Are we close to curing glaucoma? by UC Science Today

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Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, might be close to finding a drug that could cure glaucoma, which is the world’s second-leading cause of blindness. Karsten Gronert, a professor of optometry, says it has been a long process of trial and error.

“With decades worth of research there have been several approaches to try to develop neuroprotective drugs that somehow can stop once you see neurodegenerartion. And there have been several approaches and none of them actually were able to stop the progression of neurodegeneration.”

But Gronert discovered that astrocytes – cells in the eye retina – produce lipid signals that protect nerves from damage. And when the eye is stressed, the astrocytes stop making the protective signal.

“It was an unexpected finding. This means it has some unknown role with nerves that we were not aware of.”

So, if researchers can find a way to protect astrocytes, they might get on the right track to fight glaucoma.
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Are we close to curing glaucoma? by UC Science Today

http://ift.tt/2DHB7VK

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, might be close to finding a drug that could cure glaucoma, which is the world’s second-leading cause of blindness. Karsten Gronert, a professor of optometry, says it has been a long process of trial and error.

“With decades worth of research there have been several approaches to try to develop neuroprotective drugs that somehow can stop once you see neurodegenerartion. And there have been several approaches and none of them actually were able to stop the progression of neurodegeneration.”

But Gronert discovered that astrocytes – cells in the eye retina – produce lipid signals that protect nerves from damage. And when the eye is stressed, the astrocytes stop making the protective signal.

“It was an unexpected finding. This means it has some unknown role with nerves that we were not aware of.”

So, if researchers can find a way to protect astrocytes, they might get on the right track to fight glaucoma.
via IFTTT

Are we close to curing glaucoma? by UC Science Today

http://ift.tt/2DHB7VK

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, might be close to finding a drug that could cure glaucoma, which is the world’s second-leading cause of blindness. Karsten Gronert, a professor of optometry, says it has been a long process of trial and error.

“With decades worth of research there have been several approaches to try to develop neuroprotective drugs that somehow can stop once you see neurodegenerartion. And there have been several approaches and none of them actually were able to stop the progression of neurodegeneration.”

But Gronert discovered that astrocytes – cells in the eye retina – produce lipid signals that protect nerves from damage. And when the eye is stressed, the astrocytes stop making the protective signal.

“It was an unexpected finding. This means it has some unknown role with nerves that we were not aware of.”

So, if researchers can find a way to protect astrocytes, they might get on the right track to fight glaucoma.
via IFTTT

Are we close to curing glaucoma? by UC Science Today

http://ift.tt/2DHB7VK

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, might be close to finding a drug that could cure glaucoma, which is the world’s second-leading cause of blindness. Karsten Gronert, a professor of optometry, says it has been a long process of trial and error.

“With decades worth of research there have been several approaches to try to develop neuroprotective drugs that somehow can stop once you see neurodegenerartion. And there have been several approaches and none of them actually were able to stop the progression of neurodegeneration.”

But Gronert discovered that astrocytes – cells in the eye retina – produce lipid signals that protect nerves from damage. And when the eye is stressed, the astrocytes stop making the protective signal.

“It was an unexpected finding. This means it has some unknown role with nerves that we were not aware of.”

So, if researchers can find a way to protect astrocytes, they might get on the right track to fight glaucoma.
via IFTTT

Are we close to curing glaucoma? by UC Science Today

http://ift.tt/2DHB7VK

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, might be close to finding a drug that could cure glaucoma, which is the world’s second-leading cause of blindness. Karsten Gronert, a professor of optometry, says it has been a long process of trial and error.

“With decades worth of research there have been several approaches to try to develop neuroprotective drugs that somehow can stop once you see neurodegenerartion. And there have been several approaches and none of them actually were able to stop the progression of neurodegeneration.”

But Gronert discovered that astrocytes – cells in the eye retina – produce lipid signals that protect nerves from damage. And when the eye is stressed, the astrocytes stop making the protective signal.

“It was an unexpected finding. This means it has some unknown role with nerves that we were not aware of.”

So, if researchers can find a way to protect astrocytes, they might get on the right track to fight glaucoma.
via IFTTT

Cataloging the brain to make sense of functionality and cure disease by UC Science Today

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How does one make a brain atlas? John Ngai, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley explains.

“You can think of it as a taxonomy. You might think about what are all the species of birds that there are on Earth, you might think of it as needing to first identify those types.”

So, just like with a bird encyclopedia, UC Berkeley neurologists are trying to find and organize brain cells into a catalogue of sorts.

“We know there are many different types of neurons in the brain. They look different. We might have some ideas about how they function differently. But we have no rational way of categorizing them. But using new molecular and genetic techniques, we have a very powerful way of classifying them.”

The brain atlas is an ambitious multimillion-dollar project that will help researchers better understand how brain cells wire up and function. And that could be the key to cure of neurological diseases, including autism and Alzheimer’s. For Science Today, I’m Larissa Branin.
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Cataloging the brain to make sense of functionality and cure disease by UC Science Today

http://ift.tt/2DpIfqE

How does one make a brain atlas? John Ngai, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley explains.

“You can think of it as a taxonomy. You might think about what are all the species of birds that there are on Earth, you might think of it as needing to first identify those types.”

So, just like with a bird encyclopedia, UC Berkeley neurologists are trying to find and organize brain cells into a catalogue of sorts.

“We know there are many different types of neurons in the brain. They look different. We might have some ideas about how they function differently. But we have no rational way of categorizing them. But using new molecular and genetic techniques, we have a very powerful way of classifying them.”

The brain atlas is an ambitious multimillion-dollar project that will help researchers better understand how brain cells wire up and function. And that could be the key to cure of neurological diseases, including autism and Alzheimer’s. For Science Today, I’m Larissa Branin.
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