Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reduced levels of an important neurotransmitter found in multiple sclerosis patients

Date:
February 11, 2011
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Researchers show for the first time that damage to a particular area of the brain and a consequent reduction in noradrenaline are associated with multiple sclerosis.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have shown for the first time that damage to a particular area of the brain and a consequent reduction in noradrenaline are associated with multiple sclerosis.

The study is available online in the journal Brain.

The pathological processes in MS are not well understood, but an important contributor to its progression is the infiltration of white blood cells involved in immune defense through the blood-brain barrier.

Douglas Feinstein, research professor in anesthesiology at the UIC College of Medicine, and his colleagues previously showed that the neurotransmitter noradrenaline plays an important role as an immunosuppressant in the brain, preventing inflammation and stress to neurons. Noradrenaline is also known to help to preserve the integrity of the blood-brain barrier.

Because the major source of noradrenaline is neurons in an area of the brain called the locus coeruleus, the UIC researchers hypothesized that damage to the LC was responsible for lowered levels of noradrenaline in the brains of MS patients.

"There's a lot of evidence of damage to the LC in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, but this is the first time that it has been demonstrated that there is stress involved to the neurons in the LC of MS patients, and that there is a reduction in brain noradrenaline levels," said Paul Polak, research specialist in the health sciences in anesthesiology and first author on the paper.

For the last 15 years, Feinstein and his colleagues have been studying the importance of noradrenaline to inflammatory processes in the brain.

"We have all the models for studying this problem, so in some ways it was a small step to look at this question in MS," said Polak.

The researchers found that LC damage and reduced levels of noradrenaline occur in a mouse model of MS and that similar changes could be found in the brains of MS patients.

The findings suggest that LC damage, accompanied by reduction in noradrenaline levels in the brain, may be a common feature of neurologic diseases, Polak said.

"There are a number of FDA-approved drugs that have been shown to raise levels of noradrenaline in the brain, and we believe that this type of therapeutic intervention could benefit patients with MS and other neurodegenerative diseases, and should be investigated," he said.

Sergey Kalinin, post-doctoral research associate in anesthesiology, also contributed to the study. This study was supported by grants from the Department of Veteran Affairs and Partners for Cures.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. E. Polak, S. Kalinin, D. L. Feinstein. Locus coeruleus damage and noradrenaline reductions in multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Brain, 2011; DOI: 10.1093/brain/awq362

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Reduced levels of an important neurotransmitter found in multiple sclerosis patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110211124623.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2011, February 11). Reduced levels of an important neurotransmitter found in multiple sclerosis patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110211124623.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Reduced levels of an important neurotransmitter found in multiple sclerosis patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110211124623.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins