This study paves the way for assessing new medicines and therapies to combat the loss of nerve cells

This is good news for patients with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. A recent study has come up with a new, improved method for assessing the effectiveness of experimental therapies for progressive loss neurons or neurodegeneration, one of the powerful factors responsible for Alzheimer's disease in the elderly, thanks to the group of researchers at the UBC Okanagan campus. They emphasized that the study used the first automated test designed specifically to monitor the degeneration of sensory neurons in a laboratory, according to a recent media report. The study was published in PLOS ONE and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Health Research Fund of Quebec.

"Neurons or nerve cells are extremely important for our daily lives and these specialized cells collect and process the vast amounts of information that enter our body through our senses, control our muscles and organs, and form our thoughts and memories, when these cells become unhealthy. this leads to diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, ALS, glaucoma and chronic pain, "said reportedly, Aaron Johnstone, postdoc and lead author of the study.

According to the media report, he added: "The variability in length, density and shape of nerve cells makes it traditionally difficult to reliably analyze their health," says Johnstone. "This in turn led to confusion about the effectiveness of possible pharmacological or genetic treatments." Thanks to this software, new researchers were able to measure the nerve cell density more accurately.

The researchers had to grow nerve cells in a laboratory environment for the research. After establishing healthy nerve cells, they mimicked the conditions that caused neurodegeneration and the loss of neurons was studied with the help of a computer algorithm and recorded using a fluorescent microcopy.

This study can help a lot in developing new drugs for neurodegeneration, experts say. "This procedure makes evaluating new treatment options, such as medicines or gene therapies, much more accurate and reliable," Johnstone added.

Image source: Shutterstock

Published: 28 August 2018 14:45

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