Monday, April 24, 2017
facebook

google plus


What causes multiple sclerosis discoveredThe disease causes the body’s own immune system to attack myelin — the fatty “sheaths” that protect nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Thinkstock

What causes multiple sclerosis discovered

24 Apr 2017 | 2:50 PM

LONDON: In a breakthrough, scientists have discovered the possible cause of multiple sclerosis (MS), paving the way for new treatments that may bring hope to over 2.5 million people around the world, who suffer from the debilitating disorder.

[ + read story ]

LONDON: In a breakthrough, scientists have discovered the possible cause of multiple sclerosis (MS), paving the way for new treatments that may bring hope to over 2.5 million people around the world, who suffer from the debilitating disorder.

Ahead of MS Awareness Week, which starts on Monday, researchers unveiled a new cellular mechanism — an underlying defect in brain cells — that may cause the disease, and a potential hallmark that may be a target for future treatment of the autoimmune disorder.

“Multiple sclerosis can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, affecting mobility, speech, mental ability and more,” said Professor Paul Eggleton of the University of Exeter in the UK.

“So far, all medicine can offer is treatment and therapy for the symptoms — as we do not yet know the precise causes, research has been limited,” Eggleton said.

“Our exciting new findings have uncovered a new avenue for researchers to explore. It is a critical step, and in time, we hope it might lead to effective new treatments for MS,” he said.

Multiple sclerosis affects around 2.5 million people around the world. Typically, people are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s, and it is more common in women than men.

Although the cause has so far been a mystery, the disease causes the body’s own immune system to attack myelin — the fatty “sheaths” that protect nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

This leads to brain damage, a reduction in blood supply and oxygen and the formation of lesions in the body. Symptoms can be wide-ranging, and can include muscle spasms, mobility problems, pain, fatigue, and problems with speech.

Scientists have long suspected that mitochondria, the energy-creating “powerhouse” of the cell, plays a link in causing multiple sclerosis.

The research team was the first to combine clinical and laboratory experiments to explain how mitochondria becomes defective in people with MS.

Using human brain tissue samples, they found that a protein called Rab32 is present in large quantities in the brains of people with MS, but is virtually absent in healthy brain cells.

Where Rab32 is present, the team discovered that a part of the cell that stores calcium (endoplasmic reticulum or ER) gets too close to the mitochondria.

The resulting miscommunication with the calcium supply triggers the mitochondria to misbehave, ultimately causing toxicity for brain cells people with MS.

Researchers do not yet know what causes an unwelcome influx of Rab32 but they believe the defect could originate at the base of the ER organelle.

The finding will enable scientists to search for effective treatments that target Rab32 and embark on determining whether there are other proteins that may play a role in triggering MS.

The study was published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation. — PTI

Going to university may help prevent dementia: study

Going to university may help prevent dementia: study

24 Apr 2017 | 7:48 PM

LONDON: Want to stay mentally healthy in old age? Stimulating your brain by going to university or taking on leadership roles at work may help, a new study suggests.

Spending time in nature may improve well being

Spending time in nature may improve well being

24 Apr 2017 | 2:02 PM

LOS ANGELES: Feeling low? Try hiking or spending time outdoors, say scientists who have found that engaging with natural environment contributes to a person's overall well-being.

Dark chocolate may protect your brain from ageing

Dark chocolate may protect your brain from ageing

23 Apr 2017 | 5:42 PM

LOS ANGELES: Chocoholics, take note! Eating dark chocolate may protect your brain from age-related stress and inflammation that are thought to play an important role in the neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Your genes decide what you eat

Your genes decide what you eat

23 Apr 2017 | 5:39 PM

LONDON: Can’t stop munching on chocolates or other unhealthy snacks? Blame your DNA, say scientists who have identified gene variants that influence our foods choices and dietary habits.

Make kidney health a priority: Experts

Make kidney health a priority: Experts

22 Apr 2017 | 5:34 PM

NEW YORK: With an estimated 10 per cent of people worldwide having chronic kidney disease (CKD), and about nine in 10 of them being unaware of their condition, health experts have called for making kidney health a priority in both developed and developing countries.

Liver carcinogen traced to sunflower seeds

Liver carcinogen traced to sunflower seeds

22 Apr 2017 | 2:42 PM

NEW YORK: Researchers have shown that sunflower seeds are frequently contaminated with a toxin, which has the potential to cause liver cancer.

Meditation, yoga work better for women

Meditation, yoga work better for women

22 Apr 2017 | 1:34 PM

LONDON: A team of American researchers have found that practicing mindfulness, meditation and yoga, benefits women more than men.

Common form of hearing loss goes undetected in standard tests

Common form of hearing loss goes undetected in standard tests

21 Apr 2017 | 9:01 PM

NEW YORK: Traditional clinical hearing tests often fail to diagnose patients with a common form of inner ear damage that might otherwise be detected by more challenging behavioural tests, a new study has found.

Pick banana, melon, cold milk to beat acidity

Pick banana, melon, cold milk to beat acidity

21 Apr 2017 | 2:58 PM

NEW DELHI: This summer, avoid chances of acidity during the hot days by indulging in bananas, melons and coconut water, say experts.

Diet soda ups risk of dementia, stroke

Diet soda ups risk of dementia, stroke

21 Apr 2017 | 10:19 AM

WASHINGTON DC: Watch it before you gulp that fizzy drink or sugary beverage as a study reveals that people who drink diet soda daily are three times more likely to develop stroke and dementia.

Strawberries may help fight breast cancer

Strawberries may help fight breast cancer

20 Apr 2017 | 5:03 PM

LONDON:In a first, scientists have found that strawberry extracts may help prevent the spread of aggressively growing breast cancer cells and reduce the size of tumours.

Fear of dentist may lead to tooth decay

Fear of dentist may lead to tooth decay

20 Apr 2017 | 4:33 PM

LONDON:Do you fear visiting a dentist? You are more likely to suffer tooth decay or have missing teeth, a new study suggests.

'Beetroot juice before exercise may make your brain younger'

'Beetroot juice before exercise may make your brain younger'

19 Apr 2017 | 11:18 PM

NEW YORK:Drinking beetroot juice supplement before working out makes the brain of older adults perform more efficiently, mirroring the functions of a younger brain, a new study claims.

Both high and low-birth weight linked to fatty-liver disease

Both high and low-birth weight linked to fatty-liver disease

19 Apr 2017 | 3:22 PM

NEW YORK: Children born with lower or higher weight than normal may be at increased risk for developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by the time they become teenagers, says a study.

Salty diet makes you hungry, not thirsty

Salty diet makes you hungry, not thirsty

18 Apr 2017 | 11:15 PM

BERLIN:Eating salty food diminishes thirst while increasing hunger, due to a higher need for energy, according to new study carried out during a simulated mission to Mars.

Eye cells may help treat jet lag

Eye cells may help treat jet lag

18 Apr 2017 | 11:11 PM

LONDON:Scientists have found a new group of cells in the retina that directly affect the biological clock, an advance that may pave the way for new treatments for jet lag.

Combination therapy boosts survival of brain cancer patients

Combination therapy boosts survival of brain cancer patients

17 Apr 2017 | 6:16 PM

NEW YORK: Combining a vaccine with high-dose chemotherapy may help improve survival rates for patients of an aggressive form of brain cancer, a new study claims.

Restricting trans fat cuts heart attack risks

Restricting trans fat cuts heart attack risks

17 Apr 2017 | 3:48 PM

NEW YORK: Hospitalisation for heart attacks and strokes is less common among people living in areas that restrict trans fats in foods compared to residents in areas without restrictions, new research has found.

Coping with bad bosses may boost happiness

Coping with bad bosses may boost happiness

16 Apr 2017 | 1:40 PM

LONDON: Have an unsupportive boss? It may be good for you, according to a new study which shows that dealing with emotional exhaustion at work can boost happiness.

Expressing gratitude may boost your health

Expressing gratitude may boost your health

15 Apr 2017 | 7:22 PM

WASHINGTON: Expressing gratitude may improve your psychological and physical well-being and contribute to long-term success in relationships, a new study suggests.

LIFE+STYLE
  • Gyan Zone
  • Faith is the way

    Faith is the way

    ‘If you have faith no bigger even than a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there and it will move’, says The Gospel According to St.

  • more Life+Style...
  • SpectrumPlaying for blood, sweat and tears

    Playing for blood, sweat and tears

    She lies in her hospital bed staring at the wall, her eyes empty of all hope. Just a few months back, Gohela Boro, a national-level archer and winner of numerous medals, was on the cusp of participating in an international tournament. Those dreams are long gone, replaced by a bleak uncertainty about survival.

  • Blooms, not bullets

    The esteemed horror author of novels including Carrie and The Shining drew the comparisons in an article he wrote for The Guardian.

more Spectrum...

YOUR WORLD AND YOU

  • Jobs and creerNot just digging and sweating

    Not just digging and sweating

    From domestic appliances, cooking utensils, and the jewellery we wear, to the fillings used by the dentist in our teeth, so many of the products that we use in our daily lives come from materials that are dug out or mined.

  • more Jobs Careers...