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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. Researchers led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai, using a complex set of data from records and imaging scans of patients who have undergone successful DBS implantation, have created 3-D, computerized models that map the brain region involved in dystonia 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. Researchers led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai, using a complex set of data from records and imaging scans of patients who have undergone successful DBS implantation, have created 3-D, computerized models that map the brain region involved in dystonia Continue reading

Scientists use X-rays to look at how DNA protects itself from UV light

Scientists use X-rays to look at how DNA protects itself from UV light

The molecular building blocks that make up DNA absorb ultraviolet light so strongly that sunlight should deactivate them — yet it does not. Continue reading

Architecture of signaling proteins enhances knowledge of key receptors

Architecture of signaling proteins enhances knowledge of key receptors

A team of scientists from Duke Medicine, the University of Michigan and Stanford University has determined the underlying architecture of a cellular signaling complex involved in the body’s response to stimuli such as light and pain. This complex, consisting of a human cell surface receptor and its regulatory protein, reveals a two-step mechanism that has been hypothesized previously but not directly documented Continue reading

Single dose of century-old drug approved for sleeping sickness reverses autism-like symptoms in mice

Single dose of century-old drug approved for sleeping sickness reverses autism-like symptoms in mice

In a further test of a novel theory that suggests autism is the consequence of abnormal cell communication, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that an almost century-old drug approved for treating sleeping sickness also restores normal cellular signaling in a mouse model of autism, reversing symptoms of the neurological disorder in animals that were the human biological age equivalent of 30 years old. The findings, published in the June 17, 2014 online issue of Translational Psychiatry , follow up on similar research published last year by senior author Robert K. Continue reading

Lipids help to fight leukemia, study demonstrates

Lipids help to fight leukemia, study demonstrates

T cells use a novel mechanism to fight leukemia. They may recognize unique lipids produced by cancer cells and kill tumor cells expressing these lipid molecules Continue reading

Biomarkers predict long-term outcomes in juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Biomarkers predict long-term outcomes in juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Data presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2014) demonstrate the possibility of using biomarkers (developed from whole blood gene expression profiles) in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) to predict the status of their disease at 12 months. Continue reading

Sjögren’s Syndrome significantly increases risk of heart attack

Sjögren’s Syndrome significantly increases risk of heart attack

A new study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2014) showed a significantly increased risk of heart attack in patients with Sjögren’s syndrome (SjS), particularly in the first year following diagnosis. There was also a trend towards an increased risk for stroke. Continue reading

Lower vitamin D level in blood linked to higher premature death rate

Lower vitamin D level in blood linked to higher premature death rate

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that persons with lower blood levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to die prematurely as people with higher blood levels of vitamin D. The finding, published in the June 12 issue of American Journal of Public Health , was based on a systematic review of 32 previous studies that included analyses of vitamin D, blood levels and human mortality rates Continue reading

Processed red meat linked to higher risk of heart failure, death in men

Processed red meat linked to higher risk of heart failure, death in men

Men who eat moderate amounts of processed red meat may have an increased risk of incidence and death from heart failure, according to a study in Circulation: Heart Failure , an American Heart Association journal. Processed meats are preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives. Examples include cold cuts (ham, salami), sausage, bacon and hot dogs. Continue reading