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Researchers led by VIB-KU Leuven discover a population of specialized brain-resident white blood cells in the mouse and human brain, and show that the presence of these lymphocytic cells is essential for normal brain development in mice. The team states these results contribute towards the increasing recognition of the role of circulating immune cells in the brain and their involvement in a range of neurological diseases.

New role for white blood cells in the developing brain.

Our onboard computer, the brain, is a sterile environment separated from the immune system by the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which is why it has its own resident immune cells, known … Continue Reading New role for white blood cells in the developing brain.

Pre-clinical study suggests Parkinson’s could start in the gut.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder exhibiting far-reaching clinical manifestations, with recent research focusing on gut-brain interactions involving the gut microbiota.  However, researchers understand little about the link between … Continue Reading Pre-clinical study suggests Parkinson’s could start in the gut.

Breakthrough in the production of dopamine neurons for Parkinson’s disease.

Stem cell treatments for neurodegenerative diseases are expected to reach clinical trials soon.  One major task en route to the clinic is to generate standardized good manufacturing practice (GMP)-grade human-pluripotent … Continue Reading Breakthrough in the production of dopamine neurons for Parkinson’s disease.

New technique begins to map and untangle neuronal networks in Parkinson’s disease.

In patients with Parkinson’s disease, gait disorders and difficulty with balance are often caused by the degeneration of a specific type of neuron, called cholinergic neurons, in a region of … Continue Reading New technique begins to map and untangle neuronal networks in Parkinson’s disease.

Human study identifies genetic variation for type and rate of physical decline Parkinson’s disease.

With Parkinson’s disease clinicians have long noted that the presence of tremors, rather than balance and walking problems is the initial or dominant symptom and hypothesize this may even suggest … Continue Reading Human study identifies genetic variation for type and rate of physical decline Parkinson’s disease.

New technique bypasses the blood-brain barrier to deliver neuroprotection.

The blood-brain barrier represents a fundamental limitation in treating neurological disease because it prevents all neuropeptides from reaching the central nervous system (CNS). Currently, there is no efficient method to … Continue Reading New technique bypasses the blood-brain barrier to deliver neuroprotection.

Study links two proteins that help cells eliminate trash to Parkinson’s disease.

Much like a community’s network for garbage handling, cells also have garbage sites called lysosomes, where proteins, which are functioning badly because of age or other reasons, go for degradation … Continue Reading Study links two proteins that help cells eliminate trash to Parkinson’s disease.

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