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National Ataxia Foundation

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SCA2

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…

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…

Snapshot: What is Riluzole?

Riluzole, often sold under the trade name Rilutek, is a medication used for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that mainly affects neurons controlling muscle movements. The drug was approved by the FDA (1995), Health Canada (1997), and the European Commission (1996). It Read More…

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…

Snapshot: What is Neurogenesis?

Neurons are the cells that serve as building blocks of the nervous system. The brain contains an enormous variety of neurons, and they all need to get a start somewhere. The process by which neurons are formed is called neurogenesis. When does neurogenesis happen? Nearly all neurogenesis occurs before the Read More…

Clearing aggregated ataxin-2 protein as a therapeutic avenue for SCA2

Written by Dr. Vitaliy Bondar Edited by Dr. Hayley McLoughlin New research suggests that mutant ataxin-2 protein overwhelms cells in SCA2, leading to decreased autophagy and clearance of damaged proteins. Many comparisons can be made between cells and human beings. Just like humans, cells can accumulate junk and waste at Read More…

A new molecule identified that controls cerebellar communication

Written by Dr. Ambika Tewari Edited by Dr. Sriram Jayabal Targeting phosphatases in the cerebellum can correct miscommunication in multiple models of ataxia. The cerebellum is essential for motor coordination and consists of the coordinated activity of different types of cells. Purkinje cells are one of the most fascinating cell Read More…

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