The potential lipotoxic effect of accumulation of fatty acids in non-adipose tissues is thought to be a major component in the development of insulin resistance. Chronic exposure to high concentrations of free fatty acids in the blood affects pancreatic cell function, insulin secretion and lipid synthesis in the liver, and storage in adipose tissue. Maintaining the normal levels of fatty acids requires coordinated regulation between the liver, adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. This book deals with the molecular aspects of fatty acid action in obesity and insulin resistance. The topics include lipid metabolism and adipose tissue biology, and cell function and insulin resistance. Chapters deal with the molecular genetics and molecular physiology of energy homeostasis.
The field of neural transplantation is at a crucial stage, with important clinical trials on transplantation in patients with Parkinson’s disease nearing completion and novel, alternative approaches to fetal transplantation being developed. This timely book brings together leading neuroscientists, clinicians, and cell and developmental biologists to discuss the use of neural transplants in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury. There is also extensive coverage of the potential alternatives to freshly derived fetal tissue as the source of transplants, for example xenografts, encapsulated cells and immortalized stem cells. With authoritative contributions and lively discussion sections, this book presents much new and exciting work in this field and identifies promising new research directions.
Although normally thought of as a sex hormone, recent research has highlighted the numerous and significant effects that oestrogen has on the CNS, extending far beyond its important reproductive role. It has been shown that oestrogen acts as a neural growth factor with important influences on the survival, plasticity, regeneration and ageing of the mammalian brain. This exciting book brings together leading clinicians and researchers to discuss oestrogen’s basic mechanisms of action, the extrahypothalmic brain regions it affects, and its influence on cognitive functions in animals and humans. Finally, recent research on the role of oestrogens in ageing and dementia, including the significance of oestrogen action in Alzheimer’s disease, is discussed. The 15 papers contained in this book, together with the extensive discussion sessions that follow them, reveal much new and exciting work in this area, and identify promising new research directions.
Evolutionary psychology and behavioural genetics are two successful and important fields in the study of human behaviour, but practitioners in these subjects have different conceptions of the nature of human intelligence. Evolutionary psychologists dispute the existence of general intelligence and emphasise the differences among species. They argue that natural and sexual selection would be expected to produce intelligences that are specialised for particular domains, as encountered by particular species. Behavioural geneticists consider general intelligence to be the most fundamental aspect of intelligence and concentrate on the differences between individuals of the same species. This exciting book features papers and discussion contributions from leading behavioural geneticists, evolutionary psychologists and experts on intelligence that explore the differences and the tensions between these two approaches. The nature of ‘g’ or general intelligence is discussed in detail, as is the issue of the heritability of intelligence. The alternative approaches that emphasise domain-specific intelligences are explored, alongside wide-ranging discussions on a broad range of issues such as the biological basis for intelligence, animal models and changes in IQ scores over time.
An invaluable book containing a series of interdisciplinary discussions between clinical and basic scientists. Biology of IGF-1: Its interaction with insulin and health and malignant states focuses on key issues such as: the definition of danger zones the development of methods for early recognition of malignant states linked to IGF-1 and/or insulin possible approaches to preventative intervention the relevance in this field of research to the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treating certain cancers.
Over the last several years, immunologists have re-discovered the importance of regulatory lymphocytes, formerly termed ‘suppressor cells’. Many recent reports have documented their existence, effector functions and potential therapeutic benefits in autoimmunity and transplantation. However, even though modern techniques have allowed us to get a much more detailed picture of these cells, they are still highly controversial. Several unresolved issues responsible for this dilemma are discussed in this book: it is difficult to grow and clone such cells, their phenotypes and effector functions are diverse and can sometimes easily be lost, and it is not well understood how they interact with antigen-presenting cells. This book contains contributions from leading investigators from around the world, including lively discussion of the current state of the art in studies of regulatory lymphocytes. Topics featured are the physiological control of autoimmunity, the role of antigen-specific cells in various diseases and disease models and effector mechanisms. Therapeutic applications are considered, particularly for type 1 diabetes, tissue transplantation and the control of viral infection. This important and groundbreaking book should be of interest to all immunologists. Related Novartis Foundation symposia: 254 Immunoinformatics: bioinformatic strategies for better understanding of immune function Chair: Hans-Georg Rammensee 256 Cancer and inflammation Chair: Siamon Gordon
Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disease associated with joint pain and loss of joint function. It has an estimated incidence of 4 out of every 100 people and significantly reduces the quality of life in affected individuals. The major symptoms are chronic pain, swelling and stiffness; severe, chronic joint pain is often the central factor that causes patients to seek medical attention. Within the affected joint, there is focal degradation and remodelling of articular cartilage, new bone formation (osteophytes) and mild synovitis. Several mechanisms are thought to contribute to osteoarthritic joint pain. These include mild synovial inflammation, bone oedema, ligament stretching, osteophyte formation and cartilage-derived mediators. Changes in joint biomechanics and muscle strength also influence the severity and duration of joint pain in osteoarthritis. Within the nervous system, the relative contributions of peripheral afferent nociceptive fibres and central mechanisms remain to be defined, and there is limited information on the phenotype of sensory neurons in the OA joint. Importantly, there is no relation between clinical severity, as measured by radiographic changes, and the presence and severity of joint pain. Patients with severe joint pain may have normal joint architecture as determined by X-ray, whereas patients with considerable evidence of joint remodelling may not have significant joint pain. Treatments for osteoarthritic joint pain include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory compounds, exercise, corrective shoes and surgical intervention. There remains a critical need for improved control of joint pain in osteoarthritis. This book brings together contributions from key investigators in the area of osteoarthritic joint pain. It covers the clinical presentation of joint pain, the pathways involved in joint pain, osteoarthritis disease processes and pain, experimental models and pain control. The discussions provide insights into the nature of osteoarthritic joint pain, identify key studies needed to advance understanding of the problem, highlight possible intervention points and indicate future pathways towards a better treatment of osteoarthritic joint pain.
The pacemaking and conduction system (PCS) is vital for generating and synchronizing the heart beat. Dysfunction of this system can be a direct cause of cardiac conduction disturbance, arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. A wealth of information has been collected over many years on the unique histological, morphological and phenotypic characteristics of specialized cardiac tissues. The cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern development of the PCS are now starting to be understood. This book draws together contributions from an international and interdisciplinary group of experts working on both basic and clinical aspects of cardiac development. It features reviews of the structure and function of the developing PCS, discussion of the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating embryological development of this system and studies on the fundamental basis of PCS pathology. The book also considers how novel therapeutic interventions based on understanding of the developmental biology of cardiac pacemaking and conduction tissues might ultimately impact on clinical medicine.
This book brings together contributions from key investigators in the area of pathological pain. It covers the molecular basis of receptors and channels involved in nociception, the possible messages that cause neuropathic plasticity, spinal plasticity in neuropathy, plastic changes in opioid systems in neuropathy and opioid tolerance, and plastic changes related to pathological pain.
This book draws together contributions from some of the leading investigators in the field of autism to consider specific problem areas in current research. Each contributor brings expertise from a different field, providing a balanced view of the whole spectrum of study of this disorder. It covers four main areas: * Twin and family studies indicate that the heritability of the underlying liability to autism exceeds 90% and point to a multifactorial causation, involving a relatively small number of susceptibility genes. The book discusses this issue in detail, along with the problem of why some additional symptoms are associated with autism while others are not. * New techniques are available for examining the neurobiology of autism. The book contains results from imaging studies showing the contributions of different brain regions to autism. It includes neuropathological data and examines the neuropharmacology of autism. * There is considerable discussion concerning the fundamental psychological deficit in children with autism. There is good evidence that "e;Theory of Mind"e; deficits are associated with autism and this issue is discussed in the book, as are other competing possibilities. * The most important practical question facing medical and psychological practitioners is how to help children with autism. The evidence relating to possible psychological or psychiatric interventions for rehabilitation of children with autism is examined in detail. Drug treatments have generally been disappointing in this field and there is one chapter devoted specifically to this problem. The book focusses ultimately on intervention studies and so is of practical relevance to people interested in helping autistic children. In addition, it provides a very convenient summary of the principal controversies which currently exist in research on autism.