News & Events
A team of scientists from Stanford has identified new links between genes and neurodegeneration
- August 24, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
The brain is a rather funny and unusual thing in the modern science of neurobiology, and in particular it is unusual because it describes almost all the large and small processes that occur with us and our bodies during aging. Recently, neuroscientists from Stanford University made a new attempt to identify similarities and patterns associated with neurodegeneration and the work of certain genes – and found that brain aging can actually be significantly slowed down, mainly by using special antibodies to work on microglia – a special type brain cell cleaners of excess proteins.
Scientists made up several groups of experimental mice, which tracked many genetic combinations and variants of genes, which in their preliminary opinion could be associated with the work of the brain and its aging process. The fact is that microglia are mainly engaged in the collection and utilization of a large number of proteins, whose accumulation often leads to certain neurodegenerative symptoms and diseases.
Having flown through more than 3,000 genetic combinations and compiled a parallel study in another group of rodents, scientists were surprised to find that in all cases there is activity of only one gene called CD22, which is responsible for the correct microglial process and for weakening brain aging. Then, experimentally with the help of a Petri dish and some laboratory equipment, they were able to create a prototype of an antibody agent that, acting on this gene, can literally update its function in the process.
As a result of the use of this experimental antibody in mice – especially in elderly mice – specialists found that their neural connections were not only strengthened, but also rejuvenated, since microglial tissues began to work an order of magnitude faster and better. On the one hand, experience demonstrates that the notorious rejuvenation of the brain is indeed possible, and on the other hand, it opens up a boundless ocean of questions for scientists to solve.