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In a study looking at brain scans of people with mild loss of thought and memory ability, Johns Hopkins researchers report evidence of lower levels of the serotonin transporter — a natural brain chemical that regulates mood, sleep and appetite.
Johns Hopkins physicians report success in a small study of a modified skin biopsy that hastens the earlier diagnosis of an inherited and progressively fatal nerve disease and seems to offer a clearer view of the disorder’s severity and progression. With a quicker and less invasive way to visualize the hallmark protein clumps of the rare but lethal disease — familial transthyretin amyloidosis — the researchers say they hope to more rapidly advance clinical trials of treatments that may slow the disease and extend patients’ lives.
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a new way that cells in the brain alert the rest of the body to recruit immune cells when the brain is injured. The work was completed in mouse models that mimic infection, stroke or trauma in humans.
Working with mouse, fly and human cells and tissue, Johns Hopkins researchers report new evidence that disruptions in the movement of cellular materials in and out of a cell’s control center — the nucleus — appear to be a direct cause of brain cell death in Huntington’s disease, an inherited adult neurodegenerative disorder.
Working with human brain tissue samples and genetically engineered mice, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers together with colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, the University of California San Diego Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Columbia University, and the Institute for Basic Research in Staten Island say that consequences of low levels of the protein NPTX2 in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may change the pattern of neural activity in ways that lead to the learning and memory loss that are hallmarks of the disease.
In a clinical trial conducted among adults in 11 hospitals, researchers have shown that a hand-held EEG device approved in 2016 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that is commercially available can quickly and with 97 percent accuracy rule out whether a person with a head injury likely has brain bleeding and needs further evaluation and treatment.
The human brain’s cerebellum controls the body’s ability to tightly and accurately coordinate and time movements as fine as picking up a pin and as muscular as running a foot race. Now, Johns Hopkins researchers have added to evidence that this structure also helps transfer so-called motor learning from one part of the body to another.
In experiments with a protein called Ephexin5 that appears to be elevated in the brain cells of Alzheimer’s disease patients and mouse models of the disease, Johns Hopkins researchers say removing it prevents animals from developing Alzheimer’s characteristic memory losses. In a report on the studies, published online March 27 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, the researchers say the findings could eventually advance development of drugs that target Ephexin5 to prevent or treat symptoms of the disorder.
In a first-of-its-kind study published in the March 1, 2017 edition of Molecular Therapy, researchers from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine showed that gene therapy was able to restore balance and hearing in genetically modified mice that mimic Usher Syndrome, a genetic condition in humans characterized by partial or total hearing loss, dizziness, and vision loss that worsens over time. The hearing loss and dizziness is caused by abnormalities of the inner ear.
Results of a small study of adults with autism at Johns Hopkins has added to evidence that their brains can learn to compensate for some language comprehension challenges that are a hallmark of the disorder in children.
In a small phase I and II clinical trial, Johns Hopkins researchers and colleagues elsewhere found that the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet was a safe and effective treatment option for the majority of adults experiencing a relatively rare, often fatal and always severe form of epilepsy marked by prolonged seizures that require medically induced comas to prevent them from further damaging the body and the brain.
Studying mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins have fortified evidence that a key purpose of sleep is to recalibrate the brain cells responsible for learning and memory so the animals can “solidify” lessons learned and use them when they awaken — in the case of nocturnal mice, the next evening.
Researchers report they have discovered how two problem proteins known to cause Parkinson’s disease are chemically linked, suggesting that someday, both could be neutralized by a single drug designed to target the link. A report on their discovery appears in the Jan. 24 issue of Cell Reports.
Biomedical engineers at Johns Hopkins report they have worked out a noninvasive way to release and deliver concentrated amounts of a drug to the brain of rats in a temporary, localized manner using ultrasound. The method first “cages” a drug inside tiny, biodegradable “nanoparticles,” then activates its release through precisely targeted sound waves, such as those used to painlessly and noninvasively create images of internal organs.
Experiments in mice by researchers at Johns Hopkins suggest that if the goal is to ease or extinguish fearful emotional memories like those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol may make things worse, not better. Results of their study demonstrate, they say, that alcohol strengthens emotional memories associated with fearful experiences and prevents mice from pushing aside their fears.
Johns Hopkins researchers along with academic and drug industry investigators say they have identified a new biological target for treating spinal muscular atrophy. They report they have evidence that an experimental medicine aimed at this target works as a “booster” in conjunction with a drug called nusinersen that was recently FDA-approved to improve symptoms of the disorder in mice.
Johns Hopkins Medicine today announced a collaborative agreement with Under Armour Inc. that introduces evidence-based science along with expert insights to the Under Armour Connected Fitness™ platform, which includes a suite of health and fitness applications: UA Record™, MapMyFitness®, MyFitnessPal® and Endomondo™.
A clump of just a few thousand brain cells, no bigger than a mustard seed, controls the daily ebb and flow of most bodily processes in mammals — sleep/wake cycles, most notably. Now, Johns Hopkins scientists report direct evidence in mice for how those cell clusters control sleep and relay light cues about night and day throughout the body.
In experiments on mice with a form of aggressive brain cancer, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown that localized chemotherapy delivered directly to the brain rather than given systemically may be the best way to keep the immune system intact and strong when immunotherapy is also part of the treatment.
The holidays are a time for family, fun and happiness. They are usually spent with the ones we love reflecting on the past year and feeling grateful. However, even with all the joy, the holidays can cause quite a large amount of stress. Whether it be trying to forgive someone for a mishap, trying not to let your worries impact your sleep, dealing with the dark and gloomy days, or merely learning the joys of giving, our experts are here with tips on how to make this holiday season a little brighter.
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