Under arrest: Using nanofibers to stop brain tumor cells from spreading

Researchers have used high-density nanofibers that mimic the microenvironment of the brain to capture tumor cells, opening doors to novel therapeutic solutions for aggressive brain cancer.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Neuroinflammation protein linked to worse survival in men with glioblastoma

Scientists have discovered a new link that could bring the scientific and medical community closer to understanding why glioblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor, is deadlier in males than females.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Charting hidden territory of the human brain

Neuroscientists at Technische Universität Dresden discovered a novel, non-invasive imaging-based method to investigate the visual sensory thalamus, an important structure of the human brain and point of origin of visual difficulties in diseases such as dyslexia and glaucoma. The new method could provide an in-depth understanding of visual sensory processing in both health and disease in the near future.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Common diabetes drug promising against rare childhood brain tumor in laboratory studies

Metformin, a drug commonly prescribed against diabetes, holds promise against a rare type of childhood brain tumor in laboratory studies, an international team of researchers.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

How the brain tricks itself into perceiving unambiguous depth

Stereogram experiments confirm that higher visual areas use feedback to censor conflicting visual cues.

Li Zhaoping of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen uses stereograms to test how different brain areas interact when they process visual data. Her new study, now published in Vision Research, shows how certain conflicting visual cues for perceiving depth will be censored by the brain if given enough time. The findings provide algorithmic details for a longstanding hypothesis about how different visual areas in the brain interact with each other.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Cancer chemotherapy drug reverses Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice

A drug commonly used to treat cancer can restore memory and cognitive function in mice that display symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, new research has found. The drug, Axitinib, inhibits growth of new blood vessels in the brain — a feature shared by both cancer tumors and Alzheimer’s disease. This hallmark represents a new target for Alzheimer’s therapies. Mice that underwent the therapy not only exhibited a reduction in blood vessels and other Alzheimer’s markers in their brains, they also performed remarkably well in tests designed to measure learning and memory.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Powerful technique details brain tumors’ formidable resiliency

A team led by researchers  has profiled in unprecedented detail thousands of individual cells sampled from patients‘ brain tumors. The findings, along with the methods developed to obtain those findings, represent a significant advance in cancer research, and ultimately may lead to better ways of detecting, monitoring and treating cancers.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Targeting a rare secondary cancer in children

Known as pediatric radiation-induced high-grade gliomas (RIGs), this specific type of brain tumor is caused by cranial radiation therapy for other cancers, most often brain cancers. They account for nearly 4% of all childhood brain tumor deaths, but there have not been many studies on RIGs and how to treat them.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Different types of cancers are likely to spread to specific areas of the brain

Brain metastasis occurs when cancer in one part of the body spreads to the brain. The lifetime incidence of such metastatic brain tumors in cancer patients is between 20%-45%, research shows.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Local supply chains in neurons: who gets the goods?

To store and process information, the brain is constantly producing, distributing and degrading proteins, the essential cellular resources. Proteins are in high demand, especially at synapses (specialized connections between neurons) which, on average, consume over 100000 trillion proteins per day in the brain. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Max Planck Florida Institute and Goethe University Frankfurt now pictured a tight spatial relationship between the protein production machinery and product in neurons at unprecedented resolution. Their findings imply local sharing of resources: a local ‘neighborhood’ of synapses.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Fighting brain cancer at its root

Researchers identify proteins that drive cancer stem cells. Targeting and suppressing a particular protein called galectin1 could provide a more effective treatment for glioblastoma, in combination with radiation therapy.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Varying immune cell levels in canine brain tumors could provide therapeutic targets

A new study reveals that high-grade gliomas, or brain tumors, in dogs contained more immune cells associated with suppressing immune response than low-grade gliomas.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Researchers bioprint an entire active glioblastoma tumor using a 3D printer

The 3D print of glioblastoma — the deadliest type of brain cancer — is printed from human glioblastoma tissues containing all components of the malignant tumor. Researchers say the breakthrough will enable much faster prediction of best treatments for patients, accelerate the development of new drugs and discovery of new druggable targets.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Chronotype influences cognitive functions and basic parameters of human brain physiology

Scientists at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) are exploring the connection between chronotype physiological processes in the human brain. The latest findings have now been published in Nature Communications. The result: Chronotypes influence human brain functions from basic physiological mechanisms to higher cognitive functions, such as perception, learning, remembering and thinking.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Mapping of Genetic Control Elements in the Cerebellum

The mammalian cerebellum is key to motor control and contributes to many of the higher brain functions. In close collaboration with Prof. Dr Stefan Pfister of the Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg, an international research team led by Prof. Dr Henrik Kaessmann from the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University has now decoded the genetic programmes that control the development of cerebellar cell types before and after birth.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More than just walking: a new role for core brain region

For decades, a key brain area has been thought to merely regulate locomotion. Now, a research group at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, and the Friedrich Miescher Institut for Biomedical Research (FMI) has shown that the region is involved in much more than walking, as it contains distinct populations of neurons that control different body movements. The findings could help to improve certain therapies for Parkinson’s disease.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Investigational magnetic device shrinks glioblastoma in human test

Researchers shrunk a deadly glioblastoma tumor by more than a third using a helmet generating a noninvasive oscillating magnetic field that the patient wore on his head while administering the therapy in his own home. The 53-year-old patient died from an unrelated injury about a month into the treatment, but during that short time, 31% of the tumor mass disappeared. The autopsy of his brain confirmed the rapid response to the treatment.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Taking the brain out for a walk

A recent study shows that spending time outdoors has a positive effect on our brains.
If you’re regularly out in the fresh air, you’re doing something good for both your brain and your well-being. This is the conclusion reached by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). The longitudinal study recently appeared in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Structures discovered in brain cancer patients can help fight tumors

Researchers have discovered lymph node-like structures close to the tumor in brain cancer patients, where immune cells can be activated to attack the tumor. They also found that immunotherapy enhanced the formation of these structures in a mouse model. This discovery suggests new opportunities to regulate the anti-tumor response of the immune system.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

The evolution of vinegar flies is based on the variation of male sex pheromones

Max Planck researchers decipher the chemical language underlying mating in 99 species of the genus Drosophila. By analyzing the genomes of 99 species of vinegar flies and evaluating their chemical odor profiles and sexual behaviors, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology show that sex pheromones and the corresponding olfactory channels in the insect brain evolve rapidly and independently.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Unknown role – ATR protein regulates neuronal activity

The ATR protein plays an important role in the response to replication stress as a regulator of the DNA damage response (DDR) and controls cell viability. Mutations of ATR in humans lead to, among other pathologies, neurological defects; indicating a yet unknown role for ATR in non-dividing cells. Researchers from the Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI) in Jena and the Section of Neuroimmunology of Jena University Hospital have shown that ATR deletion in neurons does not affect brain development and formation, but amplifies neuronal activity and increases susceptibility to epilepsy. This study identifies a physiological function of ATR, beyond its DDR role, in regulating neuronal activity.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

To fear or not- how does the brain switch? Neuroscientists investigate in the amygdala if and how we fear or not.

Which neurons in the brain mediate fear responses – and how do they flip the switch when the danger is over? The research team of Prof. Ingrid Ehrlich at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomolecular Systems (IBBS), Department of Neurobiology studies these questions. Their latest results obtained in collaboration with scientists at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel (Switzerland), the National Institute of Health (USA), and Innsbruck Medical University (Austria) are now published in Nature und eLife.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Blood stem cells make brain tumors more aggressive

Scientists have discovered stem cells of the hematopoietic system in glioblastomas, the most aggressive form of brain tumor. These hematopoietic stem cells promote division of the cancer cells and at the same time suppress the immune response against the tumor. This surprising discovery might open up new possibilities for developing more effective immunotherapies against these malignant brain tumors.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Sleeper cells: Newly discovered stem cell resting phase could put brain tumors to sleep

Biomedical engineering researchers developed a new cell classifier tool that takes a higher-resolution look at the life cycle of neuroepithelial stem cells, which led to the discovery and exploration of a new resting phase called Neural G0. This knowledge could help scientists to better understand glioma brain tumors and develop new methods of treatment.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

A call for help from the brain

How immune cells are lured to the brain in encephalitis

Certain viruses can cause inflammation of the meninges or even the entire brain, so-called viral encephalitis. In addition to the rabies virus and the West Nile virus, these also include the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in the mouse model. The immune cells needed to fight the infection must first reach the brain from the periphery of the body. To do this, the immune system produces messenger substances as attractants. Scientists from the Institute for Experimental Infection Research at TWINCORE have now been able to show that this signalling chain in the VSV infection has its starting point in the infected nerve cells themselves.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft