UCLA cell study reveals how head injuries lead to serious brain diseases

UCLA biologists have discovered how head injuries adversely affect individual cells and genes  that can lead to serious brain disorders. The life scientists provide the first cell “atlas” of the hippocampus — the part of the brain that helps regulate learning and memory — when it is affected by traumatic brain injury. The team also proposes gene candidates for treating brain disease s associated with traumatic brain injury, such as Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.The researchers studied more than 6,000 cells in 15 hippocampal cell types — the first study of individual cell types subject to brain trauma. Each cell has the same DNA, but which genes are activated varies among different cell types. Among the 15 cell types are two that were previously unknown, each with a unique set of active genes.“Every cell type is different,” said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and of integrative biology and physiology, and co-senior author ofthe study, which was published in the journal Nature Communications.The biologists found that hundreds of genes are adversely affected by mild traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion. These altered genes can later lead to Alzheimer ’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases.The researchers reproduced a concussion-like brain injury in mice, and studied other mice that did not receive a brain injury. The researchers analyzed thousands of cells in t...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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