Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Misdemeanor charges dropped against NU faculty for activity during pro-Palestinian encampment
City Council approves $2 million grant application to renovate Hilda’s Place, talks Evanston Dog Beach accessibility access
City Council expands guaranteed income program, exempts athletic fields from leaf blower ordinance
Body recovered in Lake Michigan, EPD examining identity of body
Evanston’s ‘Seeds of Change’ theme inspires unity at Fourth of July parade
Lawsuit against Pritzker School of Law alleges its hiring process discriminates against white men
Evanston Fire concludes recovery search and rescue efforts for missing swimmer after ‘exhausting’ all resources
Perry: A little humility goes a long way

Brew, Hou, Leung, Pandey: On being scared to tweet and the pressure to market yourself as a student journalist

June 4, 2024

Haner: A love letter to the multimedia room

June 4, 2024

Independent review of athletics department released, puts forth key recommendations

Northwestern hosts groundbreaking ceremony at Ryan Field construction site

June 25, 2024

Derrick Gragg appointed as Northwestern’s vice president for athletic strategy, search for new athletic director begins

June 13, 2024


The secret (and short) lives of cicadas on campus

NU Declassified: Prof. Barbara Butts teaches leadership through stage management

Everything Evanston: Behind the boba in downtown Evanston

Tech Roundup

Compounds could inhibit nerve loss in Alzheimer’s

Researchers at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine have developed new molecular compounds that — if used for treatment — could inhibit the brain cell inflammation and neural loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The compounds prevent the overactivation of glial cells, which provide support and nutrition to cells in the nervous system. Glial cells normally are activated to fight off infections but can become “chronically activated” and release substances that could lead to neurodegenerative diseases, said cell and molecular biology Prof. Linda Van Eldik, one of the head researchers.

“(The glial cells) release a lot of inflammatory molecules and other kinds of toxic molecules that then can fuse to the neurons and cause them damage, and even kill them in some cases,” Van Eldik said.

The researchers discovered compounds that can block passageways to the glial cells, thwarting the cells from staying activated, Van Eldik said.

This discovery could have implications for future drug development because targeting neuroinflammation has the potential to impede the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, Van Eldik said in a university press release.

Back pain can cause brain density loss, NU profs find

Chronic back pain can shrink the brain by as much as 11 percent, NU professors reported in a study published in the Nov. 23 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Brain density loss is linked to back pain duration, said physiology Prof. A. Vania Apkarian, the study’s lead researcher, in a press release. He said 1.3 cubic centimeters of the brain’s gray matter, responsible for processing information and memory, is lost per year as a result of pain. Over a lifetime, the amount of gray matter lost to chronic back pain is equivalent to the amount lost in 10 to 20 years of normal aging, the study found.

The researchers used structural magnetic resonance imaging to contrast brain images between participants suffering from chronic back pain for more than a year and participants who did not suffer from back pain.

Participants suffering from this chronic back pain lost more gray matter, although Apkarian said in the press release that the researchers do not know if the atrophy is irreversible.

A quarter of all Americans suffer from back pain, and a quarter of sufferers have chronic back pain, the press release said.

Tomato compound may prevent prostate cancer

Feinberg scientists are conducting clinical studies to see whether tomatoes can prevent prostate cancer.

Lycopene, an antioxidant commonly found in tomatoes, has been found to have anti-tumor effects in several laboratory experiments, and is commonly believed to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, according to an NU press release.

The NU study is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and will test whether tomato oil with a high concentration of lycopene will delay the formation of abnormal cells within the prostate. These abnormal cells are the strongest risk factor currently identified for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

“Prostate cancer is a rational target for chemoprevention because of its high public health burden and relatively slow growth rate,” said preventative medicine Prof. Peter Gann, who is heading the study, in the press release.

Call 312-908-8241 for more information on the study.

— Tina Peng

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