Johns Hopkins stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient’s skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia. The process requires growing the skin cells in a bath of proteins and chemical additives while turning on a gene to produce neural crest cells, which give rise to several adult cell types. The researchers say their work substantially expedites the creation of neural crest cells from any patient with a neural crest-related disorder, a tool that lets physicians and scientists study each patient’s disorder at the cellular level.
Researchers have discovered that three commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, alter the activity of enzymes within cell membranes. Their finding suggests that, if taken at higher-than-approved doses and/or for long periods of time, these prescription-level NSAIDs and other drugs that affect the membrane may produce wide-ranging and unwanted side effects.
A review of data from a long-term study of thousands of Americans suggests that a history of high blood pressure in midlife increases the risk of cognitive decline in old age, according to a report on the study led by Johns Hopkins researchers. The findings, the scientists say, indicate a treatable cause — hypertension — for at least some pervasive forms of cognitive deficit.
A triple therapy for glioblastoma, including two types of immunotherapy and targeted radiation, has significantly prolonged the survival of mice with these brain cancers, according to a new report by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Using spider toxins to study the proteins that let nerve cells send out electrical signals, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have stumbled upon a biological tactic that may offer a new way to protect crops from insect plagues in a safe and environmentally responsible way.
Johns Hopkins researchers have begun to connect the dots between a schizophrenia-linked genetic variation and its effect on the developing brain. As they report July 3 in the journal Cell Stem Cell, their experiments show that the loss of a particular gene alters the skeletons of developing brain cells, which in turn disrupts the orderly layers those cells would normally form.
By analyzing the number of times scientists were cited in others’ papers, the company Thomson Reuters has created a new list of the top 3,215 most highly cited—and therefore most influential— researchers in the world. Seventeen are from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
By studying laboratory mice, scientists at The Johns Hopkins University have succeeded in plotting the labyrinthine paths of some of the largest nerve cells in the mammalian brain: cholinergic neurons, the first cells to degenerate in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have developed a technique that can predict — with 95 percent accuracy — which stroke victims will benefit from intravenous, clot-busting drugs and which will suffer dangerous and potentially lethal bleeding in the brain.
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have successfully used stem cells derived from human body fat to deliver biological treatments directly to the brains of mice with the most common and aggressive form of brain tumor, significantly extending their lives.
Tests of a new long-acting version of one of the oldest multiple sclerosis (MS) drugs on the market show it worked significantly better than placebo in reducing the number of patient relapses and developments of new or active lesions, researchers report. Most important, they add, the updated version was effective even though injections were given every two weeks instead of every other day, and it appears that fewer patients develop resistance to it.
Working together, Johns Hopkins biomedical engineers and neurosurgeons report that they have created tiny, biodegradable “nanoparticles” able to carry DNA to brain cancer cells in mice.
Johns Hopkins researchers report they have figured out how the aptly named protein Botch blocks the signaling protein called Notch, which helps regulate development. In a report on the discovery, to appear online April 24 in the journal Cell Reports, the scientists say they expect the work to lead to a better understanding of how a single protein, Notch, directs actions needed for the healthy development of organs as diverse as brains and kidneys.
Johns Hopkins researchers report that they have identified a protein essential to the formation of the tiny brain region in mice that coordinates sleep-wake cycles and other so-called circadian rhythms.
Working with human neurons and fruit flies, researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified and then shut down a biological process that appears to trigger a particular form of Parkinson’s disease present in a large number of patients. A report on the study, in the April 10 issue of the journal Cell, could lead to new treatments for this disorder.
Analyzing federal health care data, a team of researchers led by a Johns Hopkins specialist concluded that doctors overlook or discount the early signs of potentially disabling strokes in tens of thousands of American each year, a large number of them visitors to emergency rooms complaining of dizziness or headaches.
In a series of experiments sparked by fruit flies that couldn’t sleep, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a mutant gene — dubbed “Wide Awake” — that sabotages how the biological clock sets the timing for sleep. The finding also led them to the protein made by a normal copy of the gene that promotes sleep early in the night and properly regulates sleep cycles.
Johns Hopkins researchers report that people with chronic insomnia show more plasticity and activity than good sleepers in the part of the brain that controls movement.
Certain fragments of DNA shed by tumors into the bloodstream can potentially be used to non-invasively screen for early-stage cancers, monitor responses to treatment and help explain why some cancers are resistant to therapies, according to results of an international study led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators.
The antidepressant drug citalopram, sold under the brand names Celexa and Cipramil and also available as a generic medication, significantly relieved agitation in a group of patients with Alzheimer's disease. In lower doses than those tested, the drug might be safer than antipsychotic drugs currently used to treat the condition, according to results of a clinical trial led by Johns Hopkins researchers that included seven other academic medical centers in the United States and Canada.