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National Ataxia Foundation

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Mouse Models

Spotlight: The CMRR Ataxia Imaging Team

Location: University of Minnesota, MN, USA Year Research Group Founded:  2008 What disease areas do you research? Ataxia (SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, SCA6, Friedreich Ataxia) Multiple System Atrophy – Cerebellar Ataxia Huntington’s Disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s disease Traumatic Brain Injury Diabetes What models and techniques do you Read More…

Spotlight: The Kuo Lab

Principal Investigator: Dr. Sheng-Han Kuo Location: Columbia University, New York, NY, United States Year Founded:  2012 What disease areas do you research? SCA1 SCA2 SCA3 SCA6 Tremor Essential Tremor What models and techniques do you use? Mouse models Post-mortem patient tissue Optogenetics Human physiology EEG (electroencephalogram) Neuromodulation Research Focus What is your Read More…

Spotlight: The Zoghbi Lab

Principal Investigator: Dr. Huda Zoghbi Location: Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX, USA Year Founded:  1988 What disease areas do you research? SCA1 Rett Syndrome MeCP2 duplication syndrome Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s disease Brain development What models and techniques do you use? Mouse models Human cell biology Molecular biology Read More…

Regulating ataxin-1 expression as a therapeutic avenue for SCA1

Written by Dr. Hannah Shorrock   Edited by Dr. Hayley McLoughlin Nitschke and colleagues identify a microRNA that regulates ataxin-1 levels and rescues motor deficits in a mouse model of SCA1 What if you could use systems already in place in the cell to regulate levels of toxic proteins in disease? Read More…

Identifying FDA-approved molecules to treat SCA6

Written by Dr Hannah Shorrock Edited by Dr. Larissa Nitschke Pastor and colleagues identify FDA-approved small molecules that selectively reduce the toxic polyglutamine-expanded protein in SCA6. Selectively targeting disease-causing genes without disrupting cellular functions is essential for successful therapy development. In spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6), achieving this selectivity is Read More…

Snapshot: What is Gait Analysis in Ataxia Mouse Models?

A key role of the cerebellum is to control and fine-tune coordinated movement such as walking. Although walking is an unconscious behaviour, it is actually very complex and requires many systems to work together. The specific mannerisms and patterns of coordinated movement that make up how an individual walks are Read More…

El BDNF puede revertir la ataxia en ratones SCA1

Escrito por Anna Cook Editado por Dr. David Bushart. Publicado inicialmente en el 19 de Marzo de 2021. Traducción al español fueron hechas por FEDAES y Carlos Barba. El factor neurotrófico derivado del cerebro -BDNF- puede prevenir la ataxia en ratones SCA1. Una nueva investigación muestra que el tratamiento funciona Read More…

Snapshot: What is the Morris Water Maze Test?

Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are well known for worsening motor coordination symptoms caused by the degeneration of the cerebellum. Yet, increasing reports indicate that broader changes are occurring in the brains of some SCA patients. This includes changes in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for learning and memory. One way Read More…

Snapshot: What is the balance beam test?

When you think of a balance beam, you might think of gymnastics. For humans, a balance beam is a surface where we perform jumps, flips, and other athletic feats. Whether it’s a child taking their first class, or an Olympic athlete going for gold, the balance beam requires both balance Read More…

BDNF can reverse ataxia in SCA1 mice, even after symptom onset

Written by Anna Cook Edited by Dr. David Bushart Brain-derived neurotrophic factor can prevent ataxia in SCA1 mice. New research shows that the treatment works even if it’s started after mice develop signs of ataxia. SCA1 is a neurodegenerative disease caused by a mutation in the Ataxin1 gene. People with Read More…

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