Nav: Home

Researcher discovers commonalities in brains of people with HD and PD

January 12, 2018

(Boston)--A new study strongly suggests that the brains of people who have died of Huntington's disease (HD) and Parkinson's disease (PD) show a similar response to a lifetime of neurodegeneration, despite being two very distinct diseases.

The findings, which appear in the journal Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, found that most of the genes perturbed in brains from both diseases are related to the same immune response and inflammatory pathways. Inflammation in the central nervous system has recently been shown to play a role in a number of different neurodegenerative diseases, including HD and PD, but this is the first direct comparison of these two distinct diseases.

Brains of individuals who died with Huntington's, Parkinson's or no neurological condition were analyzed using sequencing technology that provides a data readout of the activity of all genes in the genome. By comparing the data from the different groups, the researchers identified which genes show differences in their activity. By organizing and interpreting these genes, the researchers found an overall pattern of commonality between the two diseases. According to the researchers, the hypothesis that the brain experiences a similar response to disparate neurodegenerative diseases has exciting clinical implications. "These findings suggest that a common therapy might be developed to help mitigate the effects of different neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system" explained corresponding author Adam Labadorf, PhD, Director of the BU Bioinformatics Hub.

"Though no such treatment yet exists, this finding will lead to experiments to better understand the specific mechanisms of the inflammatory response in the neurodegenerating brain, which may in turn lead to new treatments."

Labadorf believes that at present, these findings are too preliminary to suggest new clinical treatments. However, as many anti-inflammatory drugs are already available, there may be a relatively short path to designing clinical trials for drugs that modulate the inflammatory response in people with neurodegenerative disease.

"While these findings are specific to HD and PD, these two diseases are sufficiently distinct to suggest that the observed pattern of differential gene activity may likely be observed in other neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system, including Alzheimer's disease and Chronic Traumatic Encephalophathy (CTE)."
Funding for this study was provided by grants from US National Institutes of Health (R01-S076843), Characterization of the Role of Cyclin G-associated Kinase in Parkinson Disease, (R01-NS073947), Epigenetic Markers in Huntington's Disease Brain, (R01-NS088538), An IPSc based platform for functionally assessing genetic and environmental Risk in PD, (U24-NS072026) National Brain and Tissue Resource for Parkinson's Disease and Related Disorders and the Jerry McDonald Huntington Disease Research Fund.

Boston University School of Medicine

Related Neurodegenerative Diseases Articles:

Researchers identify link between birth defect and neurodegenerative diseases
A new study has found a link between neurological birth defects in infants commonly found in pregnant women with diabetes and several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.
High school football players, 1956-1970, did not have increase of neurodegenerative diseases
A Mayo Clinic study published online today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that varsity football players from 1956 to 1970 did not have an increased risk of degenerative brain diseases compared with athletes in other varsity sports.
Researchers reveal how neurodegenerative diseases spread through the brain
Synapses, the place where brain cells contact one another, play a pivotal role in the transmission of toxic proteins.
Untangling a cause of memory loss in neurodegenerative diseases
In mice genetically engineered to mimic aspects of human tauopathy disorders, the researchers restored some of the learning and memory deficits by blocking caspase-2 activity, which suggests that some of the cognitive loss seen in tauopathies might be reversible.
New impetus for treatment neurodegenerative diseases
Twenty years ago, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) seemed a promising target in the treatment of brain diseases like multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer's Disease.
Study demonstrates role of gut bacteria in neurodegenerative diseases
Research has revealed that exposure to bacterial proteins called amyloid that have structural similarity to brain proteins may lead to an increase in clumping of proteins in the brain.
How do the bugs in your gut affect neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases?
A growing body of scientific and medical evidence continues to shed light on the complex interaction between metabolic pathways affected by microrganisms living in the human gut and gene expression, immune function, and inflammation that can contribute to a range of cognitive, psychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders.
Antioxidant therapies may help in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases
A new review examines the potential of antioxidant approaches for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis.
Promising results with new gene therapy approach for treating inherited neurodegenerative diseases
A new gene therapy approach designed to replace the enzyme that is deficient in patients with the inherited neurodegenerative disorders Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases successfully delivered the therapeutic gene to the brains of treated mice, restored enzyme function, and extended survival by about 2.5-fold.
Could a new class of fungicides play a role in autism, neurodegenerative diseases?
Scientists at the UNC School of Medicine have found a class of commonly used fungicides that produce gene expression changes similar to those in people with autism and neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease.

Related Neurodegenerative Diseases Reading:

Neurodegenerative Diseases: Unifying Principles
by Jagan A Pillai (Author), Jeffrey L Cummings (Editor)

As the global population ages the impact of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are significant forces in shaping human health and quality of life in the 21st century. Insights into understanding these diseases, and knowing how to treat them are major frontiers of scientific research.

Neurodegenerative Diseases: Unifying Principles is the result of a conceptual revolution over the last decade in our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases as sharing unifying features. There is an increasing appreciation of the common biological and... View Details

Neurodegenerative Diseases: Clinical Aspects, Molecular Genetics and Biomarkers
by Daniela Galimberti (Editor), Elio Scarpini (Editor)

This book gives an overview of the current knowledge on the most common neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and additional neurodegenerative diseases. Different aspects of each disease are reviewed, including clinical issues, treatments, basic discoveries (genetics and molecular biology), and translation of basic research into biomarkers for early diagnosis. In addition, emerging data indicate that neurodegeneration seems to also be present in classically non-degenerative disorders. Therefore, a... View Details

Nrf2: key target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
by Rafael León (Author), Izaskun Buendía (Author), Patrycja Michalska (Author)

Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are predicted to be the biggest health concern in this century and the second leading cause of death by 2050. Aging population in Western societies is increasing, thus, the prevalence of these diseases is augmenting exponentially. Despite the great efforts to find a cure, current treatments remain ineffective or have low efficacy. Increasing lines of evidence point to exacerbated oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and chronic neuroinflammation as common pathological mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. We will address the role of the nuclear... View Details

Neurodegenerative Diseases: Pathology, Mechanisms, and Potential Therapeutic Targets (Advances in Neurobiology)
by Philip Beart (Editor), Michael Robinson (Editor), Marcus Rattray (Editor), Nicholas J. Maragakis (Editor)

Provides a timely overview of critical advances in molecular and cellular neurobiology, covers key methodologies driving progress, and highlights key future directions for research on neuronal injury and neurodegeneration relevant to neuronal brain pathologies. The editors bring together contributions from internationally recognized workers in the field to provide an up to date account of how and why molecular and cellular neurobiology is such an important area for clinical neuroscience. Understanding the molecular aspects of a number of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's or... View Details

Neurodegenerative Disorders (Perspectives on Diseases and Disorders)
by Sylvia Engdahl (Author)

The Perspectives on Diseases and Disorders series provides clear, careful explanations that offer readers insight into what these conditions are, what causes them, how people live with them, and the latest information about treatment and prevention.; This title addresses the causes, symptoms, diagnoses, treatments, and controversies associated with such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, Huntington's, and multiple sclerosis. Also included are personal narratives relating the ; Each volume in this timely series provides essential information on a disease or disorder... View Details

Neuropathology of Neurodegenerative Diseases Book and Online: A Practical Guide
by Gabor G. Kovacs (Editor)

This practical guide to the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases discusses modern molecular techniques, morphological classification, fundamentals of clinical symptomology, diagnostic pitfalls and immunostaining protocols. It is based on the proteinopathy concept of neurodegenerative disease, which has influenced classification and provides new strategies for therapy. Numerous high-quality images, including histopathology photomicrographs and neuroradiology scans, accompany the description of morphologic alterations and interpretation of immunoreactivities. Diagnostic methods and criteria... View Details

Neurodegenerative Diseases: Clinical Aspects, Molecular Genetics and Biomarkers
by Springer

This book gives an overview of the current knowledge on the most common neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration, Lewy body dementia,Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and additional less common neurodegenerative diseases. Both clinical and basic aspects of each disease are treated, including novel diagnostic criteria, old and new treatments, basic discoveries (genetics, epigenetics and molecular biology), and translation of basic research into biomarkers for early diagnosis, particularly to identify peripheral... View Details

The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline
by Dale Bredesen (Author)

The instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller

A groundbreaking plan to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s Disease that fundamentally changes how we understand cognitive decline.

Everyone knows someone who has survived cancer, but until now no one knows anyone who has survived Alzheimer's Disease. 
In this paradigm shifting book, Dale Bredesen, MD, offers real hope to anyone looking to prevent and even reverse Alzheimer's Disease and cognitive decline.  Revealing that AD is not one condition, as it is currently treated, but... View Details

Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Adults With Neurodegenerative Diseases (The AOTA Practice Guidelines Series)
by Katharine Preissner (Author)

Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs), which involve progressive damage to function and structure neurons, are chronic, progressive, generally incurable, and sometimes fatal. The types and severity of impairments, as well as their impact on daily living, vary greatly from person to person. As a result, people with NDD often face long-term, changing levels of disability and must learn to cope with and manage disability over time.

This Practice Guideline discusses the etiology, epidemiology, and incidence of multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and... View Details

The Benefits of Natural Products for Neurodegenerative Diseases (Advances in Neurobiology)
by M. Mohamed Essa (Editor), Mohammed Akbar (Editor), Gilles Guillemin (Editor)

Focuses on the effects of natural products and their active components on brain function and neurodegenerative disease prevention. Phytochemicals such as alkaloids, terpenes, flavanoids, isoflavones, saponins etc are known to possess protective activity against many neurological diseases. The molecular mechanisms behind the curative effects rely mainly on the action of phytonutrients on distinct signaling pathways associated with protein folding and neuro-inflammation. The diverse array of bioactive nutrients present in these natural products plays a pivotal role in prevention and cure of... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

The Consequences Of Racism
What does it mean to be judged before you walk through the door? What are the consequences? This week, TED speakers delve into the ways racism impacts our lives, from education, to health, to safety. Guests include poet and writer Clint Smith, writer and activist Miriam Zoila Pérez, educator Dena Simmons, and former prosecutor Adam Foss.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#465 How The Nose Knows
We've all got a nose but how does it work? Why do we like some smells and not others, and why can we all agree that some smells are good and some smells are bad, while others are dependant on personal or cultural preferences? We speak with Asifa Majid, Professor of Language, Communication and Cultural Cognition at Radboud University, about the intersection of culture, language, and smell. And we level up on our olfactory neuroscience with University of Pennsylvania Professor Jay Gottfried.