Thursday, March 8, 2012

Zebrafish - New Hope in Motor Neuronal Regeneration

While it is commonly known that mammals, after a certain young age, will never regenerate or increase the number of motor neurons that we have. Brain and other neurons regenerate for life, but motor neurons are a special type. However, the zebrafish is one animal that can regenerate new motor neurons throughout its life.

By blocking a signal protein called Notch 1, laboratory models suggest that production of motor neurons could be increased, and thus regeneration. Progenitor cells, more specifically, are what they are targeting. Mammals, including humans have these which can turn into motor neurons, however, as it stands, there's nothing to tell them to form motor neurons. With the blockage of Notch 1, researchers are hopeful that they can stimulate the growth of progenitor cells into motor neurons for regeneration of damaged neurons that have led to paralysis.

Work on some knowledge here:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Old Hypothesis Ruled Out for Cause of M.S.

Multiple Sclerosis was once thought to be caused by a break down of oligodendocytes, which create the myelin sheathing that surrounds nerves. This myelin acts as an insulator on our nerve cells, called neurons, that help to transmit nervous impulses at a faster, more efficient rate. And this break down in turn created a break down in the myelin from an autoimmune response that broke down the myelin. Essentially, the body was attacking its own myelin.

However, that hypothesis has been refuted through experiments conducted on mice. Researchers, through genetic manipulation, damaged oligodendrocytes and waited for the immune response; but the response never came. Therefore, it has been posited that the damaging of oligodendrocytes did not lead to an autoimmune response, a reaction, but that the autoimmune response was actually the cause independent of oligodendrocyte breakdown.

Look into this process at this locale: