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Ataxia

Snapshot: What is the parallel rod floor test?

Disease-relevant research is often first conducted in animal models such as mice. This is done to investigate the underlying disease mechanisms and to test promising treatment strategies before moving into clinical studies. The parallel rod floor test is an assay to measure motor coordination difficulties in mice. In the case Read More…

Regional differences in BDNF levels provide new insights into SCA1 pathology

Written by Rana Abdelhalim Edited by Dr. Spyros Petrakis Early BDNF delivery improved cognitive and motor deficits while ameliorating cerebellar pathology in a SCA1 mouse model. Cognitive impairment, slurred speech, difficulty with balance and walking— these are all symptoms of spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1). SCA1 is an inherited neurodegenerative Read More…

Snapshot: What is intelligibility?

Speech intelligibility refers to how many words can be correctly understood by a listener. For example, if someone says the phrase, “My name is John,” and a listener hears, “My name is Tom,” then the listener correctly understood 75% of the speech. In a formal speech evaluation, the percentage of Read More…

Snapshot: What is Chorea?

Chorea is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary, unusual, and abrupt movements of the body that appear to be out of control and without purpose. The word “chorea” is originated from the Greek word “choreia,” which means “dance”, accurately depicting the jerky, dance-like movements shown by people suffering from this Read More…

Snapshot: What is Mass Spectrometry?

Mass spectrometry, also known as “mass spec”, is a very useful analytical tool that is often used in science to determine the masses of different compounds in a sample. Mass spec has a variety of applications but frequently in biological sciences. It is used to determine the identity and abundance Read More…

Snapshot: What is prosody?

Speech not only consists of the words we say, but how we say them. That “how” is what is called prosody: the pitch, loudness, and timing of speech. The term prosody comes from the Greek word prosōidia meaning “song” or “melody.” Therefore, prosody is often viewed as the melody of speech. Read More…

Snapshot: What are oligodendrocytes?

Oligodendrocytes are a type of brain cell that play a crucial role in insulating neurons to facilitate efficient transmission of electrical signals. Similar to the rubber coating on cords, oligodendrocytes wrap around axons with a cholesterol-rich myelin structure, which speeds up the transmission of electrical impulses. Each oligodendrocyte can myelinate Read More…

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