MAD cow disease ravaged Britain's cattle herds in the 1990s when millions of livestock were slaughtered. The killer disease spread to humans from infected beef, sparking widespread panic. And a new outbreak in Scotland shows it has not been eradicated. What is mad cow disease and what does BSE stand for? Bovine spongiform encephalopathy is a fatal degenerative brain disease in cattle, similar to scrapie in sheep. It attacks the central nervous system - the brain and spinal cord - causing infected animals to lose muscle control. They become unsteady on their feet and also become aggressive, nervous or frenzied - leading to the name "mad cow disease". The exact cause is unknown but it is believed to be spread by prions, abnormally folded proteins which accumulate in the brain and kill nerve cells. There was a major outbreak in the UK beginning in the late 1980s. Ministers banned the practice of feeding cattle with bonemeal from other cows - the likely cause of the outbreak. But the … [Read more...] about What is Mad Cow Disease, what does BSE stand for and are outbreaks dangerous to humans?
What kills brain cells
September 25, 2018 03:51 PM Hussein Tayeb, 38, leads the way into a sparsely furnished living room and serves tea and sweet sesame bread on the earthen floor. He pulls his mobile phone out of the pocket of his dishdasha and plays back a couple of videos he filmed himself. To the beat of traditional drums, three boys can be seen dancing wearing floor-length, ochre-colored robes. "They liked to dance so much," Tayeb says. He smiles, though it's unclear whether it is out of awkwardness or pleasure at the memory. Either way, it's not enough to hide the deep grief written across his haggard face. He pulls the ochre robes out of a plastic bag and breathes in the scent of his sons, their names written on the collars: Ali, 9, the ambitious one with Dumbo ears and a strong will. Ahmed, 11, the best in his class who wrote, "I love my country" in his homework folder alongside a drawing of the flag of united Yemen. And Yusuf, 14, the first-born son and the pride of his father. Hussein … [Read more...] about The Forgotten War: A Visit to the Killing Fields of Yemen
An Alzheimer's 'world first' breakthrough by Cambridge scientists could target the cause of the disease and lead to a new generation of drugs that could be in clinical trials in two years. Along with scientists in Sweden they have discovered a new way to target the toxic particles that destroy healthy brain cells. Professor Michele Vendruscolo from the University, said: "All the previous clinical trials that have focused on finding drugs to modify the disease have failed. "The trials that have succeeded have given us a handful of drugs, but these drugs can only treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, not its onset and progression. "As the pathogens have now been identified as small clumps of proteins known as oligomers, we have been able to develop a strategy to aim drugs at these toxic particles. "Our research is based on the major conceptual step of identifying protein oligomers as the pathogens, and reports a method to systematically develop compounds to target them. "This … [Read more...] about Scientists discover way to target toxic particles that destroy brain cells
Sputnik discussed the discovery with Gabor Tamas, professor of neuroscience at the University of Szeged‘s Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Neuroscience. Sputnik: How have you made the discovery? CC0Butt Sense: Scientists Find Brain Cells in Body's ColonGabor Tamas: Actually, we have studied human brains for the last 15 years or so. We basically piled up the largest collection of human samples of any laboratory. Having these samples, we were in a position to identify emerging subtypes; emerging meaning what we haven’t seen in other species. Sputnik: Why was this type of brain cell not spotted before? Gabor Tamas: The simplest answer is quite possibly because no one else looked at human brains before at the detail we applied in the last couple of years. Sputnik: Can you tell us what exactly these ‘rosehip neurons’ do? Gabor Tamas: Neurons communicate with each other … [Read more...] about New Brain Cell Discovery Brings Opportunity to Treat Certain Diseases
A 42-year-old former kickboxing champion has been forced to retire from the sport after developing a brain disorder that leads to dementia. Alan Prout, a father-of-four from Colchester, was a kickboxer for 29 years before he started to suffer from severe headaches, memory loss, anxiety and mood swings. He has now been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – a debilitating brain disorder which can lead to dementia. The condition is caused by repeated blows to the head and has caused a scandal in American football, where numerous dead former players were found to have had it. Now, Alan says he sometimes forgets to pick up his children from school and burns his hands because he doesn't remember to use oven gloves. His wife of 16 years, Melissa, says the worsening condition is tough on the family and she feels as though she has 'lost part of Alan'. Alan Prout, 42, has been diagnosed with CTE – a brain condition which has similar symptoms to Alzheimer's … [Read more...] about 42-year-old kickboxer retires after developing brain disorder