Study: Brain cells have death system

Mar 02, 2006
brain

Harvard Medical School scientists in Boston announced Wednesday they have identified a protein that directly regulates cell death in the brain.

The say their finding raises the possibility a reduction in the expression of that protein in vulnerable neurons may protect them from undergoing cell death in many neurological disorders, including stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.

"An understanding of neural-specific mechanisms of cell death is likely to be invaluable in the development of potential therapies for a variety of devastating neurological diseases," said Dr. Azad Bonni, a professor of pathology and the study's co-author.

Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, culls unneeded cells during development and growth and so protects an organism by triggering suicide in defective cells. Later in life, cells too quick to self-destruct may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases and immunodeficiency disorders.

The research is detailed in the March 2 issue of the journal Neuron.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Best of Last Week—Increasing antihydrogen production, converting waste heat to electricity and video game brain impact

Related Stories

Researchers first to create a single-molecule diode

1 hour ago

Under the direction of Latha Venkataraman, associate professor of applied physics at Columbia Engineering, researchers have designed a new technique to create a single-molecule diode, and, in doing so, they ...

Recommended for you

Probing Question: Is art an essential school subject?

5 hours ago

For decades, "reading, writing, and 'rithmetic" were considered the most fundamental subjects in American K-12 schools. These days, in order to boost our nation's global competitiveness, many schools and ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.