Wednesday 23 April 2014
News updated at 5:08 PM IST
Weather
Max: 35.5°C
Min : 21.5°C
In Bangalore
Partially cloudy

Brain's 'garbage truck' may hold key to treating Alzheimer's

New York, June 29, 2013, (PTI)
File Photo.

Scientists have found that a newly discovered system by which the brain removes waste can act as a potentially powerful new tool to treat neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York believe that some of the neurological disorders may arise when the system is not doing its job properly.

"Essentially all neurodegenerative diseases are associated with the accumulation of cellular waste products," said Maiken Nedergaard, co-director of the URMC Center for Translational Neuromedicine and author of the article in journal Science.


"Understanding and ultimately discovering how to modulate the brain's system for removing toxic waste could point to new ways to treat these diseases," Nedergaard said.

The complex network of waste removal, which researchers have dubbed the glymphatic system, was first disclosed by URMC scientists last August in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

While the discovery of the glymphatic system solved a mystery that had long baffled the scientific community, understanding how the brain removes waste – both effectively and what happens when this system breaks down – has significant implications for the treatment of neurological disorders.

Understanding what role the glymphatic system plays in the brain's inability to break down and remove beta amyloid could point the way to new treatments, researchers said.
Specifically, it can be investigated whether certain key 'players' in the glymphatic system, such as astrocytes, can be manipulated to ramp up the removal of waste.

"The idea that 'dirty brain' diseases like Alzheimer may result from a slowing down of the glymphatic system as we age is a completely new way to think about neurological disorders," said Nedergaard.

"It also presents us with a new set of targets to potentially increase the efficiency of glymphatic clearance and, ultimately, change the course of these conditions," he said.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Bengaluru FC player in a Jubilant mood at International Airport,Bengaluru after winning I league...

Bengaluru FC player in a Jubilant mood at International Airport,Bengaluru after winning I league...

Timothy John Bristow, Sir Robert Bristow’s nephew with his wife Rebecca visits the Harbour Bridge...

Timothy John Bristow, Sir Robert Bristow’s nephew with his wife Rebecca visits the Harbour Bridge...

Priyanka Vadra shares meal with a village woman in a field during an election campaign for her...

Priyanka Vadra shares meal with a village woman in a field during an election campaign for her...

Encyclopaedia Britannica President Jorge Cauz and Geeta Dharmarajan, founder & executive directoR...

Encyclopaedia Britannica President Jorge Cauz and Geeta Dharmarajan, founder & executive directoR...

School children greet Sachin Tendulkar on the eve of his birthday in Moradabad...

School children greet Sachin Tendulkar on the eve of his birthday in Moradabad...

An Indian Hindu devotee prays to the river Ganges, in Varanasi, India...

An Indian Hindu devotee prays to the river Ganges, in Varanasi, India...

A ragpicker girl Zahanara Khatun, 12, looks at the camera as she searches for recyclable items at...

A ragpicker girl Zahanara Khatun, 12, looks at the camera as she searches for recyclable items at...

Indians stand on the banks of the River Yamuna, covered in industrial effluence on Earth Day in...

Indians stand on the banks of the River Yamuna, covered in industrial effluence on Earth Day in...

Indian devotees pray and take dip on the banks of the river Ganges, in Varanasi...

Indian devotees pray and take dip on the banks of the river Ganges, in Varanasi...

A man poses as he gets his face painted ahead of the sixth phase of India's general election...

A man poses as he gets his face painted ahead of the sixth phase of India's general election...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523