unresolved. The extent to which other hereditary macular dystrophies such as Stargardts disease, familial radial drusen (malattia leventinese), Best's disease, and peripherin/RDS-related dystrophy are related to AMD remains unclear. Alzheimer's disease, another late onset, heterogeneous degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, offers a valuable model for identifying the issues that confront AMD genetics.

  2. Small molecule SIRT1 activators for the treatment of aging and age-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Hubbard, Basil P.; Sinclair, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies in mice have identified single molecules that can delay multiple diseases of aging and extend lifespan. In theory, such molecules could prevent dozens of diseases simultaneously, significantly extending healthy years of life. In this review we discuss recent advances, controversies, opportunities, and challenges surrounding the development of SIRT1 activators, molecules with the potential to delay aging and age-related diseases. Sirtuins comprise a family of NAD+-dependent deacylases that are central to the body’s response to diet and exercise. New studies indicate that both natural and synthetic sirtuin activating compounds (STACs) work via a common allosteric mechanism to stimulate sirtuin activity, thereby conferring broad health benefits in rodents, primates, and possibly humans. The fact that the two-thirds of people in the USA who consume multiple dietary supplements consume resveratrol, a SIRT1 activator, underscores the importance of understanding the biochemical mechanism, physiological effects, and safety of STACs. PMID:24439680

  3. Multifaceted effects of aluminium in neurodegenerative diseases: A review.

    PubMed

    Maya, S; Prakash, T; Madhu, Krishna Das; Goli, Divakar

    2016-10-01

    Aluminium (Al) is the most common metal and widely distributed in our environment. Al was first isolated as an element in 1827, and its use began only after 1886. Al is widely used for industrial applications and consumer products. Apart from these it is also used in cooking utensils and in pharmacological agents, including antacids and antiperspirants from which the element usually enters into the human body. Evidence for the neurotoxicity of Al is described in various studies, but still the exact mechanism of Al toxicity is not known. However, the evidence suggests that the Al can potentiate oxidative stress and inflammatory events and finally leads to cell death. Al is considered as a well-established neurotoxin and have a link between the exposure and development of neurodegenerative diseases, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia, Gulf war syndrome and Parkinsonism. Here, we review the detailed possible pathogenesis of Al neurotoxicity. This review summarizes Al induced events likewise oxidative stress, cell mediated toxicity, apoptosis, inflammatory events in the brain, glutamate toxicity, effects on calcium homeostasis, gene expression and Al induced Neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) formation. Apart from these we also discussed animal models that are commonly used for Al induced neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration studies. These models help to find out a better way to treat and prevent the progression in Al induced neurodegenerative diseases.

  4. Endogenously Nitrated Proteins in Mouse Brain: Links To Neurodegenerative Disease

    SciTech Connect

    Sacksteder, Colette A.; Qian, Weijun; Knyushko, Tanya V.; Wang, Haixing H.; Chin, Mark H.; Lacan, Goran; Melega, William P.; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.; Smith, Desmond J.; Squier, Thomas C.; Bigelow, Diana J.

    2006-07-04

    Increased nitrotyrosine modification of proteins has been documented in multiple pathologies in a variety of tissue types; emerging evidence suggests its additional role in redox regulation of normal metabolism. In order to identify proteins sensitive to nitrating conditions in vivo, a comprehensive proteomic dataset identifying 7,792 proteins from whole mouse brain, generated by LC/LC-MS/MS analyses, was used to identify nitrated proteins. This analysis resulted in identification of 31 unique nitrotyrosine sites within 29 different proteins. Over half of the nitrated proteins identified have been reported to be involved in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or other neurodegenerative disorders. Similarly, nitrotyrosine immunoblots of whole brain homogenates show that treatment of mice with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), an experimental model of Parkinson's disease, induces increased nitration of the same protein bands observed to be nitrated in brains of untreated animals. Comparing sequences and available high resolution structures around nitrated tyrosines with those of unmodified sites indicates a preference of nitration in vivo for surface accessible tyrosines in loops, characteristics consistent with peroxynitrite-induced tyrosine modification. More striking is the five-fold greater nitration of tyrosines having nearby basic sidechains, suggesting electrostatic attraction of basic groups with the negative charge of peroxynitrite. Together, these results suggest that elevated peroxynitrite generation plays a role in neurodegenerative changes in the brain and provides a predictive tool of functionally important sites of nitration.

  5. Neural basis of interpersonal traits in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Sollberger, Marc; Stanley, Christine M; Wilson, Stephen M; Gyurak, Anett; Beckman, Victoria; Growdon, Matthew; Jang, Jung; Weiner, Michael W; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2009-11-01

    Several functional and structural imaging studies have investigated the neural basis of personality in healthy adults, but human lesions studies are scarce. Personality changes are a common symptom in patients with neurodegenerative diseases like frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and semantic dementia (SD), allowing a unique window into the neural basis of personality. In this study, we used the Interpersonal Adjective Scales to investigate the structural basis of eight interpersonal traits (dominance, arrogance, coldness, introversion, submissiveness, ingenuousness, warmth, and extraversion) in 257 subjects: 214 patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as FTD, SD, progressive nonfluent aphasia, Alzheimer's disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, corticobasal degeneration, and progressive supranuclear palsy and 43 healthy elderly people. Measures of interpersonal traits were correlated with regional atrophy pattern using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis of structural MR images. Interpersonal traits mapped onto distinct brain regions depending on the degree to which they involved agency and affiliation. Interpersonal traits high in agency related to left dorsolateral prefrontal and left lateral frontopolar regions, whereas interpersonal traits high in affiliation related to right ventromedial prefrontal and right anteromedial temporal regions. Consistent with the existing literature on neural networks underlying social cognition, these results indicate that brain regions related to externally focused, executive control-related processes underlie agentic interpersonal traits such as dominance, whereas brain regions related to internally focused, emotion- and reward-related processes underlie affiliative interpersonal traits such as warmth. In addition, these findings indicate that interpersonal traits are subserved by complex neural networks rather than discrete anatomic areas.

  6. High bioavailability curcumin: an anti-inflammatory and neurosupportive bioactive nutrient for neurodegenerative diseases characterized by chronic neuroinflammation.

    PubMed

    Ullah, Faheem; Liang, Andy; Rangel, Alejandra; Gyengesi, Erika; Niedermayer, Garry; Münch, Gerald

    2017-04-01

    Neuroinflammation is a pathophysiological process present in a number of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury including chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other age-related CNS disorders. Although there is still much debate about the initial trigger for some of these neurodegenerative disorders, during the progression of disease, broad range anti-inflammatory drugs including cytokine suppressive anti-inflammatory drugs (CSAIDs) might be promising therapeutic options to limit neuroinflammation and improve the clinical outcome. One of the most promising CSAIDs is curcumin, which modulates the activity of several transcription factors (e.g., STAT, NF-κB, AP-1) and their pro-inflammatory molecular signaling pathways. However, normal curcumin preparations demonstrate low bioavailability in vivo. To increase bioavailability, preparations of high bioavailability curcumin have been introduced to achieve therapeutically relevant concentrations in target tissues. This literature review aims to summarize the pharmacokinetic and toxicity profile of different curcumin formulations.

  7. Cellular responses following retinal injuries and therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Cuenca, Nicolás; Fernández-Sánchez, Laura; Campello, Laura; Maneu, Victoria; De la Villa, Pedro; Lax, Pedro; Pinilla, Isabel

    2014-11-01

    Retinal neurodegenerative diseases like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa each have a different etiology and pathogenesis. However, at the cellular and molecular level, the response to retinal injury is similar in all of them, and results in morphological and functional impairment of retinal cells. This retinal degeneration may be triggered by gene defects, increased intraocular pressure, high levels of blood glucose, other types of stress or aging, but they all frequently induce a set of cell signals that lead to well-established and similar morphological and functional changes, including controlled cell death and retinal remodeling. Interestingly, an inflammatory response, oxidative stress and activation of apoptotic pathways are common features in all these diseases. Furthermore, it is important to note the relevant role of glial cells, including astrocytes, Müller cells and microglia, because their response to injury is decisive for maintaining the health of the retina or its degeneration. Several therapeutic approaches have been developed to preserve retinal function or restore eyesight in pathological conditions. In this context, neuroprotective compounds, gene therapy, cell transplantation or artificial devices should be applied at the appropriate stage of retinal degeneration to obtain successful results. This review provides an overview of the common and distinctive features of retinal neurodegenerative diseases, including the molecular, anatomical and functional changes caused by the cellular response to damage, in order to establish appropriate treatments for these pathologies.

  8. Sulforaphane as a potential protective phytochemical against neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Tarozzi, Andrea; Angeloni, Cristina; Malaguti, Marco; Morroni, Fabiana; Hrelia, Silvana; Hrelia, Patrizia

    2013-01-01

    A wide variety of acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including ischemic/traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease, share common characteristics such as oxidative stress, misfolded proteins, excitotoxicity, inflammation, and neuronal loss. As no drugs are available to prevent the progression of these neurological disorders, intervention strategies using phytochemicals have been proposed as an alternative form of treatment. Among phytochemicals, isothiocyanate sulforaphane, derived from the hydrolysis of the glucosinolate glucoraphanin mainly present in Brassica vegetables, has demonstrated neuroprotective effects in several in vitro and in vivo studies. In particular, evidence suggests that sulforaphane beneficial effects could be mainly ascribed to its peculiar ability to activate the Nrf2/ARE pathway. Therefore, sulforaphane appears to be a promising compound with neuroprotective properties that may play an important role in preventing neurodegeneration.

  9. Sulforaphane as a Potential Protective Phytochemical against Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Tarozzi, Andrea; Angeloni, Cristina; Malaguti, Marco; Morroni, Fabiana; Hrelia, Silvana; Hrelia, Patrizia

    2013-01-01

    A wide variety of acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including ischemic/traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease, share common characteristics such as oxidative stress, misfolded proteins, excitotoxicity, inflammation, and neuronal loss. As no drugs are available to prevent the progression of these neurological disorders, intervention strategies using phytochemicals have been proposed as an alternative form of treatment. Among phytochemicals, isothiocyanate sulforaphane, derived from the hydrolysis of the glucosinolate glucoraphanin mainly present in Brassica vegetables, has demonstrated neuroprotective effects in several in vitro and in vivo studies. In particular, evidence suggests that sulforaphane beneficial effects could be mainly ascribed to its peculiar ability to activate the Nrf2/ARE pathway. Therefore, sulforaphane appears to be a promising compound with neuroprotective properties that may play an important role in preventing neurodegeneration. PMID:23983898

  10. Cerium oxide nanoparticles: a 'radical' approach to neurodegenerative disease treatment.

    PubMed

    Naz, Shuguftha; Beach, James; Heckert, Blaze; Tummala, Tanuja; Pashchenko, Oleksandra; Banerjee, Tuhina; Santra, Santimukul

    2017-03-01

    Despite advances in understanding the factors that cause many neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), no current therapies have yielded significant results. Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeONPs) have recently emerged as therapeutics for the treatment of NDs due to their antioxidant properties. This report summarizes the recent findings regarding CeONPs in treatment of various NDs, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, ischemic stroke and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Interest in CeONPs as a potential nanomedicine for NDs has increased due to: their ability to alter signaling pathways, small diameter allowing passage through the blood-brain barrier and scavenging of reactive oxygen species. Due to these properties, CeONPs could eventually revolutionize existing treatments for NDs.

  11. Seeking environmental causes of neurodegenerative disease and envisioning primary prevention.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Peter S; Palmer, Valerie S; Kisby, Glen E

    2016-09-01

    Pathological changes of the aging brain are expressed in a range of neurodegenerative disorders that will impact increasing numbers of people across the globe. Research on the causes of these disorders has focused heavily on genetics, and strategies for prevention envision drug-induced slowing or arresting disease advance before its clinical appearance. We discuss a strategic shift that seeks to identify the environmental causes or contributions to neurodegeneration, and the vision of primary disease prevention by removing or controlling exposure to culpable agents. The plausibility of this approach is illustrated by the prototypical neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia complex (ALS-PDC). This often-familial long-latency disease, once thought to be an inherited genetic disorder but now known to have a predominant or exclusive environmental origin, is in the process of disappearing from the three heavily affected populations, namely Chamorros of Guam and Rota, Japanese residents of Kii Peninsula, Honshu, and Auyu and Jaqai linguistic groups on the island of New Guinea in West Papua, Indonesia. Exposure via traditional food and/or medicine (the only common exposure in all three geographic isolates) to one or more neurotoxins in seed of cycad plants is the most plausible if yet unproven etiology. Neurotoxin dosage and/or subject age at exposure might explain the stratified epidemic of neurodegenerative disease on Guam in which high-incidence ALS peaked and declined before that of PD, only to be replaced today by a dementing disorder comparable to Alzheimer's disease. Exposure to the Guam environment is also linked to the delayed development of ALS among a subset of Chamorro and non-Chamorro Gulf War/Era veterans, a summary of which is reported here for the first time. Lessons learned from this study and from 65 years of research on ALS-PDC include the exceptional value of initial, field-based informal investigation of

  12. Aging is not a disease: distinguishing age-related macular degeneration from aging.

    PubMed

    Ardeljan, Daniel; Chan, Chi-Chao

    2013-11-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease of the outer retina, characterized most significantly by atrophy of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium accompanied with or without choroidal neovascularization. Development of AMD has been recognized as contingent on environmental and genetic risk factors, the strongest being advanced age. In this review, we highlight pathogenic changes that destabilize ocular homeostasis and promote AMD development. With normal aging, photoreceptors are steadily lost, Bruch's membrane thickens, the choroid thins, and hard drusen may form in the periphery. In AMD, many of these changes are exacerbated in addition to the development of disease-specific factors such as soft macular drusen. Para-inflammation, which can be thought of as an intermediate between basal and robust levels of inflammation, develops within the retina in an attempt to maintain ocular homeostasis, reflected by increased expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 coupled with shifts in macrophage plasticity from the pro-inflammatory M1 to the anti-inflammatory M2 polarization. In AMD, imbalances in the M1 and M2 populations together with activation of retinal microglia are observed and potentially contribute to tissue degeneration. Nonetheless, the retina persists in a state of chronic inflammation and increased expression of certain cytokines and inflammasomes is observed. Since not everyone develops AMD, the vital question to ask is how the body establishes a balance between normal age-related changes and the pathological phenotypes in AMD.

  13. A simulation system for biomarker evolution in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Young, Alexandra L; Oxtoby, Neil P; Ourselin, Sebastien; Schott, Jonathan M; Alexander, Daniel C

    2015-12-01

    We present a framework for simulating cross-sectional or longitudinal biomarker data sets from neurodegenerative disease cohorts that reflect the temporal evolution of the disease and population diversity. The simulation system provides a mechanism for evaluating the performance of data-driven models of disease progression, which bring together biomarker measurements from large cross-sectional (or short term longitudinal) cohorts to recover the average population-wide dynamics. We demonstrate the use of the simulation framework in two different ways. First, to evaluate the performance of the Event Based Model (EBM) for recovering biomarker abnormality orderings from cross-sectional datasets. Second, to evaluate the performance of a differential equation model (DEM) for recovering biomarker abnormality trajectories from short-term longitudinal datasets. Results highlight several important considerations when applying data-driven models to sporadic disease datasets as well as key areas for future work. The system reveals several important insights into the behaviour of each model. For example, the EBM is robust to noise on the underlying biomarker trajectory parameters, under-sampling of the underlying disease time course and outliers who follow alternative event sequences. However, the EBM is sensitive to accurate estimation of the distribution of normal and abnormal biomarker measurements. In contrast, we find that the DEM is sensitive to noise on the biomarker trajectory parameters, resulting in an over estimation of the time taken for biomarker trajectories to go from normal to abnormal. This over estimate is approximately twice as long as the actual transition time of the trajectory for the expected noise level in neurodegenerative disease datasets. This simulation framework is equally applicable to a range of other models and longitudinal analysis techniques.

  14. The Association of Statin Use with Age-Related Macular Degeneration Progression The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 Report Number 9

    PubMed Central

    Al-Holou, Shaza N.; Tucker, William R.; Agrón, Elvira; Clemons, Traci E.; Cukras, Catherine; Ferris, Frederick L.; Chew, Emily Y.

    2015-01-01

    Objective/purpose To evaluate the association of statin use with progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design Preplanned, prospective cohort study within a controlled clinical trial of oral supplementation for age-related eye diseases. Subjects Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 participants, aged 50 to 85 years. Methods Factors, including age, gender, smoking status, aspirin use, and history of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, angina, and stroke, all known to be associated with statin use, were included in a logistic regression model to estimate propensity scores for each participant. Age-adjusted proportional hazards regression models, with and without propensity score matching, were performed to evaluate the association of statin use with progression to late AMD. Analyses were also performed adjusting for the competing risk of death. Main Outcome Measures Baseline and annual stereoscopic fundus photographs were assessed centrally by masked graders for the development of late AMD, either neovascular AMD or geographic atrophy (GA). Results Of the 3791 participants (2462 with bilateral large drusen and 1329 with unilateral late AMD at baseline), 1659 (43.8%) were statin users. The overall analysis, with no matching of propensity scores and no adjustment for death as a competing risk, showed that statin use was not associated with progression to late AMD (hazard ratios [HR] of 1.08, 95% confidence intervals [CI] of 0.83–1.41, P=0.56). When matched for propensity scores and adjusted for death as a competing risk, the result was not statistically significant with HR: 0.81, 95% CI: 0.55–1.20, P=0.29. Further subgroup analyses of persons with or without late AMD at baseline to the various components of late AMD (neovascular, central geographic atrophy, or any geographic atrophy) also showed no statistically significant association of statin use with progression to AMD. Conclusions Statin use was not statistically significantly associated with the

  15. Nanotechnology and antioxidant therapy: an emerging approach for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Carlos; Oliveira, Catarina; Benfeito, Sofia; Soares, Pedro; Garrido, Jorge; Borges, Fernanda

    2014-01-01

    The efficacy, cellular uptake and specific transport of dietary antioxidants to target organs, tissues and cells remains the most important setback for their application in the treatment of oxidative-stress related disorders and in particular in neurodegenerative diseases, as brain targeting remains a still unsolved challenge. Nanotechnology based delivery systems can be a solution for the above mentioned problems, specifically in the case of targeting dietary antioxidants with neuroprotective activity. Nanotechnology-based delivery systems can protect antioxidants from degradation, improve their physicochemical drug-like properties and in turn their bioavailability. The impact of nanomedicine in the improvement of the performance of dietary antioxidants, as protective agents in oxidative- stress events, specifically through the use of drug delivery systems, is highlighted in this review as well as the type of nanomaterials regularly used for drug delivery purposes. From the data one can conclude that the research combining (dietary) antioxidants and nanotechnology, namely as a therapeutic solution for neurodegenerative diseases, is still in a very early stage. So, a huge research area remains to be explored that hopefully will yield new and effective neuroprotective therapeutic agents in a foreseeable future.

  16. Role of the Retromer Complex in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Li, Chaosi; Shah, Syed Zahid Ali; Zhao, Deming; Yang, Lifeng

    2016-01-01

    The retromer complex is a protein complex that plays a central role in endosomal trafficking. Retromer dysfunction has been linked to a growing number of neurological disorders. The process of intracellular trafficking and recycling is crucial for maintaining normal intracellular homeostasis, which is partly achieved through the activity of the retromer complex. The retromer complex plays a primary role in sorting endosomal cargo back to the cell surface for reuse, to the trans-Golgi network (TGN), or alternatively to specialized endomembrane compartments, in which the cargo is not subjected to lysosomal-mediated degradation. In most cases, the retromer acts as a core that interacts with associated proteins, including sorting nexin family member 27 (SNX27), members of the vacuolar protein sorting 10 (VPS10) receptor family, the major endosomal actin polymerization-promoting complex known as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein and scar homolog (WASH), and other proteins. Some of the molecules carried by the retromer complex are risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases. Defects such as haplo-insufficiency or mutations in one or several units of the retromer complex lead to various pathologies. Here, we summarize the molecular architecture of the retromer complex and the roles of this system in intracellular trafficking related the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.

  17. NADPH oxidases: key modulators in aging and age-related cardiovascular diseases?

    PubMed Central

    Sahoo, Sanghamitra; Meijles, Daniel N.; Pagano, Patrick J.

    2016-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress have long been linked to aging and diseases prominent in the elderly such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes and atrial fibrillation (AF). NADPH oxidases (Nox) are a major source of ROS in the vasculature and are key players in mediating redox signalling under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. In this review, we focus on the Nox-mediated ROS signalling pathways involved in the regulation of ‘longevity genes’ and recapitulate their role in age-associated vascular changes and in the development of age-related cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). This review is predicated on burgeoning knowledge that Nox-derived ROS propagate tightly regulated yet varied signalling pathways, which, at the cellular level, may lead to diminished repair, the aging process and predisposition to CVDs. In addition, we briefly describe emerging Nox therapies and their potential in improving the health of the elderly population. PMID:26814203

  18. Possible role of ABO system in age-related diseases and longevity: a narrative review.

    PubMed

    Rizzo, Claudia; Caruso, Calogero; Vasto, Sonya

    2014-01-01

    ABO blood group antigens are expressed either on the surface of red blood cells either on a variety of other cells. Based on the available knowledge of the genes involved in their biosynthesis and their tissue distribution, their polymorphism has been suggested to provide intraspecies diversity allowing to cope with diverse and rapidly evolving pathogens. Accordingly, the different prevalence of ABO group genotypes among the populations has been demonstrated to be driven by malaria selection. In the similar manner, a particular ABO blood group may contribute to favour life-extension via biological mechanisms important for surviving or eluding serious disease. In this review, we will suggest the possible association of ABO group with age-related diseases and longevity taking into account the biological role of the ABO glycosyltransferases on some inflammatory mediators as adhesion molecules.

  19. Genetic susceptibility testing for neurodegenerative diseases: Ethical and practice issues

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, J. Scott; Uhlmann, Wendy R.

    2013-01-01

    As the genetics of neurodegenerative disease become better understood, opportunities for genetic susceptibility testing for at-risk individuals will increase. Such testing raises important ethical and practice issues related to test access, informed consent, risk estimation and communication, return of results, and policies to prevent genetic discrimination. The advent of direct-to-consumer genetic susceptibility testing for various neurodegenerative disorders (including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and certain prion diseases) means that ethical and practical challenges must be faced not only in traditional research and clinical settings, but also in broader society. This review addresses several topics relevant to the development and implementation of genetic susceptibility tests across research, clinical, and consumer settings; these include appropriate indications for testing, the implications of different methods for disclosing test results, clinical versus personal utility of risk information, psychological and behavioral responses to test results, testing of minors, genetic discrimination, and ethical dilemmas posed by whole-genome sequencing. We also identify future areas of likely growth in the field, including pharmacogenomics and genetic screening for individuals considering or engaged in activities that pose elevated risk of brain injury (e.g., football players, military personnel). APOE gene testing for risk of Alzheimer’s disease is used throughout as an instructive case example, drawing upon the authors’ experience as investigators in a series of multisite randomized clinical trials that have examined the impact of disclosing APOE genotype status to interested individuals (e.g., first-degree relatives, persons with mild cognitive impairment). PMID:23583530

  20. Neurofilament Light Chain in Blood and CSF as Marker of Disease Progression in Mouse Models and in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Bacioglu, Mehtap; Maia, Luis F; Preische, Oliver; Schelle, Juliane; Apel, Anja; Kaeser, Stephan A; Schweighauser, Manuel; Eninger, Timo; Lambert, Marius; Pilotto, Andrea; Shimshek, Derya R; Neumann, Ulf; Kahle, Philipp J; Staufenbiel, Matthias; Neumann, Manuela; Maetzler, Walter; Kuhle, Jens; Jucker, Mathias

    2016-07-06

    A majority of current disease-modifying therapeutic approaches for age-related neurodegenerative diseases target their characteristic proteopathic lesions (α-synuclein, Tau, Aβ). To monitor such treatments, fluid biomarkers reflecting the underlying disease process are crucial. We found robust increases of neurofilament light chain (NfL) in CSF and blood in murine models of α-synucleinopathies, tauopathy, and β-amyloidosis. Blood and CSF NfL levels were strongly correlated, and NfL increases coincided with the onset and progression of the corresponding proteopathic lesions in brain. Experimental induction of α-synuclein lesions increased CSF and blood NfL levels, while blocking Aβ lesions attenuated the NfL increase. Consistently, we also found NfL increases in CSF and blood of human α-synucleinopathies, tauopathies, and Alzheimer's disease. Our results suggest that CSF and particularly blood NfL can serve as a reliable and easily accessible biomarker to monitor disease progression and treatment response in mouse models and potentially in human proteopathic neurodegenerative diseases.

  1. Neurodegenerative diseases: quantitative predictions of protein-RNA interactions.

    PubMed

    Cirillo, Davide; Agostini, Federico; Klus, Petr; Marchese, Domenica; Rodriguez, Silvia; Bolognesi, Benedetta; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano

    2013-02-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that RNA plays an active role in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. We recently introduced a theoretical framework, catRAPID, to predict the binding ability of protein and RNA molecules. Here, we use catRAPID to investigate ribonucleoprotein interactions linked to inherited intellectual disability, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Creutzfeuld-Jakob, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases. We specifically focus on (1) RNA interactions with fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP; (2) protein sequestration caused by CGG repeats; (3) noncoding transcripts regulated by TAR DNA-binding protein 43 TDP-43; (4) autogenous regulation of TDP-43 and FMRP; (5) iron-mediated expression of amyloid precursor protein APP and α-synuclein; (6) interactions between prions and RNA aptamers. Our results are in striking agreement with experimental evidence and provide new insights in processes associated with neuronal function and misfunction.

  2. Probing Mechanisms That Underlie Human Neurodegenerative Diseases in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Jaiswal, M.; Sandoval, H.; Zhang, K.; Bayat, V.; Bellen, H.J.

    2013-01-01

    The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is an excellent organism for the study of the genetic and molecular basis of metazoan development. Drosophila provides numerous tools and reagents to unravel the molecular and cellular functions of genes that cause human disease, and the past decade has witnessed a significant expansion of the study of neurodegenerative disease mechanisms in flies. Here we review the interplay between oxidative stress and neuronal toxicity. We cover some of the studies that show how proteasome degradation of protein aggregates, autophagy, mitophagy, and lysosomal function affect the quality control mechanisms required for neuronal survival. We discuss how forward genetic screens in flies have led to the isolation of a few loci that cause neurodegeneration, paving the way for large-scale systematic screens to identify such loci in flies as well as promoting gene discovery in humans. PMID:22974305

  3. Mutational Spectrum Analysis of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Its Pathogenic Implication.

    PubMed

    Shen, Liang; Ji, Hong-Fang

    2015-10-14

    One of the most conspicuous features of neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) is the occurrence of dramatic conformation change of individual proteins. We performed a mutational spectrum analysis of disease-causing missense mutations in seven types of NDs at nucleotide and amino acid levels, and compared the results with those of non-NDs. The main findings included: (i) The higher mutation ratio of G:C→T:A transversion to G:C→A:T transition was observed in NDs than in non-NDs, interpreting the excessive guanine-specific oxidative DNA damage in NDs; (ii) glycine and proline had highest mutability in NDs than in non-NDs, which favor the protein conformation change in NDs; (iii) surprisingly low mutation frequency of arginine was observed in NDs. These findings help to understand how mutations may cause NDs.

  4. Stress, Allostatic Load, Catecholamines, and Other Neurotransmitters in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities, treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple, interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators—“homeostats.” Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. “Allostatic load” refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states). Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion, and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown, allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholaminergic neurons leak vesicular contents into the cytoplasm continuously during life and that catecholamines in the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:21615193

  5. Stress, Allostatic Load, Catecholamines, and Other Neurotransmitters in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    As populations age, the prevalence of geriatric neurodegenerative diseases will increase. These diseases generally are multifactorial, arising from complex interactions among genes, environment, concurrent morbidities, treatments, and time. This essay provides a concept for the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases such as Parkinson disease, by considering them in the context of allostasis and allostatic load. Allostasis reflects active, adaptive processes that maintain apparent steady states, via multiple, interacting effectors regulated by homeostatic comparators—“homeostats.” Stress can be defined as a condition or state in which a sensed discrepancy between afferent information and a setpoint for response leads to activation of effectors, reducing the discrepancy. “Allostatic load” refers to the consequences of sustained or repeated activation of mediators of allostasis. From the analogy of an idling car, the revolutions per minute of the engine can be maintained at any of a variety of levels (allostatic states). Just as allostatic load (cumulative wear and tear) reflects design and manufacturing variations, byproducts of combustion, and time, eventually leading to engine breakdown, allostatic load in catecholaminergic neurons might eventually lead to Lewy body diseases. Central to the argument is that catecholaminergic neurons leak vesicular contents into the cytoplasm continuously during life and that catecholamines in the neuronal cytoplasm are autotoxic. These neurons therefore depend on vesicular sequestration to limit autotoxicity of cytosolic transmitter. Parkinson disease might be a disease of the elderly because of allostatic load, which depends on genetic predispositions, environmental exposures, repeated stress-related catecholamine release, and time. PMID:22297542

  6. Hypoxia-Inducible Histone Lysine Demethylases: Impact on the Aging Process and Age-Related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Salminen, Antero; Kaarniranta, Kai; Kauppinen, Anu

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxia is an environmental stress at high altitude and underground conditions but it is also present in many chronic age-related diseases, where blood flow into tissues is impaired. The oxygen-sensing system stimulates gene expression protecting tissues against hypoxic insults. Hypoxia stabilizes the expression of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor-1α (HIF-1α), which controls the expression of hundreds of survival genes related to e.g. enhanced energy metabolism and autophagy. Moreover, many stress-related signaling mechanisms, such as oxidative stress and energy metabolic disturbances, as well as the signaling cascades via ceramide, mTOR, NF-κB, and TGF-β pathways, can also induce the expression of HIF-1α protein to facilitate cell survival in normoxia. Hypoxia is linked to prominent epigenetic changes in chromatin landscape. Screening studies have indicated that the stabilization of HIF-1α increases the expression of distinct histone lysine demethylases (KDM). HIF-1α stimulates the expression of KDM3A, KDM4B, KDM4C, and KDM6B, which enhance gene transcription by demethylating H3K9 and H3K27 sites (repressive epigenetic marks). In addition, HIF-1α induces the expression of KDM2B and KDM5B, which repress transcription by demethylating H3K4me2,3 sites (activating marks). Hypoxia-inducible KDMs support locally the gene transcription induced by HIF-1α, although they can also control genome-wide chromatin landscape, especially KDMs which demethylate H3K9 and H3K27 sites. These epigenetic marks have important role in the control of heterochromatin segments and 3D folding of chromosomes, as well as the genetic loci regulating cell type commitment, proliferation, and cellular senescence, e.g. the INK4 box. A chronic stimulation of HIF-1α can provoke tissue fibrosis and cellular senescence, which both are increasingly present with aging and age-related diseases. We will review the regulation of HIF-1α-dependent induction of KDMs and clarify their role in

  7. ROS, Cell Senescence, and Novel Molecular Mechanisms in Aging and Age-Related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Davalli, Pierpaola; Mitic, Tijana; Caporali, Andrea; Lauriola, Angela; D'Arca, Domenico

    2016-01-01

    The aging process worsens the human body functions at multiple levels, thus causing its gradual decrease to resist stress, damage, and disease. Besides changes in gene expression and metabolic control, the aging rate has been associated with the production of high levels of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and/or Reactive Nitrosative Species (RNS). Specific increases of ROS level have been demonstrated as potentially critical for induction and maintenance of cell senescence process. Causal connection between ROS, aging, age-related pathologies, and cell senescence is studied intensely. Senescent cells have been proposed as a target for interventions to delay the aging and its related diseases or to improve the diseases treatment. Therapeutic interventions towards senescent cells might allow restoring the health and curing the diseases that share basal processes, rather than curing each disease in separate and symptomatic way. Here, we review observations on ROS ability of inducing cell senescence through novel mechanisms that underpin aging processes. Particular emphasis is addressed to the novel mechanisms of ROS involvement in epigenetic regulation of cell senescence and aging, with the aim to individuate specific pathways, which might promote healthy lifespan and improve aging. PMID:27247702

  8. TAR DNA-binding protein 43 in neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Chen-Plotkin, Alice S.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2010-01-01

    In 2006, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), a highly conserved nuclear protein, was identified as the major disease protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in the most common variant of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), FTLD-U, which is characterized by cytoplasmic inclusions that stain positive for ubiquitin but negative for tau and α-synuclein. Since then, rapid advances have been made in our understanding of the physiological function of TDP-43 and the role of this protein in neurodegeneration. These advances link ALS and FTLD-U (now designated FTLD-TDP) to a shared mechanism of disease. In this Review, we summarize the current evidence regarding the normal function of TDP-43 and the TDP-43 pathology observed in FTLD-TDP, ALS, and other neurodegenerative diseases wherein TDP-43 pathology co-occurs with other disease-specific lesions (for example, with amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer disease). Moreover, we discuss the accumulating data that support our view that FTLD-TDP and ALS represent two ends of a spectrum of primary TDP-43 proteinopathies. Finally, we comment on the importance of recent advances in TDP-43-related research to neurological practice, including the new opportunities to develop better diagnostics and disease-modifying therapies for ALS, FTLD-TDP, and related disorders exhibiting TDP-43 pathology. PMID:20234357

  9. Strategies for molecular imaging dementia and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Schaller, Bernhard J

    2008-01-01

    Dementia represents a heterogeneous term that has evolved to describe the behavioral syndromes associated with a variety of clinical and neuropathological changes during continuing degenerative disease of the brain. As such, there lacks a clear consensus regarding the neuropsychological and other constituent characteristics associated with various cerebrovascular changes in this disease process. But increasing this knowledge has given more insights into memory deterioration in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other subtypes of dementia. The author reviews current knowledge of the physiological coupling between cerebral blood flow and metabolism in the light of state-of-the-art-imaging methods and its changes in dementia with special reference to Alzheimer’s disease. Different imaging techniques are discussed with respect to their visualizing effect of biochemical, cellular, and/or structural changes in dementia. The pathophysiology of dementia in advanced age is becoming increasingly understood by revealing the underlying basis of neuropsychological changes with current imaging techniques, genetic and pathological features, which suggests that alterations of (neuro) vascular regulatory mechanisms may lead to brain dysfunction and disease. The current view is that cerebrovascular deregulation is seen as a contributor to cerebrovascular pathologies, such as stroke, but also to neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The better understanding of these (patho) physiological mechanisms may open an approach to new interventional strategies in dementia to enhance neurovascular repair and to protect neurovascular coupling. PMID:18830391

  10. Endogenously nitrated proteins in mouse brain: links to neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Sacksteder, Colette A; Qian, Wei-Jun; Knyushko, Tatyana V; Wang, Haixing; Chin, Mark H; Lacan, Goran; Melega, William P; Camp, David G; Smith, Richard D; Smith, Desmond J; Squier, Thomas C; Bigelow, Diana J

    2006-07-04

    Increased abundance of nitrotyrosine modifications of proteins have been documented in multiple pathologies in a variety of tissue types and play a role in the redox regulation of normal metabolism. To identify proteins sensitive to nitrating conditions in vivo, a comprehensive proteomic data set identifying 7792 proteins from a whole mouse brain, generated by LC/LC-MS/MS analyses, was used to identify nitrated proteins. This analysis resulted in the identification of 31 unique nitrotyrosine sites within 29 different proteins. More than half of the nitrated proteins that have been identified are involved in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or other neurodegenerative disorders. Similarly, nitrotyrosine immunoblots of whole brain homogenates show that treatment of mice with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), an experimental model of Parkinson's disease, induces an increased level of nitration of the same protein bands observed to be nitrated in brains of untreated animals. Comparing sequences and available high-resolution structures around nitrated tyrosines with those of unmodified sites indicates a preference of nitration in vivo for surface accessible tyrosines in loops, a characteristic consistent with peroxynitrite-induced tyrosine modification. In addition, most sequences contain cysteines or methionines proximal to nitrotyrosines, contrary to suggestions that these amino acid side chains prevent tyrosine nitration. More striking is the presence of a positively charged moiety near the sites of nitration, which is not observed for non-nitrated tyrosines. Together, these observations suggest a predictive tool of functionally important sites of nitration and that cellular nitrating conditions play a role in neurodegenerative changes in the brain.

  11. Age-related epigenetic regulation in the brain and its role in neuronal diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kim-Ha, Jeongsil; Kim, Young-Joon

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates many brain functions are mediated by epigenetic regulation of neural genes, and their dysregulations result in neuronal disorders. Experiences such as learning and recall, as well as physical exercise, induce neuronal activation through epigenetic modifications and by changing the noncoding RNA profiles. Animal models, brain samples from patients, and the development of diverse analytical methods have broadened our understanding of epigenetic regulation in the brain. Diverse and specific epigenetic changes are suggested to correlate with neuronal development, learning and memory, aging and age-related neuronal diseases. Although the results show some discrepancies, a careful comparison of the data (including methods, regions and conditions examined) would clarify the problems confronted in understanding epigenetic regulation in the brain. PMID:27866512

  12. Genetic studies of Age-related macular degeneration: lessons, challenges and opportunities for disease management

    PubMed Central

    Ratna Priya, Rinki; Chew, Emily Y.; Swaroop, Anand

    2012-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of visual impairment in individuals over 55 years of age worldwide. The varying clinical phenotypes of AMD result from contributions of genetic, epigenetic and non-genetic (environmental) factors. Genetic studies of AMD have come of age as a direct result of tremendous gains from human genome project, genomewide association studies and identification of numerous susceptibility loci. These findings have implicated immune response, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism, extracellular matrix, and angiogenesis signaling pathways in disease pathophysiology. Here, we address how the wealth of genetic findings in AMD is expected to impact the practice of medicine, providing opportunities for improved risk assessment, molecular diagnosis, preventive and therapeutic intervention. We propose that the potential of using genetic variants for monitoring treatment response (pharmacogenetics) may usher a new era of personalized medicine in the clinical management of AMD. PMID:23009893

  13. Epidemiology of neurodegenerative diseases in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries are experiencing rapid transitions with increased life expectancy. As a result the burden of age-related conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases might be increasing. We conducted a systematic review of published studies on common neurodegenerative diseases, and HIV-related neurocognitive impairment in SSA, in order to identify research gaps and inform prevention and control solutions. Methods We searched MEDLINE via PubMed, ‘Banque de Données de Santé Publique’ and the database of the ‘Institut d’Epidemiologie Neurologique et de Neurologie Tropicale’ from inception to February 2013 for published original studies from SSA on neurodegenerative diseases and HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. Screening and data extraction were conducted by two investigators. Bibliographies and citations of eligible studies were investigated. Results In all 144 publications reporting on dementia (n = 49 publications, mainly Alzheimer disease), Parkinsonism (PD, n = 20), HIV-related neurocognitive impairment (n = 47), Huntington disease (HD, n = 19), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, n = 15), cerebellar degeneration (n = 4) and Lewy body dementia (n = 1). Of these studies, largely based on prevalent cases from retrospective data on urban populations, half originated from Nigeria and South Africa. The prevalence of dementia (Alzheimer disease) varied between <1% and 10.1% (0.7% and 5.6%) in population-based studies and from <1% to 47.8% in hospital-based studies. Incidence of dementia (Alzheimer disease) ranged from 8.7 to 21.8/1000/year (9.5 to 11.1), and major risk factors were advanced age and female sex. HIV-related neurocognitive impairment’s prevalence (all from hospital-based studies) ranged from <1% to 80%. Population-based prevalence of PD and ALS varied from 10 to 235/100,000, and from 5 to 15/100,000 respectively while that for Huntington disease was 3.5/100,000. Equivalent

  14. ER chaperones in neurodegenerative disease: Folding and beyond.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Huerta, Paula; Bargsted, Leslie; Rivas, Alexis; Matus, Soledad; Vidal, Rene L

    2016-10-01

    Proteins along the secretory pathway are co-translationally translocated into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as unfolded polypeptide chains. Afterwards, they are usually modified with N-linked glycans, correctly folded and stabilized by disulfide bonds. ER chaperones and folding enzymes control these processes. The accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER activates a signaling response, termed the unfolded protein response (UPR). The hallmark of this response is the coordinated transcriptional up-regulation of ER chaperones and folding enzymes. In order to discuss the importance of the proper folding of certain substrates we will address the role of ER chaperones in normal physiological conditions and examine different aspects of its contribution in neurodegenerative disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:ER stress.

  15. Visual Acuity after Cataract Surgery in Patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 Report No. 5

    PubMed Central

    Huynh, Nancy; Nicholson, Benjamin P.; Agrón, Elvira; Clemons, Traci E.; Bressler, Susan B.; Rosenfeld, Philip J.; Chew, Emily Y.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate visual acuity outcomes after cataract surgery in persons with varying severity of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design Cohort study. Participants A total of 1232 eyes of 793 participants who underwent cataract surgery during the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), a prospective, multicenter, randomized controlled trial of nutritional supplements for treatment of AMD. Methods Preoperative and postoperative characteristics of participants who underwent cataract extraction during the 5 year trial were analyzed. Both clinical data and standardized red-reflex lens and fundus photographs were obtained at baseline and annually. Photographs were graded by a centralized reading center for cortical and posterior subcapsular lens opacities and for AMD severity. Cataract surgery was documented at annual study visits or by history during the 6 month telephone calls. Analyses were conducted using multivariate repeated-measures regression. Main Outcome Measures Change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) after cataract surgery compared with preoperative BCVA. Results Adjusting for age at time of surgery, gender, interval between preoperative and postoperative visits, and type and severity of cataract, the mean changes in visual acuity were as follows: eyes with mild AMD (n=30) gained 11.2 letters (95% confidence interval (CI), 6.9-15.5), eyes with moderate AMD (n=346) gained 11.1 letters (95% CI, 9.1-13.2), eyes with severe AMD (n=462) gained 8.7 letters (95% CI, 6.7-10.7), eyes with non-central geographic atrophy (n=70) gained 8.9 letters (95% CI, 5.8-12.1), and eyes with advanced AMD (central geographic atrophy and/or neovascular) AMD (n=324) gained 6.8 letters (95% CI, 4.9-8.8). The visual acuity gain across all AMD severity groups was statistically significant from pre-operative state (P<0.0001). Conclusions Mean visual acuities improved significantly after cataract surgery across varying degrees of AMD severity. PMID:24613825

  16. Genetic Evidence for Role of Carotenoids in Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS)

    PubMed Central

    Meyers, Kristin J.; Mares, Julie A.; Igo, Robert P.; Truitt, Barbara; Liu, Zhe; Millen, Amy E.; Klein, Michael; Johnson, Elizabeth J.; Engelman, Corinne D.; Karki, Chitra K.; Blodi, Barbara; Gehrs, Karen; Tinker, Lesley; Wallace, Robert; Robinson, Jennifer; LeBlanc, Erin S.; Sarto, Gloria; Bernstein, Paul S.; SanGiovanni, John Paul; Iyengar, Sudha K.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. We tested variants in genes related to lutein and zeaxanthin status for association with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS). Methods. Of 2005 CAREDS participants, 1663 were graded for AMD from fundus photography and genotyped for 424 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 24 candidate genes for carotenoid status. Of 337 AMD cases 91% had early or intermediate AMD. The SNPs were tested individually for association with AMD using logistic regression. A carotenoid-related genetic risk model was built using backward selection and compared to existing AMD risk factors using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Results. A total of 24 variants from five genes (BCMO1, BCO2, NPCL1L1, ABCG8, and FADS2) not previously related to AMD and four genes related to AMD in previous studies (SCARB1, ABCA1, APOE, and ALDH3A2) were associated independently with AMD, after adjusting for age and ancestry. Variants in all genes (not always the identical SNPs) were associated with lutein and zeaxanthin in serum and/or macula, in this or other samples, except for BCO2 and FADS2. A genetic risk score including nine variants significantly (P = 0.002) discriminated between AMD cases and controls beyond age, smoking, CFH Y402H, and ARMS2 A69S. The odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for AMD among women in the highest versus lowest quintile for the risk score was 3.1 (2.0–4.9). Conclusions. Variants in genes related to lutein and zeaxanthin status were associated with AMD in CAREDS, adding to the body of evidence supporting a protective role of lutein and zeaxanthin in risk of AMD. PMID:24346170

  17. Glial hemichannels and their involvement in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Orellana, Juan A; von Bernhardi, Rommy; Giaume, Christian; Sáez, Juan C

    2012-01-26

    During the last two decades, it became increasingly evident that glial cells accomplish a more important role in brain function than previously thought. Glial cells express pannexins and connexins, which are member subunits of two protein families that form membrane channels termed hemichannels. These channels communicate intra- and extracellular compartments and allow the release of autocrine/paracrine signaling molecules [e.g., adenosine triphosphate (ATP), glutamate, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, and prostaglandin E2] to the extracellular milieu, as well as the uptake of small molecules (e.g., glucose). An increasing body of evidence has situated glial hemichannels as potential regulators of the beginning and maintenance of homeostatic imbalances observed in diverse brain diseases. Here, we review and discuss the current evidence about the possible role of glial hemichannels on neurodegenerative diseases. A subthreshold pathological threatening condition leads to microglial activation, which keeps active defense and restores the normal function of the central nervous system. However, if the stimulus is deleterious, microglial cells and the endothelium become overactivated, both releasing bioactive molecules (e.g., glutamate, cytokines, prostaglandins, and ATP), which increase the activity of glial hemichannels, reducing the astroglial neuroprotective functions, and further reducing neuronal viability. Because ATP and glutamate are released via glial hemichannels in neurodegenerative conditions, it is expected that they contribute to neurotoxicity. More importantly, toxic molecules released via glial hemichannels could increase the Ca2+ entry in neurons also via neuronal hemichannels, leading to neuronal death. Therefore, blockade of hemichannels expressed by glial cells and/or neurons during neuroinflammation might prevent neurodegeneration.

  18. Neural substrates of socioemotional self-awareness in neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Sollberger, Marc; Rosen, Howard J; Shany-Ur, Tal; Ullah, Jerin; Stanley, Christine M; Laluz, Victor; Weiner, Michael W; Wilson, Stephen M; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2014-01-01

    Background Neuroimaging studies examining neural substrates of impaired self-awareness in patients with neurodegenerative diseases have shown divergent results depending on the modality (cognitive, emotional, behavioral) of awareness. Evidence is accumulating to suggest that self-awareness arises from a combination of modality-specific and large-scale supramodal neural networks. Methods We investigated the structural substrates of patients' tendency to overestimate or underestimate their own capacity to demonstrate empathic concern for others. Subjects' level of empathic concern was measured using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, and subject-informant discrepancy scores were used to predict regional atrophy pattern, using voxel-based morphometry analysis. Of the 102 subjects, 83 were patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) or semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (svPPA); the other 19 were healthy older adults. Results bvFTD and svPPA patients typically overestimated their level of empathic concern compared to controls, and overestimating one's empathic concern predicted damage to predominantly right-hemispheric anterior infero-lateral temporal regions, whereas underestimating one's empathic concern showed no neuroanatomical basis. Conclusions These findings suggest that overestimation and underestimation of one's capacity for empathic concern cannot be interpreted as varying degrees of the same phenomenon, but may arise from different pathophysiological processes. Damage to anterior infero-lateral temporal regions has been associated with semantic self-knowledge, emotion processing, and social perspective taking; neuropsychological functions partly associated with empathic concern itself. These findings support the hypothesis that—at least in the socioemotional domain—neural substrates of self-awareness are partly modality-specific. PMID:24683513

  19. Differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases using structural MRI data.

    PubMed

    Koikkalainen, Juha; Rhodius-Meester, Hanneke; Tolonen, Antti; Barkhof, Frederik; Tijms, Betty; Lemstra, Afina W; Tong, Tong; Guerrero, Ricardo; Schuh, Andreas; Ledig, Christian; Rueckert, Daniel; Soininen, Hilkka; Remes, Anne M; Waldemar, Gunhild; Hasselbalch, Steen; Mecocci, Patrizia; van der Flier, Wiesje; Lötjönen, Jyrki

    2016-01-01

    Different neurodegenerative diseases can cause memory disorders and other cognitive impairments. The early detection and the stratification of patients according to the underlying disease are essential for an efficient approach to this healthcare challenge. This emphasizes the importance of differential diagnostics. Most studies compare patients and controls, or Alzheimer's disease with one other type of dementia. Such a bilateral comparison does not resemble clinical practice, where a clinician is faced with a number of different possible types of dementia. Here we studied which features in structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans could best distinguish four types of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies, and control subjects. We extracted an extensive set of features quantifying volumetric and morphometric characteristics from T1 images, and vascular characteristics from FLAIR images. Classification was performed using a multi-class classifier based on Disease State Index methodology. The classifier provided continuous probability indices for each disease to support clinical decision making. A dataset of 504 individuals was used for evaluation. The cross-validated classification accuracy was 70.6% and balanced accuracy was 69.1% for the five disease groups using only automatically determined MRI features. Vascular dementia patients could be detected with high sensitivity (96%) using features from FLAIR images. Controls (sensitivity 82%) and Alzheimer's disease patients (sensitivity 74%) could be accurately classified using T1-based features, whereas the most difficult group was the dementia with Lewy bodies (sensitivity 32%). These results were notable better than the classification accuracies obtained with visual MRI ratings (accuracy 44.6%, balanced accuracy 51.6%). Different quantification methods provided complementary information, and consequently, the best results were obtained by

  20. Understanding complexity in neurodegenerative diseases: in silico reconstruction of emergence

    PubMed Central

    Kolodkin, Alexey; Simeonidis, Evangelos; Balling, Rudi; Westerhoff, Hans V.

    2012-01-01

    Healthy functioning is an emergent property of the network of interacting biomolecules that comprise an organism. It follows that disease (a network shift that causes malfunction) is also an emergent property, emerging from a perturbation of the network. On the one hand, the biomolecular network of every individual is unique and this is evident when similar disease-producing agents cause different individual pathologies. Consequently, a personalized model and approach for every patient may be required for therapies to become effective across mankind. On the other hand, diverse combinations of internal and external perturbation factors may cause a similar shift in network functioning. We offer this as an explanation for the multi-factorial nature of most diseases: they are “systems biology diseases,” or “network diseases.” Here we use neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson's disease (PD), as an example to show that due to the inherent complexity of these networks, it is difficult to understand multi-factorial diseases with simply our “naked brain.” When describing interactions between biomolecules through mathematical equations and integrating those equations into a mathematical model, we try to reconstruct the emergent properties of the system in silico. The reconstruction of emergence from interactions between huge numbers of macromolecules is one of the aims of systems biology. Systems biology approaches enable us to break through the limitation of the human brain to perceive the extraordinarily large number of interactions, but this also means that we delegate the understanding of reality to the computer. We no longer recognize all those essences in the system's design crucial for important physiological behavior (the so-called “design principles” of the system). In this paper we review evidence that by using more abstract approaches and by experimenting in silico, one may still be able to discover and understand the design principles that

  1. Differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases using structural MRI data

    PubMed Central

    Koikkalainen, Juha; Rhodius-Meester, Hanneke; Tolonen, Antti; Barkhof, Frederik; Tijms, Betty; Lemstra, Afina W.; Tong, Tong; Guerrero, Ricardo; Schuh, Andreas; Ledig, Christian; Rueckert, Daniel; Soininen, Hilkka; Remes, Anne M.; Waldemar, Gunhild; Hasselbalch, Steen; Mecocci, Patrizia; van der Flier, Wiesje; Lötjönen, Jyrki

    2016-01-01

    Different neurodegenerative diseases can cause memory disorders and other cognitive impairments. The early detection and the stratification of patients according to the underlying disease are essential for an efficient approach to this healthcare challenge. This emphasizes the importance of differential diagnostics. Most studies compare patients and controls, or Alzheimer's disease with one other type of dementia. Such a bilateral comparison does not resemble clinical practice, where a clinician is faced with a number of different possible types of dementia. Here we studied which features in structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans could best distinguish four types of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies, and control subjects. We extracted an extensive set of features quantifying volumetric and morphometric characteristics from T1 images, and vascular characteristics from FLAIR images. Classification was performed using a multi-class classifier based on Disease State Index methodology. The classifier provided continuous probability indices for each disease to support clinical decision making. A dataset of 504 individuals was used for evaluation. The cross-validated classification accuracy was 70.6% and balanced accuracy was 69.1% for the five disease groups using only automatically determined MRI features. Vascular dementia patients could be detected with high sensitivity (96%) using features from FLAIR images. Controls (sensitivity 82%) and Alzheimer's disease patients (sensitivity 74%) could be accurately classified using T1-based features, whereas the most difficult group was the dementia with Lewy bodies (sensitivity 32%). These results were notable better than the classification accuracies obtained with visual MRI ratings (accuracy 44.6%, balanced accuracy 51.6%). Different quantification methods provided complementary information, and consequently, the best results were obtained by

  2. The Role of Gene Editing in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Fan, Hueng-Chuen; Chi, Ching-Shiang; Lee, Yih-Jing; Tsai, Jeng-Dau; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Harn, Horng-Jyh

    2017-03-03

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), at least including Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases, have become the most dreaded maladies because of no precise diagnostic tools or definite treatments for these debilitating diseases. The increased prevalence and a substantial impact on the social-economic and medical care of NDs propel governments to develop policies to counteract the impact. Although the etiologies of NDs are still unknown, growing evidence suggests that genetic, cellular and circuit alternations may cause the generation of abnormal misfolded proteins, which uncontrolledly accumulate to damage eventually overwhelms the protein-disposal mechanisms of these neurons, leading to a common pathological feature of NDs. If the functions and the connectivity can be restored, alterations and accumulated damages may improve. The gene-editing tools, including Zincfinger nucleases, Transcription activator-like effector nucleases, and Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats associated nucleases have emerged as a novel tool not only for generating specific ND animal models for interrogating the mechanisms and screening potential drugs against NDs, but also for the editing sequence-specific genes to help patients with NDs to regain the functions and connectivity. This review introduces the clinical manifestations of three distinct NDs and the applications of the gene-editing technology on these debilitating diseases.

  3. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Disease Modeling and Drug Discovery in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Cao, Lei; Tan, Lan; Jiang, Teng; Zhu, Xi-Chen; Yu, Jin-Tai

    2015-08-01

    Although most neurodegenerative diseases have been closely related to aberrant accumulation of aggregation-prone proteins in neurons, understanding their pathogenesis remains incomplete, and there is no treatment to delay the onset or slow the progression of many neurodegenerative diseases. The availability of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in recapitulating the phenotypes of several late-onset neurodegenerative diseases marks the new era in in vitro modeling. The iPSC collection represents a unique and well-characterized resource to elucidate disease mechanisms in these diseases and provides a novel human stem cell platform for screening new candidate therapeutics. Modeling human diseases using iPSCs has created novel opportunities for both mechanistic studies as well as for the discovery of new disease therapies. In this review, we introduce iPSC-based disease modeling in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In addition, we discuss the implementation of iPSCs in drug discovery associated with some new techniques.

  4. Nonpeptide neurotrophic agents useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Akagi, Masaaki; Matsui, Nobuaki; Akae, Haruka; Hirashima, Nana; Fukuishi, Nobuyuki; Fukuyama, Yoshiyasu; Akagi, Reiko

    2015-02-01

    Developed regions, including Japan, have become "aged societies," and the number of adults with senile dementias, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease, has also increased in such regions. Neurotrophins (NTs) may play a role in the treatment of AD because endogenous neurotrophic factors (NFs) prevent neuronal death. However, peptidyl compounds have been unable to cross the blood-brain barrier in clinical studies. Thus, small molecules, which can mimic the functions of NFs, might be promising alternatives for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Natural products, such as or nutraceuticals or those used in traditional medicine, can potentially be used to develop new therapeutic agents against neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we introduced the neurotrophic activities of polyphenols honokiol and magnolol, which are the main constituents of Magnolia obovata Thunb, and methanol extracts from Zingiber purpureum (BANGLE), which may have potential therapeutic applications in various neurodegenerative disorders.

  5. The involvement of microRNAs in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Maciotta, Simona; Meregalli, Mirella; Torrente, Yvan

    2013-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) originate from a loss of neurons in the central nervous system and are severely debilitating. The incidence of NDDs increases with age, and they are expected to become more common due to extended life expectancy. Because no cure is available, these diseases have become a major challenge in neurobiology. The increasing relevance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in biology has prompted investigation into their possible involvement in neurodegeneration in order to identify new therapeutic targets. The idea of using miRNAs as therapeutic targets is not far from realization, but important issues need to be addressed before moving into the clinics. Here, we review what is known about the involvement of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of NDDs. We also report the miRNA expression levels in peripheral tissues of patients affected by NDDs in order to evaluate their application as biomarkers of disease. Finally, discrepancies, innovations, and the effectiveness of collected data will be elucidated and discussed. PMID:24391543

  6. Neurodegenerative diseases: a common etiology and a common therapy.

    PubMed

    Pierpaoli, Walter

    2005-12-01

    The variety of names of neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) does not indicate that there is a wide variety of causes and a multiple number of cures. In fact NDDs derive from a common and repetitive, almost monotonous multicausal origin. NDDs are initiated invariably by a sudden or silent insidious decrease in immunologic resistance of the T cell-dependent or delayed type, produced by a large variety of psychological-emotional and/or environmental "stressors" (e.g., social, family-domestic, economic, alimentary, traumatic, and professional). These stressors increase the vulnerability of tissues (in this case, a section of the central or peripheral nervous system) to attack by a common virus (e.g., adenoviruses and herpesviruses). This attack creates a vicious circle leading to emergence of virus-generated tissue autoantigens and then to formation of autoantibodies. Use of corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs dramatically worsen and "eternalize" the diseases with further immunosuppression. Invariably, onset of NDDs is anticipated by a clear-cut alteration of the hormonal cyclicity, which closely controls immunity. My experience with patients in the last five years indicates a new approach to prevent and cure NDDs, based on a system totally divergent from present therapies. In fact "resetting the hormonal cyclicity clock" results in restoration of hormone-dependent antiviral immunity, arrest of disease progression, and at least partial recovery of neural functions, whatever the origin, anatomic location, and course of pathology.

  7. Recent developments in tau-based therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Medina, Miguel

    2011-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases constitute a major public health issue due to an increasingly aged population as a consequence of generally improved medical care and demographic changes. Current drug treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most prevalent dementia, with cholinesterase inhibitors or NMDA antagonists has demonstrated very modest, symptomatic efficacy, leaving an unmet medical need for new, more effective therapies. Drug development efforts for AD in the last two decades have primarily focused on targets defined by the amyloid cascade hypothesis, so far with disappointing results. In contrast, tau-based strategies have received little attention until recently despite that the presence of extensive tau pathology is central to the disease. The discovery of mutations within the tau gene that cause fronto-temporal dementia demonstrated that tau dysfunction, in the absence of amyloid pathology, was sufficient to cause neuronal loss and clinical dementia. This review focuses on emerging therapeutic strategies aimed at treating the underlying causes of the tau pathology in tauopathies and AD, including some targets with significant potential in the field and which might be on the verge of providing new treatment paradigms within the coming years. Among those strategies, immunotherapy approaches will be mostly discussed. An update on 2010 patents regarding different aspects of tau-based therapeutic strategies is also provided.

  8. The role of β-amyloid peptide in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Maltsev, A V; Bystryak, S; Galzitskaya, O V

    2011-09-01

    Studies of neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs) are drawing more attention of researchers worldwide due to the high incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The pathophysiology of such disorders is, in part, characterized by the transition of a wild-type peptide from its native conformation into a very stable pathological isoform. Subsequently, these abnormal proteins form aggregates of amyloid fibrils that continuously increase in size. Changes in the metabolic processes of neurons (e.g. oxidative stress, hyperphosphorylation of the tau protein, and resulting secondary changes in the cell metabolism) ultimately lead to cell death. We hypothesize that extracellular deposition of β-amyloid peptide fibrils and neurofibrillary tangles represents the body's adaptation mechanism, aimed at preservation of autonomic functioning; while the cognitive decline is severe, the rest of the organ systems remain unaffected and continue to function. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that destruction of pathological plaques, fibrils, and tangles and the use of vaccines targeting β-amyloid result in undesirable side effects. To gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease and to develop novel therapies, continued studies of the sporadic form of disease and the mechanisms triggering conformational changes in β-amyloid peptide fragments are essential. This review is focused on studies investigating the formation of amyloid fibrils and their role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, we discuss a related disorder--amyloidosis--where formation of fibrils, tangles, and plaques leads to neuronal death which may occur as a result of a failed adaptation process. Further in-depth investigation and comprehensive analysis of alterations in the metabolism of APP, β-amyloid, and tau protein, which have a pathological effect on cell membrane, alter phosphate exchange, and impair other key metabolic functions of the cell long before the

  9. Association between environmental exposure to pesticides and neurodegenerative diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Parron, Tesifon; Requena, Mar; Hernandez, Antonio F.; Alarcon, Raquel

    2011-11-15

    Preliminary studies have shown associations between chronic pesticide exposure in occupational settings and neurological disorders. However, data on the effects of long-term non-occupational exposures are too sparse to allow any conclusions. This study examines the influence of environmental pesticide exposure on a number of neuropsychiatric conditions and discusses their underlying pathologic mechanisms. An ecological study was conducted using averaged prevalence rates of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral degeneration, polyneuropathies, affective psychosis and suicide attempts in selected Andalusian health districts categorized into areas of high and low environmental pesticide exposure based on the number of hectares devoted to intensive agriculture and pesticide sales per capita. A total of 17,429 cases were collected from computerized hospital records (minimum dataset) between 1998 and 2005. Prevalence rates and the risk of having Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and suicide were significantly higher in districts with greater pesticide use as compared to those with lower pesticide use. The multivariate analyses showed that the population living in areas with high pesticide use had an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts and that males living in these areas had increased risks for polyneuropathies, affective disorders and suicide attempts. In conclusion, this study supports and extends previous findings and provides an indication that environmental exposure to pesticides may affect the human health by increasing the incidence of certain neurological disorders at the level of the general population. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Environmental exposure to pesticides and neurodegenerative-psychiatric disorders. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts in high exposure areas. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Males from

  10. Molecular Pathological Classification of Neurodegenerative Diseases: Turning towards Precision Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Kovacs, Gabor G.

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are characterized by selective dysfunction and loss of neurons associated with pathologically altered proteins that deposit in the human brain but also in peripheral organs. These proteins and their biochemical modifications can be potentially targeted for therapy or used as biomarkers. Despite a plethora of modifications demonstrated for different neurodegeneration-related proteins, such as amyloid-β, prion protein, tau, α-synuclein, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), or fused in sarcoma protein (FUS), molecular classification of NDDs relies on detailed morphological evaluation of protein deposits, their distribution in the brain, and their correlation to clinical symptoms together with specific genetic alterations. A further facet of the neuropathology-based classification is the fact that many protein deposits show a hierarchical involvement of brain regions. This has been shown for Alzheimer and Parkinson disease and some forms of tauopathies and TDP-43 proteinopathies. The present paper aims to summarize current molecular classification of NDDs, focusing on the most relevant biochemical and morphological aspects. Since the combination of proteinopathies is frequent, definition of novel clusters of patients with NDDs needs to be considered in the era of precision medicine. Optimally, neuropathological categorizing of NDDs should be translated into in vivo detectable biomarkers to support better prediction of prognosis and stratification of patients for therapy trials. PMID:26848654

  11. Exosomes: Origins and Therapeutic Potential for Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Sarko, Diana K.; McKinney, Cindy E.

    2017-01-01

    Exosomes, small lipid bilayer vesicles, are part of the transportable cell secretome that can be taken up by nearby recipient cells or can travel through the bloodstream to cells in distant organs. Selected cellular cytoplasm containing proteins, RNAs, and other macromolecules is packaged into secreted exosomes. This cargo has the potential to affect cellular function in either healthy or pathological ways. Exosomal content has been increasingly shown to assist in promoting pathways of neurodegeneration such as β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) accumulation forming amyloid plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, and pathological aggregates of proteins containing α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease transferred to the central nervous system via exosomes. In attempting to address such debilitating neuropathologies, one promising utility of exosomes lies in the development of methodology to use exosomes as natural delivery vehicles for therapeutics. Because exosomes are capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier, they can be strategically engineered to carry drugs or other treatments, and possess a suitable half-life and stability for this purpose. Overall, analyses of the roles that exosomes play between diverse cellular sites will refine our understanding of how cells communicate. This mini-review introduces the origin and biogenesis of exosomes, their roles in neurodegenerative processes in the central nervous system, and their potential utility to deliver therapeutic drugs to cellular sites. PMID:28289371

  12. Disturbed Matrix Metalloproteinase Pathway in Both Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yunhee; Zhang, Jin-Jun; Francis, Paul T.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose. Abnormal protein deposits including β-amyloid, found in ageing Bruch's membrane and brain, are susceptible to degradation by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). In ageing Bruch's membrane, these MMPs become less effective due to polymerisation and aggregation reactions (constituting the MMP Pathway), a situation much advanced in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The likely presence of this MMP Pathway in brain with the potential to compromise the degradation of β-amyloid associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been investigated. Methods. Presence of high molecular weight MMP species (HMW1 and HMW2) together with the much larger aggregate termed LMMC was determined by standard zymographic techniques. Centrigugation and gel filtration techniques were used to separate and quantify the distribution between bound and free MMP species. Results. The MMP Pathway, initially identified in Bruch's membrane, was also present in brain tissue. The various MMP species displayed bound-free equilibrium and in AD samples, the amount of bound HMW1 and pro-MMP9 species was significantly reduced (p < 0.05). The abnormal operation of the MMP Pathway in AD served to reduce the degradation potential of the MMP system. Conclusion. The presence and abnormalities of the MMP Pathway in both brain and ocular tissues may therefore contribute to the anomalous deposits associated with AD and AMD. PMID:28197357

  13. Search for age-related macular degeneration risk variants in Alzheimer disease genes and pathways.

    PubMed

    Logue, Mark W; Schu, Matthew; Vardarajan, Badri N; Farrell, John; Lunetta, Kathryn L; Jun, Gyungah; Baldwin, Clinton T; Deangelis, Margaret M; Farrer, Lindsay A

    2014-06-01

    Several lines of inquiry point to overlapping molecular mechanisms between late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We evaluated summarized results from large genome-wide association studies for AD and AMD to test the hypothesis that AD susceptibility loci are also associated with AMD. We observed association of both disorders with genes in a region of chromosome 7, including PILRA and ZCWPW1 (peak AMD SNP rs7792525, minor allele frequency [MAF] = 19%, odds ratio [OR] = 1.14, p = 2.34 × 10(-6)), and with ABCA7 (peak AMD SNP rs3752228, MAF = 0.054, OR = 1.22, p = 0.00012). Next, we evaluated association of AMD with genes in AD-related pathways identified by canonical pathway analysis of AD-associated genes. Significant associations were observed with multiple previously identified AMD risk loci and 2 novel genes: HGS (peak SNP rs8070488, MAF = 0.23, OR = 0.91, p = 7.52 × 10(-5)), which plays a role in the clathrin-mediated endocytosis signaling pathway, and TNF (peak SNP rs2071590, MAF = 0.34, OR = 0.89, p = 1.17 × 10(-5)), which is a member of the atherosclerosis signaling and the LXR/RXR activation pathways. Our results suggest that AMD and AD share genetic mechanisms.

  14. Nutraceutical properties of extra-virgin olive oil: a natural remedy for age-related disease?

    PubMed

    Virruso, Claudia; Accardi, Giulia; Colonna-Romano, Giuseppina; Candore, Giuseppina; Vasto, Sonya; Caruso, Calogero

    2014-04-01

    The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet can be largely ascribed to the nutraceutical properties of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). Mono-unsaturated fatty acids and various phenolic compounds, such as oleocanthal, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and tyrosol, are the main nutraceutical substances of EVOO. These substances have been suggested to have the ability to modulate aging-associated processes. In experimental models, it has been shown that EVOO with high concentrations of polyphenols has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Indeed, it was observed that hydroxytyrosol and oleocanthal inhibit the cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and -2) responsible for prostaglandin production; oleuropein is a radical scavenger that blocks the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins. Due to the relevance of olive oil in the economy of Sicily, our group has been funded to assess the nutraceutical properties of different kinds of olive oil. Indeed, the aim of the study is to evaluate effects of EVOOs, with low and high polyphenols content, on immuno-inflammatory and oxidative stress responses in young and old people. A further objective of our group is to evaluate effects of EVOO, with low and high polyphenol content, on the expression of genes encoding proteins that take part in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling pathway involved in longevity. The results of the study will be useful for producing olive oil enriched in nutraceutical properties that may be likely helpful in the prevention of age-related diseases.

  15. Leukocyte telomere length and prevalence of age-related diseases in semisupercentenarians, centenarians and centenarians' offspring.

    PubMed

    Tedone, Enzo; Arosio, Beatrice; Gussago, Cristina; Casati, Martina; Ferri, Evelyn; Ogliari, Giulia; Ronchetti, Francesco; Porta, Alessandra; Massariello, Francesca; Nicolini, Paola; Mari, Daniela

    2014-10-01

    Centenarians and their offspring are increasingly considered a useful model to study and characterize the mechanisms underlying healthy aging and longevity. The aim of this project is to compare the prevalence of age-related diseases and telomere length (TL), a marker of biological age and mortality, across five groups of subjects: semisupercentenarians (SSCENT) (105-109years old), centenarians (CENT) (100-104years old), centenarians' offspring (CO), age- and gender-matched offspring of parents who both died at an age in line with life expectancy (CT) and age- and gender-matched offspring of both non-long-lived parents (NLO). Information was collected on lifestyle, past and current diseases, medical history and medication use. SSCENT displayed a lower prevalence of acute myocardial infarction (p=0.027), angina (p=0.016) and depression (p=0.021) relative to CENT. CO appeared to be healthier compared to CT who, in turn, displayed a lower prevalence of both arrhythmia (p=0.034) and hypertension (p=0.046) than NLO, characterized by the lowest parental longevity. Interestingly, CO and SSCENT exhibited the longest (p<0.001) and the shortest (p<0.001) telomeres respectively while CENT showed no difference in TL compared to the younger CT and NLO. Our results strengthen the hypothesis that the longevity of parents may influence the health status of their offspring. Moreover, our data also suggest that both CENT and their offspring may be characterized by a better TL maintenance which, in turn, may contribute to their longevity and healthy aging. The observation that SSCENT showed considerable shorter telomeres compared to CENT may suggest a progressive impairment of TL maintenance mechanisms over the transition from centenarian to semisupercentenarian age.

  16. Multiple morbidities in companion dogs: a novel model for investigating age-related disease

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Kelly; Hoffman, Jessica M.; Creevy, Kate E.; O’Neill, Dan G.; Promislow, Daniel E.L.

    2016-01-01

    The proportion of men and women surviving over 65 years has been steadily increasing over the last century. In their later years, many of these individuals are afflicted with multiple chronic conditions, placing increasing pressure on healthcare systems. The accumulation of multiple health problems with advanced age is well documented, yet the causes are poorly understood. Animal models have long been employed in attempts to elucidate these complex mechanisms with limited success. Recently, the domestic dog has been proposed as a promising model of human aging for several reasons. Mean lifespan shows twofold variation across dog breeds. In addition, dogs closely share the environments of their owners, and substantial veterinary resources are dedicated to comprehensive diagnosis of conditions in dogs. However, while dogs are therefore useful for studying multimorbidity, little is known about how aging influences the accumulation of multiple concurrent disease conditions across dog breeds. The current study examines how age, body weight, and breed contribute to variation in multimorbidity in over 2,000 companion dogs visiting private veterinary clinics in England. In common with humans, we find that the number of diagnoses increases significantly with age in dogs. However, we find no significant weight or breed effects on morbidity number. This surprising result reveals that while breeds may vary in their average longevity and causes of death, their age-related trajectories of morbidities differ little, suggesting that age of onset of disease may be the source of variation in lifespan across breeds. Future studies with increased sample sizes and longitudinal monitoring may help us discern more breed-specific patterns in morbidity. Overall, the large increase in multimorbidity seen with age in dogs mirrors that seen in humans and lends even more credence to the value of companion dogs as models for human morbidity and mortality. PMID:27876455

  17. Oxidative Stress in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Melo, Ailton; Monteiro, Larissa; Lima, Rute M. F.; de Oliveira, Diêgo M.; de Cerqueira, Martins D.; El-Bachá, Ramon S.

    2011-01-01

    The incidence and prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases (ND) increase with life expectancy. This paper reviews the role of oxidative stress (OS) in ND and pharmacological attempts to fight against reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced neurodegeneration. Several mechanisms involved in ROS generation in neurodegeneration have been proposed. Recent articles about molecular pathways involved in ROS generation were reviewed. The progress in the development of neuroprotective therapies has been hampered because it is difficult to define targets for treatment and determine what should be considered as neuroprotective. Therefore, the attention was focused on researches about pharmacological targets that could protect neurons against OS. Since it is necessary to look for genes as the ultimate controllers of all biological processes, this paper also tried to identify gerontogenes involved in OS and neurodegeneration. Since neurons depend on glial cells to survive, recent articles about the functioning of these cells in aging and ND were also reviewed. Finally, clinical trials testing potential neuroprotective agents were critically reviewed. Although several potential drugs have been screened in in vitro and in vivo models of ND, these results were not translated in benefit of patients, and disappointing results were obtained in the majority of clinical trials. PMID:22191013

  18. Neuropeptides and Microglial Activation in Inflammation, Pain, and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Microglial cells are responsible for immune surveillance within the CNS. They respond to noxious stimuli by releasing inflammatory mediators and mounting an effective inflammatory response. This is followed by release of anti-inflammatory mediators and resolution of the inflammatory response. Alterations to this delicate process may lead to tissue damage, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration. Chronic pain, such as inflammatory or neuropathic pain, is accompanied by neuroimmune activation, and the role of glial cells in the initiation and maintenance of chronic pain has been the subject of increasing research over the last two decades. Neuropeptides are small amino acidic molecules with the ability to regulate neuronal activity and thereby affect various functions such as thermoregulation, reproductive behavior, food and water intake, and circadian rhythms. Neuropeptides can also affect inflammatory responses and pain sensitivity by modulating the activity of glial cells. The last decade has witnessed growing interest in the study of microglial activation and its modulation by neuropeptides in the hope of developing new therapeutics for treating neurodegenerative diseases and chronic pain. This review summarizes the current literature on the way in which several neuropeptides modulate microglial activity and response to tissue damage and how this modulation may affect pain sensitivity. PMID:28154473

  19. 3-Amidocoumarins as Potential Multifunctional Agents against Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Matos, Maria João; Rodríguez-Enríquez, Fernanda; Borges, Fernanda; Santana, Lourdes; Uriarte, Eugenio; Estrada, Martín; Rodríguez-Franco, María Isabel; Laguna, Reyes; Viña, Dolores

    2015-12-01

    Monoamine oxidase (MAO) generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), which cause neuronal cell death, causing neurodegeneration. Agents that are able to concurrently inhibit MAO and scavenge free radicals represent promising multifunctional neuroprotective agents that could be used to delay or slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. In this work, variously substituted 3-amidocoumarins are described that exert neuroprotection in vitro against hydrogen peroxide in rat cortical neurons, as well as antioxidant activity in a 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH⋅) radical scavenging assay. Selective and reversible inhibitors of the MAO-B isoform were identified. Interestingly, in the case of the 3-benzamidocoumarins, substitution at position 4 with a hydroxy group abolishes MAO-B activity, but the compounds remain active in the neuroprotection model. Further evaluation of 3-heteroarylamide derivatives indicates that it is the nature of the heterocycle that determines the neuroprotective effects. Evaluation in a parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA) highlighted the need to further improve the blood-brain barrier permeability of this compound class. However, the compounds described herein adhere to Lipinski's rule of five, suggesting that this novel scaffold has desirable properties for the development of potential drug candidates.

  20. Biological metals and metal-targeting compounds in major neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Barnham, Kevin J; Bush, Ashley I

    2014-10-07

    Multiple abnormalities occur in the homeostasis of essential endogenous brain biometals in age-related neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. As a result, metals both accumulate in microscopic proteinopathies, and can be deficient in cells or cellular compartments. Therefore, bulk measurement of metal content in brain tissue samples reveal only the "tip of the iceberg", with most of the important changes occurring on a microscopic and biochemical level. Each of the major proteins implicated in these disorders interacts with biological transition metals. Tau and the amyloid protein precursor have important roles in normal neuronal iron homeostasis. Changes in metal distribution, cellular deficiencies, or sequestration in proteinopathies all present abnormalities that can be corrected in animal models by small molecules. These biochemical targets are more complex than the simple excess of metals that are targeted by chelators. In this review we illustrate some of the richness in the science that has developed in the study of metals in neurodegeneration, and explore its novel pharmacology.

  1. Exploring the molecular basis of age-related disease comorbidities using a multi-omics graphical model

    PubMed Central

    Zierer, Jonas; Pallister, Tess; Tsai, Pei-Chien; Krumsiek, Jan; Bell, Jordana T.; Lauc, Gordan; Spector, Tim D; Menni, Cristina; Kastenmüller, Gabi

    2016-01-01

    Although association studies have unveiled numerous correlations of biochemical markers with age and age-related diseases, we still lack an understanding of their mutual dependencies. To find molecular pathways that underlie age-related diseases as well as their comorbidities, we integrated aging markers from four different high-throughput omics datasets, namely epigenomics, transcriptomics, glycomics and metabolomics, with a comprehensive set of disease phenotypes from 510 participants of the TwinsUK cohort. We used graphical random forests to assess conditional dependencies between omics markers and phenotypes while eliminating mediated associations. Applying this novel approach for multi-omics data integration yields a model consisting of seven modules that represent distinct aspects of aging. These modules are connected by hubs that potentially trigger comorbidities of age-related diseases. As an example, we identified urate as one of these key players mediating the comorbidity of renal disease with body composition and obesity. Body composition variables are in turn associated with inflammatory IgG markers, mediated by the expression of the hormone oxytocin. Thus, oxytocin potentially contributes to the development of chronic low-grade inflammation, which often accompanies obesity. Our multi-omics graphical model demonstrates the interconnectivity of age-related diseases and highlights molecular markers of the aging process that might drive disease comorbidities. PMID:27886242

  2. Alzheimer’s disease as homeostatic responses to age-related myelin breakdown

    PubMed Central

    Bartzokis, George

    2011-01-01

    The amyloid hypothesis (AH) of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) posits that the fundamental cause of AD is the accumulation of the peptide amyloid beta (Aβ) in the brain. This hypothesis has been supported by observations that genetic defects in amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin increase Aβ production and cause familial AD (FAD). The AH is widely accepted but does not account for important phenomena including recent failures of clinical trials to impact dementia in humans even after successfully reducing Aβ deposits. Herein, the AH is viewed from the broader overarching perspective of the myelin model of the human brain that focuses on functioning brain circuits and encompasses white matter and myelin in addition to neurons and synapses. The model proposes that the recently evolved and extensive myelination of the human brain underlies both our unique abilities and susceptibility to highly prevalent age-related neuropsychiatric disorders such as late onset AD (LOAD). It regards oligodendrocytes and the myelin they produce as being both critical for circuit function and uniquely vulnerable to damage. This perspective reframes key observations such as axonal transport disruptions, formation of axonal swellings/sphenoids and neuritic plaques, and proteinaceous deposits such as Aβ and tau as by-products of homeostatic myelin repair processes. It delineates empirically testable mechanisms of action for genes underlying FAD and LOAD and provides “upstream” treatment targets. Such interventions could potentially treat multiple degenerative brain disorders by mitigating the effects of aging and associated changes in iron, cholesterol, and free radicals on oligodendrocytes and their myelin. PMID:19775776

  3. Elucidation of endemic neurodegenerative diseases--a commentary.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Yuzo

    2003-01-01

    Recent investigations of scrapie, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), and chronic wasting disease (CWD) clusters in Iceland, Slovakia and Colorado, respectively, have indicated that the soil in these regions is low in copper and higher in manganese, and it has been well-known that patients of ALS or Parkinson's disease were collectively found in the New Guinea and Papua islands, where the subterranean water (drinking water) contains much Al3+ and Mn2+ ions. Above facts suggest that these neurodegenerative diseases are closely related with the function of a metal ion. We have investigated the chemical functions of the metal ions in detail and established the unique mechanism of the oxygen activation by the transition metal ions such as iron and copper, and pointed out the notable difference in the mechanism among iron, aluminum and manganese ions. Based on these results, it has become apparent that the incorporation of Al(III) or Mn(II) in the cells induces the "iron-overload syndrome", which is mainly due to the difference in an oxygen activation mechanism between the iron ion and Al(III) or the Mn(II) ion. This syndrome highly promotes formation of hydrogen peroxide, and hydrogen peroxide thus produced can be a main factor to cause serious damages to DNA and proteins (oxidative stress), yielding a copper(II)- or manganese(II)-peptide complex and its peroxide adduct, which are the serious agents to induce the structural changes from the normal prion protein (PrP(c)) to abnormal disease-causing isoforms, PrP(Sc), or the formation of PrP 27-30 (abnormal cleavage at site 90 of the prion protein). It seems reasonable to consider that the essential origin for the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) should be the incorporation and accumulation of Al(III) and Mn(II) ions in the cells, and the sudden and explosive increase of scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the last decade may be partially due to "acid rain", because the acid rain makes Al

  4. DIETARY CARBOHYDRATE AND PROGRESSION OF AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION, A PROSPECTIVE STUDY FROM THE AGE-RELATED EYE DISEASE STUDY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background Cross-sectional studies indicate that diets that provide a higher dietary glycemic index (dGI) are associated with increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). No prospective studies have addressed this issue. Methods dGI was calculated as the weighted average of GIs from foo...

  5. [Review on the neuroprotective effects of green tea polyphenols for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases].

    PubMed

    Li, Qiong; Li, Yong

    2010-01-01

    Considering the multi-etiological characters of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, the current pharmacological approaches using drugs oriented towards a single molecular target possess limited ability to modify the course of the diseases. Green tea polyphenols have been reported to possess more than two active neuroprotective-neurorescue moieties that simultaneously manipulate multiple targets involved in neurodegeneration. This review aims to shed light on the multipharmacological neuroprotective activities and the mechanisms of green tea polyphenols on neurodegenerative diseases.

  6. Neurodegenerative Diseases of the Retina and Potential for Protection and Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, K.-G; Bergert, H; Funk, R.H.W

    2008-01-01

    Recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms in the cascade of events resulting in retinal cell death in ocular pathologies like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration led to the common descriptive term of neurodegenerative diseases of the retina. The final common pathophysiologic pathway of these diseases includes a particular form of metabolic stress, resulting in an insufficient supply of nutrients to the respective target structures (optic nerve head, retina). During metabolic stress, glutamate is released initiating the death of neurones containing ionotropic glutamate (N-methyl-D-aspartat, NMDA) receptors present on ganglion cells and a specific type of amacrine cells. Experimental studies demonstrate that several drugs reduce or prevent the death of retinal neurones deficient of nutrients. These agents generally block NMDA receptors to prevent the action of glutamate or halt the subsequent pathophysiologic cycle resulting in cell death. The major causes for cell death following activation of NMDA receptors are the influx of calcium and sodium into cells, the generation of free radicals linked to the formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) and/or advanced lipoxidation endproducts (ALEs) as well as defects in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Substances preventing these cytotoxic events are considered to be potentially neuroprotective. PMID:19305795

  7. Sleep disturbance in mental health problems and neurodegenerative disease

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Kirstie N; Bradley, Andrew J

    2013-01-01

    Sleep has been described as being of the brain, by the brain, and for the brain. This fundamental neurobiological behavior is controlled by homeostatic and circadian (24-hour) processes and is vital for normal brain function. This review will outline the normal sleep–wake cycle, the changes that occur during aging, and the specific patterns of sleep disturbance that occur in association with both mental health disorders and neurodegenerative disorders. The role of primary sleep disorders such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and REM sleep behavior disorder as potential causes or risk factors for particular mental health or neurodegenerative problems will also be discussed. PMID:23761983

  8. Discovering New Genes in the Pathways of Common Sporadic Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Bioinformatics Approach.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong Hwan; Beak, Seung Han; Charidimou, Andreas; Song, Min

    2016-01-01

    Late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) are mostly "sporadic" age-related neurodegenerative disorders, but with a clear genetic component. However, their genetic architecture is complex and heterogeneous, largely remaining a conundrum, with only a handful of well-established genetic risk factors consistently associated with these diseases. It is possible that numerous, yet undiscovered, AD and PD related genes might exist. We focused on the 'gene' as a mediator to find new potential genes that might have a relationship with both disorders using bio-literature mining techniques. Based on Entrez Gene, we extracted the genes and directional gene-gene relation in the entire MEDLINE records and then constructed a directional gene-gene network. We identified common genes associated with two different but related diseases by performing shortest path analysis on the network. With our approach, we were able to identify and map already known genes that have a direct relationship with PD and AD. In addition, we identified 7 genes previously unknown to be a bridge between these two disorders. We confirmed 4 genes, ROS1, FMN1, ATP8A2, and SNORD12C, by biomedical literature and further checked 3 genes, ERVK-10, PRS, and C7orf49, that might have a high possibility to be related with both diseases. Additional experiments were performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method. Comparing to the co-occurrence approach, our approach detected 25% more candidate genes and verified 10% more genes that have the relationship between both diseases than the co-occurrence approach did.

  9. [The age-related macular degeneration as a vascular disease/part of systemic vasculopathy: contributions to its pathogenesis].

    PubMed

    Fischer, Tamás

    2015-03-01

    The wall of blood vessels including those in choroids may be harmed by several repeated and/or prolonged mechanical, physical, chemical, microbiological, immunologic, and genetic impacts (risk factors), which may trigger a protracted response, the so-called host defense response. As a consequence, pathological changes resulting in vascular injury (e. g. atherosclerosis, age-related macular degeneration) may be evolved. Risk factors can also act directly on the endothelium through an increased production of reactive oxygen species promoting an endothelial activation, which leads to endothelial dysfunction, the onset of vascular disease. Thus, endothelial dysfunction is a link between the harmful stimulus and vascular injury; any kind of harmful stimuli may trigger the defensive chain that results in inflammation that may lead to vascular injury. It has been shown that even early age-related macular degeneration is associated with the presence of diffuse arterial disease and patients with early age-related macular degeneration demonstrate signs of systemic and retinal vascular alterations. Chronic inflammation, a feature of AMD, is tightly linked to diseases associated with ED: AMD is accompanied by a general inflammatory response, in the form of complement system activation, similar to that observed in degenerative vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. All these facts indicate that age-related macular degeneration may be a vascular disease (or part of a systemic vasculopathy). This recognition could have therapeutic implications because restoration of endothelial dysfunction may prevent the development or improve vascular disease resulting in prevention or improvement of age-related macular degeneration as well.

  10. [Non-pharmacologic therapy of age-related macular degeneration, based on the etiopathogenesis of the disease].

    PubMed

    Fischer, Tamás

    2015-07-12

    It has a great therapeutic significance that the disorder of the vascular endothelium, which supplies the affected ocular structures, plays a major role in the development of age-related macular degeneration. Chronic inflammation is closely linked to diseases associated with endothelial dysfuncition and age-related macular degeneration is accompanied by a general inflammatory response. The vascular wall including those in chorioids may be activated by several repeated and/or prolonged mechanical, physical, chemical, microbiological, immunologic and genetic factors causing a protracted host defence response with a consequent vascular damage, which leads to age-related macular degeneration. Based on this concept, age-related macular degeneration is a local manifestation of the systemic vascular disease. This recognition should have therapeutic implications because restoration of endothelial dysfunction can stabilize the condition of chronic vascular disease including age-related macular degeneration, as well. Restoration of endothelial dysfunction by non-pharmacological or pharmacological interventions may prevent the development or improve endothelial dysfunction resulting in prevention or improvement of age-related macular degeneration. Non-pharmacological interventions which may have beneficial effect in endothelial dysfunction include (1) smoking cessation; (2) reduction of increased body weight; (3) adequate physical activity; (4) appropriate diet (a) proper dose of flavonoids, polyphenols and kurcumin; (b) omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid; (c) carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthins), (d) management of dietary glycemic index, (e) caloric restriction, and (5) elimination of stressful lifestyle. Non-pharmacological interventions should be preferable even if medicaments are also used for the treatment of endothelial dysfunction.

  11. Clinical value of nutritional status in neurodegenerative diseases: What is its impact and how it affects disease progression and management?

    PubMed

    Tsagalioti, Eftyhia; Trifonos, Christina; Morari, Aggeliki; Vadikolias, Konstantinos; Giaginis, Constantinos

    2016-11-30

    Neurodegenerative diseases constitute a major problem of public health that is associated with an increased risk of mortality and poor quality of life. Malnutrition is considered as a major problem that worsens the prognosis of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. In this aspect, the present review is aimed to critically collect and summarize all the available existing clinical data regarding the clinical impact of nutritional assessment in neurodegenerative diseases, highlighting on the crucial role of nutritional status in disease progression and management. According to the currently available clinical data, the nutritional status of patients seems to play a very important role in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. A correct nutritional evaluation of neurodegenerative disease patients and a right nutrition intervention is essential in monitoring their disease.

  12. Role of Astroglial Hemichannels and Pannexons in Memory and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Orellana, Juan A; Retamal, Mauricio A; Moraga-Amaro, Rodrigo; Stehberg, Jimmy

    2016-01-01

    Under physiological conditions, astroglial hemichannels and pannexons allow the release of gliotransmitters from astrocytes. These gliotransmitters are critical in modulating synaptic transmission, plasticity and memory. However, recent evidence suggests that under pathological conditions, they may be central in the development of various neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review current literature on the role of astroglial hemichannels and pannexons in memory, stress and the development of neurodegenerative diseases, and propose that they are not only crucial for normal brain function, including memory, but also a potential target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

  13. Role of Astroglial Hemichannels and Pannexons in Memory and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Orellana, Juan A.; Retamal, Mauricio A.; Moraga-Amaro, Rodrigo; Stehberg, Jimmy

    2016-01-01

    Under physiological conditions, astroglial hemichannels and pannexons allow the release of gliotransmitters from astrocytes. These gliotransmitters are critical in modulating synaptic transmission, plasticity and memory. However, recent evidence suggests that under pathological conditions, they may be central in the development of various neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review current literature on the role of astroglial hemichannels and pannexons in memory, stress and the development of neurodegenerative diseases, and propose that they are not only crucial for normal brain function, including memory, but also a potential target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27489539

  14. Evidence for Prion-Like Mechanisms in Several Neurodegenerative Diseases: Potential Implications for Immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are fatal, untreatable neurodegenerative diseases. While the impact of TSEs on human health is relatively minor, these diseases are having a major influence on how we view, and potentially treat, other more common neurodegenerative disorders. Until recently, TSEs encapsulated a distinct category of neurodegenerative disorder, exclusive in their defining characteristic of infectivity. It now appears that similar mechanisms of self-propagation may underlie other proteinopathies such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. This link is of scientific interest and potential therapeutic importance as this route of self-propagation offers conceptual support and guidance for vaccine development efforts. Specifically, the existence of a pathological, self-promoting isoform offers a rational vaccine target. Here, we review the evidence of prion-like mechanisms within a number of common neurodegenerative disorders and speculate on potential implications and opportunities for vaccine development. PMID:24228054

  15. MicroRNAs in Human Diseases: From Autoimmune Diseases to Skin, Psychiatric and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA molecules that negatively regulate gene expression via degradation or translational repression of their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that miRNAs play critical roles in several biologic processes, including cell cycle, differentiation, cell development, cell growth, and apoptosis and that miRNAs are highly expressed in regulatory T (Treg) cells and a wide range of miRNAs are involved in the regulation of immunity and in the prevention of autoimmunity. It has been increasingly reported that miRNAs are associated with various human diseases like autoimmune disease, skin disease, neurological disease and psychiatric disease. Recently, the identification of mi- RNAs in skin has added a new dimension in the regulatory network and attracted significant interest in this novel layer of gene regulation. Although miRNA research in the field of dermatology is still relatively new, miRNAs have been the subject of much dermatological interest in skin morphogenesis and in regulating angiogenesis. In addition, miRNAs are moving rapidly onto center stage as key regulators of neuronal development and function in addition to important contributions to neurodegenerative disorder. Moreover, there is now compelling evidence that dysregulation of miRNA networks is implicated in the development and onset of human neruodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Tourette's syndrome, Down syndrome, depression and schizophrenia. In this review, I briefly summarize the current studies about the roles of miRNAs in various autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, psychoneurological disorders and mental stress. PMID:22194706

  16. Gene therapy for Parkinson's disease: state-of-the-art treatments for neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Michael R

    2013-06-01

    Pharmacological and surgical treatments offer symptomatic benefits to patients with Parkinson's disease; however, as the condition progresses, patients experience gradual worsening in symptom control, with the development of a range of disabling complications. In addition, none of the currently available therapies have convincingly shown disease-modifying effects - either in slowing or reversing the disease. These problems have led to extensive research into the possible use of gene therapy as a treatment for Parkinson's disease. Several treatments have reached human clinical trial stages, providing important information on the risks and benefits of this novel therapeutic approach, and the tantalizing promise of improved control of this currently incurable neurodegenerative disorder.

  17. Molecular mechanisms of excitotoxicity and their relevance to pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Xiao-xia; Wang, Yan; Qin, Zheng-hong

    2009-01-01

    A pivotal role for excitotoxicity in neurodegenerative diseases is gaining increasingly more acceptance, but the underlying mechanisms through which it participates in neurodegeneration still need further investigation. Excessive activation of glutamate receptors by excitatory amino acids leads to a number of deleterious consequences, including impairment of calcium buffering, generation of free radicals, activation of the mitochondrial permeability transition and secondary excitotoxicity. Recent studies implicate excitotoxicity in a variety of neuropathological conditions, suggesting that neurodegenerative diseases with distinct genetic etiologies may share excitotoxicity as a common pathogenic pathway. Thus, understanding the pathways involved in excitotoxicity is of critical importance for the future clinical treatment of many neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses the current understanding of excitotoxic mechanisms and how they are involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:19343058

  18. Cell-to-cell transmission of pathogenic proteins in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Jing L; Lee, Virginia M Y

    2014-01-01

    A common feature of many neurodegenerative diseases is the deposition of β-sheet-rich amyloid aggregates formed by proteins specific to these diseases. These protein aggregates are thought to cause neuronal dysfunction, directly or indirectly. Recent studies have strongly implicated cell-to-cell transmission of misfolded proteins as a common mechanism for the onset and progression of various neurodegenerative disorders. Emerging evidence also suggests the presence of conformationally diverse ‘strains’ of each type of disease protein, which may be another shared feature of amyloid aggregates, accounting for the tremendous heterogeneity within each type of neurodegenerative disease. Although there are many more questions to be answered, these studies have opened up new avenues for therapeutic interventions in neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24504409

  19. Interest of active posturography to detect age-related and early Parkinson's disease-related impairments in mediolateral postural control.

    PubMed

    Bonnet, Cédrick T; Delval, Arnaud; Defebvre, Luc

    2014-11-15

    Patients with Parkinson's disease display impairments of postural control most particularly in active, challenging conditions. The objective of the present study was to analyze early signs of disease-related and also age-related impairments in mediolateral body extension and postural control. Fifty-five participants (18 Hoehn and Yahr stage 2 patients in the off-drug condition, 18 healthy elderly control subjects, and 19 young adults) were included in the study. The participants performed a quiet stance task and two active tasks that analyzed the performance in mediolateral body motion: a limit of stability and a rhythmic weight shift task. As expected, the patients displayed significantly lower and slower body displacement (head, neck, lower back, center of pressure) than elderly control subjects when performing the two body excursion tasks. However, the behavioral variability in both tasks was similar between the groups. Under these active conditions, the patients showed significantly lower contribution of the hip postural control mechanisms compared with the elderly control subjects. Overall, the patients seemed to lower their performance in order to prevent a mediolateral postural instability. However, these patients, at an early stage of their disease, were not unstable in quiet stance. Complementarily, elderly control subjects displayed slower body performance than young adults, which therefore showed an additional age-related impairment in mediolateral postural control. Overall, the study illustrated markers of age-related and Parkinson's disease impairments in mediolateral postural control that may constrain everyday activities in elderly adults and even more in patients with Parkinson's disease.

  20. Emotional and behavioral symptoms in neurodegenerative disease: A model for studying the neural bases of psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Levenson, Robert W.; Sturm, Virginia E.; Haase, Claudia M.

    2014-01-01

    Disruptions in emotional, cognitive, and social behavior are common in neurodegenerative disease and many forms of psychopathology. Because neurodegenerative diseases have much clearer patterns of brain atrophy, they may provide a window into the neural bases of these common symptoms. We discuss five common symptoms that occur in both neurodegenerative disease and psychopathology (i.e., anxiety, dysphoric mood, apathy, disinhibition, and euphoric mood) and their associated neural circuitry. We focus on two neurodegenerative diseases (i.e., Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia) that are common and well-characterized in terms of emotion, cognition, and social behavior and in patterns of associated neuropathology. Neurodegenerative diseases provide a powerful model system for studying the neural correlates of psychopathological symptoms; this is supported by evidence indicating convergence with psychiatric syndromes (e.g., symptoms of disinhibition associated with dysfunction in orbitofrontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus in both frontotemporal dementia and bipolar disorder). We conclude that neurodegenerative diseases can play an important role in future approaches to the assessment, prevention, and treatment of mental illness. PMID:24437433

  1. Heat shock transcription factor 1 as a therapeutic target in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Neef, Daniel W.; Jaeger, Alex M.; Thiele, Dennis J.

    2012-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and prion-based neurodegeneration are associated with the accumulation of misfolded proteins, resulting in neuronal dysfunction and cell death. However, current treatments for these diseases predominantly address disease symptoms, rather than the underlying protein misfolding and cell death, and are not able to halt or reverse the degenerative process. Studies in cell culture, fruitfly, worm and mouse models of protein misfolding-based neurodegenerative diseases indicate that enhancing the protein-folding capacity of cells, via elevated expression of chaperone proteins, has therapeutic potential. Here, we review advances in strategies to harness the power of the natural cellular protein-folding machinery through pharmacological activation of heat shock transcription factor 1 — the master activator of chaperone protein gene expression — to treat neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22129991

  2. Mouse models rarely mimic the transcriptome of human neurodegenerative diseases: A systematic bioinformatics-based critique of preclinical models.

    PubMed

    Burns, Terry C; Li, Matthew D; Mehta, Swapnil; Awad, Ahmed J; Morgan, Alexander A

    2015-07-15

    Translational research for neurodegenerative disease depends intimately upon animal models. Unfortunately, promising therapies developed using mouse models mostly fail in clinical trials, highlighting uncertainty about how well mouse models mimic human neurodegenerative disease at the molecular level. We compared the transcriptional signature of neurodegeneration in mouse models of Alzheimer׳s disease (AD), Parkinson׳s disease (PD), Huntington׳s disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to human disease. In contrast to aging, which demonstrated a conserved transcriptome between humans and mice, only 3 of 19 animal models showed significant enrichment for gene sets comprising the most dysregulated up- and down-regulated human genes. Spearman׳s correlation analysis revealed even healthy human aging to be more closely related to human neurodegeneration than any mouse model of AD, PD, ALS or HD. Remarkably, mouse models frequently upregulated stress response genes that were consistently downregulated in human diseases. Among potential alternate models of neurodegeneration, mouse prion disease outperformed all other disease-specific models. Even among the best available animal models, conserved differences between mouse and human transcriptomes were found across multiple animal model versus human disease comparisons, surprisingly, even including aging. Relative to mouse models, mouse disease signatures demonstrated consistent trends toward preserved mitochondrial function protein catabolism, DNA repair responses, and chromatin maintenance. These findings suggest a more complex and multifactorial pathophysiology in human neurodegeneration than is captured through standard animal models, and suggest that even among conserved physiological processes such as aging, mice are less prone to exhibit neurodegeneration-like changes. This work may help explain the poor track record of mouse-based translational therapies for neurodegeneration and provides a path

  3. A Neurodegenerative Disease Sleep Questionnaire: principal component analysis in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Scullin, Michael K; Harrison, Tyler L; Factor, Stewart A; Bliwise, Donald L

    2014-01-15

    Sleep disturbances are common in many neurodegenerative diseases and may include altered sleep duration, fragmented sleep, nocturia, excessive daytime sleepiness, and vivid dreaming experiences, with occasional parasomnias. Although representing the "gold standard," polysomnography is not always cost-effective or available for measuring sleep disturbance, particularly for screening. Although numerous sleep-related questionnaires exist, many focus on a specific sleep disturbance (e.g., restless legs, REM Behavior Disorder) and do not capture efficiently the variety of sleep issues experienced by such patients. We administered the 12-item Neurodegenerative Disease Sleep Questionnaire (NDSQ) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale to 145 idiopathic Parkinson's disease patients. Principal component analysis using eigenvalues greater than 1 suggested five separate components: sleep quality (e.g., sleep fragmentation), nocturia, vivid dreams/nightmares, restless legs symptoms, and sleep-disordered breathing. These results demonstrate construct validity of our sleep questionnaire and suggest that the NDSQ may be a useful screening tool for sleep disturbances in at least some types of neurodegenerative disorders.

  4. Advances in the treatment of visual hallucinations in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Collerton, Daniel; Taylor, John-Paul

    2013-01-01

    Treatment of visual hallucinations in neurodegenerative disorders is not well advanced. The complexity of underlying mechanisms presents a number of potential avenues for developing treatments, but also suggests that any single one may be of limited efficacy. Reducing medication, with the careful introduction of antidementia medication if needed, is the mainstay of current management. Antipsychotic medication leads to excessive morbidity and mortality and should only be used in cases of high distress that do not otherwise respond. Education, reduction of risk factors and psychological treatments have limited evidence of efficacy, but are unlikely to cause harm. PMID:23882162

  5. Age-related macular degeneration: genetic and environmental factors of disease.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuhong; Bedell, Matthew; Zhang, Kang

    2010-10-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of visual impairment among the elderly in developed countries, and its prevalence is thus increasing as the population ages; however, treatment options remain limited because the etiology and pathogenesis of AMD are incompletely defined. Recently, much progress has been made in gene discovery and mechanistic studies, which clearly indicate that AMD involves the interaction of multiple genetic and environmental factors. The identification of genes that have a substantial impact on the risk for AMD is not only facilitating the diagnosis and screening of populations at risk but is also elucidating key molecular pathways of pathogenesis. Pharmacogenetic studies of treatment responsiveness among patients with the "wet" form of AMD are increasingly proving to be clinically relevant; pharmacogenetic approaches hold great promise for both identifying patients with the best chance for vision recovery as well as tailoring individualized therapies.

  6. A Review of Quality of Life after Predictive Testing for and Earlier Identification of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Paulsen, Jane S.; Nance, Martha; Kim, Ji-In; Carlozzi, Noelle E.; Panegyres, Peter K.; Erwin, Cheryl; Goh, Anita; McCusker, Elizabeth; Williams, Janet K.

    2013-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed an explosion of evidence suggesting that many neurodegenerative diseases can be detected years, if not decades, earlier than previously thought. To date, these scientific advances have not provoked any parallel translational or clinical improvements. There is an urgency to capitalize on this momentum so earlier detection of disease can be more readily translated into improved health-related quality of life for families at risk for, or suffering with, neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we discuss health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measurement in neurodegenerative diseases and the importance of these “patient reported outcomes” for all clinical research. Next, we address HRQOL following early identification or predictive genetic testing in some neurodegenerative diseases: Huntington disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, prion diseases, hereditary ataxias, Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy and Wilson's disease. After a brief report of available direct-to-consumer genetic tests, we address the juxtaposition of earlier disease identification with assumed reluctance towards predictive genetic testing. Forty-one studies examining health related outcomes following predictive genetic testing for neurodegenerative disease suggested that (a) extreme or catastrophic outcomes are rare; (b) consequences commonly include transiently increased anxiety and/or depression; (c) most participants report no regret; (d) many persons report extensive benefits to receiving genetic information; and (e) stigmatization and discrimination for genetic diseases are poorly understood and policy and laws are needed. Caution is appropriate for earlier identification of neurodegenerative diseases but findings suggest further progress is safe, feasible and likely to advance clinical care. PMID:24036231

  7. Cdk5 at crossroads of protein oligomerization in neurodegenerative diseases: facts and hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Wilkaniec, Anna; Czapski, Grzegorz A; Adamczyk, Agata

    2016-01-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is involved in proper neurodevelopment and brain function and serves as a switch between neuronal survival and death. Overactivation of Cdk5 is associated with many neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's diseases. It is believed that in those diseases Cdk5 may be an important link between disease-initiating factors and cell death effectors. A common hallmark of neurodegenerative disorders is incorrect folding of specific proteins, thus leading to their intra- and extracellular accumulation in the nervous system. Abnormal Cdk5 signaling contributes to dysfunction of individual proteins and has a substantial role in either direct or indirect interactions of proteins common to, and critical in, different neurodegenerative diseases. While the roles of Cdk5 in α-synuclein (ASN) - tau or β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) - tau interactions are well documented, its contribution to many other pertinent interactions, such as that of ASN with Aβ, or interactions of the Aβ - ASN - tau triad with prion proteins, did not get beyond plausible hypotheses and remains to be proven. Understanding of the exact position of Cdk5 in the deleterious feed-forward loop critical for development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases may help designing successful therapeutic strategies of several fatal neurodegenerative diseases. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is associated with many neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's diseases. It is believed that in those diseases Cdk5 may be an important factor involved in protein misfolding, toxicity and interaction. We suggest that Cdk5 may contribute to the vicious circle of neurotoxic events involved in the pathogenesis of different neurodegenerative diseases.

  8. From Prion Diseases to Prion-Like Propagation Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Acquatella-Tran Van Ba, Isabelle; Imberdis, Thibaut; Perrier, Véronique

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative sporadic, inherited, or acquired disorders. In humans, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is the most studied prion disease. In animals, the most frequent prion diseases are scrapie in sheep and goat, bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, and the emerging chronic wasting disease in wild and captive deer in North America. The hallmark of prion diseases is the deposition in the brain of PrPSc, an abnormal β-sheet-rich form of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) (Prusiner 1982). According to the prion hypothesis, PrPSc can trigger the autocatalytic conversion of PrPC into PrPSc, presumably in the presence of cofactors (lipids and small RNAs) that have been recently identified. In this review, we will come back to the original works that led to the discovery of prions and to the protein-only hypothesis proposed by Dr. Prusiner. We will then describe the recent reports on mammalian synthetic prions and recombinant prions that strongly support the protein-only hypothesis. The new concept of “deformed templating” regarding a new mechanism of PrPSc formation and replication will be exposed. The review will end with a chapter on the prion-like propagation of other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and tauopathies. PMID:24222767

  9. There's Something Wrong with my MAM; the ER-Mitochondria Axis and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Paillusson, Sebastien; Stoica, Radu; Gomez-Suaga, Patricia; Lau, Dawn H W; Mueller, Sarah; Miller, Tanya; Miller, Christopher C J

    2016-03-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with associated frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD) are major neurodegenerative diseases for which there are no cures. All are characterised by damage to several seemingly disparate cellular processes. The broad nature of this damage makes understanding pathogenic mechanisms and devising new treatments difficult. Can the different damaged functions be linked together in a common disease pathway and which damaged function should be targeted for therapy? Many functions damaged in neurodegenerative diseases are regulated by communications that mitochondria make with a specialised region of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER; mitochondria-associated ER membranes or 'MAM'). Moreover, several recent studies have shown that disturbances to ER-mitochondria contacts occur in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review these findings.

  10. Human whole genome genotype and transcriptome data for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Mariet; Carrasquillo, Minerva M.; Funk, Cory; Heavner, Benjamin D.; Zou, Fanggeng; Younkin, Curtis S.; Burgess, Jeremy D.; Chai, High-Seng; Crook, Julia; Eddy, James A.; Li, Hongdong; Logsdon, Ben; Peters, Mette A.; Dang, Kristen K.; Wang, Xue; Serie, Daniel; Wang, Chen; Nguyen, Thuy; Lincoln, Sarah; Malphrus, Kimberly; Bisceglio, Gina; Li, Ma; Golde, Todd E.; Mangravite, Lara M.; Asmann, Yan; Price, Nathan D.; Petersen, Ronald C.; Graff-Radford, Neill R.; Dickson, Dennis W.; Younkin, Steven G.; Ertekin-Taner, Nilüfer

    2016-01-01

    Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS), conducted by our group and others, have identified loci that harbor risk variants for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Human disease variants are enriched for polymorphisms that affect gene expression, including some that are known to associate with expression changes in the brain. Postulating that many variants confer risk to neurodegenerative disease via transcriptional regulatory mechanisms, we have analyzed gene expression levels in the brain tissue of subjects with AD and related diseases. Herein, we describe our collective datasets comprised of GWAS data from 2,099 subjects; microarray gene expression data from 773 brain samples, 186 of which also have RNAseq; and an independent cohort of 556 brain samples with RNAseq. We expect that these datasets, which are available to all qualified researchers, will enable investigators to explore and identify transcriptional mechanisms contributing to neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27727239

  11. There's Something Wrong with my MAM; the ER–Mitochondria Axis and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Paillusson, Sebastien; Stoica, Radu; Gomez-Suaga, Patricia; Lau, Dawn H.W.; Mueller, Sarah; Miller, Tanya; Miller, Christopher C.J.

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with associated frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD) are major neurodegenerative diseases for which there are no cures. All are characterised by damage to several seemingly disparate cellular processes. The broad nature of this damage makes understanding pathogenic mechanisms and devising new treatments difficult. Can the different damaged functions be linked together in a common disease pathway and which damaged function should be targeted for therapy? Many functions damaged in neurodegenerative diseases are regulated by communications that mitochondria make with a specialised region of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER; mitochondria-associated ER membranes or ‘MAM’). Moreover, several recent studies have shown that disturbances to ER–mitochondria contacts occur in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review these findings. PMID:26899735

  12. Current Perspective of Stem Cell Therapy in Neurodegenerative and Metabolic Diseases.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ajay; Narayanan, Karthikeyan; Chaudhary, Ravi Kumar; Mishra, Sachin; Kumar, Sundramurthy; Vinoth, Kumar Jayaseelan; Padmanabhan, Parasuraman; Gulyás, Balázs

    2016-11-04

    Neurodegenerative diseases have been an unsolved riddle for quite a while; to date, there are no proper and effective curative treatments and only palliative and symptomatic treatments are available to treat these illnesses. The absence of therapeutic treatments for neurodegenerative ailments has huge economic hit and strain on the society. Pharmacotherapies and various surgical procedures like deep brain stimulation are being given to the patient, but they are only effective for the symptoms and not for the diseases. This paper reviews the recent studies and development of stem cell therapy for neurodegenerative disorders. Stem cell-based treatment is a promising new way to deal with neurodegenerative diseases. Stem cell transplantation can advance useful recuperation by delivering trophic elements that impel survival and recovery of host neurons in animal models and patients with neurodegenerative maladies. Several mechanisms, for example, substitution of lost cells, cell combination, release of neurotrophic factor, proliferation of endogenous stem cell, and transdifferentiation, may clarify positive remedial results. With the current advancements in the stem cell therapies, a new hope for the cure has come out since they have potential to be a cure for the same. This review compiles stem cell therapy recent conceptions in neurodegenerative and neurometabolic diseases and updates in this field. Graphical Absract ᅟ.

  13. Aging, neurodegenerative disease, and traumatic brain injury: the role of neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Esopenko, Carrie; Levine, Brian

    2015-02-15

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a highly prevalent condition with significant effects on cognition and behavior. While the acute and sub-acute effects of TBI recover over time, relatively little is known about the long-term effects of TBI in relation to neurodegenerative disease. This issue has recently garnered a great deal of attention due to publicity surrounding chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional athletes, although CTE is but one of several neurodegenerative disorders associated with a history of TBI. Here, we review the literative on neurodegenerative disorders linked to remote TBI. We also review the evidence for neuroimaging changes associated with unhealthy brain aging in the context of remote TBI. We conclude that neuroimaging biomarkers have significant potential to increase understanding of the mechanisms of unhealthy brain aging and neurodegeneration following TBI, with potential for identifying those at risk for unhealthy brain aging prior to the clinical manifestation of neurodegenerative disease.

  14. The Influence of Na+, K+-ATPase on Glutamate Signaling in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Kinoshita, Paula F.; Leite, Jacqueline A.; Orellana, Ana Maria M.; Vasconcelos, Andrea R.; Quintas, Luis E. M.; Kawamoto, Elisa M.; Scavone, Cristoforo

    2016-01-01

    Decreased Na+, K+-ATPase (NKA) activity causes energy deficiency, which is commonly observed in neurodegenerative diseases. The NKA is constituted of three subunits: α, β, and γ, with four distinct isoforms of the catalytic α subunit (α1−4). Genetic mutations in the ATP1A2 gene and ATP1A3 gene, encoding the α2 and α3 subunit isoforms, respectively can cause distinct neurological disorders, concurrent to impaired NKA activity. Within the central nervous system (CNS), the α2 isoform is expressed mostly in glial cells and the α3 isoform is neuron-specific. Mutations in ATP1A2 gene can result in familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM2), while mutations in the ATP1A3 gene can cause Rapid-onset dystonia-Parkinsonism (RDP) and alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC), as well as the cerebellar ataxia, areflexia, pescavus, optic atrophy and sensorineural hearing loss (CAPOS) syndrome. Data indicates that the central glutamatergic system is affected by mutations in the α2 isoform, however further investigations are required to establish a connection to mutations in the α3 isoform, especially given the diagnostic confusion and overlap with glutamate transporter disease. The age-related decline in brain α2∕3 activity may arise from changes in the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) pathway. Glutamate, through nitric oxide synthase (NOS), cGMP and PKG, stimulates brain α2∕3 activity, with the glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor cascade able to drive an adaptive, neuroprotective response to inflammatory and challenging stimuli, including amyloid-β. Here we review the NKA, both as an ion pump as well as a receptor that interacts with NMDA, including the role of NKA subunits mutations. Failure of the NKA-associated adaptive response mechanisms may render neurons more susceptible to degeneration over the course of aging. PMID:27313535

  15. Computer-based magnetic resonance imaging as a tool in clinical diagnosis in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Kassubek, Jan; Müller, Hans-Peter

    2016-01-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the core elements within the differential diagnostic work-up of patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia syndromes, Parkinsonian syndromes, and motor neuron diseases. Currently, computerized MRI analyses are not routinely used for individual diagnosis; however, they have improved the anatomical understanding of pathomorphological alterations in various neurodegenerative diseases by quantitative comparisons between patients and controls at the group level. For multiparametric MRI protocols, including T1-weighted MRI, diffusion-weighted imaging, and intrinsic functional connectivity MRI, the potential as a surrogate marker is a subject of investigation. The additional value of MRI with respect to diagnosis at the individual level and for future disease-modifying multicentre trials remains to be defined. Here, we give an overview of recent applications of multiparametric MRI to patients with various neurodegenerative diseases. Starting from applications at the group level, continuous progress of a transfer to individual diagnostic classification is ongoing.

  16. Age-related iron deposition in the basal ganglia of controls and Alzheimer disease patients quantified using susceptibility weighted imaging.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dan; Li, Yan-Ying; Luo, Jian-Hua; Li, Yue-Hua

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate age-related iron deposition changes in healthy subjects and Alzheimer disease patients using susceptibility weighted imaging. The study recruited 182 people, including 143 healthy volunteers and 39 Alzheimer disease patients. All underwent conventional magnetic resonance imaging and susceptibility weighted imaging sequences. The groups were divided according to age. Phase images were used to investigate iron deposition in the bilateral head of the caudate nucleus, globus pallidus and putamen, and the angle radian value was calculated. We hypothesized that age-related iron deposition changes may be different between Alzheimer disease patients and controls of the same age, and that susceptibility weighted imaging would be a more sensitive method of iron deposition quantification. The results revealed that iron deposition in the globus pallidus increased with age, up to 40 years. In the head of the caudate nucleus, iron deposition peaked at 60 years. There was a general increasing trend with age in the putamen, up to 50-70 years old. There was significant difference between the control and Alzheimer disease groups in the bilateral globus pallidus in both the 60-70 and 70-80 year old group comparisons. In conclusion, iron deposition increased with age in the globus pallidus, the head of the caudate nucleus and putamen, reaching a plateau at different ages. Furthermore, comparisons between the control and Alzheimer disease group revealed that iron deposition changes were more easily detected in the globus pallidus.

  17. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Early Prevention of Inflammatory Neurodegenerative Disease: A Focus on Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Thomas, J; Thomas, C J; Radcliffe, J; Itsiopoulos, C

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia and the most common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly. Furthermore, AD has provided the most positive indication to support the fact that inflammation contributes to neurodegenerative disease. The exact etiology of AD is unknown, but environmental and genetic factors are thought to contribute, such as advancing age, family history, presence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes, and poor diet and lifestyle. It is hypothesised that early prevention or management of inflammation could delay the onset or reduce the symptoms of AD. Normal physiological changes to the brain with ageing include depletion of long chain omega-3 fatty acids and brains of AD patients have lower docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels. DHA supplementation can reduce markers of inflammation. This review specifically focusses on the evidence in humans from epidemiological, dietary intervention, and supplementation studies, which supports the role of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline in AD in its early stages. Longer term trials with long chain omega-3 supplementation in early stage AD are warranted. We also highlight the importance of overall quality and composition of the diet to protect against AD and dementia.

  18. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Early Prevention of Inflammatory Neurodegenerative Disease: A Focus on Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, J.; Thomas, C. J.; Radcliffe, J.; Itsiopoulos, C.

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia and the most common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly. Furthermore, AD has provided the most positive indication to support the fact that inflammation contributes to neurodegenerative disease. The exact etiology of AD is unknown, but environmental and genetic factors are thought to contribute, such as advancing age, family history, presence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes, and poor diet and lifestyle. It is hypothesised that early prevention or management of inflammation could delay the onset or reduce the symptoms of AD. Normal physiological changes to the brain with ageing include depletion of long chain omega-3 fatty acids and brains of AD patients have lower docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels. DHA supplementation can reduce markers of inflammation. This review specifically focusses on the evidence in humans from epidemiological, dietary intervention, and supplementation studies, which supports the role of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline in AD in its early stages. Longer term trials with long chain omega-3 supplementation in early stage AD are warranted. We also highlight the importance of overall quality and composition of the diet to protect against AD and dementia. PMID:26301243

  19. Calorie restriction: A new therapeutic intervention for age-related dry eye disease in rats

    SciTech Connect

    Kawashima, Motoko; Kawakita, Tetsuya; Okada, Naoko; Ogawa, Yoko; Murat, Dogru; Nakamura, Shigeru; Nakashima, Hideo; Shimmura, Shigeto; Shinmura, Ken; Tsubota, Kazuo

    2010-07-09

    A decrease in lacrimal gland secretory function is closely related to aging and leads to an increased prevalence of dry eye syndrome. Since calorie restriction (CR) is considered to prevent functional decline of various organs due to aging, we hypothesized that CR could prevent age-related lacrimal dysfunction. Six-month-old male Fischer 344 rats were randomly divided into ad libitum (AL) and CR (-35%) groups. After 6 months of CR, tear function was examined under conscious state. After euthanasia, lacrimal glands were subjected to histological examination, tear protein secretion stimulation test with Carbachol, and assessment of oxidative stress with 8-hydroxy-2 deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) antibodies. CR significantly improved tear volume and tended to increase tear protein secretion volume after stimulation with Carbachol compared to AL. The acinar unit density was significantly higher in the CR rats compared to AL rats. Lacrimal glands in the CR rats showed a lesser degree of interstitial fibrosis. CR reduced the concentration of 8-OHdG and the extent of staining with HNE in the lacrimal gland, compared to AL. Furthermore, our electron microscopic observations showed that mitochondrial structure of the lacrimal gland obtained from the middle-aged CR rats was preserved in comparison to the AL rats. Collectively, these results demonstrate for the first time that CR may attenuate oxidative stress related damage in the lacrimal gland with preservation of lacrimal gland functions. Although molecular mechanism(s) by which CR maintains lacrimal gland function remains to be resolved, CR might provide a novel therapeutic strategy for treating dry eye syndrome.

  20. Age-related changes of brain iron load changes in the frontal cortex in APPswe/PS1ΔE9 transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Xian-hui, Dong; Wei-juan, Gao; Tie-mei, Shao; Hong-lin, Xie; Jiang-tao, Bai; Jing-yi, Zhao; Xi-qing, Chai

    2015-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) as a neurodegenerative brain disorder is a devastating pathology leading to disastrous cognitive impairments and dementia, associated with major social and economic costs to society. Iron can catalyze damaging free radical reactions. With age, iron accumulates in brain frontal cortex regions and may contribute to the risk of AD. In this communication, we investigated the age-related brain iron load changes in the frontal cortex of 6- and 12-month-old C57BL/6J (C57) and APPswe/PS1ΔE9 (APP/PS1) double transgenic mouse by using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) and Perls' reaction. In the present study, we also evaluated the age-related changes of DMT1 and FPN1 by using Western blot and qPCR. We found that compared with 6-month-old APP/PS1 mice and the 12-month-old C57 mice, the 12-month-old APP/PS1 mice had increased iron load in the frontal cortex. The levels of DMT1 were significantly increased and the FPN1 were significantly reduced in the frontal cortex of the 12-month-old APP/PS1 mice than that in the 6-month-old APP/PS1 mice and 12-month-old C57 mice. We conclude that in AD damage occurs in conjunction with iron accumulation, and the brain iron load associated with loss control of the brain iron metabolism related protein DMT1 and FPN1 expressions.

  1. The diagnosis and management of age-related veterinary cardiovascular disease.

    PubMed

    Saunders, Ashley B

    2012-07-01

    The American Veterinary Medical Association reported 81.7 million cats and 72.1 million dogs in the United States, with more than 10% over 11 years of age. Disorders of the cardiovascular system are one of the most commonly encountered disease entities in the aging pet population. This article reviews the diseases affecting older cats and dogs including how to make the diagnosis and when to treat while keeping in mind the unique aspects of comorbid conditions and polypharmacy situations encountered while managing pets with cardiovascular disease.

  2. Possible protective action of neurotrophic factors and natural compounds against common neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Numakawa, Tadahiro

    2014-01-01

    It has been suggested that altered levels/function of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) play a role in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease. BDNF positively contributes to neural survival and synapse maintenance via stimulating its high affinity receptor TrkB, making upregulation of BDNF and/or activation of BDNF-related intracellular signaling an attractive approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases. In this short review, I briefly introduce small natural compounds such as flavonoids that successfully increase activation of the BDNF system and discuss their beneficial effects against neurodegeneration. PMID:25317165

  3. Measuring Illness beliefs in neurodegenerative disease: why we need to be specific.

    PubMed

    Hurt, Catherine S; Julien, Camille L; Brown, Richard G

    2015-01-01

    Positive perceptions of illness are typically associated with good health outcomes. However, this may not be true for all domains of illness perception in neurodegenerative diseases because of their progressive incurable nature. The appropriateness of current measures of illness belief in these conditions is not known. The validity and reliability of the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised was evaluated in 215 participants with Parkinson's disease. A confirmatory factor analysis supported the structure of the Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised with the exception of the treatment control domain. It is important to consider the nature of neurodegenerative diseases and limits of symptom control when planning interventions.

  4. Age-related differences in biomedical and folk beliefs as causes for diabetes and heart disease among Mexican origin adults.

    PubMed

    Palmquist, Aunchalee E L; Wilkinson, Anna V; Sandoval, Juan-Miguel; Koehly, Laura M

    2012-08-01

    An understanding of health beliefs is key to creating culturally appropriate health services for Hispanic populations in the US. In this study we explore age-based variations in causal beliefs for heart disease and diabetes among Mexican origin adults in Houston, TX. This cross-sectional study included 497 adults of Mexican origin. Participants were asked to indicate the importance of biomedically defined and folk illness-related risk factors as causes for heart disease and diabetes. Biomedical risk factors were ranked highest as causes of diabetes and heart disease among all participants. Folk illness-related factors were ranked below biomedical factors as causes of heart disease among all age groups. Susto was ranked above the median as a risk factor for diabetes among older participants. Age-related differences in causal beliefs may have implications for designing culturally appropriate health services, such as tailored diabetes interventions for older Mexican origin adults.

  5. Neurodegenerative Models in Drosophila: Polyglutamine Disorders, Parkinson Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Ambegaokar, Surendra S.; Roy, Bidisha; Jackson, George R.

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases encompass a large group of neurological disorders. Clinical symptoms can include memory loss, cognitive impairment, loss of movement or loss of control of movement, and loss of sensation. Symptoms are typically adult onset (although severe cases can occur in adolescents) and are reflective of neuronal and glial cell loss in the central nervous system. Neurodegenerative diseases also are considered progressive, with increased severity of symptoms over time, also reflective of increased neuronal cell death. However, various neurodegenerative diseases differentially affect certain brain regions or neuronal or glial cell types. As an example, Alzheimer disease (AD) primarily affects the temporal lobe, whereas neuronal loss in Parkinson disease (PD) is largely (although not exclusively) confined to the nigrostriatal system. Neuronal loss is almost invariably accompanied by abnormal insoluble aggregates, either intra- or extracellular. Thus, neurodegenerative diseases are categorized by (a) the composite of clinical symptoms, (b) the brain regions or types of brain cells primarily affected, and (c) the types of protein aggregates found in the brain. Here we review the methods by which Drosophila melanogaster has been used to model aspects of polyglutamine diseases, Parkinson disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and key insights into that have been gained from these models; Alzheimer disease and the tauopathies are covered elsewhere in this special issue. PMID:20561920

  6. 4 Tesla Whole Body MRI MRSI System for Investigation of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-10-01

    tools for data processing. 14. SUBJECT TERMS 15. NUMBER OF PAGES Magnetic resonance imaging, gulf war syndrome, alzheimer’s disease , 9 brain 16. PRICE...imaging system fully dedicated to study neurodegenerative disorders of the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease , Parkinson’s disease, Posttraumatic...resolution (0.5 x 0.4 x 2mm) Turbo Spin Echo image showing subfieldshave found that certain diseases, such as of the hippocampus Alzheimer’s disease and

  7. Parkinson's disease accelerates age-related decline in haptic perception by altering somatosensory integration.

    PubMed

    Konczak, Jürgen; Sciutti, Alessandra; Avanzino, Laura; Squeri, Valentina; Gori, Monica; Masia, Lorenzo; Abbruzzese, Giovanni; Sandini, Giulio

    2012-11-01

    This study investigated how Parkinson's disease alters haptic perception and the underlying mechanisms of somatosensory and sensorimotor integration. Changes in haptic sensitivity and acuity (the abilities to detect and to discriminate between haptic stimuli) due to Parkinson's disease were systematically quantified and contrasted to the performance of healthy older and young adults. Using a robotic force environment, virtual contours of various curvatures were presented. Participants explored these contours with their hands and indicated verbally whether they could detect or discriminate between two contours. To understand what aspects of sensory or sensorimotor integration are altered by ageing and disease, we manipulated the sensorimotor aspect of the task: the robot either guided the hand along the contour or the participant actively moved the hand. Active exploration relies on multimodal sensory and sensorimotor integration, while passive guidance only requires sensory integration of proprioceptive and tactile information. The main findings of the study are as follows: first, a decline in haptic precision can already be observed in adults before the age of 70 years. Parkinson's disease may lead to an additional decrease in haptic sensitivity well beyond the levels typically seen in middle-aged and older adults. Second, the haptic deficit in Parkinson's disease is general in nature. It becomes manifest as a decrease in sensitivity and acuity (i.e. a smaller perceivable range and a diminished ability to discriminate between two perceivable haptic stimuli). Third, thresholds during both active and passive exploration are elevated, but not significantly different from each other. That is, active exploration did not enhance the haptic deficit when compared to passive hand motion. This implies that Parkinson's disease affects early stages of somatosensory integration that ultimately have an impact on processes of sensorimotor integration. Our results suggest that

  8. Age-Related Alterations in the Metabolic Profile in the Hippocampus of the Senescence-Accelerated Mouse Prone 8: A Spontaneous Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hualong; Lian, Kaoqi; Han, Bing; Wang, Yanyong; Kuo, Sheng-Han; Geng, Yuan; Qiang, Jing; Sun, Meiyu; Wang, Mingwei

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common age-dependent neurodegenerative disorder, produces a progressive decline in cognitive function. The metabolic mechanism of AD has emerged in recent years. In this study, we used multivariate analyses of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry measurements to determine that learning and retention-related metabolic profiles are altered during aging in the hippocampus of the senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8). Alterations in 17 metabolites were detected in mature and aged mice compared to young mice (13 decreased and 4 increased metabolites), including metabolites related to dysfunctional lipid metabolism (significantly increased cholesterol, oleic acid, and phosphoglyceride levels), decreased amino acid (alanine, serine, glycine, aspartic acid, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid), and energy-related metabolite levels (malic acid, butanedioic acid, fumaric acid, and citric acid), and other altered metabolites (increased N-acetyl-aspartic acid and decreased pyroglutamic acid, urea, and lactic acid) in the hippocampus. All of these alterations indicated that the metabolic mechanisms of age-related cognitive impairment in SAMP8 mice were related to multiple pathways and networks. Lipid metabolism, especially cholesterol metabolism, appears to play a distinct role in the hippocampus in AD. PMID:24284365

  9. Bile Acids in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Ackerman, Hayley D.; Gerhard, Glenn S.

    2016-01-01

    Bile acids, a structurally related group of molecules derived from cholesterol, have a long history as therapeutic agents in medicine, from treatment for primarily ocular diseases in ancient Chinese medicine to modern day use as approved drugs for certain liver diseases. Despite evidence supporting a neuroprotective role in a diverse spectrum of age-related neurodegenerative disorders, including several small pilot clinical trials, little is known about their molecular mechanisms or their physiological roles in the nervous system. We review the data reported for their use as treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and their underlying molecular basis. While data from cellular and animal models and clinical trials support potential efficacy to treat a variety of neurodegenerative disorders, the relevant bile acids, their origin, and the precise molecular mechanism(s) by which they confer neuroprotection are not known delaying translation to the clinical setting. PMID:27920719

  10. Dendritic vulnerability in neurodegenerative disease: insights from analyses of cortical pyramidal neurons in transgenic mouse models

    PubMed Central

    Weaver, Christina M.; Rocher, Anne B.; Rodriguez, Alfredo; Crimins, Johanna L.; Dickstein, Dara L.; Wearne, Susan L.; Hof, Patrick R.

    2011-01-01

    In neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, neuronal dendrites and dendritic spines undergo significant pathological changes. Because of the determinant role of these highly dynamic structures in signaling by individual neurons and ultimately in the functionality of neuronal networks that mediate cognitive functions, a detailed understanding of these changes is of paramount importance. Mutant murine models, such as the Tg2576 APP mutant mouse and the rTg4510 tau mutant mouse have been developed to provide insight into pathogenesis involving the abnormal production and aggregation of amyloid and tau proteins, because of the key role that these proteins play in neurodegenerative disease. This review showcases the multidimensional approach taken by our collaborative group to increase understanding of pathological mechanisms in neurodegenerative disease using these mouse models. This approach includes analyses of empirical 3D morphological and electrophysiological data acquired from frontal cortical pyramidal neurons using confocal laser scanning microscopy and whole-cell patch-clamp recording techniques, combined with computational modeling methodologies. These collaborative studies are designed to shed insight on the repercussions of dystrophic changes in neocortical neurons, define the cellular phenotype of differential neuronal vulnerability in relevant models of neurodegenerative disease, and provide a basis upon which to develop meaningful therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing, reversing, or compensating for neurodegenerative changes in dementia. PMID:20177698

  11. Stem cells on the brain: modeling neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases using human iPSCs

    PubMed Central

    Srikanth, Priya; Young-Pearse, Tracy L.

    2014-01-01

    Seven years have passed since the initial report of the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from adult humans, and in the intervening time the field of neuroscience has developed numerous disease models using this technology. Here, we review the progress in the field, and describe both the advantages and potential pitfalls of modeling neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases using this technology. PMID:24628482

  12. Age Related Patterns of Disease and Mortality in Hospitalised Adults in Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Allain, Theresa J.; Aston, Stephen; Mapurisa, Gugulethu; Ganiza, Thokozani N.; Banda, Ndaziona P.; Sakala, Servace; Gonani, Andrew; Heyderman, Robert S.; Peterson, Ingrid

    2017-01-01

    Background The epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low and middle income countries (LMICs) is widely recognised as the next major challenge to global health. However, in many LMICs, infectious diseases are still prevalent resulting in a “double burden” of disease. With increased life expectancy and longevity with HIV, older adults may particularly be at risk of this double burden. Here we describe the relative contributions of infections and NCDs to hospital admissions and mortality, according to age, in Malawi’s largest hospital. Methods Primary diagnosis on discharge/death, mortality rates, and HIV status were recorded prospectively on consecutive adult medical in-patients over 2 years using an electronic medical records system. Diagnoses were classified as infections or NCDs and analysed according to age and gender. Findings 10,191 records were analysed. Overall, infectious diseases, particularly those associated with HIV, were the leading cause of admission. However, in adults ≥55 years, NCDs were the commonest diagnoses. In adults <55 years 71% of deaths were due to infections whereas in adults ≥55 years 56% of deaths were due to NCDs. Interpretation Infectious diseases are still the leading cause of adult admission to a central hospital in Malawi but in adults aged ≥55 years NCDs are the most frequent diagnoses. HIV was an underlying factor in the majority of adults with infections and was also present in 53% of those with NCDs. These findings highlight the need for further health sector shifts to address the double burden of infectious and NCDs, particularly in the ageing population. PMID:28099438

  13. Deciphering complex mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases: the advent of systems biology.

    PubMed

    Noorbakhsh, Farshid; Overall, Christopher M; Power, Christopher

    2009-02-01

    Classical biological methods involving analyses of one or several genes have been the mainstay for studying the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. However, it has become clear that these diseases exhibit complex molecular interactions involving both host genomes and environmental determinants. Systems biology represents an integrated and deeper investigation of interacting biomolecules within cells or organisms. This approach has only recently become feasible as high-throughput technologies including cDNA microarrays, mass spectrometric analyses of proteins and lipids together with rigorous bioinformatics have evolved. Herein, we review recent developments from studies of systems biology applied to multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and HIV-associated dementia as three prototypic neurodegenerative disorders. Existing high-content data derived from clinically and experimentally derived neural tissues point to convergent pathways among these neurodegenerative disorders, which transcend descriptive studies to reach a more integrated understanding of disease pathogenesis and, in some instances, highlighting 'druggable' network nodes.

  14. Interferon Gamma: Influence on Neural Stem Cell Function in Neurodegenerative and Neuroinflammatory Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Apurva; Ganesan, Priya; O’Donnell, Lauren A.

    2016-01-01

    Interferon-gamma (IFNγ), a pleiotropic cytokine, is expressed in diverse neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory conditions. Its protective mechanisms are well documented during viral infections in the brain, where IFNγ mediates non-cytolytic viral control in infected neurons. However, IFNγ also plays both protective and pathological roles in other central nervous system (CNS) diseases. Of the many neural cells that respond to IFNγ, neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs), the only pluripotent cells in the developing and adult brain, are often altered during CNS insults. Recent studies highlight the complex effects of IFNγ on NSPC activity in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the mechanisms that mediate these effects, and the eventual outcomes for the host, are still being explored. Here, we review the effects of IFNγ on NSPC activity during different pathological insults. An improved understanding of the role of IFNγ would provide insight into the impact of immune responses on the progression and resolution of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27774000

  15. The microbiota and microbiome in aging: potential implications in health and age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Zapata, Heidi J; Quagliarello, Vincent J

    2015-04-01

    Advances in bacterial deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing allow for characterization of the human commensal bacterial community (microbiota) and its corresponding genome (microbiome). Surveys of healthy adults reveal that a signature composite of bacteria characterizes each unique body habitat (e.g., gut, skin, oral cavity, vagina). A myriad of clinical changes, including a basal proinflammatory state (inflamm-aging), that directly interface with the microbiota of older adults and enhance susceptibility to disease accompany aging. Studies in older adults demonstrate that the gut microbiota correlates with diet, location of residence (e.g., community dwelling, long-term care settings), and basal level of inflammation. Links exist between the microbiota and a variety of clinical problems plaguing older adults, including physical frailty, Clostridium difficile colitis, vulvovaginal atrophy, colorectal carcinoma, and atherosclerotic disease. Manipulation of the microbiota and microbiome of older adults holds promise as an innovative strategy to influence the development of comorbidities associated with aging.

  16. Supplemental substances derived from foods as adjunctive therapeutic agents for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and disorders.

    PubMed

    Bigford, Gregory E; Del Rossi, Gianluca

    2014-07-01

    Neurodegenerative disorders and diseases (NDDs) that are either chronically acquired or triggered by a singular detrimental event are a rapidly growing cause of disability and/or death. In recent times, there have been major advancements in our understanding of various neurodegenerative disease states that have revealed common pathologic features or mechanisms. The many mechanistic parallels discovered between various neurodegenerative diseases suggest that a single therapeutic approach may be used to treat multiple disease conditions. Of late, natural compounds and supplemental substances have become an increasingly attractive option to treat NDDs because there is growing evidence that these nutritional constituents have potential adjunctive therapeutic effects (be it protective or restorative) on various neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review relevant experimental and clinical data on supplemental substances (i.e., curcuminoids, rosmarinic acid, resveratrol, acetyl-L-carnitine, and ω-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids) that have demonstrated encouraging therapeutic effects on chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and neurodegeneration resulting from acute adverse events, such as traumatic brain injury.

  17. HDAC6 as a target for neurodegenerative diseases: what makes it different from the other HDACs?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have been demonstrated to be beneficial in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. Such results were mainly associated with the epigenetic modulation caused by HDACs, especially those from class I, via chromatin deacetylation. However, other mechanisms may contribute to the neuroprotective effect of HDAC inhibitors, since each HDAC may present distinct specific functions within the neurodegenerative cascades. Such an example is HDAC6 for which the role in neurodegeneration has been partially elucidated so far. The strategy to be adopted in promising therapeutics targeting HDAC6 is still controversial. Specific inhibitors exert neuroprotection by increasing the acetylation levels of α-tubulin with subsequent improvement of the axonal transport, which is usually impaired in neurodegenerative disorders. On the other hand, an induction of HDAC6 would theoretically contribute to the degradation of protein aggregates which characterize various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Hutington’s diseases. This review describes the specific role of HDAC6 compared to the other HDACs in the context of neurodegeneration, by collecting in silico, in vitro and in vivo results regarding the inhibition and/or knockdown of HDAC6 and other HDACs. Moreover, structure, function, subcellular localization, as well as the level of HDAC6 expression within brain regions are reviewed and compared to the other HDAC isoforms. In various neurodegenerative diseases, the mechanisms underlying HDAC6 interaction with other proteins seem to be a promising approach in understanding the modulation of HDAC6 activity. PMID:23356410

  18. Cell-based therapies of liver diseases: age-related challenges

    PubMed Central

    Yarygin, Konstantin N; Lupatov, Alexei Y; Kholodenko, Irina V

    2015-01-01

    The scope of this review is to revise recent advances of the cell-based therapies of liver diseases with an emphasis on cell donor’s and patient’s age. Regenerative medicine with cell-based technologies as its integral part is focused on the structural and functional restoration of tissues impaired by sickness or aging. Unlike drug-based medicine directed primarily at alleviation of symptoms, regenerative medicine offers a more holistic approach to disease and senescence management aimed to achieve restoration of homeostasis. Hepatocyte transplantation and organ engineering are very probable forthcoming options of liver disease treatment in people of different ages and vigorous research and technological innovations in this area are in progress. Accordingly, availability of sufficient amounts of functional human hepatocytes is crucial. Direct isolation of autologous hepatocytes from liver biopsy is problematic due to related discomfort and difficulties with further expansion of cells, particularly those derived from aging people. Allogeneic primary human hepatocytes meeting quality standards are also in short supply. Alternatively, autologous hepatocytes can be produced by reprogramming of differentiated cells through the stage of induced pluripotent stem cells. In addition, fibroblasts and mesenchymal stromal cells can be directly induced to undergo advanced stage hepatogenic differentiation. Reprogramming of cells derived from elderly people is accompanied by the reversal of age-associated changes at the cellular level manifesting itself by telomere elongation and the U-turn of DNA methylation. Cell reprogramming can provide high quality rejuvenated hepatocytes for cell therapy and liver tissue engineering. Further technological advancements and establishment of national and global registries of induced pluripotent stem cell lines homozygous for HLA haplotypes can allow industry-style production of livers for immunosuppression-free transplantation. PMID

  19. Neuroimmune regulation of microglial activity involved in neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    González, Hugo; Elgueta, Daniela; Montoya, Andro; Pacheco, Rodrigo

    2014-09-15

    Neuroinflammation constitutes a fundamental process involved in the progression of several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis. Microglial cells play a central role in neuroinflammation, promoting neuroprotective or neurotoxic microenvironments, thus controlling neuronal fate. Acquisition of different microglial functions is regulated by intercellular interactions with neurons, astrocytes, the blood-brain barrier, and T-cells infiltrating the central nervous system. In this study, an overview of the regulation of microglial function mediated by different intercellular communications is summarised and discussed. Afterward, we focus in T-cell-mediated regulation of neuroinflammation involved in neurodegenerative disorders.

  20. The role of the ubiquitin proteasome system in synapse remodeling and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Mei; Shen, Kang

    2011-01-01

    Summary The ubiquitin proteasome system is a potent regulatory mechanism used to control protein stability in numerous cellular processes, including neural development. Many neurodegenerative diseases are featured by the accumulation of UPS-associated proteins, suggesting the UPS dysfunction may be crucial for pathogenesis. Recent experiments have highlighted the UPS as a key player during synaptic development. Here we summarize recent discoveries centered on the role of the UPS in synapse remodeling and draw attention to the potential link between the synaptic UPS dysfunction and the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:18937340

  1. Serum Levels of Progranulin Do Not Reflect Cerebrospinal Fluid Levels in Neurodegenerative Disease.

    PubMed

    Wilke, Carlo; Gillardon, Frank; Deuschle, Christian; Dubois, Evelyn; Hobert, Markus A; Müller vom Hagen, Jennifer; Krüger, Stefanie; Biskup, Saskia; Blauwendraat, Cornelis; Hruscha, Michael; Kaeser, Stephan A; Heutink, Peter; Maetzler, Walter; Synofzik, Matthis

    2016-01-01

    Altered progranulin levels play a major role in neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's dementia (AD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), even in the absence of GRN mutations. Increasing progranulin levels could hereby provide a novel treatment strategy. However, knowledge on progranulin regulation in neurodegenerative diseases remains limited. We here demonstrate that cerebrospinal fluid progranulin levels do not correlate with its serum levels in AD, FTD and ALS, indicating a differential regulation of its central and peripheral levels in neurodegeneration. Blood progranulin levels thus do not reliably predict central nervous progranulin levels and their response to future progranulin-increasing therapeutics.

  2. Oxidative stress and epigenetic regulation in ageing and age-related diseases.

    PubMed

    Cencioni, Chiara; Spallotta, Francesco; Martelli, Fabio; Valente, Sergio; Mai, Antonello; Zeiher, Andreas M; Gaetano, Carlo

    2013-08-28

    Recent statistics indicate that the human population is ageing rapidly. Healthy, but also diseased, elderly people are increasing. This trend is particularly evident in Western countries, where healthier living conditions and better cures are available. To understand the process leading to age-associated alterations is, therefore, of the highest relevance for the development of new treatments for age-associated diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer and cardiovascular accidents. Mechanistically, it is well accepted that the accumulation of intracellular damage determined by reactive oxygen species (ROS) might orchestrate the progressive loss of control over biological homeostasis and the functional impairment typical of aged tissues. Here, we review how epigenetics takes part in the control of stress stimuli and the mechanisms of ageing physiology and physiopathology. Alteration of epigenetic enzyme activity, histone modifications and DNA-methylation is, in fact, typically associated with the ageing process. Specifically, ageing presents peculiar epigenetic markers that, taken altogether, form the still ill-defined "ageing epigenome". The comprehension of mechanisms and pathways leading to epigenetic modifications associated with ageing may help the development of anti-ageing therapies.

  3. Endocannabinoids and Neurodegenerative Disorders: Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Chorea, Alzheimer's Disease, and Others.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Ruiz, Javier; Romero, Julián; Ramos, José A

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on the role of the endocannabinoid signaling system in controlling neuronal survival, an extremely important issue to be considered when developing new therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. First, we will describe the cellular and molecular mechanisms, and the signaling pathways, underlying these neuroprotective properties, including the control of glutamate homeostasis, calcium influx, the toxicity of reactive oxygen species, glial activation and other inflammatory events; and the induction of autophagy. We will then concentrate on the preclinical studies and the few clinical trials that have been carried out targeting endocannabinoid signaling in three important chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's chorea, and Alzheimer's disease), as well as in other less well-studied disorders. We will end by offering some ideas and proposals for future research that should be carried out to optimize endocannabinoid-based treatments for these disorders. Such studies will strengthen the possibility that these therapies will be investigated in the clinical scenario and licensed for their use in specific disorders.

  4. Drug discovery of neurodegenerative disease through network pharmacology approach in herbs.

    PubMed

    Ke, Zhipeng; Zhang, Xinzhuang; Cao, Zeyu; Ding, Yue; Li, Na; Cao, Liang; Wang, Tuanjie; Zhang, Chenfeng; Ding, Gang; Wang, Zhenzhong; Xu, Xiaojie; Xiao, Wei

    2016-03-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, referring to as the progressive loss of structure and function of neurons, constitute one of the major challenges of modern medicine. Traditional Chinese herbs have been used as a major preventive and therapeutic strategy against disease for thousands years. The numerous species of medicinal herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) compound formulas in nervous system disease therapy make it a large chemical resource library for drug discovery. In this work, we collected 7362 kinds of herbs and 58,147 Traditional Chinese medicinal compounds (Tcmcs). The predicted active compounds in herbs have good oral bioavailability and central nervous system (CNS) permeability. The molecular docking and network analysis were employed to analyze the effects of herbs on neurodegenerative diseases. In order to evaluate the predicted efficacy of herbs, automated text mining was utilized to exhaustively search in PubMed by some related keywords. After that, receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves was used to estimate the accuracy of predictions. Our study suggested that most herbs were distributed in family of Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceae and Apocynaceae. The predictive model yielded good sensitivity and specificity with the AUC values above 0.800. At last, 504 kinds of herbs were obtained by using the optimal cutoff values in ROC curves. These 504 herbs would be the most potential herb resources for neurodegenerative diseases treatment. This study would give us an opportunity to use these herbs as a chemical resource library for drug discovery of anti-neurodegenerative disease.

  5. Interactive Image Analysis in Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Stargardt Disease (STGD).

    PubMed

    Smith, R Theodore; Lee, Noah; Chen, Jian; Busuioc, Mihai; Laine, Andrew F

    2008-10-26

    The literature of the last three decades is replete with automatic methods for retinal image analysis. Acceptance has been limited due to post-processing or tuning requirements that may be just as time consuming as the original manual methods. The point of view herein is that by taking advantage of the human visual system and expert knowledge from the outset, the promised efficiencies of digital methods can be achieved in practice as well as in theory. Thus, simple labeling of regions of interest that is accepted and easily performed in a few moments by the human can provide enormous advantage to an already well-developed algorithm. Three examples are provided: drusen segmentation, image registration, and geographic atrophy segmentation, with applications to disease understanding.

  6. Cause and Consequence: Mitochondrial Dysfunction Initiates and Propagates Neuronal Dysfunction, Neuronal Death and Behavioral Abnormalities in Age Associated Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Gary E.; Starkov, Anatoly; Blass, John P.; Ratan, Rajiv R.; Beal, M. Flint

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Age-related neurodegenerative diseases are associated with mild impairment of oxidative metabolism and accumulation of abnormal proteins. Within the cell, the mitochondria appears to be a dominant site for initiation and propagation of disease processes. Shifts in metabolism in response to mild metabolic perturbations may decrease the threshold for irreversible injury in response to ordinarily sub lethal metabolic insults. Mild impairment of metabolism accrue from and lead to increased reactive oxygen species (ROS). Increased ROS change cell signaling via post transcriptional and transcriptional changes. The cause and consequences of mild impairment of mitochondrial metabolism is one focus of this review. Many experiments in tissues from humans support the notion that oxidative modification of the α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (KGDHC) compromises neuronal energy metabolism and enhance ROS production in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). These data suggest that cognitive decline in AD derives from the selective tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle abnormalities. By contrast in Huntington’s Disease (HD), a movement disorder with cognitive features distinct form AD, complex II + III abnormalities may dominate. These distinct mitochondrial abnormalities culminate in oxidative stress, energy dysfunction, and aberrant homeostasis of cytosolic calcium. Cytosolic calcium, elevations even only transiently, leads to hyperactivity of a number of enzymes. One calcium activated enzyme with demonstrated pathophysiological import in HD and AD is transglutaminase (TGase). TGase is a cross linking enzymes that can modulate transcrption, inactivate metabolic enzymes, and cause aggregation of critical proteins. Recent data indicate that TGase can silence expression of genes involved in compensating for metabolic stress. Altogether, our results suggest that increasing KGDHC via inhibition of TGase or via a host of other strategies to be described would be effective therapeutic

  7. Positive Lysosomal Modulation As a Unique Strategy to Treat Age-Related Protein Accumulation Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Wisniewski, Meagan L.; Butler, David

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Lysosomes are involved in degrading and recycling cellular ingredients, and their disruption with age may contribute to amyloidogenesis, paired helical filaments (PHFs), and α-synuclein and mutant huntingtin aggregation. Lysosomal cathepsins are upregulated by accumulating proteins and more so by the modulator Z-Phe-Ala-diazomethylketone (PADK). Such positive modulators of the lysosomal system have been studied in the well-characterized hippocampal slice model of protein accumulation that exhibits the pathogenic cascade of tau aggregation, tubulin breakdown, microtubule destabilization, transport failure, and synaptic decline. Active cathepsins were upregulated by PADK; Rab proteins were modified as well, indicating enhanced trafficking, whereas lysosome-associated membrane protein and proteasome markers were unchanged. Lysosomal modulation reduced the pre-existing PHF deposits, restored tubulin structure and transport, and recovered synaptic components. Further proof-of-principle studies used Alzheimer disease mouse models. It was recently reported that systemic PADK administration caused dramatic increases in cathepsin B protein and activity levels, whereas neprilysin, insulin-degrading enzyme, α-secretase, and β-secretase were unaffected by PADK. In the transgenic models, PADK treatment resulted in clearance of intracellular amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide and concomitant reduction of extracellular deposits. Production of the less pathogenic Aβ1–38 peptide corresponded with decreased levels of Aβ1–42, supporting the lysosome's antiamyloidogenic role through intracellular truncation. Amelioration of synaptic and behavioral deficits also indicates a neuroprotective function of the lysosomal system, identifying lysosomal modulation as an avenue for disease-modifying therapies. From the in vitro and in vivo findings, unique lysosomal modulators represent a minimally invasive, pharmacologically controlled strategy against protein accumulation disorders

  8. Looking to the horizon: the role of bilirubin in the development and prevention of age-related chronic diseases.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Wallner, Marlies; Mölzer, Christine; Gazzin, Silvia; Bulmer, Andrew Cameron; Tiribelli, Claudio; Vitek, Libor

    2015-07-01

    Bilirubin, the principal tetrapyrrole, bile pigment and catabolite of haem, is an emerging biomarker of disease resistance, which may be related to several recently documented biological functions. Initially believed to be toxic in infants, the perception of bilirubin has undergone a transformation: it is now considered to be a molecule that may promote health in adults. Data from the last decade demonstrate that mildly elevated serum bilirubin levels are strongly associated with reduced prevalence of chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), as well as CVD-related mortality and risk factors. Recent data also link bilirubin to other chronic diseases, including cancer and Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and to all-cause mortality. Therefore, there is evidence to suggest that bilirubin is a biomarker for reduced chronic disease prevalence and a predictor of all-cause mortality, which is of important clinical significance. In the present review, detailed information on the association between bilirubin and all-cause mortality, as well as the pathological conditions of CVD, cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, is provided. The mechanistic background concerning how bilirubin and its metabolism may influence disease prevention and its clinical relevance is also discussed. Given that the search for novel biomarkers of these diseases, as well as for novel therapeutic modalities, is a key research objective for the near future, bilirubin represents a promising candidate, meeting the criteria of a biomarker, and should be considered more carefully in clinical practice as a molecule that might provide insights into disease resistance. Clearly, however, greater molecular insight is warranted to support and strengthen the conclusion that bilirubin can prevent disease, with future research directions also proposed.

  9. Comparative Proteomics for the Evaluation of Protein Expression and Modifications in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Conti, Antonio; Alessio, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Together with hypothesis-driven approaches, high-throughput differential proteomic analysis performed primarily not only in human cerebrospinal fluid and serum but also on protein content of other tissues (blood cells, muscles, peripheral nerves, etc.) has been used in the last years to investigate neurodegenerative diseases. Even if the goal for these analyses was mainly the discovery of neurodegenerative disorders biomarkers, the characterization of specific posttranslational modifications (PTMs) and the differential protein expression resulted in being very informative to better define the pathological mechanisms. In this chapter are presented and discussed the positive aspects and challenges of the outcomes of some of our investigations on neurological and neurodegenerative disease, in order to highlight the important role of protein PTMs studies in proteomics-based approaches.

  10. Target- and Mechanism-Based Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Diseases: Strength in Numbers

    PubMed Central

    Trippier, Paul C.; Labby, Kristin Jansen; Hawker, Dustin D.; Mataka, Jan J.; Silverman, Richard B.

    2013-01-01

    The development of new therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative pathophysiologies currently stands at a crossroads. This presents an opportunity to transition future drug discovery efforts to target disease modification, an area in which much still remains unknown. In this Perspective we examine recent progress in the areas of neurodegenerative drug discovery, focusing on some of the most common targets and mechanisms; N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors, voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), oxidative stress from reactive oxygen species, and protein aggregation. These represent the key players identified in neurodegeneration and are part of a complex, intertwined signaling cascade. The synergistic delivery of two or more compounds directed against these targets, along with the design of small molecules with multiple modes of action should be explored in pursuit of more effective clinical treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:23458846

  11. Pathophysiological Role of Neuroinflammation in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Psychiatric Disorders

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Brain diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, depression, schizophrenia, autism, and addiction lead to reduced quality of daily life through abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotional states, and behavior. While the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood, human and animal studies have supported a role of neuroinflammation in the etiology of these diseases. In the central nervous system, an increased inflammatory response is capable of activating microglial cells, leading to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α. In turn, the pro-inflammatory cytokines aggravate and propagate neuroinflammation, degenerating healthy neurons and impairing brain functions. Therefore, activated microglia may play a key role in neuroinflammatory processes contributing to the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders and neurodegeneration. PMID:27230456

  12. Glycation-altered proteolysis as a pathobiologic mechanism that links dietary glycemic index, aging, and age-related disease in non diabetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Epidemiologic studies indicate that the risks for major age-related debilities including coronary heart disease, diabetes, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are diminished in people who consume lower glycemic index (GI) diets, but lack of a unifying physiobiochemical mechanism that explains...

  13. C9ORF72 mutations in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ying; Yu, Jin-Tai; Zong, Yu; Zhou, Jing; Tan, Lan

    2014-02-01

    Recent works have demonstrated an expansion of the GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat in the first intron of chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72), encoding an unknown C9ORF72 protein, which was responsible for an unprecedented large proportion of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) cases of European ancestry. C9ORF72 is expressed in most tissues including the brain. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that C9ORF72 mutations could reduce the level of C9ORF72 variant 1, which may influence protein expression and the formation of nuclear RNA foci. The spectrum of mutations is broad and provides new insight into neurological diseases. Clinical manifestations of diseases related with C9ORF72 mutations can vary from FTD, ALS, primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), progressive muscular atrophy (PMA), Huntington disease-like syndrome (HDL syndrome), to Alzheimer's disease. In this article, we will review the brief characterizations of the C9ORF72 gene, the expansion mutations, the related disorders, and their features, followed by a discussion of the deficiency knowledge of C9ORF72 mutations. Based on the possible pathological mechanisms of C9ORF72 mutations in ALS and FTD, we can find new targets for the treatment of C9ORF72 mutation-related diseases. Future studies into the mechanisms, taking into consideration the discovery of those disorders, will significantly accelerate new discoveries in this field, including targeting identification of new therapy.

  14. Association between environmental exposure to pesticides and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Parrón, Tesifón; Requena, Mar; Hernández, Antonio F; Alarcón, Raquel

    2011-11-01

    Preliminary studies have shown associations between chronic pesticide exposure in occupational settings and neurological disorders. However, data on the effects of long-term non-occupational exposures are too sparse to allow any conclusions. This study examines the influence of environmental pesticide exposure on a number of neuropsychiatric conditions and discusses their underlying pathologic mechanisms. An ecological study was conducted using averaged prevalence rates of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral degeneration, polyneuropathies, affective psychosis and suicide attempts in selected Andalusian health districts categorized into areas of high and low environmental pesticide exposure based on the number of hectares devoted to intensive agriculture and pesticide sales per capita. A total of 17,429 cases were collected from computerized hospital records (minimum dataset) between 1998 and 2005. Prevalence rates and the risk of having Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and suicide were significantly higher in districts with greater pesticide use as compared to those with lower pesticide use. The multivariate analyses showed that the population living in areas with high pesticide use had an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease and suicide attempts and that males living in these areas had increased risks for polyneuropathies, affective disorders and suicide attempts. In conclusion, this study supports and extends previous findings and provides an indication that environmental exposure to pesticides may affect the human health by increasing the incidence of certain neurological disorders at the level of the general population.

  15. Modulatory Effects of Dietary Amino Acids on Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Rajagopal, Senthilkumar; Sangam, Supraj Raja; Singh, Shubham; Joginapally, Venkateswara Rao

    2016-01-01

    Proteins are playing a vital role in maintaining the cellular integrity and function, as well as for brain cells. Protein intake and supplementation of individual amino acids can affect the brain functioning and mental health, and many of the neurotransmitters in the brain are made from amino acids. The amino acid supplementation has been found to reduce symptoms, as they are converted into neurotransmitters which in turn extenuate the mental disorders. The biosynthesis of amino acids in the brain is regulated by the concentration of amino acids in plasma. The brain diseases such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and Alzheimer's (AD), Parkinson's (PD), and Huntington's diseases (HD) are the most common mental disorders that are currently widespread in numerous countries. The intricate biochemical and molecular machinery contributing to the neurological disorders is still unknown, and in this chapter, we revealed the involvement of dietary amino acids on neurological diseases.

  16. Viral Vector-Based Modeling of Neurodegenerative Disorders: Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Fischer, D Luke; Gombash, Sara E; Kemp, Christopher J; Manfredsson, Fredric P; Polinski, Nicole K; Duffy, Megan F; Sortwell, Caryl E

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy methods are increasingly used to model Parkinson's disease (PD) in animals in an effort to test experimental therapeutics within a more relevant context to disease pathophysiology and neuropathology. We have detailed several criteria that are critical or advantageous to accurately modeling PD in a murine model or in a nonhuman primate. Using these criteria, we then evaluate approaches made to model PD using viral vectors to date, including both adeno-associated viruses and lentiviruses. Lastly, we comment on the consideration of aging as a critical factor for modeling PD.

  17. Redox chemistry of green tea polyphenols: therapeutic benefits in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Hügel, H M; Jackson, N

    2012-05-01

    Evidence for the medicinal and health benefits of polyphenols in green tea for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, various types of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases is advancing. Their in vivo effectiveness and molecular mechanisms are difficult to elucidate and remain a challenging task. We review the redox responsiveness and amyloid protein perturbation biophysical properties of the major green tea polyphenol constituent (-)- epigallocatechin-3-gallate [EGCG].

  18. Menkes kinky hair syndrome: a rare neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Gandhi, Rozil; Kakkar, Ritu; Rajan, Sajeev; Bhangale, Rashmi; Desai, Shrinivas

    2012-01-01

    Menkes kinky hair disease is a rare X-linked recessive disease nearly exclusively affecting males who present at 2-3 months of age due to abnormal functioning of copper-dependent enzymes due to deficiency of copper. Here, we describe a completely worked-up case of a 4-month-old male infant with very typical history and radiological features confirmed by biochemical and trichoanalysis. The initially seen asymmetric cortical and subcortical T2 hyperintensities in cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres converted into symmetrical diffuse cerebral and predominantly cerebellar atrophy with uniform loss of both white and grey matter on follow-up MRI. Also, subdural hemorrhages of various sizes and different stages and tortuosity of larger proximal intracranial vessels with distal narrowing were identified. Ours is a completely worked-up proven case of Menkes kinky hair disease (MKHD) with history, electroencephalography, biochemical, trichoanalysis, and MRI findings. This is a good teaching case and shows importance of clinical examination and biochemistry as complimentary to MRI. Tortuous intracranial arteries with blocked major vessels are found only in this disease, thus stressing the value of MR Angiography in these patients.

  19. Proteins Containing Expanded Polyglutamine Tracts and Neurodegenerative Disease.

    PubMed

    Adegbuyiro, Adewale; Sedighi, Faezeh; Pilkington, Albert W; Groover, Sharon; Legleiter, Justin

    2017-03-07

    Several hereditary neurological and neuromuscular diseases are caused by an abnormal expansion of trinucleotide repeats. To date, there have been 10 of these trinucleotide repeat disorders associated with an expansion of the codon CAG encoding glutamine (Q). For these polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases, there is a critical threshold length of the CAG repeat required for disease, and further expansion beyond this threshold is correlated with age of onset and symptom severity. PolyQ expansion in the translated proteins promotes their self-assembly into a variety of oligomeric and fibrillar aggregate species that accumulate into the hallmark proteinaceous inclusion bodies associated with each disease. Here, we review aggregation mechanisms of proteins with expanded polyQ-tracts, structural consequences of expanded polyQ ranging from monomers to fibrillar aggregates, the impact of protein context and post-translational modifications on aggregation, and a potential role for lipid membranes in aggregation. As the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie these disorders are often classified as either a gain of toxic function or loss of normal protein function, some toxic mechanisms associated with mutant polyQ tracts will also be discussed.

  20. Geroprotectors.org: a new, structured and curated database of current therapeutic interventions in aging and age-related disease.

    PubMed

    Moskalev, Alexey; Chernyagina, Elizaveta; de Magalhães, João Pedro; Barardo, Diogo; Thoppil, Harikrishnan; Shaposhnikov, Mikhail; Budovsky, Arie; Fraifeld, Vadim E; Garazha, Andrew; Tsvetkov, Vasily; Bronovitsky, Evgeny; Bogomolov, Vladislav; Scerbacov, Alexei; Kuryan, Oleg; Gurinovich, Roman; Jellen, Leslie C; Kennedy, Brian; Mamoshina, Polina; Dobrovolskaya, Evgeniya; Aliper, Alex; Kaminsky, Dmitry; Zhavoronkov, Alex

    2015-09-01

    As the level of interest in aging research increases, there is a growing number of geroprotectors, or therapeutic interventions that aim to extend the healthy lifespan and repair or reduce aging-related damage in model organisms and, eventually, in humans. There is a clear need for a manually-curated database of geroprotectors to compile and index their effects on aging and age-related diseases and link these effects to relevant studies and multiple biochemical and drug databases. Here, we introduce the first such resource, Geroprotectors (http://geroprotectors.org). Geroprotectors is a public, rapidly explorable database that catalogs over 250 experiments involving over 200 known or candidate geroprotectors that extend lifespan in model organisms. Each compound has a comprehensive profile complete with biochemistry, mechanisms, and lifespan effects in various model organisms, along with information ranging from chemical structure, side effects, and toxicity to FDA drug status. These are presented in a visually intuitive, efficient framework fit for casual browsing or in-depth research alike. Data are linked to the source studies or databases, providing quick and convenient access to original data. The Geroprotectors database facilitates cross-study, cross-organism, and cross-discipline analysis and saves countless hours of inefficient literature and web searching. Geroprotectors is a one-stop, knowledge-sharing, time-saving resource for researchers seeking healthy aging solutions.

  1. X-82 to Treat Age-related Macular Degeneration

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2017-01-12

    Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD); Macular Degeneration; Exudative Age-related Macular Degeneration; AMD; Macular Degeneration, Age-related, 10; Eye Diseases; Retinal Degeneration; Retinal Diseases

  2. Exogenous melatonin for sleep disorders in neurodegenerative diseases: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Chen, Xue-yan; Su, Su-wen; Jia, Qing-zhong; Ding, Tao; Zhu, Zhong-ning; Zhang, Tong

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this work is to investigate the efficacy of exogenous melatonin in the treatment of sleep disorders in patients with neurodegenerative disease. We searched Pubmed, the Cochrane Library, and ClinicalTrials.gov, from inception to July 2015. We included randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that compared melatonin with placebo and that had the primary aim of improving sleep in people with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). We pooled data with the weighted mean difference in sleep outcomes. To assess heterogeneity in results of individual studies, we used Cochran's Q statistic and the I (2) statistic. 9 RCTs were included in this research. We found that the treatment with exogenous melatonin has positive effects on sleep quality as assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) in PD patients (MD: 4.20, 95 % CI: 0.92-7.48; P = 0.01), and by changes in PSQI component 4 in AD patients (MD: 0.67, 95 % CI: 0.04-1.30; P = 0.04), but not on objective sleep outcomes in both AD and PD patients. Treatment with melatonin effectively improved the clinical and neurophysiological aspects of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD), especially elderly individuals with underlying neurodegenerative disorders. This meta-analysis provided some evidence that melatonin improves sleep quality in patients with AD and PD, and melatonin can be considered as a possible sole or add-on therapy in neurodegenerative disorders patients with RBD.

  3. The Prevalence of Age-Related Eye Diseases and Cataract Surgery among Older Adults in the City of Lodz, Poland.

    PubMed

    Nowak, Michal Szymon; Smigielski, Janusz

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To determine the prevalence of age-related eye diseases and cataract surgery among older adults in the city of Lodz, in central Poland. Material and Methods. The study design was cross-sectional and observational study. A total of 1107 women and men of predominantly Caucasian origin were successfully enumerated and recruited for the study. All selected subjects were interviewed and underwent detailed ophthalmic examinations. Results. Overall 8.04% (95% CI 6.44-9.64) subjects had cataract surgery in either eye. After excluding subjects with bilateral cataract surgery, the prevalence of cataract was 12.10% (95% CI 10.18-14.03). AMD was found in 4.33% (95% CI 3.14-5.54 ) of all subjects. Of them 3.25% (95% CI 2.21-4.30 ) had early AMD and 1.08% (95% CI 0.47-1.69) had late AMD. Various types of glaucoma were diagnosed in 5.51% (95% CI 4.17-6.85) of subjects and 2.62% (95% CI 1.68-3.56) had OHT. The prevalence rates of DR and myopic macular degeneration were 1.72% (95% CI 0.95-2.48) and 0.45% (95% CI 0.06-0.85), respectively. All multiple logistic regression models were only significantly associated with older age. The highest rate of visual impairment was observed among subjects with retinal diseases. Conclusions. The study revealed high prevalence of age-related eye diseases in this older population.

  4. Enhancing attention in neurodegenerative diseases: current therapies and future directions.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Kanchan; Davis, Thomas; Coulthard, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    We all experience at least occasional lapses in attention but in some neurological conditions, loss of attention is pervasive and debilitating. Treating deficits in attention first requires an understanding of the neurobiology of attention, which we now understand to be a set of different cognitive processes. Cholinesterase inhibitors are already established as effective attentional enhancers used in the treatment of certain dementias. Other stimulant agents such as modafanil, amphetamine and methylphenidate have demonstrated limited success in healthy individuals where attention is already optimal and clinical trials in patients with neurological disease are sparse. Dietary and lifestyle changes are gaining increasing prominence, as are experimental treatments such as deep brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. As the therapeutic arsenal widens, clinicians will be able to match specific treatments to selective deficits in attention, giving patients a tailored management plan. Here we review common diseases that impair attention and emphasise how an understanding of attentional processing within the brain might lead to improved therapeutic strategies.

  5. BACE2 expression increases in human neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Holler, Christopher J; Webb, Robin L; Laux, Ashley L; Beckett, Tina L; Niedowicz, Dana M; Ahmed, Rachel R; Liu, Yinxing; Simmons, Christopher R; Dowling, Amy L S; Spinelli, Angela; Khurgel, Moshe; Estus, Steven; Head, Elizabeth; Hersh, Louis B; Murphy, M Paul

    2012-01-01

    β-Secretase, the rate-limiting enzymatic activity in the production of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide, is a major target of Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapeutics. There are two forms of the enzyme: β-site Aβ precursor protein cleaving enzyme (BACE) 1 and BACE2. Although BACE1 increases in late-stage AD, little is known about BACE2. We conducted a detailed examination of BACE2 in patients with preclinical to late-stage AD, including amnestic mild cognitive impairment, and age-matched controls, cases of frontotemporal dementia, and Down's syndrome. BACE2 protein and enzymatic activity increased as early as preclinical AD and were found in neurons and astrocytes. Although the levels of total BACE2 mRNA were unchanged, the mRNA for BACE2 splice form C (missing exon 7) increased in parallel with BACE2 protein and activity. BACE1 and BACE2 were strongly correlated with each other at all levels, suggesting that their regulatory mechanisms may be largely shared. BACE2 was also elevated in frontotemporal dementia but not in Down's syndrome, even in patients with substantial Aβ deposition. Thus, expression of both forms of β-secretase are linked and may play a combined role in human neurologic disease. A better understanding of the normal functions of BACE1 and BACE2, and how these change in different disease states, is essential for the future development of AD therapeutics.

  6. Tau and neurodegenerative disease: the story so far.

    PubMed

    Iqbal, Khalid; Liu, Fei; Gong, Cheng-Xin

    2016-01-01

    In 1975, tau protein was isolated as a microtubule-associated factor from the porcine brain. In the previous year, a paired helical filament (PHF) protein had been identified in neurofibrillary tangles in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer disease (AD), but it was not until 1986 that the PHF protein and tau were discovered to be one and the same. In the AD brain, tau was found to be abnormally hyperphosphorylated, and it inhibited rather than promoted in vitro microtubule assembly. Almost 80 disease-causing exonic missense and intronic silent mutations in the tau gene have been found in familial cases of frontotemporal dementia but, to date, no such mutation has been found in AD. The first phase I clinical trial of an active tau immunization vaccine in patients with AD was recently completed. Assays for tau levels in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma are now available, and tau radiotracers for PET are under development. In this article, we provide an overview of the pivotal discoveries in the tau research field over the past 40 years. We also review the current status of the field, including disease mechanisms and therapeutic approaches.

  7. Silver paper: the future of health promotion and preventive actions, basic research, and clinical aspects of age-related disease--a report of the European Summit on Age-Related Disease.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Jentoft, Alfonso J; Franco, Alain; Sommer, Pascal; Baeyens, Jean Pierre; Jankowska, Ewa; Maggi, Adriana; Ponikowski, Piotr; Rys, Andrzej; Szczerbinska, Kataryna; Michel, Jean-Pierre; Milewicz, Andrzej

    2009-12-01

    BACKGROUND. In September 2008, under the French Presidency of the European Union and with the support of the Polish Minister of Health, a European Summit on Age-Related Disease was organised inWroclaw (Poland). At this meeting, European politicians, gerontologists and geriatricians gathered to discuss a common approach to future challenges related to age-related disease. Politicians and decision-makers from the European Union and Ministers of Health and their deputies from many European countries raised the problems and difficulties to be tackled in a growing population with a high burden of disease, and asked scientists to write a consensus document with recommendations for future actions and decisions. Scientists and clinicians worked in parallel in three different groups, on health promotion and preventive actions, basic research in age-related disease, and clinical aspects of disease in older people. Beforehand, the format of the paper with recommendations was discussed, and it was finally agreed that, for a better understanding by decision- makers, it would be divided in two different columns: one with facts that were considered settled and agreed by most experts (under the heading We know), and a second with recommendations related to each fact (We recommend). No limit on the number of topics to be discussed was settled. After careful and detailed discussion in each group, which in most cases included the exact wording of each statement, chairpersons presented the results in a plenary session, and new input from all participants was received, until each of the statements and recommendations were accepted by a large majority. Areas with no consensus were excluded from the document. Immediately after the Summit, the chairpersons sent the document both to the main authors and to a list of experts (see footnote) who had made presentations at the summit and agreed to review and critically comment on the final document, which is presented below. As regards the

  8. The molecular bases of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Maccioni, R B; Muñoz, J P; Barbeito, L

    2001-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease, the cause of one of the most common types of dementia, is a brain disorder affecting the elderly and is characterized by the formation of two main protein aggregates: senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, which are involved in the process leading to progressive neuronal degeneration and death. Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease is a pathologic condition of cells rather than an accelerated way of aging. The senile plaques are generated by a deposition in the human brain of fibrils of the beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta), a fragment derived from the proteolytic processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Tau protein is the major component of paired helical filaments (PHFs), which form a compact filamentous network described as neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Experiments with hippocampal cells in culture have indicated a relationship between fibrillary amyloid and the cascade of molecular signals that trigger tau hyperphosphorylations. Two main protein kinases have been shown to be involved in anomalous tau phosphorylations: the cyclin-dependent kinase Cdk5 and glycogen synthase kinase GSK3beta. Cdk5 plays a critical role in brain development and is associated with neurogenesis as revealed by studies in brain cells in culture and neuroblastoma cells. Deregulation of this protein kinase as induced by extracellular amyloid loading results in tau hyperphosphorylations, thus triggering a sequence of molecular events that lead to neuronal degeneration. Inhibitors of Cdk5 and GSK3beta and antisense oligonucleotides exert protection against neuronal death. On the other hand, there is cumulative evidence from studies in cultured brain cells and on brains that oxidative stress constitutes a main factor in the modification of normal signaling pathways in neuronal cells, leading to biochemical and structural abnormalities and neurodegeneration as related to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. This review is focused on the main protein

  9. Applications of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Studying the Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Wenbin; Cao, Lan; Kalionis, Bill; Xia, Shijin; Tai, Xiantao

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegeneration is the umbrella term for the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons. Incurable neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) show dramatic rising trends particularly in the advanced age groups. However, the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully elucidated, and to date there are no biomarkers for early detection or effective treatments for the underlying causes of these diseases. Furthermore, due to species variation and differences between animal models (e.g., mouse transgenic and knockout models) of neurodegenerative diseases, substantial debate focuses on whether animal and cell culture disease models can correctly model the condition in human patients. In 2006, Yamanaka of Kyoto University first demonstrated a novel approach for the preparation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which displayed similar pluripotency potential to embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Currently, iPSCs studies are permeating many sectors of disease research. Patient sample-derived iPSCs can be used to construct patient-specific disease models to elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms of disease development and to test new therapeutic strategies. Accordingly, the present review will focus on recent progress in iPSC research in the modeling of neurodegenerative disorders and in the development of novel therapeutic options. PMID:26240571

  10. Enhancing attention in neurodegenerative diseases: current therapies and future directions

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Thomas; Coulthard, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We all experience at least occasional lapses in attention but in some neurological conditions, loss of attention is pervasive and debilitating. Treating deficits in attention first requires an understanding of the neurobiology of attention, which we now understand to be a set of different cognitive processes. Cholinesterase inhibitors are already established as effective attentional enhancers used in the treatment of certain dementias. Other stimulant agents such as modafanil, amphetamine and methylphenidate have demonstrated limited success in healthy individuals where attention is already optimal and clinical trials in patients with neurological disease are sparse. Dietary and lifestyle changes are gaining increasing prominence, as are experimental treatments such as deep brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. As the therapeutic arsenal widens, clinicians will be able to match specific treatments to selective deficits in attention, giving patients a tailored management plan. Here we review common diseases that impair attention and emphasise how an understanding of attentional processing within the brain might lead to improved therapeutic strategies. PMID:28123829

  11. [The blood-brain barrier and neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases].

    PubMed

    Urayama, Akihiko

    2013-02-01

    Enzyme replacement therapy has been a very effective treatment for several lysosomal storage diseases. However, correcting central nervous system (CNS) storage has been challenging due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which hampers the entry of circulating lysosomal enzymes into the brain. In our previous studies, we discovered that luminally expressed cation-independent mannose 6-phosphate (M6P) receptor is a universal transporter for lysosomal enzymes that contain M6P moieties on the enzyme molecule. This receptor-mediated transport of lysosomal enzymes showed developmental down-regulation that resulted in a failure of delivery of lysosomal enzymes across the BBB in the adult brain. Conceptually, if one can re-induce M6P receptor-mediated transport of lysosomal enzymes in adult BBB, this could provide a novel brain targeting approach for treating abnormal storage in the CNS, regardless of the age of subjects. We found that systemic adrenergic stimuli restored functional transport of β-glucuronidase across the adult BBB. The concept of manipulating BBB transport activity by endogenous characteristics has also been demonstrated by another group who showed effective treatment in a Pompe disease model animal in vivo. It is intriguing that lysosomal enzymes utilize multiple mechanisms for their transport across the BBB. This review explores pharmacological manipulations for the delivery of lysosomal enzymes into the CNS, and the mechanisms of their transport across the BBB, based on existing evidence from studies of β-glucuronidase, sulfamidase, acid α-glucosidase, and arylsulfatase A.

  12. Dynamin-Related Protein 1 and Mitochondrial Fragmentation in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Reddy, P. Hemachandra; Reddy, Tejaswini P.; Manczak, Maria; Calkins, Marcus J.; Shirendeb, Ulziibat; Mao, Peizhong

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to review the recent developments of abnormal mitochondrial dynamics, mitochondrial fragmentation, and neuronal damage in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The GTPase family of proteins, including fission proteins, dynamin related protein 1 (Drp1), mitochondrial fission 1 (Fis1), and fusion proteins (Mfn1, Mfn2 and Opa1) are essential to maintain mitochondrial fission and fusion balance, and to provide necessary adenosine triphosphate to neurons. Among these, Drp1 is involved in several important aspects of mitochondria, including shape, size, distribution, remodeling, and maintenance of X in mammalian cells. In addition, recent advancements in molecular, cellular, electron microscopy, and confocal imaging studies revealed that Drp1 is associated with several cellular functions, including mitochondrial and peroxisomal fragmentation, phosphorylation, SUMOylation, ubiquitination, and cell death. In the last two decades, tremendous progress has been made in researching mitochondrial dynamics, in yeast, worms, and mammalian cells; and this research has provided evidence linking Drp1 to neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers in the neurodegenerative disease field are beginning to recognize the possible involvement of Drp1 in causing mitochondrial fragmentation and abnormal mitochondrial dynamics in neurodegenerative diseases. This article summarizes research findings relating Drp1 to mitochondrial fission and fusion, in yeast, worms, and mammals. Based on findings from the Reddy laboratory and others’, we propose that mutant proteins of neurodegenerative diseases, including AD, PD, HD, and ALS, interact with Drp1, activate mitochondrial fission machinery, fragment mitochondria excessively, and impair mitochondrial transport and mitochondrial dynamics, ultimately causing mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal damage. PMID:21145355

  13. Bioinformatics Mining and Modeling Methods for the Identification of Disease Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann-Apitius, Martin; Ball, Gordon; Gebel, Stephan; Bagewadi, Shweta; de Bono, Bernard; Schneider, Reinhard; Page, Matt; Kodamullil, Alpha Tom; Younesi, Erfan; Ebeling, Christian; Tegnér, Jesper; Canard, Luc

    2015-01-01

    Since the decoding of the Human Genome, techniques from bioinformatics, statistics, and machine learning have been instrumental in uncovering patterns in increasing amounts and types of different data produced by technical profiling technologies applied to clinical samples, animal models, and cellular systems. Yet, progress on unravelling biological mechanisms, causally driving diseases, has been limited, in part due to the inherent complexity of biological systems. Whereas we have witnessed progress in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, the area of neurodegenerative diseases has proved to be very challenging. This is in part because the aetiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer´s disease or Parkinson´s disease is unknown, rendering it very difficult to discern early causal events. Here we describe a panel of bioinformatics and modeling approaches that have recently been developed to identify candidate mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases based on publicly available data and knowledge. We identify two complementary strategies—data mining techniques using genetic data as a starting point to be further enriched using other data-types, or alternatively to encode prior knowledge about disease mechanisms in a model based framework supporting reasoning and enrichment analysis. Our review illustrates the challenges entailed in integrating heterogeneous, multiscale and multimodal information in the area of neurology in general and neurodegeneration in particular. We conclude, that progress would be accelerated by increasing efforts on performing systematic collection of multiple data-types over time from each individual suffering from neurodegenerative disease. The work presented here has been driven by project AETIONOMY; a project funded in the course of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI); which is a public-private partnership of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) and the European

  14. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) System for Classifying Cataracts From Photographs: AREDS Report No. 4

    PubMed Central

    2006-01-01

    • PURPOSE: To describe the system for grading cataracts from photographs in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). • METHODS: The system for grading cataracts in AREDS uses photographs taken in a standardized fashion with specially modified cameras at 11 clinical centers. The photographs are evaluated by graders for quality and cataract severity at a central reading center. The area of lens involvement is used to assess the severity of cortical and posterior subcapsular opacities. Optical density of nuclear opacity is graded against a series of seven standard photographs. Contemporaneous variability in grading is evaluated periodically by having a second examiner regrade a subset of the photographs. Temporal variability is assessed by annually regrading a subset of photographs. • RESULTS: Photographs of 925 eyes, most with no or early lens opacities, were regraded to assess intergrader reliability. For cortical opacities, there was an absolute difference of 10% or greater of area involved in 1.9% of the replicate gradings. For posterior subcapsular opacities an absolute difference of 5% of area involved was noted in 2.8% of the regraded photographs. For nuclear opacities, absolute differences of 1.5 or more steps were observed in 0.6% of eyes. There was little evidence of temporal drift in grading any of the three types of opacity during four annual regrades. • CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated a high degree of reliability in grading the severity of lens opacities in a large study cohort with mostly early lens changes, the type of cohort most likely to be entered in clinical trials involving cataract prevention. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study System for Classifying Cataracts From Photographs could be useful in studies where there is a need to standardize data collection over time and across different data collection sites. Limitations of the system include the cost of implementation and, currently, the limited amount of data on grading

  15. Movement and Other Neurodegenerative Syndromes in Patients with Systemic Rheumatic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Menezes, Rikitha; Pantelyat, Alexander; Izbudak, Izlem; Birnbaum, Julius

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Patients with rheumatic diseases can present with movement and other neurodegenerative disorders. It may be underappreciated that movement and other neurodegenerative disorders can encompass a wide variety of disease entities. Such disorders are strikingly heterogeneous and lead to a wider spectrum of clinical injury than seen in Parkinson's disease. Therefore, we sought to stringently phenotype movement and other neurodegenerative disorders presenting in a case series of rheumatic disease patients. We integrated our findings with a review of the literature to understand mechanisms which may account for such a ubiquitous pattern of clinical injury. Seven rheumatic disease patients (5 Sjögren's syndrome patients, 2 undifferentiated connective tissue disease patients) were referred and could be misdiagnosed as having Parkinson's disease. However, all of these patients were ultimately diagnosed as having other movement or neurodegenerative disorders. Findings inconsistent with and more expansive than Parkinson's disease included cerebellar degeneration, dystonia with an alien-limb phenomenon, and nonfluent aphasias. A notable finding was that individual patients could be affected by cooccurring movement and other neurodegenerative disorders, each of which could be exceptionally rare (ie, prevalence of ∼1:1000), and therefore with the collective probability that such disorders were merely coincidental and causally unrelated being as low as ∼1-per-billion. Whereas our review of the literature revealed that ubiquitous patterns of clinical injury were frequently associated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings suggestive of a widespread vasculopathy, our patients did not have such neuroimaging findings. Instead, our patients could have syndromes which phenotypically resembled paraneoplastic and other inflammatory disorders which are known to be associated with antineuronal antibodies. We similarly identified immune-mediated and inflammatory markers

  16. The BMP signaling pathway at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction and its links to neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Bayat, Vafa; Jaiswal, Manish; Bellen, Hugo J.

    2011-01-01

    Summary The Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) has recently provided new insights into the roles of various proteins in neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), and Huntington’s Disease (HD). Several developmental signaling pathways including WNT, MAPK and BMP/TGF-β signaling play important roles in the formation and growth of the Drosophila NMJ. Studies of the fly homologues of genes that cause neurodegenerative disease at the NMJ have resulted in a better understanding of the roles of these proteins in vivo. These studies may shed light on the pathological mechanisms of these diseases, with implications for reduced BMP/TGF-β signaling in ALS, SMA and HD and increased signaling in HSP and MS. PMID:20832291

  17. The role of Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone in aging and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Daimon, Caitlin M.; Chirdon, Patrick; Maudsley, Stuart; Martin, Bronwen

    2013-01-01

    Thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) is primarily known as the central regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. However, TRH also exerts a variety of central nervous system effects independent from its activity in the HPT axis. With advancing age, decreases in TRH synthesis, expression, and activity have been demonstrated. Associated with this emerging evidence suggests that TRH is implicated in neurodegenerative diseases of aging, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. TRH and its synthetic analogs have been recognized as trophic factors in neurons of the diencephalon and spinal cord, and as neuroprotectants against oxidative stress, glutamate toxicity, caspase-induced cell death, DNA fragmentation, and inflammation. In this review, we will provide an overview of some of the roles of TRH, outside of the HPT axis, associated with pathological aging and neurodegeneration and we shall discuss the potential of TRH and TRH analogs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24199031

  18. Age at Onset in Two Common Neurodegenerative Diseases Is Genetically Controlled

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yi-Ju; Scott, William K.; Hedges, Dale J.; Zhang, Fengyu; Gaskell, P. Craig; Nance, Martha A.; Watts, Ray L.; Hubble, Jean P.; Koller, William C.; Pahwa, Rajesh; Stern, Matthew B.; Hiner, Bradley C.; Jankovic, Joseph; Allen, Jr., Fred H.; Goetz, Christopher G.; Mastaglia, Frank; Stajich, Jeffrey M.; Gibson, Rachel A.; Middleton, Lefkos T.; Saunders, Ann M.; Scott, Burton L.; Small, Gary W.; Nicodemus, Kristin K.; Reed, Allison D.; Schmechel, Donald E.; Welsh-Bohmer, Kathleen A.; Conneally, P. Michael; Roses, Allen D.; Gilbert, John R.; Vance, Jeffery M.; Haines, Jonathan L.; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A.

    2002-01-01

    To identify genes influencing age at onset (AAO) in two common neurodegenerative diseases, a genomic screen was performed for AAO in families with Alzheimer disease (AD; n=449) and Parkinson disease (PD; n=174). Heritabilities between 40%–60% were found in both the AD and PD data sets. For PD, significant evidence for linkage to AAO was found on chromosome 1p (LOD = 3.41). For AD, the AAO effect of APOE (LOD = 3.28) was confirmed. In addition, evidence for AAO linkage on chromosomes 6 and 10 was identified independently in both the AD and PD data sets. Subsequent unified analyses of these regions identified a single peak on chromosome 10q between D10S1239 and D10S1237, with a maximum LOD score of 2.62. These data suggest that a common gene affects AAO in these two common complex neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:11875758

  19. Blood-brain barrier P-glycoprotein function in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Bartels, A L

    2011-01-01

    Protection of the brain is strengthened by active transport and ABC transporters. P-glycoprotein (P-gp) at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) functions as an active efflux pump by extruding a substrate from the brain, which is important for maintaining loco-regional homeostasis in the brain and protection against toxic compounds. Importantly, dysfunctional BBB P-gp transport is postulated as an important factor contributing to accumulation of aggregated protein in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Furthermore, P-gp is a major factor in mediating resistance to brain entry of numerous exogenous compounds, including toxins that can be involved in PD pathogenesis. This review highlights the role of altered P-gp function in the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegenerative disease. Also the implications of alterations in P-gp function for the treatment of these diseases are discussed.

  20. Using Drugs as Molecular Probes: A Computational Chemical Biology Approach in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Emon, Mohammad Asif Emran Khan; Kodamullil, Alpha Tom; Karki, Reagon; Younesi, Erfan; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease are complex to tackle because of the complexity of the brain, both in structure and function. Such complexity is reflected by the involvement of various brain regions and multiple pathways in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases that render single drug target approaches ineffective. Particularly in the area of neurodegeneration, attention has been drawn to repurposing existing drugs with proven efficacy and safety profiles. However, there is a lack of systematic analysis of the brain chemical space to predict the feasibility of repurposing strategies. Using a mechanism-based, drug-target interaction modeling approach, we have identified promising drug candidates for repositioning. Mechanistic cause-and-effect models consolidate relevant prior knowledge on drugs, targets, and pathways from the scientific literature and integrate insights derived from experimental data. We demonstrate the power of this approach by predicting two repositioning candidates for Alzheimer’s disease and one for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:28035920

  1. Age at onset in two common neurodegenerative diseases is genetically controlled.

    PubMed

    Li, Yi-Ju; Scott, William K; Hedges, Dale J; Zhang, Fengyu; Gaskell, P Craig; Nance, Martha A; Watts, Ray L; Hubble, Jean P; Koller, William C; Pahwa, Rajesh; Stern, Matthew B; Hiner, Bradley C; Jankovic, Joseph; Allen, Fred A; Goetz, Christopher G; Mastaglia, Frank; Stajich, Jeffrey M; Gibson, Rachel A; Middleton, Lefkos T; Saunders, Ann M; Scott, Burton L; Small, Gary W; Nicodemus, Kristin K; Reed, Allison D; Schmechel, Donald E; Welsh-Bohmer, Kathleen A; Conneally, P Michael; Roses, Allen D; Gilbert, John R; Vance, Jeffery M; Haines, Jonathan L; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A

    2002-04-01

    To identify genes influencing age at onset (AAO) in two common neurodegenerative diseases, a genomic screen was performed for AAO in families with Alzheimer disease (AD; n=449) and Parkinson disease (PD; n=174). Heritabilities between 40%--60% were found in both the AD and PD data sets. For PD, significant evidence for linkage to AAO was found on chromosome 1p (LOD = 3.41). For AD, the AAO effect of APOE (LOD = 3.28) was confirmed. In addition, evidence for AAO linkage on chromosomes 6 and 10 was identified independently in both the AD and PD data sets. Subsequent unified analyses of these regions identified a single peak on chromosome 10q between D10S1239 and D10S1237, with a maximum LOD score of 2.62. These data suggest that a common gene affects AAO in these two common complex neurodegenerative diseases.

  2. Potential use of stem cells in neuroreplacement therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Sugaya, Kiminobu

    2003-01-01

    The use of stem cells for neuroreplacement therapy is no longer science fiction--it is science fact. We have succeeded in the development of neural and mesenchymal stem cell transplantation to produce neural cells in the brain. We have also seen improvement in cognitive function following stem cell transplantation in a memory-impaired aged animal model. These results promise a bright future for stem cell therapies in neurodegenerative diseases. Before we begin to think about clinical applications beyond the present preclinical studies, we have to consider the pathophysiological environment of individual diseases and weigh the factors that affect stem cell biology. Here, I not only review potential therapeutic applications of stem cell strategies in neurodegenerative diseases, but also discuss stem cell biology regarding factors that are altered under disease conditions.

  3. Clinical implications from proteomic studies in neurodegenerative diseases: lessons from mitochondrial proteins.

    PubMed

    Butterfield, D Allan; Palmieri, Erika M; Castegna, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria play a key role in eukaryotic cells, being mediators of energy, biosynthetic and regulatory requirements of these cells. Emerging proteomics techniques have allowed scientists to obtain the differentially expressed proteome or the proteomic redox status in mitochondria. This has unmasked the diversity of proteins with respect to subcellular location, expression and interactions. Mitochondria have become a research 'hot spot' in subcellular proteomics, leading to identification of candidate clinical targets in neurodegenerative diseases in which mitochondria are known to play pathological roles. The extensive efforts to rapidly obtain differentially expressed proteomes and unravel the redox proteomic status in mitochondria have yielded clinical insights into the neuropathological mechanisms of disease, identification of disease early stage and evaluation of disease progression. Although current technical limitations hamper full exploitation of the mitochondrial proteome in neurosciences, future advances are predicted to provide identification of specific therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disorders.

  4. Clinical implications from proteomic studies in neurodegenerative diseases: lessons from mitochondrial proteins

    PubMed Central

    Butterfield, D. Allan; Palmieri, Erika M.; Castegna, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria play a key role in eukaryotic cells, being mediators of energy, biosynthetic and regulatory requirements of these cells. Emerging proteomics techniques have allowed scientists to obtain the differentially expressed proteome or the proteomic redox status in mitochondria. This has unmasked the diversity of proteins with respect to subcellular location, expression and interactions. Mitochondria have become a research ‘hot spot’ in subcellular proteomics, leading to identification of candidate clinical targets in neurodegenerative diseases in which mitochondria are known to play pathological roles. The extensive efforts to rapidly obtain differentially expressed proteomes and unravel the redox proteomic status in mitochondria have yielded clinical insights into the neuropathological mechanisms of disease, identification of disease early stage and evaluation of disease progression. Although current technical limitations hamper full exploitation of the mitochondrial proteome in neurosciences, future advances are predicted to provide identification of specific therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:26837425

  5. Potential of cystamine and cysteamine in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Gibrat, C; Cicchetti, F

    2011-03-30

    Neurodegenerative disorders are a subset of disabling pathologies characterized, in part, by a progressive and specific loss of certain brain cell populations. Current therapeutic approaches for the treatment of these disorders are mainly designed towards symptom management and do not manifestly block their typified neuronal loss. However, research conducted over the past decade has reflected the increasing interest and need to find disease-modifying molecules. Among the several neuroprotective agents emerging from experimental animal work, cystamine, as well as its reduced form cysteamine, have been identified as potential candidate drugs. Given the significant benefits observed in a Huntington's disease (HD) model, cysteamine has recently leaped to clinical trial. Here, we review the beneficial properties of these compounds as reported in animal studies, their mechanistic underpinnings, and their potential implications for the future treatment of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, and more specifically for HD and Parkinson's disease (PD).

  6. The basics of preclinical drug development for neurodegenerative disease indications.

    PubMed

    Steinmetz, Karen L; Spack, Edward G

    2009-06-12

    Preclinical development encompasses the activities that link drug discovery in the laboratory to initiation of human clinical trials. Preclinical studies can be designed to identify a lead candidate from several hits; develop the best procedure for new drug scale-up; select the best formulation; determine the route, frequency, and duration of exposure; and ultimately support the intended clinical trial design. The details of each preclinical development package can vary, but all have some common features. Rodent and nonrodent mammalian models are used to delineate the pharmacokinetic profile and general safety, as well as to identify toxicity patterns. One or more species may be used to determine the drug's mean residence time in the body, which depends on inherent absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion properties. For drugs intended to treat Alzheimer's disease or other brain-targeted diseases, the ability of a drug to cross the blood brain barrier may be a key issue. Toxicology and safety studies identify potential target organs for adverse effects and define the Therapeutic Index to set the initial starting doses in clinical trials. Pivotal preclinical safety studies generally require regulatory oversight as defined by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Good Laboratory Practices and international guidelines, including the International Conference on Harmonization. Concurrent preclinical development activities include developing the Clinical Plan and preparing the new drug product, including the associated documentation to meet stringent FDA Good Manufacturing Practices regulatory guidelines. A wide range of commercial and government contract options are available for investigators seeking to advance their candidate(s). Government programs such as the Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants and the National Institutes of Health Rapid Access to Interventional Development Pilot Program provide funding and

  7. Abstract and concrete categories? Evidences from neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Catricalà, Eleonora; Della Rosa, Pasquale A; Plebani, Valentina; Vigliocco, Gabriella; Cappa, Stefano F

    2014-11-01

    We assessed the performance of patients with a diagnosis of Alzheimer׳s disease (AD) and of the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (sv-PPA) in a series of tasks involving both abstract and concrete stimuli, which were controlled for most of the variables that have been shown to affect performance on lexical-semantic tasks. Our aims were to compare the patients׳ performance on abstract and concrete stimuli and to assess category-effects within the abstract and concrete domains. The results showed: (i) a better performance on abstract than concrete concepts in sv-PPA patients. (ii) Category-related effects in the abstract domain, with emotion concepts being preserved in AD and social relations being selectively impaired in sv-PPA. In addition, a living-non living dissociation may be (infrequently) observed in individual AD patients after controlling for an extensive set of potential confounds. Thus, differences between and within the concrete or abstract domain may be present in patients with semantic memory disorders, mirroring the different brain regions involved by the different pathologies.

  8. Role of paraoxonase 1 (PON1) in organophosphate metabolism: Implications in neurodegenerative diseases

    SciTech Connect

    Androutsopoulos, Vasilis P.; Kanavouras, Konstantinos; Tsatsakis, Aristidis M.

    2011-11-15

    Organophosphate pesticides are a class of compounds that are widely used in agricultural and rural areas. Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) is a phase-I enzyme that is involved in the hydrolysis of organophosphate esters. Environmental poisoning by organophosphate compounds has been the main driving force of previous research on PON1 enzymes. Recent discoveries in animal models have revealed the important role of the enzyme in lipid metabolism. However although PON1 function is well established in experimental models, the contribution of PON1 in neurodegenerative diseases remains unclear. In this minireview we summarize the involvement of PON1 genotypes in the occurrence of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A brief overview of latest epidemiological studies, regarding the two most important PON1 coding region polymorphisms PON1-L55M and PON1-Q192R is presented. Positive and negative associations of PON1 with disease occurrence are reported. Notably the MM and RR alleles contribute a risk enhancing effect for the development of some neurodegenerative diseases, which may be explained by the reduced lipoprotein free radical scavenging activity that may give rise to neuronal damage, through distinct mechanism. Conflicting findings that fail to support this postulate may represent the human population ethnic heterogeneity, different sample size and environmental parameters affecting PON1 status. We conclude that further epidemiological studies are required in order to address the exact contribution of PON1 genome in combination with organophosphate exposure in populations with neurodegenerative diseases.

  9. Alkaloids Pharmacological Activities - Prospects for the Development of Phytopharmaceuticals for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Chaves, Soane K M; Feitosa, Chistiane M; da S Araújo, Lidiane

    The study of natural substances has increased in recent years in the search for compounds with pharmacological properties that can be used for the development of new drugs. The alkaloids, substances extracted natural sources, show promising pharmacological activities, including pharmacological activities for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, whose treatment is based on the use of various drugs. Thus, the article aims to a technological prospecting of alkaloids that presented important properties in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, namely, antioxidant, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant properties. A literature review was conducted in the databases PubMed, Science Direct, Scopus, Scielo and Google Academics using the following key words: alkaloids, pharmacology, neurodegenerative diseases, cholinesterase inhibitors, antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, antioxidant and anxiolytic. Articles, dissertations and theses published between 2003 and 2015 were selected. Several studies showed through in vitro of in vitro and/or in vivo methods that many alkaloids extracted from plants showed anticholinesterase, antioxidant, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant properties in the treatment of symptoms and progression of certain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

  10. Role of paraoxonase 1 (PON1) in organophosphate metabolism: implications in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Androutsopoulos, Vasilis P; Kanavouras, Konstantinos; Tsatsakis, Aristidis M

    2011-11-01

    Organophosphate pesticides are a class of compounds that are widely used in agricultural and rural areas. Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) is a phase-I enzyme that is involved in the hydrolysis of organophosphate esters. Environmental poisoning by organophosphate compounds has been the main driving force of previous research on PON1 enzymes. Recent discoveries in animal models have revealed the important role of the enzyme in lipid metabolism. However although PON1 function is well established in experimental models, the contribution of PON1 in neurodegenerative diseases remains unclear. In this minireview we summarize the involvement of PON1 genotypes in the occurrence of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A brief overview of latest epidemiological studies, regarding the two most important PON1 coding region polymorphisms PON1-L55M and PON1-Q192R is presented. Positive and negative associations of PON1 with disease occurrence are reported. Notably the MM and RR alleles contribute a risk enhancing effect for the development of some neurodegenerative diseases, which may be explained by the reduced lipoprotein free radical scavenging activity that may give rise to neuronal damage, through distinct mechanism. Conflicting findings that fail to support this postulate may represent the human population ethnic heterogeneity, different sample size and environmental parameters affecting PON1 status. We conclude that further epidemiological studies are required in order to address the exact contribution of PON1 genome in combination with organophosphate exposure in populations with neurodegenerative diseases.

  11. Targeting MicroRNAs Involved in the BDNF Signaling Impairment in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    You, Hwa Jeong; Park, Jae Hyon; Pareja-Galeano, Helios; Lucia, Alejandro; Shin, Jae Il

    2016-12-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are becoming an ever-increasing problem in aging populations. Low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have previously been associated with the pathogenesis of numerous neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have been proposed as potential novel therapeutic targets for treating various diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), and interestingly, few studies have reported several miRNAs that downregulate the expression levels of BDNF. However, substantial challenges exist when attempting to translate these findings into practical anti-miRNA therapeutics, especially when the targets remain inside the CNS. Thus, in this review, we summarize the specific molecular mechanisms by which several miRNAs negatively modulate the expressions of BDNF, address the potential clinical difficulties that can be faced during the development of anti-miRNA-based therapeutics and propose strategies to overcome these challenges.

  12. Immunopathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases: current therapeutic models of neuroprotection with special reference to natural products.

    PubMed

    Magrone, T; Marzulli, G; Jirillo, E

    2012-01-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) and Alzheimer disease (AD) are neurodegenerative processes whose frequency is dramatically increasing in the western world. Both diseases share a common pathogenic denominator characterized by an exaggerated activation of the systemic and cerebral immune system, respectively. For instance, lipopolysaccharides in PD and amyloid beta in AD trigger microglia and astrocytes to release reactive oxygen species (ROS) and proinflammatory cytokines. Infiltrating peripheral T cells once activated in the central nervous system also contribute to the neurodegenerative process. Besides innovative biotherapy, nutraceuticals or functional foods are currently investigated for their neuroprotective activities. Especially, vitamin D and polyphenols, seem to be promising therapeutic tools for inhibiting ROS formation and arresting cytokine-mediated neuroinflammation in PD and AD.

  13. Decrease in Hurst exponent of human gait with aging and neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, Jian-Jun; Ning, Xin-Bao; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Hou, Feng-Zhen; Huo, Cheng-Yu

    2008-03-01

    In this paper the decrease in the Hurst exponent of human gait with aging and neurodegenerative diseases was observed by using an improved rescaled range (R/S) analysis method. It indicates that the long-range correlations of gait rhythm from young healthy people are stronger than those from the healthy elderly and the diseased. The result further implies that fractal dynamics in human gait will be altered due to weakening or impairment of neural control on locomotion resulting from aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Due to analysing short-term data sequences rather than long datasets required by most nonlinear methods, the algorithm has the characteristics of simplicity and sensitivity, most importantly, fast calculation as well as powerful anti-noise capacities. These findings have implications for modelling locomotor control and also for quantifying gait dynamics in varying physiologic and pathologic states.

  14. Histochemical approaches to assess cell-to-cell transmission of misfolded proteins in neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Natale, G.; Pompili, E.; Biagioni, F.; Paparelli, S.; Lenzi, P.; Fornai, F.

    2013-01-01

    Formation, aggregation and transmission of abnormal proteins are common features in neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. The mechanisms underlying protein alterations in neurodegenerative diseases remain controversial. Novel findings highlighted altered protein clearing systems as common biochemical pathways which generate protein misfolding, which in turn causes protein aggregation and protein spreading. In fact, proteinaceous aggregates are prone to cell-tocell propagation. This is reminiscent of what happens in prion disorders, where the prion protein misfolds thus forming aggregates which spread to neighbouring cells. For this reason, the term prionoids is currently used to emphasize how several misfolded proteins are transmitted in neurodegenerative diseases following this prion-like pattern. Histochemical techniques including the use of specific antibodies covering both light and electron microscopy offer a powerful tool to describe these phenomena and investigate specific molecular steps. These include: prion like protein alterations; glycation of prion-like altered proteins to form advanced glycation end-products (AGEs); mechanisms of extracellular secretion; interaction of AGEs with specific receptors placed on neighbouring cells (RAGEs). The present manuscript comments on these phenomena aimed to provide a consistent scenario of the available histochemical approaches to dissect each specific step. PMID:23549464

  15. microRNAs as neuroregulators, biomarkers and therapeutic agents in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Basak, Indranil; Patil, Ketan S; Alves, Guido; Larsen, Jan Petter; Møller, Simon Geir

    2016-02-01

    The last decade has experienced the emergence of microRNAs as a key molecular tool for the diagnosis and prognosis of human diseases. Although the focus has mostly been on cancer, neurodegenerative diseases present an exciting, yet less explored, platform for microRNA research. Several studies have highlighted the significance of microRNAs in neurogenesis and neurodegeneration, and pre-clinical studies have shown the potential of microRNAs as biomarkers. Despite this, no bona fide microRNAs have been identified as true diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers for neurodegenerative disease. This is mainly due to the lack of precisely defined patient cohorts and the variability within and between individual cohorts. However, the discovery that microRNAs exist as stable molecules at detectable levels in body fluids has opened up new avenues for microRNAs as potential biomarker candidates. Furthermore, technological developments in microRNA biology have contributed to the possible design of microRNA-mediated disease intervention strategies. The combination of these advancements, with the availability of well-defined longitudinal patient cohort, promises to not only assist in developing invaluable diagnostic tools for clinicians, but also to increase our overall understanding of the underlying heterogeneity of neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we present a comprehensive overview of the existing knowledge of microRNAs in neurodegeneration and provide a perspective of the applicability of microRNAs as a basis for future therapeutic intervention strategies.

  16. Hormesis, Cell Death, and Regenerative Medicine for Neurode-Generative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guanghu

    2013-01-01

    Although the adult human brain has a small number of neural stem cells, they are insufficient to repair the damaged brain to achieve significant functional recovery for neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. Stem cell therapy, by either enhancing endogenous neurogenesis, or transplanting stem cells, has been regarded as a promising solution. However, the harsh environment of the diseased brain posts a severe threat to the survival and correct differentiation of those new stem cells. Hormesis (or preconditioning, stress adaptation) is an adaptation mechanism by which cells or organisms are potentiated to survive an otherwise lethal condition, such as the harsh oxidative stress in the stroke brain. Stem cells treated by low levels of chemical, physical, or pharmacological stimuli have been shown to survive better in the neurodegenerative brain. Thus combining hormesis and stem cell therapy might improve the outcome for treatment of these diseases. In addition, since the cell death patterns and their underlying molecular mechanism may vary in different neurodegenerative diseases, even in different progression stages of the same disease, it is essential to design a suitable and optimum hormetic strategy that is tailored to the individual patient. PMID:23930104

  17. Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cancer and Neurodegenerative Diseases: Spotlight on Fatty Acid Oxidation and Lipoperoxidation Products

    PubMed Central

    Barrera, Giuseppina; Gentile, Fabrizio; Pizzimenti, Stefania; Canuto, Rosa Angela; Daga, Martina; Arcaro, Alessia; Cetrangolo, Giovanni Paolo; Lepore, Alessio; Ferretti, Carlo; Dianzani, Chiara; Muzio, Giuliana

    2016-01-01

    In several human diseases, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), produced mainly by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, is increased. In cancer cells, the increase of ROS production has been associated with mtDNA mutations that, in turn, seem to be functional in the alterations of the bioenergetics and the biosynthetic state of cancer cells. Moreover, ROS overproduction can enhance the peroxidation of fatty acids in mitochondrial membranes. In particular, the peroxidation of mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin leads to the formation of reactive aldehydes, such as 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) and malondialdehyde (MDA), which are able to react with proteins and DNA. Covalent modifications of mitochondrial proteins by the products of lipid peroxidation (LPO) in the course of oxidative cell stress are involved in the mitochondrial dysfunctions observed in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Such modifications appear to affect negatively mitochondrial integrity and function, in particular energy metabolism, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, antioxidant defenses and stress responses. In neurodegenerative diseases, indirect confirmation for the pathogenetic relevance of LPO-dependent modifications of mitochondrial proteins comes from the disease phenotypes associated with their genetic alterations. PMID:26907355

  18. Brain Aggregates: An Effective In Vitro Cell Culture System Modeling Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kalume, Franck; Pitstick, Rose; Oehler, Abby; Carlson, George; DeArmond, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases is particularly challenging because of the discrepancies in drug effects between in vitro and in vivo studies. These discrepancies occur in part because current cell culture systems used for drug screening have many limitations. First, few cell culture systems accurately model human aging or neurodegenerative diseases. Second, drug efficacy may differ between dividing and stationary cells, the latter resembling nondividing neurons in the CNS. Brain aggregates (BrnAggs) derived from embryonic day 15 gestation mouse embryos may represent neuropathogenic processes in prion disease and reflect in vivo drug efficacy. Here, we report a new method for the production of BrnAggs suitable for drug screening and suggest that BrnAggs can model additional neurological diseases such as tauopathies. We also report a functional assay with BrnAggs by measuring electrophysiological activities. Our data suggest that BrnAggs could serve as an effective in vitro cell culture system for drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:26851378

  19. Gap junctions and hemichannels composed of connexins: potential therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Hideyuki; Suzumura, Akio

    2014-01-01

    Microglia are macrophage-like resident immune cells that contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis in the central nervous system (CNS). Abnormal activation of microglia can cause damage in the CNS, and accumulation of activated microglia is a characteristic pathological observation in neurologic conditions such as trauma, stroke, inflammation, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases. Activated microglia secrete high levels of glutamate, which damages CNS cells and has been implicated as a major cause of neurodegeneration in these conditions. Glutamate-receptor blockers and microglia inhibitors (e.g., minocycline) have been examined as therapeutic candidates for several neurodegenerative diseases; however, these compounds exerted little therapeutic benefit because they either perturbed physiological glutamate signals or suppressed the actions of protective microglia. The ideal therapeutic approach would hamper the deleterious roles of activated microglia without diminishing their protective effects. We recently found that abnormally activated microglia secrete glutamate via gap-junction hemichannels on the cell surface. Moreover, administration of gap-junction inhibitors significantly suppressed excessive microglial glutamate release and improved disease symptoms in animal models of neurologic conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Recent evidence also suggests that neuronal and glial communication via gap junctions amplifies neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Elucidation of the precise pathologic roles of gap junctions and hemichannels may lead to a novel therapeutic strategies that can slow and halt the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25228858

  20. Brain, Learning, and Memory: Role of H2S in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Nagpure, B V; Bian, Jin-Song

    2015-01-01

    For more than 300 years, the toxicity of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been known to mankind. However, this point of view is changing as an increased interest was observed in H2S biology in the last two decades. The scientific community has succeeded to unravel many important physiological and pathological effects of H2S on mammalian body systems. Thus, H2S is now referred to as a third endogenous gaseous mediator along with nitric oxide and carbon monoxide. Acting as a neuromodulator, H2S facilitates long-term potentiation and regulates intracellular calcium levels, which are important processes in learning and memory. Aberrant endogenous production and metabolism of H2S are implicated in pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Various H2S donors have shown beneficial therapeutic effects in neurodegenerative disease models by targeting hallmark pathological events (e.g., amyloid-β production in AD and neuroinflammation in PD). The results obtained from many in vivo studies clearly show that H2S not only prevents neuronal and synaptic deterioration but also improves deficits in memory, cognition, and learning. The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-apoptotic effects of H2S underlie its neuroprotective properties. In this chapter, we will overview the current understanding of H2S in context of neurodegenerative diseases, with special emphasis on its corrective effects on impaired learning, memory, and cognition.

  1. Gene-based vaccines and immunotherapeutic strategies against neurodegenerative diseases: Potential utility and limitations.

    PubMed

    Kudrna, Jeremy J; Ugen, Kenneth E

    2015-01-01

    There has been a recent expansion of vaccination and immunotherapeutic strategies from controlling infectious diseases to the targeting of non-infectious conditions including neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to conventional vaccine and immunotherapeutic modalities, gene-based methods that express antigens for presentation to the immune system by either live viral vectors or non-viral naked DNA plasmids have been developed and evaluated. This mini-review/commentary summarizes the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the research findings to date, of both of these gene-based vaccination approaches in terms of how they can be targeted against appropriate antigens within the Alzheimer and Parkinson disease pathogenesis processes as well as potentially against targets in other neurodegenerative diseases. Most recently, the novel utilization of these viral vector and naked DNA gene-based technologies includes the delivery of immunoglobulin genes from established biologically active monoclonal antibodies. This modified passive immunotherapeutic strategy has recently been applied to deliver passive antibody immunotherapy against the pathologically relevant amyloid β protein in Alzheimer disease. The advantages and disadvantages of this technological application of gene-based immune interventions, as well as research findings to date are also summarized. In sum, it is suggested that further evaluation of gene based vaccines and immunotherapies against neurodegenerative diseases are warranted to determine their potential clinical utility.

  2. Characterization and application of a disease-cell model for a neurodegenerative lysosomal disease

    PubMed Central

    Ribbens, Jameson J.; Moser, Ann B.; Hubbard, Walter C.; Bongarzone, Ernesto R.; Maegawa, Gustavo H.B.

    2013-01-01

    Disease-cell models that recapitulate specific molecular phenotypes are essential for the investigation of molecular pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases including lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) with predominant neurological manifestations. Herein we report the development and characterization of a cell model for a rapid neurodegenerative LSDs, globoid-cell leukodystrophy (GLD), mostly known as Krabbe disease. GLD is caused by the deficiency of β-galactocerebrosidase (GALC), a lysosomal enzyme that hydrolysis two glycosphingolipids, psychosine and galactosylceramide. Unfortunately, the available culture fibroblasts from GLD patients consist in a limited research tool as these cells fail to accumulate psychosine, the central pathogenic glycosphingolipid in this LSD that results in severe demyelination. Firstly, we obtained brain samples from the Twitcher (Twi) mice (GALCtwi/twi), the natural mouse model with GALC deficiency. We immortalized the primary neuroglial cultured cells with SV40 large T antigen, generating the 145M-Twi and the 145C-Wt cell lines from the Twi and control mice, respectively. Both cell lines expressed specific oligodendrocyte markers including A2B5 and GalC. The 145M-Twi cells showed biochemical and cellular disturbances related to GLD neuropathogenesis including remarkable caspase-3 activation, release of cytochrome C into the cytosol and expansion of the lysosomal compartment. Under treatment with glycosphingolipids, 145M-Twi cells showed increased LC3B levels, a marker of autophagy. Using LC-MS/MS method we developed, the 145M-Twi cells showed significantly higher levels of psychosine. The 145M-Twi and 145C-Wt lines allowed the development of a robust throughput LC-MS/MS assay to measure cellular psychosine levels. In this throughput assay, L-cycloserine showed to significantly reduce the 145M-Twi cellular levels of psychosine. The established 145M-Twi cells is a powerful research tool to investigate neurologically relevant

  3. Creatine and Its Potential Therapeutic Value for Targeting Cellular Energy Impairment in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Adhihetty, Peter J.

    2010-01-01

    Substantial evidence indicates bioenergetic dysfunction and mitochondrial impairment contribute either directly and/or indirectly to the pathogenesis of numerous neurodegenerative disorders. Treatment paradigms aimed at ameliorating this cellular energy deficit and/or improving mitochondrial function in these neurodegenerative disorders may prove to be useful as a therapeutic intervention. Creatine is a molecule that is produced both endogenously, and acquired exogenously through diet, and is an extremely important molecule that participates in buffering intracellular energy stores. Once creatine is transported into cells, creatine kinase catalyzes the reversible transphosphorylation of creatine via ATP to enhance the phosphocreatine energy pool. Creatine kinase enzymes are located at strategic intracellular sites to couple areas of high energy expenditure to the efficient regeneration of ATP. Thus, the creatinekinase/phosphocreatine system plays an integral role in energy buffering and overall cellular bioenergetics. Originally, exogenous creatine supplementation was widely used only as an ergogenic aid to increase the phosphocreatine pool within muscle to bolster athletic performance. However, the potential therapeutic value of creatine supplementation has recently been investigated with respect to various neurodegenerative disorders that have been associated with bioenergetic deficits as playing a role in disease etiology and/or progression which include; Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Huntington’s disease. This review discusses the contribution of mitochondria and bioenergetics to the progression of these neurodegenerative diseases and investigates the potential neuroprotective value of creatine supplementation in each of these neurological diseases. In summary, current literature suggests that exogenous creatine supplementation is most efficacious as a treatment paradigm in Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease but

  4. Nicotinamide Ameliorates Disease Phenotypes in a Human iPSC Model of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Saini, Janmeet S; Corneo, Barbara; Miller, Justine D; Kiehl, Thomas R; Wang, Qingjie; Boles, Nathan C; Blenkinsop, Timothy A; Stern, Jeffrey H; Temple, Sally

    2017-01-21

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a cell monolayer essential for photoreceptor survival, and is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly. There are no disease-altering therapies for dry AMD, which is characterized by accumulation of subretinal drusen deposits and complement-driven inflammation. We report the derivation of human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from patients with diagnosed AMD, including two donors with the rare ARMS2/HTRA1 homozygous genotype. The hiPSC-derived RPE cells produce several AMD/drusen-related proteins, and those from the AMD donors show significantly increased complement and inflammatory factors, which are most exaggerated in the ARMS2/HTRA1 lines. Using a panel of AMD biomarkers and candidate drug screening, combined with transcriptome analysis, we discover that nicotinamide (NAM) ameliorated disease-related phenotypes by inhibiting drusen proteins and inflammatory and complement factors while upregulating nucleosome, ribosome, and chromatin-modifying genes. Thus, targeting NAM-regulated pathways is a promising avenue for developing therapeutics to combat AMD.

  5. Phosphodiesterase: an interface connecting cognitive deficits to neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhen-Zhen; Zhang, Yi; Zhang, Han-Ting; Li, Yun-Feng

    2015-01-01

    Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are the only known enzymes to degrade intracellular cyclic AMP and/or cyclic GMP. The PDE superfamily consists of 11 families (PDE1- PDE11), each of which has 1 to 4 subtypes. Some of the subtypes may have multiple splice variants (e.g. PDE4D1-PDE4D11), leading to a total of more than 100 known proteins to date. Growing attention has been paid to the potential of PDEs as therapeutic targets for mood disorders and/or diseases affecting cognitive activity by controlling the rate of hydrolysis of the two aforementioned second messengers in recent years. The loss of cognitive functions is one of the major complaints most patients with CNS diseases face; it has an even more prominent negative impact on the quality of daily life. Cognitive dysfunction is usually a prognosis in patients suffering from neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, including depression, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. This review will focus on the contributions of PDEs to the interface between cognitive deficits and neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. It is expected to make for the understanding and discovery that selective PDE inhibitors have the therapeutic potential for cognitive dysfunctions associated with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

  6. A neural network underlying intentional emotional facial expression in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Gola, Kelly A; Shany-Ur, Tal; Pressman, Peter; Sulman, Isa; Galeana, Eduardo; Paulsen, Hillary; Nguyen, Lauren; Wu, Teresa; Adhimoolam, Babu; Poorzand, Pardis; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2017-01-01

    Intentional facial expression of emotion is critical to healthy social interactions. Patients with neurodegenerative disease, particularly those with right temporal or prefrontal atrophy, show dramatic socioemotional impairment. This was an exploratory study examining the neural and behavioral correlates of intentional facial expression of emotion in neurodegenerative disease patients and healthy controls. One hundred and thirty three participants (45 Alzheimer's disease, 16 behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, 8 non-fluent primary progressive aphasia, 10 progressive supranuclear palsy, 11 right-temporal frontotemporal dementia, 9 semantic variant primary progressive aphasia patients and 34 healthy controls) were video recorded while imitating static images of emotional faces and producing emotional expressions based on verbal command; the accuracy of their expression was rated by blinded raters. Participants also underwent face-to-face socioemotional testing and informants described participants' typical socioemotional behavior. Patients' performance on emotion expression tasks was correlated with gray matter volume using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) across the entire sample. We found that intentional emotional imitation scores were related to fundamental socioemotional deficits; patients with known socioemotional deficits performed worse than controls on intentional emotion imitation; and intentional emotional expression predicted caregiver ratings of empathy and interpersonal warmth. Whole brain VBMs revealed a rightward cortical atrophy pattern homologous to the left lateralized speech production network was associated with intentional emotional imitation deficits. Results point to a possible neural mechanisms underlying complex socioemotional communication deficits in neurodegenerative disease patients.

  7. In Vivo Assessment of Stem Cells for Treating Neurodegenerative Disease: Current Approaches and Future Prospects

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, stem cell-related therapies have been widely applied for treating neurodegenerative disease. Despite their potential, stem cell tracking and imaging techniques for the evaluation of in vivo proof-of-concept (PoC) therapies have not been sufficiently represented in the research area. This review summarizes the recent approaches that have been used for tracking and imaging engrafted stem cells in vivo. Furthermore, we introduce tissue clearing technology that can be applied to develop three-dimensional in vivo experiments. Monitoring stem cell survival and migration and graft-host relationships is a useful strategy to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of regenerative medicine approaches in neurodegenerative disease. PMID:28326106

  8. Protein S-nitrosylation as a therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomohiro; Lipton, Stuart A.

    2015-01-01

    At physiological levels, nitric oxide (NO) contributes to the maintenance of normal neuronal activity and survival, thus serving as an important regulatory mechanism in the central nervous system. In contrast, accumulating evidence suggests that exposure to environmental toxins or the normal aging process can trigger excessive production of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (such as NO), contributing to the etiology of several neurodegenerative diseases. Here we highlight protein S-nitrosylation, resulting from covalent attachment of an NO group to a cysteine thiol of the target protein, as a ubiquitous effector of NO signaling in both health and disease. We review our current understanding of this redox-dependent posttranslational modification under neurodegenerative conditions, and evaluate how targeting dysregulated protein S-nitrosylation can lead to novel therapeutics. PMID:26707925

  9. Exome Sequencing Links Corticospinal Motor Neuron Disease to Common Neurodegenerative Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Hofree, Matan; Silhavy, Jennifer L.; Heiberg, Andrew D.; Abdellateef, Mostafa; Rosti, Basak; Scott, Eric; Mansour, Lobna; Masri, Amira; Kayserili, Hulya; Al-Aama, Jumana Y.; Abdel-Salam, Ghada M. H.; Karminejad, Ariana; Kara, Majdi; Kara, Bulent; Bozorgmehri, Bita; Ben-Omran, Tawfeg; Mojahedi, Faezeh; El Din Mahmoud, Iman Gamal; Bouslam, Naima; Bouhouche, Ahmed; Benomar, Ali; Hanein, Sylvain; Raymond, Laure; Forlani, Sylvie; Mascaro, Massimo; Selim, Laila; Shehata, Nabil; Al-Allawi, Nasir; Bindu, P.S.; Azam, Matloob; Gunel, Murat; Caglayan, Ahmet; Bilguvar, Kaya; Tolun, Aslihan; Issa, Mahmoud Y.; Schroth, Jana; Spencer, Emily G.; Rosti, Rasim O.; Akizu, Naiara; Vaux, Keith K.; Johansen, Anide; Koh, Alice A.; Megahed, Hisham; Durr, Alexandra; Brice, Alexis; Stevanin, Giovanni; Gabriel, Stacy B.; Ideker, Trey; Gleeson, Joseph G.

    2014-01-01

    Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are neurodegenerative motor neuron diseases characterized by progressive age-dependent loss of corticospinal motor tract function. Although the genetic basis is partly understood, only a fraction of cases can receive a genetic diagnosis, and a global view of HSP is lacking. By using whole-exome sequencing in combination with network analysis, we identified 18 previously unknown putative HSP genes and validated nearly all of these genes functionally or genetically. The pathways highlighted by these mutations link HSP to cellular transport, nucleotide metabolism, and synapse and axon development. Network analysis revealed a host of further candidate genes, of which three were mutated in our cohort. Our analysis links HSP to other neurodegenerative disorders and can facilitate gene discovery and mechanistic understanding of disease. PMID:24482476

  10. Spreading of pathology in neurodegenerative diseases: a focus on human studies

    PubMed Central

    Brettschneider, Johannes; Del Tredici, Kelly; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2015-01-01

    The progression of many neurodegenerative diseases is thought to be driven by the template-directed misfolding, seeded aggregation and cell–cell transmission of characteristic disease-related proteins, leading to the sequential dissemination of pathological protein aggregates. Recent evidence strongly suggests that the anatomical connections made by neurons — in addition to the intrinsic characteristics of neurons, such as morphology and gene expression profile — determine whether they are vulnerable to degeneration in these disorders. Notably, this common pathogenic principle opens up opportunities for pursuing novel targets for therapeutic interventions for these neurodegenerative disorders. We review recent evidence that supports the notion of neuron–neuron protein propagation, with a focus on neuropathological and positron emission tomography imaging studies in humans. PMID:25588378

  11. High-throughput platforms for the screening of new therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Daniela N; Carvalho, Eva D; Pêgo, Ana Paula

    2016-09-01

    Despite the recent progress in the understanding of neurodegenerative disorders, a lack of solid fundamental knowledge on the etiology of many of the major neurodegenerative diseases has made it difficult to obtain effective therapies to treat these conditions. Scientists have been looking to carry out more-human-relevant studies, with strong statistical power, to overcome the limitations of preclinical animal models that have contributed to the failure of numerous therapeutics in clinical trials. Here, we identify currently existing platforms to mimic central nervous system tissues, healthy and diseased, mainly focusing on cell-based platforms and discussing their strengths and limitations in the context of the high-throughput screening of new therapeutic targets and drugs.

  12. Physical Exercise-Induced Adult Neurogenesis: A Good Strategy to Prevent Cognitive Decline in Neurodegenerative Diseases?

    PubMed Central

    Yau, Suk-yu; Christie, Brian R.; So, Kwok-fai

    2014-01-01

    Cumulative evidence has indicated that there is an important role for adult hippocampal neurogenesis in cognitive function. With the increasing prevalence of cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative diseases among the ageing population, physical exercise, a potent enhancer of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, has emerged as a potential preventative strategy/treatment to reduce cognitive decline. Here we review the functional role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in learning and memory, and how this form of structural plasticity is altered in neurodegenerative diseases known to involve cognitive impairment. We further discuss how physical exercise may contribute to cognitive improvement in the ageing brain by preserving adult neurogenesis, and review the recent approaches for measuring changes in neurogenesis in the live human brain. PMID:24818140

  13. Potential role of olive oil phenolic compounds in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Morató, Jose; Xicota, Laura; Fitó, Montse; Farré, Magí; Dierssen, Mara; de la Torre, Rafael

    2015-03-13

    Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MD) has been associated with a reduced incidence of neurodegenerative diseases and better cognitive performance. Virgin olive oil, the main source of lipids in the MD, is rich in minor phenolic components, particularly hydroxytyrosol (HT). HT potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions have attracted researchers' attention and may contribute to neuroprotective effects credited to MD. In this review HT bioavailability and pharmacokinetics are presented prior to discussing health beneficial effects. In vitro and in vivo neuroprotective effects together with its multiple mechanisms of action are reviewed. Other microconstituents of olive oil are also considered due to their potential neuroprotective effects (oleocanthal, triterpenic acids). Finally, we discuss the potential role of HT as a therapeutic tool in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

  14. Bioactive Compounds from Macroalgae in the New Millennium: Implications for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa, Mariana; Valentão, Patrícia; Andrade, Paula B.

    2014-01-01

    Marine environment has proven to be a rich source of structurally diverse and complex compounds exhibiting numerous interesting biological effects. Macroalgae are currently being explored as novel and sustainable sources of bioactive compounds for both pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications. Given the increasing prevalence of different forms of dementia, researchers have been focusing their attention on the discovery and development of new compounds from macroalgae for potential application in neuroprotection. Neuroprotection involves multiple and complex mechanisms, which are deeply related. Therefore, compounds exerting neuroprotective effects through different pathways could present viable approaches in the management of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In fact, several studies had already provided promising insights into the neuroprotective effects of a series of compounds isolated from different macroalgae species. This review will focus on compounds from macroalgae that exhibit neuroprotective effects and their potential application to treat and/or prevent neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25257784

  15. Protein aggregation and neurodegeneration in prototypical neurodegenerative diseases: Examples of amyloidopathies, tauopathies and synucleinopathies.

    PubMed

    Bourdenx, Mathieu; Koulakiotis, Nikolaos Stavros; Sanoudou, Despina; Bezard, Erwan; Dehay, Benjamin; Tsarbopoulos, Anthony

    2015-07-21

    Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases are the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases that generate important health-related direct and indirect socio-economic costs. They are characterized by severe neuronal losses in several disease-specific brain regions associated with deposits of aggregated proteins. In Alzheimer's disease, β-amyloid peptide-containing plaques and intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles composed of hyperphosphorylated microtubule-associated protein tau are the two main neuropathological lesions, while Parkinson's disease is defined by the presence of Lewy Bodies that are intraneuronal proteinaceous cytoplasmic inclusions. α-Synuclein has been identified as a major protein component of Lewy Bodies and heavily implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. In the past few years, evidence has emerged to explain how these aggregate-prone proteins can undergo spontaneous self-aggregation, propagate from cell to cell, and mediate neurotoxicity. Current research now indicates that oligomeric forms are probably the toxic species. This article discusses recent progress in the understanding of the pathogenesis of these diseases, with a focus on the underlying mechanisms of protein aggregation, and emphasizes the pathophysiological molecular mechanisms leading to cellular toxicity. Finally, we present the putative direct link between β-amyloid peptide and tau in causing toxicity in Alzheimer's disease as well as α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease, along with some of the most promising therapeutic strategies currently in development for those incurable neurodegenerative disorders.

  16. Novel Neuromodulation Techniques to Assess Interhemispheric Communication in Neural Injury and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Samuel S.; Pelled, Galit

    2017-01-01

    Interhemispheric interaction has a major role in various neurobehavioral functions. Its disruption is a major contributor to the pathological changes in the setting of brain injury such as traumatic brain injury, peripheral nerve injury, and stroke, as well as neurodegenerative diseases. Because interhemispheric interaction has a crucial role in functional consequence in these neuropathological states, a review of noninvasive and state-of-the-art molecular based neuromodulation methods that focus on or have the potential to elucidate interhemispheric interaction have been performed. This yielded approximately 170 relevant articles on human subjects or animal models. There has been a recent surge of reports on noninvasive methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcranial direct current stimulation. Since these are noninvasive techniques with little to no side effects, their widespread use in clinical studies can be easily justified. The overview of novel neuromodulation methods and how they can be applied to study the role of interhemispheric communication in neural injury and neurodegenerative disease is provided. Additionally, the potential of each method in therapeutic use as well as investigating the pathophysiology of interhemispheric interaction in neurodegenerative diseases and brain injury is discussed. New technologies such as transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct current stimulation could have a great impact in understanding interhemispheric pathophysiology associated with acquired injury and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as designing improved rehabilitation therapies. Also, advances in molecular based neuromodulation techniques such as optogenetics and other chemical, thermal, and magnetic based methods provide new capabilities to stimulate or inhibit a specific brain location and a specific neuronal population. PMID:28337129

  17. The child is father to the man: developmental roles for proteins of importance for neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Danny; Schor, Nina F

    2010-02-01

    Although Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases predominately affect elderly adults, the proteins that play a role in the pathogenesis of these diseases are expressed throughout life. In fact, many of the proteins hypothesized to be important in the progression of neurodegeneration play direct or indirect roles in the development of the central nervous system. The systems affected by these proteins include neural stem cell fate decisions, neuronal differentiation, cellular migration, protection from oxidative stress, and programmed cell death. Insights into the developmental roles of these proteins may ultimately impact the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and lead to the discovery of novel treatments.

  18. ACAID as a potential therapeutic approach to modulate inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Toscano-Tejeida, D; Ibarra, A; Phillips-Farfán, B V; Fuentes-Farías, A L; Meléndez-Herrera, E

    2016-03-01

    The progressive loss of neurons and inflammation characterizes neurodegenerative diseases. Although the etiology, progression and outcome of different neurodegenerative diseases are varied, they share chronic inflammation maintained largely by central nervous system (CNS)-derived antigens recognized by T cells. Inflammation can be beneficial by recruiting immune cells to kill pathogens or to clear cell debris resulting from the primary insult. However, chronic inflammation exacerbates and perpetuates tissue damage. An increasing number of therapies that attempt to modulate neuroinflammation have been developed. However, so far none has succeeded in decreasing the secondary damage associated with chronic inflammation. A potential strategy to modulate the immune system is related to the induction of tolerance to CNS antigens. In this line, it is our hypothesis that this could be accomplished by using anterior chamber associated immune deviation (ACAID) as a strategy. Thus, we review current knowledge regarding some neurodegenerative diseases and the associated immune response that causes inflammation. In addition, we discuss further our hypothesis of the possible usefulness of ACAID as a therapeutic strategy to ameliorate damage to the CNS.

  19. Visual Hallucinations in the Psychosis Spectrum and Comparative Information From Neurodegenerative Disorders and Eye Disease

    PubMed Central

    Waters, Flavie; Collerton, Daniel; ffytche, Dominic H.; Jardri, Renaud; Pins, Delphine; Dudley, Robert; Blom, Jan Dirk; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Eperjesi, Frank; Ford, Stephen; Larøi, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Much of the research on visual hallucinations (VHs) has been conducted in the context of eye disease and neurodegenerative conditions, but little is known about these phenomena in psychiatric and nonclinical populations. The purpose of this article is to bring together current knowledge regarding VHs in the psychosis phenotype and contrast this data with the literature drawn from neurodegenerative disorders and eye disease. The evidence challenges the traditional views that VHs are atypical or uncommon in psychosis. The weighted mean for VHs is 27% in schizophrenia, 15% in affective psychosis, and 7.3% in the general community. VHs are linked to a more severe psychopathological profile and less favorable outcome in psychosis and neurodegenerative conditions. VHs typically co-occur with auditory hallucinations, suggesting a common etiological cause. VHs in psychosis are also remarkably complex, negative in content, and are interpreted to have personal relevance. The cognitive mechanisms of VHs in psychosis have rarely been investigated, but existing studies point to source-monitoring deficits and distortions in top-down mechanisms, although evidence for visual processing deficits, which feature strongly in the organic literature, is lacking. Brain imaging studies point to the activation of visual cortex during hallucinations on a background of structural and connectivity changes within wider brain networks. The relationship between VHs in psychosis, eye disease, and neurodegeneration remains unclear, although the pattern of similarities and differences described in this review suggests that comparative studies may have potentially important clinical and theoretical implications. PMID:24936084

  20. Elevated angiopoietin 2 in aqueous of patients with neovascular age related macular degeneration correlates with disease severity at presentation

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Danny S.; Yip, Yolanda W.; Bakthavatsalam, Malini; Chen, Li J.; Ng, Tse K.; Lai, Timothy Y.; Pang, Calvin P.; Brelén, Mårten E.

    2017-01-01

    Angiopoietin 2 (ANG2) is a proangiogenic cytokine which may have an implication in neovascular age related macular degeneration (nAMD). In 24 eyes of 24 subjects presenting with treatment naïve nAMD and 26 eyes of 26 control patients, aqueous humor samples were collected at the time of intervention (intravitreal injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor or cataract extraction). Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) with and central macular thickness (CMT) using optical coherence tomography (OCT) were measured before each injection in the nAMD group. Aqueous cytokine levels were determined by immunoassay using a multiplex array (Quansys Biosciences, Logan, UT). Levels of ANG2 in the aqueous were significantly higher in nAMD patients than those of the control group (p < 0.0001), so were hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), interleukin-8 (IL-8) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP 1), all with p < 0.001. ANG2 correlated with worse BCVA (r = 0.44, p-value = 0.027) and greater CMT (r = 0.66, p-value < 0.0001) on optical coherence tomography (OCT). ANG2 is upregulated in patients with nAMD and correlates with severity of disease at presentation. PMID:28345626

  1. The Enemy within: Innate Surveillance-Mediated Cell Death, the Common Mechanism of Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Robert I.; Robertson, Sarah A.; O'Keefe, Louise V.; Fornarino, Dani; Scott, Andrew; Lardelli, Michael; Baune, Bernhard T.

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases comprise an array of progressive neurological disorders all characterized by the selective death of neurons in the central nervous system. Although, rare (familial) and common (sporadic) forms can occur for the same disease, it is unclear whether this reflects several distinct pathogenic pathways or the convergence of different causes into a common form of nerve cell death. Remarkably, neurodegenerative diseases are increasingly found to be accompanied by activation of the innate immune surveillance system normally associated with pathogen recognition and response. Innate surveillance is the cell's quality control system for the purpose of detecting such danger signals and responding in an appropriate manner. Innate surveillance is an “intelligent system,” in that the manner of response is relevant to the magnitude and duration of the threat. If possible, the threat is dealt with within the cell in which it is detected, by degrading the danger signal(s) and restoring homeostasis. If this is not successful then an inflammatory response is instigated that is aimed at restricting the spread of the threat by elevating degradative pathways, sensitizing neighboring cells, and recruiting specialized cell types to the site. If the danger signal persists, then the ultimate response can include not only the programmed cell death of the original cell, but the contents of this dead cell can also bring about the death of adjacent sensitized cells. These responses are clearly aimed at destroying the ability of the detected pathogen to propagate and spread. Innate surveillance comprises intracellular, extracellular, non-cell autonomous and systemic processes. Recent studies have revealed how multiple steps in these processes involve proteins that, through their mutation, have been linked to many familial forms of neurodegenerative disease. This suggests that individuals harboring these mutations may have an amplified response to innate

  2. Gender differences in age-related decline in glomerular filtration rates in healthy people and chronic kidney disease patients

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Since men with chronic kidney disease (CKD) progress faster than women, an accurate assessment of CKD progression rates should be based on gender differences in age-related decline of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in healthy individuals. Methods A Chinese sample population from a stratified, multistage, and clustered CKD screening study was classified into healthy, at-risk, and CKD groups. The gender differences in estimated GFR (eGFR) and age-related eGFR decline were calculated for each group after controlling for blood pressure, fasting glucose levels, serum lipids levels, education level, and smoking status. After referencing to the healthy group, gender-specific multivariate-adjusted rates of decline in eGFR and differences in the rates of decline were calculated for both CKD and at-risk groups. Results The healthy, at-risk, and CKD groups consisted of 4569, 7434, and 1573 people, respectively. In all the 3 groups, the multivariate-adjusted eGFRs in men were lower than the corresponding eGFRs in women. In addition, in the healthy and at-risk groups, the rates of decline in eGFR in men were lower than the corresponding rates of decline in women (healthy group: 0.51 mL·min-1·1.73 m-2·yr-1 vs. 0.74 mL·min-1·1.73 m-2·yr-1 and at-risk group: 0.60 mL·min-1·1.73 m-2·yr-1 vs. 0.73 mL·min-1·1.73 m-2·yr-1). However, in the CKD group, the rates of decline in eGFR in men were similar to those in women (0.96 mL·min-1·1.73 m-2·yr-1 vs. 0.91 mL·min-1·1.73 m-2·yr-1). However, after referencing to the healthy group, the rates of decline in eGFR in men in the at-risk and CKD groups were greater faster than the corresponding rates in women (at-risk group: 0.10 mL·min-1·1.73 m-2·yr-1 vs. -0.03 mL·min-1·1.73 m-2·yr-1 and CKD group: 0.44 mL·min-1·1.73 m-2·yr-1 vs. 0.15 mL·min-1·1.73 m-2·yr-1). Conclusion To accurately assess gender differences in CKD progression rates, gender differences in age-related decline in GFR should be considered

  3. Computational Modelling Approaches on Epigenetic Factors in Neurodegenerative and Autoimmune Diseases and Their Mechanistic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Khanam Irin, Afroza; Tom Kodamullil, Alpha; Gündel, Michaela; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative as well as autoimmune diseases have unclear aetiologies, but an increasing number of evidences report for a combination of genetic and epigenetic alterations that predispose for the development of disease. This review examines the major milestones in epigenetics research in the context of diseases and various computational approaches developed in the last decades to unravel new epigenetic modifications. However, there are limited studies that systematically link genetic and epigenetic alterations of DNA to the aetiology of diseases. In this work, we demonstrate how disease-related epigenetic knowledge can be systematically captured and integrated with heterogeneous information into a functional context using Biological Expression Language (BEL). This novel methodology, based on BEL, enables us to integrate epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation or acetylation of histones into a specific disease network. As an example, we depict the integration of epigenetic and genetic factors in a functional context specific to Parkinson's disease (PD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). PMID:26636108

  4. Therapeutic role of sirtuins in neurodegenerative disease and their modulation by polyphenols.

    PubMed

    Ajami, Marjan; Pazoki-Toroudi, Hamidreza; Amani, Hamed; Nabavi, Seyed Fazel; Braidy, Nady; Vacca, Rosa Anna; Atanasov, Atanas Georgiev; Mocan, Andrei; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad

    2017-02-01

    Searching for effective therapeutic agents‏‎ to ‎‏prevent‏ ‏neurodegeneration ‎is a challenging task due ‎to ‎the growing list of neurodegenerative disorders associated with a multitude of inter-related pathways.‎ The induction and inhibition of several different signaling pathways has been shown to slow down and/or attenuate ‎neurodegeneration and decline in cognition and locomotor function. Among these signaling pathways, a new class of enzymes known as sirtuins or silent information regulators of gene transcription has been shown to play important regulatory roles in the ageing process. SIRT1, a nuclear sirtuin, has received ‎particular interest due to its role as a deacetylase for several metabolic and signaling proteins involved in stress response, apoptosis, mitochondrial function, self-renewal, and ‎neuroprotection. ‎A new strategy to treat ‎neurodegenerative diseases is targeted therapy. In ‎this ‎paper, we‎ ‎ reviewed up-to-date findings regarding the targeting of ‎SIRT1 by polyphenolic ‎compounds,‎ ‎as a ‎new ‎‏approach in the search for novel, safe and effective treatments for ‎ ‎neurodegenerativediseases. ‎.

  5. Effect of electromagnetic radiations on neurodegenerative diseases- technological revolution as a curse in disguise.

    PubMed

    Hasan, Gulam M; Sheikh, Ishfaq A; Karim, Sajjad; Haque, Absarul; Kamal, Mohammad A; Chaudhary, Adeel G; Azhar, Essam; Mirza, Zeenat

    2014-01-01

    In the present developed world, all of us are flooded with electromagnetic radiations (EMR) emanating from generation and transmission of electricity, domestic appliances and industrial equipments, to telecommunications and broadcasting. We have been exposed to EMR for last many decades; however their recent steady increase from artificial sources has been reported as millions of antennas and satellites irradiate the global population round the clock, year round. Needless to say, these are so integral to modern life that interaction with them on a daily basis is seemingly inevitable; hence, the EMR exposure load has increased to a point where their health effects are becoming a major concern. Delicate and sensitive electrical system of human body is affected by consistent penetration of electromagnetic frequencies causing DNA breakages and chromosomal aberrations. Technological innovations came with Pandora's Box of hazardous consequences including neurodegenerative disorders, hearing disabilities, diabetes, congenital abnormalities, infertility, cardiovascular diseases and cancer to name few, all on a sharp rise. Electromagnetic non-ionizing radiations pose considerable health threat with prolonged exposure. Mobile phones are usually held near to the brain and manifest progressive structural or functional alterations in neurons leading to neurodegenerative diseases and neuronal death. This has provoked awareness among both the general public and scientific community and international bodies acknowledge that further systematic research is needed. The aim of the present review was to have an insight in whether and how cumulative electro-magnetic field exposure is a risk factor for neurodegenerative disorders.

  6. Analysis of optical neural stimulation effects on neural networks affected by neurodegenerative diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zverev, M.; Fanjul-Vélez, F.; Salas-García, I.; Ortega-Quijano, N.; Arce-Diego, J. L.

    2016-03-01

    The number of people in risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease increases as the life expectancy grows due to medical advances. Multiple techniques have been developed to improve patient's condition, from pharmacological to invasive electrodes approaches, but no definite cure has yet been discovered. In this work Optical Neural Stimulation (ONS) has been studied. ONS stimulates noninvasively the outer regions of the brain, mainly the neocortex. The relationship between the stimulation parameters and the therapeutic response is not totally clear. In order to find optimal ONS parameters to treat a particular neurodegenerative disease, mathematical modeling is necessary. Neural networks models have been employed to study the neural spiking activity change induced by ONS. Healthy and pathological neocortical networks have been considered to study the required stimulation to restore the normal activity. The network consisted of a group of interconnected neurons, which were assigned 2D spatial coordinates. The optical stimulation spatial profile was assumed to be Gaussian. The stimulation effects were modeled as synaptic current increases in the affected neurons, proportional to the stimulation fluence. Pathological networks were defined as the healthy ones with some neurons being inactivated, which presented no synaptic conductance. Neurons' electrical activity was also studied in the frequency domain, focusing specially on the changes of the spectral bands corresponding to brain waves. The complete model could be used to determine the optimal ONS parameters in order to achieve the specific neural spiking patterns or the required local neural activity increase to treat particular neurodegenerative pathologies.

  7. Challenges for taking primary and stem cells into clinical neurotransplantation trials for neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Dunnett, Stephen B; Rosser, Anne E

    2014-01-01

    We review the first generations of clinical trials of novel cell therapies applied to a range of neurodegenerative diseases in the context of mechanisms of functional efficacy. This in turn helps to determine the best strategies to be adopted and the potential chances for success in developing new cell therapies to clinical application in different conditions. We then consider the scientific, technical, ethical, regulatory and logistic issues to be resolved in translating effective laboratory cell-based protocols to patients in clinical trials. We draw optimistic conclusions about the likelihood of success in developing radical new approaches to a range of devastating, and currently untreatable, neurodegenerative conditions, but caution that the problems are complex and the solutions are likely to be slow and costly to achieve in order to overcome significant ethical and regulatory as well as scientific challenges.

  8. Accumulation of the sigma-1 receptor is common to neuronal nuclear inclusions in various neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Miki, Yasuo; Mori, Fumiaki; Kon, Tomoya; Tanji, Kunikazu; Toyoshima, Yasuko; Yoshida, Mari; Sasaki, Hidenao; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Takahashi, Hitoshi; Wakabayashi, Koichi

    2014-04-01

    The sigma-1 receptor (SIGMAR1) is now known to be one of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperones, which participate in the degradation of misfolded proteins in cells via the ER-related degradation machinery linked to the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Mutations of the SIGMAR1 gene are implicated in the pathogenesis of familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration and motor neuron disease. Involvement of ER dysfunction in the formation of inclusion bodies in various neurodegenerative diseases has also become evident. We performed immunohistochemical staining to clarify the localization of SIGMAR1 in the brains of patients with neurodegenerative disorders, including trans-activation response DNA protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathy, tauopathy, α-synucleinopathy, polyglutamine disease and intranuclear inclusion body disease (INIBD). Double-immunocytofluorescence and Western blot analyses of cultured cells were also performed to investigate the role of SIGMAR1 using a specific exportin 1 inhibitor, leptomycin B and an ER stress inducer, thapsigargin. SIGMAR1 was consistently shown to be co-localized with neuronal nuclear inclusions in TDP-43 proteinopathy, five polyglutamine diseases and INIBD, as well as in intranuclear Marinesco bodies in aged normal controls. Cytoplasmic inclusions in neurons and glial cells were unreactive for SIGMAR1. In cultured cells, immunocytofluorescent study showed that leptomycin B and thapsigargin were shown to sequester SIGMAR1 within the nucleus, acting together with p62. This finding was also supported by immunoblot analysis. These results indicate that SIGMAR1 might shuttle between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Neurodegenerative diseases characterized by neuronal nuclear inclusions might utilize the ER-related degradation machinery as a common pathway for the degradation of aberrant proteins.

  9. Comprehension of insincere communication in neurodegenerative disease: lies, sarcasm, and theory of mind.

    PubMed

    Shany-Ur, Tal; Poorzand, Pardis; Grossman, Scott N; Growdon, Matthew E; Jang, Jung Y; Ketelle, Robin S; Miller, Bruce L; Rankin, Katherine P

    2012-01-01

    Comprehension of insincere communication is an important aspect of social cognition requiring visual perspective taking, emotion reading, and understanding others' thoughts, opinions, and intentions. Someone who is lying intends to hide their insincerity from the listener, while a sarcastic speaker wants the listener to recognize they are speaking insincerely. We investigated whether face-to-face testing of comprehending insincere communication would effectively discriminate among neurodegenerative disease patients with different patterns of real-life social deficits. We examined ability to comprehend lies and sarcasm from a third-person perspective, using contextual cues, in 102 patients with one of four neurodegenerative diseases (behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia [bvFTD], Alzheimer's disease [AD], progressive supranuclear palsy [PSP], and vascular cognitive impairment) and 77 healthy older adults (normal controls--NCs). Participants answered questions about videos depicting social interactions involving deceptive, sarcastic, or sincere speech using The Awareness of Social Inference Test. All subjects equally understood sincere remarks, but bvFTD patients displayed impaired comprehension of lies and sarcasm compared with NCs. In other groups, impairment was not disease-specific but was proportionate to general cognitive impairment. Analysis of the task components revealed that only bvFTD patients were impaired on perspective taking and emotion reading elements and that both bvFTD and PSP patients had impaired ability to represent others' opinions and intentions (i.e., theory of mind). Test performance correlated with informants' ratings of subjects' empathy, perspective taking and neuropsychiatric symptoms in everyday life. Comprehending insincere communication is complex and requires multiple cognitive and emotional processes vulnerable across neurodegenerative diseases. However, bvFTD patients show uniquely focal and severe impairments at every level

  10. Getting miRNA Therapeutics into the Target Cells for Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Mini-Review

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Ming Ming

    2016-01-01

    miRNAs play important roles in modulating gene expression in varying cellular processes and disease pathogenesis, including neurodegenerative diseases. Several miRNAs are expressed in the brain, control brain development and are identified as important biomarkers in the pathogenesis of motor—and neuro-cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s (AD), Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These remarkable miRNAs could be used as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targeting potential for many stressful and untreatable progressive neurodegenerative diseases. To modulate these miRNA activities, there are currently two strategies involved; first one is to therapeutically restore the suppressed miRNA level by miRNA mimics (agonist), and the other one is to inhibit miRNA function by using anti-miR (antagonist) to repress overactive miRNA function. However, RNAi-based therapeutics often faces in vivo instability because naked nucleic acids are subject to enzyme degradation before reaching the target sites. Therefore, an effective, safe and stable bio-responsive delivery system is necessary to protect the nucleic acids from serum degradation and assist their entrance to the cells. Since neuronal cells are non-regenerating, to design engineered miRNAs to be delivered to the central nervous system (CNS) for long term gene expression and knockdown is representing an enormous challenge for scientists. This article provides an insight summary on some of the innovative strategies employed to deliver miRNA into target cells. These viral and non-viral carrier systems hold promise in RNA therapy delivery for neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27920668

  11. Signaling, polyubiquitination, trafficking, and inclusions: sequestosome 1/p62's role in neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Wooten, Marie W; Hu, Xiao; Babu, J Ramesh; Seibenhener, M Lamar; Geetha, Thangiah; Paine, Michael G; Wooten, Michael C

    2006-01-01

    Aggregated misfolded proteins are hallmarks of most neurodegenerative diseases. In a chronic disease state, including pathologic situations of oxidative stress, these proteins are sequestered into inclusions. Accumulation of aggregated proteins can be prevented by chaperones, or by targeting their degradation to the UPS. If the accumulation of these proteins exceeds their degradation, they may impair the function of the proteasome. Alternatively, the function of the proteasome may be preserved by directing aggregated proteins to the autophagy-lysosome pathway for degradation. Sequestosome 1/p62 has recently been shown to interact with polyubiquitinated proteins through its UBA domain and may direct proteins to either the UPS or autophagosome. P62 is present in neuronal inclusions of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Herein, we review p62's role in signaling, aggregation, and inclusion formation, and specifically as a possible contributor to Alzheimer's disease. The use of p62 as a potential target for the development of therapeutics and as a disease biomarker is also discussed.

  12. Precision Modulation of Neurodegenerative Disease-Related Gene Expression in Human iPSC-Derived Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Heman-Ackah, Sabrina Mahalia; Bassett, Andrew Roger; Wood, Matthew John Andrew

    2016-01-01

    The ability to reprogram adult somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and the subsequent development of protocols for their differentiation into disease-relevant cell types have enabled in-depth molecular analyses of multiple disease states as hitherto impossible. Neurons differentiated from patient-specific iPSCs provide a means to recapitulate molecular phenotypes of neurodegenerative diseases in vitro. However, it remains challenging to conduct precise manipulations of gene expression in iPSC-derived neurons towards modeling complex human neurological diseases. The application of CRISPR/Cas9 to mammalian systems is revolutionizing the utilization of genome editing technologies in the study of molecular contributors to the pathogenesis of numerous diseases. Here, we demonstrate that CRISPRa and CRISPRi can be used to exert precise modulations of endogenous gene expression in fate-committed iPSC-derived neurons. This highlights CRISPRa/i as a major technical advancement in accessible tools for evaluating the specific contributions of critical neurodegenerative disease-related genes to neuropathogenesis. PMID:27341390

  13. Review: Role of developmental inflammation and blood-brain barrier dysfunction in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Stolp, H B; Dziegielewska, K M

    2009-04-01

    The causes of most neurological disorders are not fully understood. Inflammation and blood-brain barrier dysfunction appear to play major roles in the pathology of these diseases. Inflammatory insults that occur during brain development may have widespread effects later in life for a spectrum of neurological disorders. In this review, a new hypothesis suggesting a mechanistic link between inflammation and blood-brain barrier function (integrity), which is universally important in both neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, is proposed. The role of inflammation and the blood-brain barrier will be discussed in cerebral palsy, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis, conditions where both inflammation and blood-brain barrier dysfunction occur either during initiation and/or progression of the disease. We suggest that breakdown of normal blood-brain barrier function resulting in a short-lasting influx of blood-born molecules, in particular plasma proteins, may cause local damage, such as reduction of brain white matter observed in some newborn babies, but may also be the mechanism behind some neurodegenerative diseases related to underlying brain damage and long-term changes in barrier properties.

  14. Mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death in neurodegenerative diseases through nitroxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Akbar, Mohammed; Essa, Musthafa Mohamed; Daradkeh, Ghazi; Abdelmegeed, Mohamed A; Choi, Youngshim; Mahmood, Lubna; Song, Byoung-Joon

    2016-04-15

    Mitochondria are important for providing cellular energy ATP through the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. They are also critical in regulating many cellular functions including the fatty acid oxidation, the metabolism of glutamate and urea, the anti-oxidant defense, and the apoptosis pathway. Mitochondria are an important source of reactive oxygen species leaked from the electron transport chain while they are susceptible to oxidative damage, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and tissue injury. In fact, impaired mitochondrial function is commonly observed in many types of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, alcoholic dementia, brain ischemia-reperfusion related injury, and others, although many of these neurological disorders have unique etiological factors. Mitochondrial dysfunction under many pathological conditions is likely to be promoted by increased nitroxidative stress, which can stimulate post-translational modifications (PTMs) of mitochondrial proteins and/or oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA and lipids. Furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated that various antioxidants, including naturally occurring flavonoids and polyphenols as well as synthetic compounds, can block the formation of reactive oxygen and/or nitrogen species, and thus ultimately prevent the PTMs of many proteins with improved disease conditions. Therefore, the present review is aimed to describe the recent research developments in the molecular mechanisms for mitochondrial dysfunction and tissue injury in neurodegenerative diseases and discuss translational research opportunities.

  15. Laying in silico pipelines for drug repositioning: a paradigm in ensemble analysis for neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Dovrolis, Nikolas; Kolios, George; Spyrou, George; Maroulakou, Ioanna

    2017-03-29

    When faced with time- and money-consuming problems, new practices in pharmaceutical R&D arose when trying to alleviate them. Drug repositioning has great promise and when combined with today's computational power and intelligence it becomes more precise and potent. This work showcases current approaches of creating a computational pipeline for drug repositioning, along with an extensive example of how researchers can influence therapeutic approaches and further understanding, through either single or multiple disease studies. This paradigm is based on three neurodegenerative diseases with pathophysiological similarities. It is our goal to provide the readers with all the information needed to enrich their research and note expectations along the way.

  16. Modulation of the Kynurenine Pathway for the Potential Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Courtney, Stephen; Scheel, Andreas

    Modulation of tryptophan metabolism and in particular the kynurenine pathway is of considerable interest in the discovery of potential new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. A number of small molecule inhibitors of the kynurenine metabolic pathway enzymes have been identified over recent years; a summary of these and their utility has been reviewed in this chapter. In particular, inhibitors of kynurenine monooxygenase represent an opportunity to develop a therapy for Huntington's disease; progress in the optimization of small molecule inhibitors of this enzyme is also described.

  17. Emulation of Physician Tasks in Eye-Tracked Virtual Reality for Remote Diagnosis of Neurodegenerative Disease.

    PubMed

    Orlosky, Jason; Itoh, Yuta; Ranchet, Maud; Kiyokawa, Kiyoshi; Morgan, John; Devos, Hannes

    2017-04-01

    For neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson's disease, early and accurate diagnosis is still a difficult task. Evaluations can be time consuming, patients must often travel to metropolitan areas or different cities to see experts, and misdiagnosis can result in improper treatment. To date, only a handful of assistive or remote methods exist to help physicians evaluate patients with suspected neurological disease in a convenient and consistent way. In this paper, we present a low-cost VR interface designed to support evaluation and diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease and test its use in a clinical setting. Using a commercially available VR display with an infrared camera integrated into the lens, we have constructed a 3D virtual environment designed to emulate common tasks used to evaluate patients, such as fixating on a point, conducting smooth pursuit of an object, or executing saccades. These virtual tasks are designed to elicit eye movements commonly associated with neurodegenerative disease, such as abnormal saccades, square wave jerks, and ocular tremor. Next, we conducted experiments with 9 patients with a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and 7 healthy controls to test the system's potential to emulate tasks for clinical diagnosis. We then applied eye tracking algorithms and image enhancement to the eye recordings taken during the experiment and conducted a short follow-up study with two physicians for evaluation. Results showed that our VR interface was able to elicit five common types of movements usable for evaluation, physicians were able to confirm three out of four abnormalities, and visualizations were rated as potentially useful for diagnosis.

  18. Analysis of the mitochondrial genome of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) with neurodegenerative disease.

    PubMed

    Burger, Pamela A; Steinborn, Ralf; Walzer, Christian; Petit, Thierry; Mueller, Mathias; Schwarzenberger, Franz

    2004-08-18

    The complete mitochondrial genome of Acinonyx jubatus was sequenced and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) regions were screened for polymorphisms as candidates for the cause of a neurodegenerative demyelinating disease affecting captive cheetahs. The mtDNA reference sequences were established on the basis of the complete sequences of two diseased and two nondiseased animals as well as partial sequences of 26 further individuals. The A. jubatus mitochondrial genome is 17,047-bp long and shows a high sequence similarity (91%) to the domestic cat. Based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the control region (CR) and pedigree information, the 18 myelopathic and 12 non-myelopathic cheetahs included in this study were classified into haplotypes I, II and III. In view of the phenotypic comparability of the neurodegenerative disease observed in cheetahs and human mtDNA-associated diseases, specific coding regions including the tRNAs leucine UUR, lysine, serine UCN, and partial complex I and V sequences were screened. We identified a heteroplasmic and a homoplasmic SNP at codon 507 in the subunit 5 (MTND5) of complex I. The heteroplasmic haplotype I-specific valine to methionine substitution represents a nonconservative amino acid change and was found in 11 myelopathic and eight non-myelopathic cheetahs with levels ranging from 29% to 79%. The homoplasmic conservative amino acid substitution valine to alanine was identified in two myelopathic animals of haplotype II. In addition, a synonymous SNP in the codon 76 of the MTND4L gene was found in the single haplotype III animal. The amino acid exchanges in the MTND5 gene were not associated with the occurrence of neurodegenerative disease in captive cheetahs.

  19. Complement factor H and age-related macular degeneration: the role of glycosaminoglycan recognition in disease pathology.

    PubMed

    Clark, Simon J; Bishop, Paul N; Day, Anthony J

    2010-10-01

    AMD (age-related macular degeneration) is the major cause of blindness in the western world, associated with the formation of extracellular deposits called drusen in the macula, i.e. the central region of the retina. These drusen contain cellular debris and proteins, including components of the complement system such as the regulator CFH (complement factor H); dysregulation of complement is thought to play a major role in the development of AMD. CFH acts through its capacity to recognize polyanionic structures [e.g. sulfated GAGs (glycosaminoglycans)] found on host tissues, and thereby inactivates any C3b that becomes deposited. Importantly, a common polymorphism in CFH (Y402H) has been strongly associated with an increased risk of AMD. This polymorphism, which causes a tyrosine to histidine coding change, has been shown to alter the binding of CFH to sulfated GAGs, as well as to other ligands including C-reactive protein, necrotic cells and bacterial coat proteins. Of these, the change in the GAG-recognition properties of CFH is likely to be of most significance to AMD. Recent research has revealed that the disease-associated 402H allotype interacts less well (compared with 402Y) with binding sites within the macula (e.g. Bruch's membrane), where the GAGs heparan sulfate and dermatan sulfate play a major role in mediating the interaction with CFH. Reduced binding of the 402H allotype could result in impaired regulation of complement leading to chronic local inflammation that may contribute to the accumulation of drusen and thus the initiation, development and progression of AMD.

  20. Genetic Determinants of Macular Pigments in Women of the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study

    PubMed Central

    Meyers, Kristin J.; Johnson, Elizabeth J.; Bernstein, Paul S.; Iyengar, Sudha K.; Engelman, Corinne D.; Karki, Chitra K.; Liu, Zhe; Igo, Robert P.; Truitt, Barbara; Klein, Michael L.; Snodderly, D. Max; Blodi, Barbara A.; Gehrs, Karen M.; Sarto, Gloria E.; Wallace, Robert B.; Robinson, Jennifer; LeBlanc, Erin S.; Hageman, Gregory; Tinker, Lesley; Mares, Julie A.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. To investigate genetic determinants of macular pigment optical density in women from the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS), an ancillary study of the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Methods. 1585 of 2005 CAREDS participants had macular pigment optical density (MPOD) measured noninvasively using customized heterochromatic flicker photometry and blood samples genotyped for 440 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 26 candidate genes related to absorption, transport, binding, and cleavage of carotenoids directly, or via lipid transport. SNPs were individually tested for associations with MPOD using least-squares linear regression. Results. Twenty-one SNPs from 11 genes were associated with MPOD (P ≤ 0.05) after adjusting for dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin. This includes variants in or near genes related to zeaxanthin binding in the macula (GSTP1), carotenoid cleavage (BCMO1), cholesterol transport or uptake (SCARB1, ABCA1, ABCG5, and LIPC), long-chain omega-3 fatty acid status (ELOVL2, FADS1, and FADS2), and various maculopathies (ALDH3A2 and RPE65). The strongest association was for rs11645428 near BCMO1 (βA = 0.029, P = 2.2 × 10−4). Conditional modeling within genes and further adjustment for other predictors of MPOD, including waist circumference, diabetes, and dietary intake of fiber, resulted in 13 SNPs from 10 genes maintaining independent association with MPOD. Variation in these single gene polymorphisms accounted for 5% of the variability in MPOD (P = 3.5 × 10−11). Conclusions. Our results support that MPOD is a multi-factorial phenotype associated with variation in genes related to carotenoid transport, uptake, and metabolism, independent of known dietary and health influences on MPOD. PMID:23404124

  1. [Age related macular degeneration].

    PubMed

    Sayen, Alexandra; Hubert, Isabelle; Berrod, Jean-Paul

    2011-02-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a multifactorial disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It is the first cause of blindness in patients over 50 in the western world. The disease has been traditionally classified into early and late stages with dry (atrophic) and wet (neovascular) forms: neovascular form is characterized by new blood vessels development under the macula (choroidal neovascularisation) which lead to a rapid decline of vision associated with metamorphopsia and requiring an urgent ophtalmological examination. Optical coherence tomography is now one of the most important part of the examination for diagnosis and treatment. Patient with age related maculopathy should consider taking a dietary supplement such that used in AREDS. The treatment of the wet ARMD has largely beneficied since year 2006 of anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) molecules such as ranibizumab or bevacizumab given as repeated intravitreal injections. A systematic follow up each 4 to 8 week in required for several years. There is no effective treatment at the moment for dry AMD. For patients with binocular visual acuity under 60/200 rehabilitation includes low vision specialist, vision aids and psychological support.

  2. Overnutrition Determines LPS Regulation of Mycotoxin Induced Neurotoxicity in Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Ian James

    2015-01-01

    Chronic neurodegenerative diseases are now associated with obesity and diabetes and linked to the developing and developed world. Interests in healthy diets have escalated that may prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The global metabolic syndrome involves lipoprotein abnormalities and insulin resistance and is the major disorder for induction of neurological disease. The effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on dyslipidemia and NAFLD indicate that the clearance and metabolism of fungal mycotoxins are linked to hypercholesterolemia and amyloid beta oligomers. LPS and mycotoxins are associated with membrane lipid disturbances with effects on cholesterol interacting proteins, lipoprotein metabolism, and membrane apo E/amyloid beta interactions relevant to hypercholesterolemia with close connections to neurological diseases. The influence of diet on mycotoxin metabolism has accelerated with the close association between mycotoxin contamination from agricultural products such as apple juice, grains, alcohol, and coffee. Cholesterol efflux in lipoproteins and membrane cholesterol are determined by LPS with involvement of mycotoxin on amyloid beta metabolism. Nutritional interventions such as diets low in fat/carbohydrate/cholesterol have become of interest with relevance to low absorption of lipophilic LPS and mycotoxin into lipoproteins with rapid metabolism of mycotoxin to the liver with the prevention of neurodegeneration. PMID:26690419

  3. Overnutrition Determines LPS Regulation of Mycotoxin Induced Neurotoxicity in Neurodegenerative Diseases.

    PubMed

    Martins, Ian James

    2015-12-10

    Chronic neurodegenerative diseases are now associated with obesity and diabetes and linked to the developing and developed world. Interests in healthy diets have escalated that may prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. The global metabolic syndrome involves lipoprotein abnormalities and insulin resistance and is the major disorder for induction of neurological disease. The effects of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on dyslipidemia and NAFLD indicate that the clearance and metabolism of fungal mycotoxins are linked to hypercholesterolemia and amyloid beta oligomers. LPS and mycotoxins are associated with membrane lipid disturbances with effects on cholesterol interacting proteins, lipoprotein metabolism, and membrane apo E/amyloid beta interactions relevant to hypercholesterolemia with close connections to neurological diseases. The influence of diet on mycotoxin metabolism has accelerated with the close association between mycotoxin contamination from agricultural products such as apple juice, grains, alcohol, and coffee. Cholesterol efflux in lipoproteins and membrane cholesterol are determined by LPS with involvement of mycotoxin on amyloid beta metabolism. Nutritional interventions such as diets low in fat/carbohydrate/cholesterol have become of interest with relevance to low absorption of lipophilic LPS and mycotoxin into lipoproteins with rapid metabolism of mycotoxin to the liver with the prevention of neurodegeneration.

  4. Optical Coherence Tomography as a Biomarker for Diagnosis, Progression, and Prognosis of Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Otin, Sofia; Fuertes, Maria I.; Vilades, Elisa; Gracia, Hector; Ara, Jose R.; Alarcia, Raquel; Polo, Vicente; Larrosa, Jose M.; Pablo, Luis E.

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases present a current challenge for accurate diagnosis and for providing precise prognostic information. Developing imaging biomarkers for multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson disease (PD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD) will improve the clinical management of these patients and may be useful for monitoring treatment effectiveness. Recent research using optical coherence tomography (OCT) has demonstrated that parameters provided by this technology may be used as potential biomarkers for MS, PD, and AD. Retinal thinning has been observed in these patients and new segmentation software for the analysis of the different retinal layers may provide accurate information on disease progression and prognosis. In this review we analyze the application of retinal evaluation using OCT technology to provide better understanding of the possible role of the retinal layers thickness as biomarker for the detection of these neurodegenerative pathologies. Current OCT analysis of the retinal nerve fiber layer and, specially, the ganglion cell layer thickness may be considered as a good biomarker for disease diagnosis, severity, and progression. PMID:27840739

  5. The Central Biobank and Virtual Biobank of BIOMARKAPD: A Resource for Studies on Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Reijs, Babette L. R.; Teunissen, Charlotte E.; Goncharenko, Nikolai; Betsou, Fay; Blennow, Kaj; Baldeiras, Inês; Brosseron, Frederic; Cavedo, Enrica; Fladby, Tormod; Froelich, Lutz; Gabryelewicz, Tomasz; Gurvit, Hakan; Kapaki, Elisabeth; Koson, Peter; Kulic, Luka; Lehmann, Sylvain; Lewczuk, Piotr; Lleó, Alberto; Maetzler, Walter; de Mendonça, Alexandre; Miller, Anne-Marie; Molinuevo, José L.; Mollenhauer, Brit; Parnetti, Lucilla; Rot, Uros; Schneider, Anja; Simonsen, Anja Hviid; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Tsolaki, Magda; Verbeek, Marcel M.; Verhey, Frans R. J.; Zboch, Marzena; Winblad, Bengt; Scheltens, Philip; Zetterberg, Henrik; Visser, Pieter Jelle

    2015-01-01

    Biobanks are important resources for biomarker discovery and assay development. Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (BIOMARKAPD) is a European multicenter study, funded by the EU Joint Programme-Neurodegenerative Disease Research, which aims to improve the clinical use of body fluid markers for the diagnosis and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The objective was to standardize the assessment of existing assays and to validate novel fluid biomarkers for AD and PD. To support the validation of novel biomarkers and assays, a central and a virtual biobank for body fluids and associated data from subjects with neurodegenerative diseases have been established. In the central biobank, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood samples were collected according to the BIOMARKAPD standardized pre-analytical procedures and stored at Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg. The virtual biobank provides an overview of available CSF, plasma, serum, and DNA samples at each site. Currently, at the central biobank of BIOMARKAPD samples are available from over 400 subjects with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), AD, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), vascular dementia, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, PD, PD with dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies. The virtual biobank contains information on over 8,600 subjects with varying diagnoses from 21 local biobanks. A website has been launched to enable sample requests from the central biobank and virtual biobank. PMID:26528237

  6. Adaptive Immune Regulation of Glial Homeostasis as an Immunization Strategy for Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kosloski, Lisa M.; Ha, Duy M.; Stone, David K.; Hutter, Jessica A. L.; Pichler, Michael R.; Reynolds, Ashley D.; Gendelman, Howard E.; Mosley, R. Lee

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases, notably Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, are amongst the most devastating disorders afflicting the elderly. Currently, no curative treatments or treatments that interdict disease progression exist. Over the past decade, immunization strategies have been proposed to combat disease progression. Such strategies induce humoral immune responses against misfolded protein aggregates to facilitate their clearance. Robust adaptive immunity against misfolded proteins, however, accelerates disease progression, precipitated by induced effector T cell responses that lead to encephalitis and neuronal death. Since then, mechanisms that attenuate such adaptive neurotoxic immune responses have been sought. We propose that shifting the balance between effector and regulatory T cell activity can attenuate neurotoxic inflammatory events. This review summarizes advances in immune regulation to achieve a homeostatic glial response for therapeutic gain. Promising new ways to optimize immunization schemes and measure their clinical efficacy are also discussed. PMID:20524958

  7. Exposure to lipophilic chemicals as a cause of neurological impairments, neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Zeliger, Harold I

    2013-09-01

    Many studies have associated environmental exposure to chemicals with neurological impairments (NIs) including neuropathies, cognitive, motor and sensory impairments; neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); neurodegenerative diseases (NDGs) including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The environmental chemicals shown to induce all these diseases include persistent organic pollutants (POPs), the plastic exudates bisphenol A and phthalates, low molecular weight hydrocarbons (LMWHCs) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). It is reported here that though these chemicals differ widely in their chemical properties, reactivities and known points of attack in humans, a common link does exist between them. All are lipophilic species found in serum and they promote the sequential absorption of otherwise non-absorbed toxic hydrophilic species causing these diseases.

  8. Exposure to lipophilic chemicals as a cause of neurological impairments, neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Many studies have associated environmental exposure to chemicals with neurological impairments (NIs) including neuropathies, cognitive, motor and sensory impairments; neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); neurodegenerative diseases (NDGs) including Alzheimer′s disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The environmental chemicals shown to induce all these diseases include persistent organic pollutants (POPs), the plastic exudates bisphenol A and phthalates, low molecular weight hydrocarbons (LMWHCs) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). It is reported here that though these chemicals differ widely in their chemical properties, reactivities and known points of attack in humans, a common link does exist between them. All are lipophilic species found in serum and they promote the sequential absorption of otherwise non-absorbed toxic hydrophilic species causing these diseases. PMID:24678247

  9. Environmental pollutants as risk factors for neurodegenerative disorders: Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases

    PubMed Central

    Chin-Chan, Miguel; Navarro-Yepes, Juliana; Quintanilla-Vega, Betzabet

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer (AD) and Parkinson (PD) have attracted attention in last decades due to their high incidence worldwide. The etiology of these diseases is still unclear; however the role of the environment as a putative risk factor has gained importance. More worryingly is the evidence that pre- and post-natal exposures to environmental factors predispose to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases in later life. Neurotoxic metals such as lead, mercury, aluminum, cadmium and arsenic, as well as some pesticides and metal-based nanoparticles have been involved in AD due to their ability to increase beta-amyloid (Aβ) peptide and the phosphorylation of Tau protein (P-Tau), causing senile/amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) characteristic of AD. The exposure to lead, manganese, solvents and some pesticides has been related to hallmarks of PD such as mitochondrial dysfunction, alterations in metal homeostasis and aggregation of proteins such as α-synuclein (α-syn), which is a key constituent of Lewy bodies (LB), a crucial factor in PD pathogenesis. Common mechanisms of environmental pollutants to increase Aβ, P-Tau, α-syn and neuronal death have been reported, including the oxidative stress mainly involved in the increase of Aβ and α-syn, and the reduced activity/protein levels of Aβ degrading enzyme (IDE)s such as neprilysin or insulin IDE. In addition, epigenetic mechanisms by maternal nutrient supplementation and exposure to heavy metals and pesticides have been proposed to lead phenotypic diversity and susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases. This review discusses data from epidemiological and experimental studies about the role of environmental factors in the development of idiopathic AD and PD, and their mechanisms of action. PMID:25914621

  10. Sleep facilitates clearance of metabolites from the brain: glymphatic function in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Mendelsohn, Andrew R; Larrick, James W

    2013-12-01

    Decline of cognition and increasing risk of neurodegenerative diseases are major problems associated with aging in humans. Of particular importance is how the brain removes potentially toxic biomolecules that accumulate with normal neuronal function. Recently, a biomolecule clearance system using convective flow between the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) to remove toxic metabolites in the brain was described. Xie and colleagues now report that in mice the clearance activity of this so-called "glymphatic system" is strongly stimulated by sleep and is associated with an increase in interstitial volume, possibly by shrinkage of astroglial cells. Moreover, anesthesia and attenuation of adrenergic signaling can activate the glymphatic system to clear potentially toxic proteins known to contribute to the pathology of Alzheimer disease (AD) such as beta-amyloid (Abeta). Clearance during sleep is as much as two-fold faster than during waking hours. These results support a new hypothesis to answer the age-old question of why sleep is necessary. Glymphatic dysfunction may pay a hitherto unsuspected role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases as well as maintenance of cognition. Furthermore, clinical studies suggest that quality and duration of sleep may be predictive of the onset of AD, and that quality sleep may significantly reduce the risk of AD for apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ɛ4 carriers, who have significantly greater chances of developing AD. Further characterization of the glymphatic system in humans may lead to new therapies and methods of prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. A public health initiative to ensure adequate sleep among middle-aged and older people may prove useful in preventing AD, especially in apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ɛ4 carriers.

  11. The Critical Need to Promote Research of Aging and Aging-related Diseases to Improve Health and Longevity of the Elderly Population

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Kunlin; Simpkins, James W.; Ji, Xunming; Leis, Miriam; Stambler, Ilia

    2015-01-01

    Due to the aging of the global population and the derivative increase in aging-related non-communicable diseases and their economic burden, there is an urgent need to promote research on aging and aging-related diseases as a way to improve healthy and productive longevity for the elderly population. To accomplish this goal, we advocate the following policies: 1) Increasing funding for research and development specifically directed to ameliorate degenerative aging processes and to extend healthy and productive lifespan for the population; 2) Providing a set of incentives for commercial, academic, public and governmental organizations to foster engagement in such research and development; and 3) Establishing and expanding coordination and consultation structures, programs and institutions involved in aging-related research, development and education in academia, industry, public policy agencies and at governmental and supra-governmental levels. PMID:25657847

  12. MicroRNA Biomarkers in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Emerging NanoSensors Technology

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Pratik; Cho, Seok Keun; Thulstrup, Peter Waaben; Bjerrum, Morten Jannik; Lee, Phil Hyu; Kang, Ju-Hee; Bhang, Yong-Joo; Yang, Seong Wook

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are essential small RNA molecules (20–24 nt) that negatively regulate the expression of target genes at the post-transcriptional level. Due to their roles in a variety of biological processes, the aberrant expression profiles of miRNAs have been identified as biomarkers for many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases. In order to precisely, rapidly and economically monitor the expression of miRNAs, many cutting-edge nanotechnologies have been developed. One of the nanotechnologies, based on DNA encapsulated silver nanoclusters (DNA/AgNCs), has increasingly been adopted to create nanoscale bio-sensing systems due to its attractive optical properties, such as brightness, tuneable emission wavelengths and photostability. Using the DNA/AgNCs sensor methods, the presence of miRNAs can be detected simply by monitoring the fluorescence alteration of DNA/AgNCs sensors. We introduce these DNA/ AgNCs sensor methods and discuss their possible applications for detecting miRNA biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:28122423

  13. Sulfheme formation during homocysteine S-oxygenation by catalase in cancers and neurodegenerative diseases

    PubMed Central

    Padovani, Dominique; Hessani, Assia; Castillo, Francine T.; Liot, Géraldine; Andriamihaja, Mireille; Lan, Annaïg; Pilati, Camilla; Blachier, François; Sen, Suvajit; Galardon, Erwan; Artaud, Isabelle

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that abnormal levels of homocysteine are associated with vascular dysfunctions, cancer cell proliferation and various neurodegenerative diseases. With respect to the latter, a perturbation of transition metal homeostasis and an inhibition of catalase bioactivity have been reported. Herein, we report on some of the molecular bases for the cellular toxicity of homocysteine and demonstrate that it induces the formation of sulfcatalase, an irreversible inactive state of the enzyme, without the intervention of hydrogen sulfide. Initially, homocysteine reacts with native catalase and/or redox-active transition metal ions to generate thiyl radicals that mediate compound II formation, a temporarily inactive state of the enzyme. Then, the ferryl centre of compound II intervenes into the unprecedented S-oxygenation of homocysteine to engender the corresponding sulfenic acid species that further participates into the prosthetic heme modification through the formation of an unusual Fe(II) sulfonium. In addition, our ex cellulo studies performed on cancer cells, models of neurodegenerative diseases and ulcerative colitis suggest the likelihood of this scenario in a subset of cancer cells, as well as in a cellular model of Parkinson's disease. Our findings expand the repertoire of heme modifications promoted by biological compounds and point out another deleterious trait of disturbed homocysteine levels that could participate in the aetiology of these diseases. PMID:27848965

  14. MicroRNA Biomarkers in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Emerging Nano-Sensors Technology.

    PubMed

    Shah, Pratik; Cho, Seok Keun; Thulstrup, Peter Waaben; Bjerrum, Morten Jannik; Lee, Phil Hyu; Kang, Ju-Hee; Bhang, Yong-Joo; Yang, Seong Wook

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are essential small RNA molecules (20-24 nt) that negatively regulate the expression of target genes at the post-transcriptional level. Due to their roles in a variety of biological processes, the aberrant expression profiles of miRNAs have been identified as biomarkers for many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases. In order to precisely, rapidly and economically monitor the expression of miRNAs, many cutting-edge nanotechnologies have been developed. One of the nanotechnologies, based on DNA encapsulated silver nanoclusters (DNA/AgNCs), has increasingly been adopted to create nanoscale bio-sensing systems due to its attractive optical properties, such as brightness, tuneable emission wavelengths and photostability. Using the DNA/AgNCs sensor methods, the presence of miRNAs can be detected simply by monitoring the fluorescence alteration of DNA/AgNCs sensors. We introduce these DNA/ AgNCs sensor methods and discuss their possible applications for detecting miRNA biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases.

  15. Proline-rich polypeptides in Alzheimer's disease and neurodegenerative disorders -- therapeutic potential or a mirage?

    PubMed

    Gladkevich, A; Bosker, F; Korf, J; Yenkoyan, K; Vahradyan, H; Aghajanov, M

    2007-10-01

    The development of effective and safe drugs for a growing Alzheimer disease population is an increasing need at present. Both experimental and clinical evidence support a beneficial effect of proline-rich polypeptides in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease. Experimental data have shown that proline-rich polypeptides isolated from bovine neurohypophisis possess neuroprotective and neuromodulatory properties in mice with aluminum neurotoxicosis or neuronal damage caused by venoms and toxins. Proline-rich polypeptides from ovine colostrums, so called Colostrinin, have been shown to produce cognitive improvement in an experimental model and in patients with Alzheimer disease. However, the precise mechanism underlying the neuroprotective action of proline-rich polypeptides is not very well established. Moreover, studies pointing at a neuroprotective effect of proline-rich polypeptides from bovine neurohypophisis in humans have not been reported thus far. The authors conclude that more detailed information on the mode of action of proline-rich polypeptides is needed as well as confirmation of their efficacy in broad clinical trials before this approach can really show its potential in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

  16. The Role of Tau in Neurodegenerative Diseases and Its Potential as a Therapeutic Target

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The abnormal deposition of proteins in and around neurons is a common pathological feature of many neurodegenerative diseases. Among these pathological proteins, the microtubule-associated protein tau forms intraneuronal filaments in a spectrum of neurological disorders. The discovery that dominant mutations in the MAPT gene encoding tau are associated with familial frontotemporal dementia strongly supports abnormal tau protein as directly involved in disease pathogenesis. This and other evidence suggest that tau is a worthwhile target for the prevention or treatment of tau-associated neurodegenerative diseases, collectively called tauopathies. However, it is critical to understand the normal biological roles of tau, the specific molecular events that induce tau to become neurotoxic, the biochemical nature of pathogenic tau, the means by which pathogenic tau exerts neurotoxicity, and how tau pathology propagates. Based on known differences between normal and abnormal tau, a number of approaches have been taken toward the discovery of potential therapeutics. Key questions still remain open, such as the nature of the connection between the amyloid-β protein of Alzheimer's disease and tau pathology. Answers to these questions should help better understand the nature of tauopathies and may also reveal new therapeutic targets and strategies. PMID:24278740

  17. Heat Shock Proteins: Old and Novel Roles in Neurodegenerative Diseases in the Central Nervous System.

    PubMed

    van Noort, Johannes M; Bugiani, Marianna; Amor, Sandra

    2016-10-31

    Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are families of molecular chaperones that play important homeostatic functions in the central nervous system (CNS) by preventing protein misfolding, promoting degradation of improperly folded proteins, and protecting against apoptosis and inflammatory damage especially during hyperthermia, hypoxia, or oxidative stress. Under stress conditions, HSPs are upregulated to protect cells from damage that accumulates during ageing as well as pathological conditions. An important, yet frequently overlooked function of some HSPs is their ability to function as extracellular messengers (also termed chaperokines) that modulate immune responses within the CNS. Given the strong association between protein aggregation, innate immune cell activation and neurodegeneration, the expression and roles of HSPs in the CNS is attracting attention in many neurodegenerative disorders including inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, protein folding diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and genetic white matter diseases. This is especially so since several studies show that HSPs act therapeutically by modulating innate immune activation and may thus serve as neuroprotective agents. Here we review the evidence linking HSPs with neurodegenerative disorders in humans and the experimental animal models of these disorders. We discuss the mechanisms by which HSP protect cells, and how the knowledge of their endogenous functions can be exploited to treat disorders of the CNS.

  18. Extracting salient brain patterns for imaging-based classification of neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Rueda, Andrea; González, Fabio A; Romero, Eduardo

    2014-06-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases comprise a wide variety of mental symptoms whose evolution is not directly related to the visual analysis made by radiologists, who can hardly quantify systematic differences. Moreover, automatic brain morphometric analyses, that do perform this quantification, contribute very little to the comprehension of the disease, i.e., many of these methods classify but they do not produce useful anatomo-functional correlations. This paper presents a new fully automatic image analysis method that reveals discriminative brain patterns associated to the presence of neurodegenerative diseases, mining systematic differences and therefore grading objectively any neurological disorder. This is accomplished by a fusion strategy that mixes together bottom-up and top-down information flows. Bottom-up information comes from a multiscale analysis of different image features, while the top-down stage includes learning and fusion strategies formulated as a max-margin multiple-kernel optimization problem. The capacity of finding discriminative anatomic patterns was evaluated using the Alzheimer's disease (AD) as the use case. The classification performance was assessed under different configurations of the proposed approach in two public brain magnetic resonance datasets (OASIS-MIRIAD) with patients diagnosed with AD, showing an improvement varying from 6.2% to 13% in the equal error rate measure, with respect to what has been reported by the feature-based morphometry strategy. In terms of the anatomical analysis, discriminant regions found by the proposed approach highly correlates to what has been reported in clinical studies of AD.

  19. Instruments measuring the disease-specific quality of life of family carers of people with neurodegenerative diseases: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Page, Thomas E; Farina, Nicolas; Brown, Anna; Daley, Stephanie; Bowling, Ann; Basset, Thurstine; Livingston, Gill; Knapp, Martin; Murray, Joanna; Banerjee, Sube

    2017-01-01

    Objective Neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia, have a profound impact on those with the conditions and their family carers. Consequently, the accurate measurement of family carers' quality of life (QOL) is important. Generic measures may miss key elements of the impact of these conditions, so using disease-specific instruments has been advocated. This systematic review aimed to identify and examine the psychometric properties of disease-specific outcome measures of QOL of family carers of people with neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease and other dementias; Huntington's disease; Parkinson's disease; multiple sclerosis; and motor neuron disease). Design Systematic review. Methods Instruments were identified using 5 electronic databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Scopus and the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS)) and lateral search techniques. Only studies which reported the development and/or validation of a disease-specific measure for adult family carers, and which were written in English, were eligible for inclusion. The methodological quality of the included studies was evaluated using the COnsensus based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) checklist. The psychometric properties of each instrument were examined. Results 676 articles were identified. Following screening and lateral searches, a total of 8 articles were included; these reported 7 disease-specific carer QOL measures. Limited evidence was available for the psychometric properties of the 7 instruments. Psychometric analyses were mainly focused on internal consistency, reliability and construct validity. None of the measures assessed either criterion validity or responsiveness to change. Conclusions There are very few measures of carer QOL that are specific to particular neurodegenerative diseases. The findings of this review emphasise the importance of developing and validating psychometrically robust disease

  20. Dengue in Vietnamese infants--results of infection-enhancement assays correlate with age-related disease epidemiology, and cellular immune responses correlate with disease severity.

    PubMed

    Chau, Tran Nguyen Bich; Quyen, Nguyen Than Ha; Thuy, Tran Thi; Tuan, Nguyen Minh; Hoang, Dang Minh; Dung, Nguyen Thi Phuong; Lien, Le Bich; Quy, Nguyen Thien; Hieu, Nguyen Trong; Hieu, Lu Thi Minh; Hien, Tran Tinh; Hung, Nguyen Thanh; Farrar, Jeremy; Simmons, Cameron P

    2008-08-15

    The pathogenesis of severe dengue is not well understood. Maternally derived subneutralizing levels of dengue virus-reactive IgG are postulated to be a critical risk factor for severe dengue during infancy. In this study, we found that, in healthy Vietnamese infants, there was a strong temporal association betwe