Oct. 25, 2021 — Star-fashioned cells in our brains known as astrocytes play a the predominant feature in serving to us own, plug, and breathe. They nourish our neurons, the cells that transmit messages in the center of our mind and anxious map to govern our bodily functions.
A brand fresh glimpse in mice suggests that astrocytes also may maybe also play a detrimental feature in our brains. When these cells detect injured neurons, they free up poisonous fatty acids that may maybe well well contribute to the tissue hurt that occurs with dementia and varied neurodegenerative ailments.
After researchers made this discovery the usage of mice, they genetically engineered the animals to dam production of these fatty acids. Their just used to be to witness if stopping production of these toxins avoided nerve cell destruction.
In the modified mice, 75% of the nerve cells survived, compared with 10% of such cells in animals with normally functioning astrocytes, in line with the findings, which were published in Nature.
These poisonous fatty acids pause no longer impact healthy cells, the glimpse group noted. The outcomes may maybe even be confined only to nerve cells that are damaged, injured, or mutated.
These findings are preliminary, and the strategies the investigators venerable in mice aren’t able to be venerable in human learn. The researchers point out that halting production of the fatty acids may maybe well well one day be venerable to treat prerequisites equivalent to dementia, extra than one sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. The potential may maybe even be safer than attacking astrocytes straight, as they aloof are wished to nourish healthy neurons.