New approach may save brain cells in neurodegenerative diseases.

ISLAMABAD -- Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's, share a mechanism of brain cell damage that could offer a new target for treatment, according to new research in human cells and mice. A newly discovered mechanism of brain cell damage could hold the key to treating several neurodegenerative conditions. A recent Nature Neurosciencestudy describes how researchers uncovered the mechanism and how it leads to death of neurons, or nerve cells. "We've identified a potential new way to reduce nerve cell death in a number of diseases characterized by such losses," says senior study author Daria MochlyRosen, Ph.D., a professor of chemical and systems biology at Stanford University School of Medicine, in California. The mechanism involves microglia and astrocytes, two types of cell that normally help to protect neurons, or nerve cells. Microglia and astrocytes are glial cells, a type of cell thatscientists once regarded as the "glue of the nervous system."

That is no longer the case, however, as researchers are increasingly discovering that...

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