Alzheimer's disease has proven to be a difficult enemy to defeat. After all, aging is the No. 1 risk factor for the disorder, and there's no stopping that. Most researchers believe the disease is caused by one of two proteins, one called tau, the other beta-amyloid. As we age, most scientists say, these proteins either disrupt signaling between neurons or simply kill them. Now, a new UCLA study suggests a third possible cause: iron accumulation.
Fructose Alters Hundreds of Brain Genes, Which Can Lead to a Wide Range of Diseases
A range of diseases -- from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer's disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- are linked to changes to genes in the brain. A new study by UCLA life scientists has found that hundreds of those genes can be damaged by fructose, a sugar that's common in the Western diet, in a way that could lead to those diseases.
Major Advance in 'Synthetic Biochemistry' Holds Promise for Industrial Products, Biofuels
UCLA biochemists have devised a clever way to make a variety of useful chemical compounds, which could lead to the production of biofuels and new pharmaceuticals.
To Treat a Leading Cause of Osteoporosis, Surgery Is Better Than Widely Used Medications
While most cases of osteoporosis are caused by normal aging, another leading cause of the bone-loss disease is a condition called hyperparathyroidism, in which the parathyroid glands release an excessive amount of a hormone that regulates the body's calcium levels. Doctors commonly treat hyperparathyroidism using a class of prescription drugs called bisphosphonates, including alendronate (marketed under the brand name Fosamax) and ibandronate (Boniva), which are supposed to strengthen bones.
Brain Appears to Have Different Mechanisms for Reconciling Sight And Sound
A new UCLA psychology study provides insights into how the brain combines sound and vision. The research suggests that there is not one sole mechanism in the brain that governs how much our senses work together to process information. Among the implications of the study: It might not be as easy as many people had assumed to categorize the way in which we perceive and learn.
Spinal Cord Regeneration Might Actually Be Helped by Glial Scar Tissue
Neuroscientists have long believed that scar tissue formed by glial cells -- the cells that surround neurons in the central nervous system -- impedes damaged nerve cells from regrowing after a brain or spinal cord injury. So it's no wonder that researchers have assumed that if they could find a way to remove or counteract that scar tissue, injured neurons might spontaneously repair themselves.
New Drug Combinations Could Significantly Improve Tuberculosis Treatment
Researchers from UCLA and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have made an important step toward a substantially faster and more effective treatment for tuberculosis, which infects some 10 million people and causes 1.5 million deaths each year.
Your Brain Might Be Hard-wired for Altruism
It's an age-old quandary: Are we born "noble savages" whose best intentions are corrupted by civilization, as the 18th century Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau contended? Or are we fundamentally selfish brutes who need civilization to rein in our base impulses, as the 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes argued?
Women with Impaired Stress Hormone Before Pregnancy Have Lower-birthweight Babies
Before women even become pregnant, their biological profile may predict a lower-birthweight baby, a UCLA-led research team reports.