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Latest Advancements in Research

Researchers at Johns Hopkins are constantly advancing science through basic, translational and clinical investigations. Here are highlights of our most current findings.

Brain Stimulation Temporarily Improves Parkinson’s Motor Symptoms 


Slowing movements in people with Parkinson’s disease likely arise from the brain’s “cost/benefit analysis,” which gets skewed by loss of dopamine. A small research study also found that noninvasive electrical stimulation of the brain temporarily improved some patients’ motor symptoms.

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Anesthesia May Fight Lung Infections 

lung imaging

Researchers found evidence that in mice, certain inhaled anesthetics — commonly used during surgeries to reduce pain — may also ramp up the immune response to viral and bacterial infections in the lung, including influenza and pneumonia. The finding could help curtail flu treatment shortages and antibiotic resistance.

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Common Antidepressant Aids Stroke Recovery 

brain MRI

Working with mice, researchers have added to evidence that a commonly prescribed antidepressant called fluoxetine helps stroke victims improve movement and coordination by extending the period after a stroke when rehabilitation is most effective. 

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Researchers Trigger 'Virus Alert' to Thwart Cancer Cells

a pill kicking a virus in half

Working with human cancer cells and mice, researchers found that the drug 5-azacytidine can help boost the immune system’s fight against cancer by first activating viral genes hidden in the cells’ genome. This starts a chain reaction that leads tumor cells to release signals that rouse cancer-fighting immune cells.

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Jammed Up Cellular Highways May Lead to Dementia and ALS 

closeup on ALS in the brain

Researchers have discovered how a very common gene mutation appears to spark the brain damage associated with both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia. They also identified a therapeutic agent that partially relieved the “traffic jams” found in diseased lab-grown cells.

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