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New clues to brain’s wiring found by scientists

New clues to brain’s wiring found by scientists

New research provides an intriguing glimpse into the processes that establish connections between nerve cells in the brain. Continue reading

Drug’s effect on Alzheimer’s may depend on severity of disease

Drug’s effect on Alzheimer’s may depend on severity of disease

A cancer drug that has shown promise against Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in mice and has begun early clinical trials has yielded perplexing results in a novel mouse model of AD that mimics the genetics and pathology of the human disease more closely than any other animal model. The drug, bexarotene, was found to reduce levels of the neurotoxic protein amyloid-beta in experimental mice with late-stage Alzheimer’s but to increase levels during early stages of disease. The finding, by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, was reported July 16 at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen by Mary Jo LaDu, who in 2012 developed a transgenic mouse that is now regarded as the best animal model of the human disease. Continue reading

3D printed anatomy to mark a new era for medical training

3D printed anatomy to mark a new era for medical training

The creators of a unique kit containing anatomical body parts produced by 3D printing say it will revolutionize medical education and training, especially in countries where cadaver use is problematical. Continue reading

3-D computer model may help refine target for deep brain stimulation therapy for dystonia

3-D computer model may help refine target for deep brain stimulation therapy for dystonia

Although deep brain stimulation can be an effective therapy for dystonia — a potentially crippling movement disorder — the treatment isn’t always effective, or benefits may not be immediate. Precise placement of DBS electrodes is one of several factors that can affect results, but few studies have attempted to identify the “sweet spot,” where electrode placement yields the best results. Continue reading

Poor coverage of specific gene sets in exome sequencing gives cause for concern

Poor coverage of specific gene sets in exome sequencing gives cause for concern

With services based on exome sequencing becoming affordable to patients at a reasonable price, the question of the quality of the results provided has become increasingly important. The exome is the DNA sequence of genes that are translated into protein. Continue reading

Surgeons ‘light up’ GI tract to safely remove gall bladder

Surgeons ‘light up’ GI tract to safely remove gall bladder

A green fluorescent dye is helping surgeons at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System perform robotic gall bladder surgery more safely. UI Health surgeons used near-infrared light to make the indocyanine green dye light up, allowing them to better see the biliary tract. Continue reading

Infusion of young blood recharges brains of old mice

Infusion of young blood recharges brains of old mice

Something — or some things — in the blood of young mice has the ability to restore mental capabilities in old mice, a new study by Stanford University School of Medicine investigators has found. If the same goes for humans, it could spell a new paradigm for recharging our aging brains, and it might mean new therapeutic approaches for treating dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease. Continue reading

Spinal cord neurons that control skilled limb movement identified

Spinal cord neurons that control skilled limb movement identified

Researchers have identified two types of neurons that enable the spinal cord to control skilled forelimb movement. Continue reading

Spinal cord neurons that control skilled limb movement identified

Spinal cord neurons that control skilled limb movement identified

Researchers have identified two types of neurons that enable the spinal cord to control skilled forelimb movement. The first is a group of excitatory interneurons that are needed to make accurate and precise movements; the second is a group of inhibitory interneurons necessary for achieving smooth movement of the limbs Continue reading

Why does breast cancer often spread to the lung? Experts explain

Why does breast cancer often spread to the lung? Experts explain

New research led by Alison Allan, PhD, a scientist at Western University and the Lawson Health Research Institute, shows why breast cancer often spreads or metastasizes to the lung. Breast cancer is the number one diagnosed cancer and the number two cause of cancer-related deaths among women in North America Continue reading