Parkinson’s disease – New test procedure enables early detection in patients at risk

In an international cooperation project, researchers from the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG), the Paracelsus-Elena-Klinik Kassel and University College London (UCL) have developed a test procedure that makes it possible to predict the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in at-risk patients up to seven years before the onset of typical motor symptoms using a blood sample. The next step is to further develop this test for clinical application. The four-year PROPAG-AGING project was funded by the EU with a total of around six million euros. The results have been published in the renowned journal Nature Communications.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Blood Markers Detect Rare Forms of Dementia as well as the Neurological Diseases ALS and PSP

In a study with 991 adults, scientists at DZNE show that the most common forms of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) as well as the neurological diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) can be recognised by blood testing. Their procedure is not yet ready for routine medical use, but in the long term it could facilitate disease diagnosis and advance the development of new therapies already now.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

New approach against fatty liver

Fatty liver disease, SLD for short, is increasingly causing failure of the liver as a vital organ. A team led by researchers from the Institute of Metabolic Physiology at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) in collaboration with the German Diabetes Centre (DDZ) and other partners has now discovered that a saturated fatty acid in blood vessels leads to the production of the signalling molecule SEMA3A, which closes the ‘windows’ in the blood vessels. This hinders the transport of fat from the liver to the adipose tissue. In the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research, the researchers report that the windows open again and the fat in the liver is reduced when SEMA3A is inhibited.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Weltblutspendetag 14. Juni: BZgA ruft zur Blut- und Plasmaspende auf

Zum Weltblutspendetag am 14. Juni 2024 rufen der Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für die Belange der Patientinnen und Patienten und die Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (BZgA) gemeinsam mit Blutspendeeinrichtungen bundesweit dazu auf, Blut und Plasma zu spenden. Der Weltblutspendetag rückt die Bedeutung von Blut- und Plasmaspenden in den Fokus. Er erinnert und motiviert zur regelmäßigen Spende und drückt Wertschätzung für die Menschen aus, die durch ihre Spende Leben retten. In diesem Jahr steht der Weltblutspendetag unter dem Motto „20 years of celebrating giving: thank you blood donors“.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Blood vessels: pioneers of bone formation in the skull

New long-term microscopy method shows differences to long bones

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Sensor measures oxygen content of breath

Oxygen saturation in the blood that is either too low or too high can cause physical harm or even death. This is why patients’ oxygen concentraions are monitored continuously in both intensive care and trauma units. However, the pulse oximeters clipped onto a patient’s fingertip for this purpose can be unreliable. Researchers at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have developed a fluorescence-based sensor that measures the oxygen content of people’s breath directly and in real time. The sensor determines the oxygen concentration in the respiratory gas according to the principle of fluorescence quenching, which allows conclusions to be drawn about the oxygen saturation in the blood.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Professor Dr Robert Zeiser receives DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award 2024

DKMS emphasizes its commitment to blood cancer research, supports young scientists, and recognizes outstanding research achievements in the field of stem cell transplantation.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Circulating biomolecules identify patients with atrial fibrillation at high risk of cardiovascular events

An analysis of the biomolecule substudy of the EAST – AFNET 4 trial revealed: biomolecule concentrations in the blood of patients with atrial fibrillation can be used to identify patients at high and low cardiovascular risk. Today the findings were presented by Prof. Larissa Fabritz, University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany, at the Frontiers in CardioVascular Biomedicine Congress in Amsterdam and published in Cardiovascular Research (1).

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Neu entwickeltes Mausmodell verbessert die Erforschung von aggressiver Leukämie-Variante

Nach jahrelanger intensiver Forschungsarbeit präsentierte nun ein von der Veterinärmedizinischen Universität geleitetes Team von Wissenschafter:innen ein neues Mausmodell zur besseren Analyse von NK-Zell-Leukämien. Diese stellen seltene aber teilweise äußerst aggressive Formen von Leukämie dar, die durch das unkontrollierte Wachstum von natürlichen Killerzellen (NK-Zellen) verursacht werden und im Durchschnitt innerhalb eines Jahres zum Tod führen. Die Forscher:innen erwarten sich vom Einsatz des innovativen Mausmodells deutliche Fortschritte in der Erforschung und Behandlung dieser gefährlichen Blutkrebs-Variante. Veröffentlicht wurde die Studie kürzlich in „Blood“.

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New Research Results – Safety of Short-Term Cultivated CAR T Cells in Cancer Immunotherapy

Short-term cultivated, individualised immune cells (CAR T cells) are currently being developed as a therapeutic option for patients with blood cancer. A research team from the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut has shown with mouse and cell models that these cells carry a higher risk for cytokine release syndrome than conventional CAR T cells. The cytokine release is caused by residual components of vector particles on the CAR T cells and is independent of tumour cells. Careful consideration of the safety of this innovative treatment is required to minimise risks to patients. EMBO Molecular Medicine reports on the results in its issue dated 21 March 2024.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

An increase in blood-sucking black flies is expected in Germany

The habitat suitability for the medical relevant insects has been modelled over four federal states

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

New mechanism for regulating cell division in the bacterial pathogen Klebsiella uncovered

Klebsiella pneumoniae is one of the most common and most dangerous bacterial pathogens impacting humans, causing infections of the gastrointestinal tract, pneumonia, wound infections and even blood poisoning. With the aim of discovering therapeutically exploitable weaknesses in Klebsiella, a research team from the Balance of the Microverse Cluster of Excellence at the University of Jena, Germany has taken a close look at the molecular biology of the bacteria and was able to uncover the importance of a small, non-coding ribonucleic acid (sRNA for short) for the gene regulation of K. pneumoniae. They report their findings in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

New growth factor for the liver

A healthy liver is capable of completely regenerating itself. Researchers from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), University Hospital Düsseldorf (UKD) and the German Diabetes Center (DDZ) have now identified the growth factor MYDGF (Myeloid-Derived Growth Factor), which is important for this regenerative capacity. In cooperation with the Hannover Medical School and the University Medical Center Mainz, they also showed that higher levels of MYDGF can be detected in the blood of patients following partial removal of the liver. In the scientific journal Nature Communications, they also report that this growth factor stimulates the proliferation of human hepatocytes in a tissue culture.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Complement System Causes Cell Damage in Long Covid

Long Covid patients suffer from chronic symptoms such as fatigue or shortness of breath. As researchers at the University of Zurich and University Hospital Zurich have discovered, this is to some extent due to a part of our immune system called the complement system. The study identified a pattern in the blood proteins that will improve the diagnosis and perhaps also the targeted treatment of Long Covid.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Incurable autoimmune disease SLE: New genetic findings open up perspectives for future therapeutic approaches

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system that normally protects the body from invading microbes, turns against the body´s own cells. This autoimmune attack can affect any organ and patients commonly develop skin rashes, joint inflammation, blood clots, kidney failure, heart disease, fatigue and psychiatric problems. Until to date, there is no cure for SLE and patients are treated with immunosuppressing drugs with considerable side effects.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

New Microscope: ComplexEye and AI Enable Faster Migration Analysis of Immune Cells

Immune cells fight infectious intruders, for example, or search for incipient cancers. Therefor, they are constantly migrating through the tissues of our body. But in the wrong place, immune cells like neutrophil granulocytes can cause damage: If these white blood cells infiltrate tumours, this is often associated with a poor prognosis for patients. This is why they could benefit from drugs that prevent neutrophils from migrating into tumours. Until now, this migration has been investigated using conventional video microscopy. Researchers (University of Duisburg-Essen, Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften) have developed a microscope for the high throughput analysis of compounds.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

When the heart loses its nerves

How do nerves and blood vessels interact in the aging heart? Recent research results from the Institute of Cardiovascular Regeneration and the Cardio-Pulmonary Institute at Goethe University Frankfurt shed new light on aging processes in the heart. These have now been published in the prestigious journal Science.

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Modifiable risk factors responsible for half of cardiovascular diseases

Scientists of the Global Cardiovascular Risk Consortium under the auspices of the Department of Cardiology at the University Heart & Vascular Center of the Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) have proven that the five classic cardiovascular risk factors overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes mellitus are directly connected to more than half of all cardiovascular diseases worldwide. High blood pressure is the most significant factor for the occurrence of heart attacks and strokes.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Research Grants Endowed with €240,000

The application period for the DKMS John Hansen Research Grant 2024 began on August 1, 2023. With this grant, the foundation DKMS Stiftung Leben Spenden supports up to four outstanding research projects in the field of stem cell transplantation or cell therapy each year. A stem cell transplant saves the lives of many blood cancer patients. However, relapses and severe complications continue to pose major challenges. The grant is intended to promote excellent science in this field. The application deadline is November 30, 2023.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Immune Cells in Single File

There is news from the immune system: Dendritic cells migrate in a network along the outside of blood vessels. Local cytokines keep this dynamic network stable.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Infection with common cold coronaviruses can trigger broad cross-immunity against SARS-CoV-2 proteins

Researchers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf have demonstrated cross-reactive immune responses to another SARS-CoV-2 protein besides the spike protein. The research team found a broad immune system T cell response to the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of SARS-CoV-2 in blood samples from COVID patients as well as from subjects who were never infected with SARS-CoV-2. The T cells of the never-infected probands presumably arose from previous infection with other common cold coronaviruses and cross-reacted with the SARS-CoV-2 RNA polymerase in the tests.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Human Immune Cells React to Non-Nutritive Sweeteners

Diet drinks often contain a mix of non-nutritive sweeteners that also enter the bloodstream after consumption. As a new pilot study shows, even dietary intake levels of saccharin, acesulfame-K and cyclamate are enough to modulate the copy rate of various genes in white blood cells. „Our data suggest that this modulation sensitizes immune cells to certain immune stimuli,“ says Dietmar Krautwurst of the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich. He adds: “Likewise, they also suggest that taste receptors may act as sweetener sensors of the cellular immune system.”

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Putting an end to rheumatoid arthritis?

Immunoglobulin G antibodies (IgB) play an important role as drivers of inflammation in infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases. However, if the same immunoglobulin antibodies from the blood plasma of healthy donors are cleansed and injected into a patient’s bloodstream, they exhibit anti-inflammatory effects and have a positive effect on the immune system. The cause of this was unknown to a large extent up to now.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

The Paradox of Thrombosis

Bears in hibernation and also paraplegic people spend months or even years lying almost motionless. In healthy people, however, bedriddenness is always accompanied by the risk of thrombosis. A paradox, but nevertheless an everyday occurrence. This contradiction has now been investigated by an international research team led by Matthias Mann, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, and PD Dr. med. Tobias Petzold, cardiologist at the LMU Hospital Munich. They found a mechanism that occurs in brown bears, as well as paraplegics, and that prevents the formation of blood clots. This discovery could open up new therapeutic options. The results were published in the journal Science.

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World’s first studies with bedside portable MRI in pediatric ECMO patients

Neonatology team of the University Hospital Bonn publishes findings

Bonn, April 5, 2023 – The neonatology team at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) has conducted the world’s first study of children receiving ECMO therapy using the mobile magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The procedure, known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), involves oxygenating the blood outside the body. The findings of the successful, innovative study of the first four pediatric ECMO patients using the mobile MRI has now been published in the prestigious journal Critical Care.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft