Study: Brain cells have death system

March 2, 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: Beta blocker shows cancer-fighting properties

Related Stories

Beta blocker shows cancer-fighting properties

April 23, 2017

A new study finds that carvedilol, a drug typically used to treat high blood pressure, can protect against the sun-induced cell damage that leads to skin cancer. Researchers serendipitously discovered the beta blocker's cancer-fighting ...

Recommended for you

Swarm explores a new feature of the northern lights

April 21, 2017

Thanks to social media and the power of citizen scientists chasing the northern lights, a new feature was discovered recently. Nobody knew what this strange ribbon of purple light was, so … it was called Steve.

New laser technique improves neutron yield

April 21, 2017

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from several institutions in China has developed a new way to produce neutrons that they claim improves on conventional methods by a factor of 100. In their paper published in the journal ...

0 comments

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.