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Brain Health Round-Up: Uncovering Answers to Enduring Brain Disease Mysteries

August 2021 Brain Health Round-Up

Here’s why experts recommend those with brain disease get vaccinated, why mitochondria may influence brain function, and how mice are leading to new treatments for Alzheimer’s

There are so many enduring brain mysteries out there. This is why the American Brain Foundation is dedicated to promoting and investing in research for all brain diseases. We know they are all interconnected. So the more research we fund, the more treatments, preventions, and cures we will uncover. The following brain disease research updates from researchers and neurologists around the world exemplify this mindset: from why experts recommend people with underlying neurologic conditions get the COVID-19 vaccine to the role mitochondria plays in brain health to studies on mice models leading to new Alzheimer’s therapies. Keep reading to learn more.

Underlying Neurologic Conditions and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Although there have been concerns that the COVID-19 vaccines could make symptoms of existing neurological conditions worse or cause additional side effects for those with brain disease, experts say otherwise. In fact, the virus itself can cause new or worsening symptoms for people with conditions like Parkinson’s and migraine. Brain & Life® Magazine asked neurologists to address and explain any possible problems with vaccination for people with Guillain-Barré syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and migraine. Here’s what they had to say.

Could Mitochondria Be the Key to a Healthy Brain?

One organ is particularly vulnerable to mitochondrial damage: the brain. Why? Because the more energy a cell uses, the more mitochondria it has, and the more critical mitochondrial health is. We estimate that each neuron—the cells of the brain and nervous system—can have up to 2 million mitochondria. That’s why a small but growing number of scientists are turning their attention to how mitochondria may affect brain health. Discover preliminary studies exploring this topic and how mitochondria may be at the heart of an enduring mystery for brain disease researchers.

Mouse study suggests that repairing brain protein production could counteract Alzheimer’s disease

A recent study found that restoring protein production in the brain could help treat Alzheimer’s disease. In the study, a substance that jump-starts protein synthesis helped mice with cognitive problems improve on memory-associated behavior tests. So what are the implications? There is hope in protein production for treating Alzheimer’s. Read more about the discovery here.

The American Brain Foundation believes that, one day, we can live in a reality without brain disease—and it all starts with funding research to discover cures. To support our work of connecting scientists with donors, make your gift today.