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General Health Channel
Reported July 23, 2013

Toxic Brain Protein: Risky If Not Cleared

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Using a method called optical pulse-labeling (OPL), researchers from the Gladstone Institutes discovered for the first time that neurons’ inability to clear toxic proteins associated with Huntington’s disease is responsible for protein buildup, which eventually causes the neurons to wither away.

The study, which used mice models of Huntington’s disease, also found that certain neurons were better at clearing the toxic protein than others and that increasing activity of the protein Nrf2 helped neurons survive for longer. “If we could develop drugs that boost Nrf2 production in the neurons most susceptible to Huntington's, we might extend their survival, thereby staving off the worst effects of the disease,” lead study author Andrey Tsvetkov, Ph.D., a former Gladstone Postdoctoral Fellow was quoted as saying.

For more information, go to http://gladstoneinstitutes.org/node/11332

SOURCE: Nature Chemical Biology, July 2013

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