Sarcoidosis May Cause Neuropathy

Researchers from Chiba University in Japan have found that peripheral neuropathy can be a rare manifestation of sarcoidosis, which is a disease of unknown cause that leads to inflammation. Normally, your immune system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. These cells release chemicals that recruit other cells to isolate and destroy the harmful […]

Gene defect for muscle atrophy discovered

Researchers at the ANZAC Research Institute (University of Sydney and Concord Hospital) have found the cause of a hitherto mysterious disorder causing degeneration of motor nerves that leads to severe muscle wasting in the limbs.

The disease is manifest almost exclusively in men but inherited through their mothers as carriers, a pattern that arises because the disorder is linked to a gene on the X chromosome.

Affected men cannot run properly and show loss of strength in the hands and feet becoming increasingly disabled through later life. The gene defect causes a slow, but progressive degeneration of the ends of the long motor neurons which drive the limb muscles.

Prion protein is not all bad

A molecular Dr. Jekyll finally has a day job—as an electrical lineman. A new study suggests that the normal form of prion protein helps maintain the insulation that speeds electrical signals along nerve fibers. In its twisted Mr. Hyde form, the prion protein causes fatal brain-wasting diseases, such as mad cow disease in cattle and […]