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Another potential ALS treatment avenue identfied by researchers

Another potential ALS treatment avenue identfied by researchers

A series of studies begun by Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists eight years ago has lead to a report published today that may be a major step forward in the quest to develop real treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The findings by Harvard professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB) Kevin Eggan and colleagues also has produced functionally identical results in human motor neurons in a laboratory dish and in a mouse model of the disease, demonstrating that the modeling of human disease with customized stem cells in the laboratory could someday relatively soon eliminate some of the need for animal testing. Continue reading

Diagnostic criteria for Christianson Syndrome

Diagnostic criteria for Christianson Syndrome

Because the severe autism-like condition Christianson Syndrome was only first reported in 1999 and some symptoms take more than a decade to appear, families and doctors urgently need fundamental information about it. Continue reading

Diagnostic criteria for Christianson Syndrome

Diagnostic criteria for Christianson Syndrome

Because the severe autism-like condition Christianson Syndrome was only first reported in 1999 and some symptoms take more than a decade to appear, families and doctors urgently need fundamental information about it. Continue reading

Smell and eye tests show potential to detect Alzheimer’s early

Smell and eye tests show potential to detect Alzheimer’s early

A decreased ability to identify odors might indicate the development of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, while examinations of the eye could indicate the build-up of beta-amyloid, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s, in the brain, according to the results of four research trials reported today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® 2014 (AAIC® 2014) in Copenhagen. In two of the studies, the decreased ability to identify odors was significantly associated with loss of brain cell function and progression to Alzheimer’s disease. In two other studies, the level of beta-amyloid detected in the eye (a) was significantly correlated with the burden of beta-amyloid in the brain and (b) allowed researchers to accurately identify the people with Alzheimer’s in the studies. Continue reading

Doctors have ethical obligation to educate, protect athletes from concussion, experts say

Doctors have ethical obligation to educate, protect athletes from concussion, experts say

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the largest professional association of neurologists and a leading authority on sports concussion, is releasing a new position paper that states doctors have an ethical obligation to educate and protect athletes from sports concussion and clear them to play only when the athlete is medically ready, standing firm against objections from players, parents or coaches. The statement is published in the July 9, 2014, online issue of Neurology ®, the medical journal of the AAN, and is being released ahead of The Sports Concussion Conference, July 11-13, 2014, in Chicago, where the AAN will share the latest scientific advances in diagnosing and treating sports concussion. The AAN position statement calls for doctors to safeguard the future mental and physical health of athletes as a top priority, especially regarding return-to-play decision-making. Continue reading

Twin study links community socioeconomic deprivation to sleep duration

Twin study links community socioeconomic deprivation to sleep duration

A new study of adult twins suggests that the level of socioeconomic deprivation in a neighborhood is associated with the sleep duration of residents. Results show that increased socioeconomic deprivation was significantly associated with decreased sleep duration across all twins. Continue reading

Deep brain stimulation improves non motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease as well as motor symptoms

Deep brain stimulation improves non motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease as well as motor symptoms

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become a well-recognized non-pharmacologic treatment that improves motor symptoms of patients with early and advanced Parkinson’s disease. 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

Sleep education program spurs preschoolers to snooze 30 minutes longer at night

Sleep education program spurs preschoolers to snooze 30 minutes longer at night

Taking part in an educational sleep program resulted in a 30-minute average increase in sleep duration at a one-month follow-up for preschoolers, according to a new study from the University of Michigan. In the study, published in the journal SLEEP , families in two Head Start programs participated in the Sweet Dreamzzz Early Childhood Sleep Education Program™ Continue reading

Summer season springs cluster headaches into action

Summer season springs cluster headaches into action

Did you know that while most people celebrate the start of summer on June 21, nearly 1 million Americans are facing the debilitating pain of cluster headaches due to Earth’s shift towards the sun? It’s true Continue reading