A new strategy to prevent nerve loss in neurodegenerative diseases has been developed by researchers at the University of Iowa. The strategy involves using a technique called electrical stimulation to prevent the formation of damaging tangles of a protein called tau in the brain.
Tau is a protein that is essential for nerve cell function. However, in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia, tau becomes abnormally phosphorylated and forms tangles that damage nerve cells and lead to their death.
Previous research has shown that electrical stimulation can prevent tau tangles from forming in the brain. However, the new study is the first to show that electrical stimulation can also block the formation of tau tangles that have already formed.
The new study used a mouse model of tauopathy, a neurodegenerative disease that involves the formation of tau tangles. The mice were divided into two groups: one that received electrical stimulation and one that did not.
The mice that received electrical stimulation showed a significant reduction in tau tangles compared to the control group. In addition, the mice that received electrical stimulation showed no loss of nerve cells or neurological problems, whereas the control group did.
The findings suggest that electrical stimulation could be a promising treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. However, the authors note that further studies are needed to confirm the findings and to determine the optimal timing, frequency, and duration of electrical stimulation.
According to new research, a strategy that involves targeting specific nucleotide pairs in RNA could one day be used to prevent nerve loss in neurodegenerative diseases. The study, which was conducted in mice, found that the strategy was able to prevent the loss of a key type of nerve cell that is typically associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
While the findings are preliminary, they offer a potential new way to target neurodegenerative diseases, which are currently incurable. The hope is that by targeting the RNA of specific nerve cells, it may be possible to prevent the nerve cell loss that leads to these devastating diseases.
The study involved targeting a specific nucleotide pair known as CUG. This nucleotide pair is found in the RNA of a specific type of nerve cell, known as motor neurons. Motor neurons are responsible for controlling muscle movement, and their loss is one of the hallmark features of neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS and Huntington’s disease.
In the study, the researchers used a technique known as CRISPR-Cas9 to target the CUG nucleotide pair in the RNA of motor neurons. They found that this prevented the loss of motor neurons in a mouse model of ALS.
While the findings are encouraging, it is important to note that the study was conducted in mice, and it is not known if the same strategy will work in humans. However, the findings offer a potential new way to target neurodegenerative diseases and could one day lead to new treatments for these devastating conditions.