Fluorescent Dye, Mouse Brains May Lead Researchers To Better Understanding Of Neurological Diseases

Mar 29, 2017

An Iowa State neuroscience lab has discovered a way to study the early stages of protein-misfolding diseases like Parkinson’s or Chronic Wasting Disease, and this may aid the development of new treatments.

These diseases are tricky to detect in incubation period. For example if someone has Alzheimer’s, it won’t be apparent that person is sick until they start exhibiting symptoms. 

But Iowa State’s Anumantha Kanthasmy has developed a model, where within 7-10 days scientists can observe a protein disease. He does by taking slices of mouse brains and exposing the issue to misfolded proteins, and then he adds fluorescent dye.

"So the dye in specific conditions, you can detect the infection," says Kanthasmy.

Kanthasmy says this may help researchers understand what triggers a protein disease, and also treatment development.  

The findings was published last month in Scientific Reports, a peer-reviewed journal.