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Biomarker

Walking toward a better understanding of SCA3 progression

Written by Alexandra Putka Edited by Dr. Hayley S. McLoughlin Walking measurements detect changes in SCA3 severity across a 1-year study and represent an important biomarker of disease progression Medical doctors use a number of tools to assess a patient’s health: a thermometer and blood pressure monitor, for example. These Read More…

Snapshot: What is the Inferior Olive?

The inferior olive is a beautifully squiggly structure found in the brainstem. The brainstem connects the spinal cord to the brain and contains three major regions: the midbrain, pons, and medulla. Within the medulla, there is an inferior olivary nucleus, or inferior olive, on each side. These inferior olives are Read More…

Snapshot: What is the Medulla Oblongata?

The nervous system is made up of two main components: the central nervous system, which consists of the brain and the spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system, which consists of nerve cells that branch off the spinal cord and connect the central nervous system to the rest of the Read More…

Snapshot: What are somatic expansions?

In a nutshell: somatic expansions are expansions of repeat DNA sequences that accumulate in cells over an individual’s lifetime. A special kind of mutation: repeat expansion mutations Some genes naturally contain repeat sequences in the DNA. For the most part, these DNA repeats are relatively short and do not cause Read More…

Decorative digital drawing of the brain

Snapshot: What is the pons?

Brainstem – the part that connects and acts as a communicator between our brain and our spinal cord. The brainstem itself is composed of midbrain, pons, and medulla oblangata. Even minor injuries or disruptions to this neural communication and this region can have devastating consequences. The pons is a horseshoe-shaped Read More…

Developing therapeutically relevant biomarkers for SCA3

Written by Dr Hannah K Shorrock Edited by Dr Vitaliy V Bondar Measuring levels of polyQ ATXN3 proteins in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma distinguishes SCA3 patients from unaffected individuals For disease-modifying medicines or therapies to be approved for use in the clinic, the treatments must demonstrate success at meeting pre-set Read More…

Measuring neurodegeneration in spinocerebellar ataxias

Written by Dr Hannah K Shorrock Edited by Dr. Maria do Carmo Costa Neurofilament light chain predicts cerebellar atrophy across multiple types of spinocerebellar ataxia A team led by Alexandra Durr at the Paris Brain Institute identified that the levels of neurofilament light chain (NfL) protein are higher in SCA1, Read More…

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