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Parkinson Disease: A progressive, degenerative neurologic disease characterized by a Tremor that is maximal at rest, retropulsion (i.e. a tendency to fall backwards), rigidity, stooped posture, slowness of voluntary movements, and a masklike facial expression. Pathologic features include loss of melanin containing neurons in the substantia nigra and other pigmented nuclei of the brainstem. Lewy bodies are present in the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus but may also be found in a related condition (Lewy body disease, Diffuse) characterized by dementia in combination with varying degrees of parkinsonism. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1059, pp1067-75)

An Overview of Genetics and Disease

JoVE 5543

Many human diseases are associated with mutations or variations in genetic sequences. Some of these genetic variants are heritable, passed down from generation to generation, while others arise sporadically during an organism’s life and cause diseases such as cancer. Researchers are trying to identify and characterize these genetic alterations in the hopes of…

 Genetics

Balance and Coordination Testing

JoVE 5423

Balance and coordination are critical components involved in the control of movement. Many sensory receptors and neural processing units are required to help individuals maintain balance while performing various activities. Deficits in balance and coordination occur in patients suffering from movement disorders or due to aging. Therefore, scientists are trying to understand the…

 Behavioral Science

Glial Cells

JoVE 10843

Glial cells are one of the two main types of cells in the nervous system. Glia cells comprise astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, and ependymal cells in the central nervous system, and satellite and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system. These cells do not communicate via electrical signals like neurons do, but they contribute to virtually every other aspect of nervous system function. In humans, the number of glial cells is roughly equal to the number of neurons in the brain. Glia in the central nervous system (CNS) include astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, and ependymal cells. Astrocytes are the most abundant type of glial cell and are found in organized, non-overlapping patterns throughout the brain, where they closely associate with neurons and capillaries. Astrocytes play numerous roles in brain function, including regulating blood flow and metabolic processes, synaptic ion and pH homeostasis, and blood-brain barrier maintenance. Another specialized glial cell, the oligodendrocyte, forms the myelin sheath that surrounds neuronal axons in the CNS. Oligodendrocytes extend long cellular processes that wrap around axons multiple times to form this coating. Myelin sheath is required for proper conduction of neuronal signaling and greatly increases the speed at which these messages travel. Microglia—known as the macrop

 Core: Biology

Neuronal Transfection Methods

JoVE 5215

Transfection - the process of transferring genetic material into cells - is a powerful tool for the rapid and efficient manipulation of gene expression in cells. Because this method can be used to silence the expression of specific proteins or to drive the expression of foreign or modified proteins, transfection is an extremely useful tool in the study of the cellular and…

 Neuroscience
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