Researchers improve neurodegenerative disease understanding
Researchers at the University of Manchester have improved their understanding of neurodegenerative diseases.
The team successfully observed how the internal mechanisms in nerve cells wire the brain, offering up new investigation pathways to better comprehend the cellular processes underlying neurodegenerative conditions.
Dr Andreas Prokop and his team were studying the growth of axons when they made the discovery.
The researchers were investigating how poor growth of axons can lead to birth disorders, mental and physical impairments, and degeneration of brain capacity during the ageing process.
It was observed that those missing the link spectraplakin had criss-crossed axon arrangement and poor growth.
Spectraplakin, a multifunctional protein, has already been identified as having a key role in neurodegeneration and the healing of skin.
By better understanding the mechanisms behind neurodegeneration, researchers will be able to develop effective treatments to both prevent and control conditions, such as dementia, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.