Current Spinal Cord News and Events

Current Spinal Cord News and Events, Spinal Cord News Articles.
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Fine tuning first-responder immune cells may reduce TBI damage
Immediately after a traumatic brain injury and as long as one year later, there are increased levels of immune cells called ILCs in the brain promoting inflammation, which can worsen brain damage, scientists report. They also report for the first time that the cell energy sensor AMPK is a brake that can stop what becomes a chronic state of destructive inflammation driven by these ILCs, or innate lymphoid cells. (2021-01-25)

University of Cincinnati student uses zebrafish to study spinal deformities
Oriana Zinani, a doctoral student in molecular developmental biology at the University of Cincinnati, is part of a team of researchers using zebrafish embryos to study a gene mutation that causes scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine that typically occurs in humans just before puberty. (2021-01-22)

New technique to fast-track pain research
Scientists have for the first time established a sensory neuron model able to mass-reproduce two key sensory neuron types involved in pain sensation, enabling the easy generation of large numbers of the cells to fast-track chronic pain research. Using a new technique, researchers at Flinders University have found a way to reproduce millions of the cells, providing ample resources for the simultaneous testing of thousands of samples or potential drug libraries. (2021-01-21)

Designer cytokine makes paralyzed mice walk again
To date, paralysis resulting from spinal cord damage has been irreparable. With a new therapeutic approach, scientists from the Department for Cell Physiology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) headed by Professor Dietmar Fischer have succeeded for the first time in getting paralyzed mice to walk again. The keys to this are the protein hyper-interleukin-6, which stimulates nerve cells to regenerate, and the way how it is supplied to the animals. (2021-01-15)

Study demonstrates efficacy of new treatment for neurofibromatosis type 1-related tumors
Based on preclinical studies of an investigational drug to treat peripheral nerve tumors, researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) as part of the Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trials Consortium have shown that the drug, cabozantinib, reduces tumor volume and pain in patients with the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). The results of the Phase 2 clinical trial, co-chaired by Michael J. Fisher, MD at CHOP, were published recently in Nature Medicine. (2021-01-14)

Study suggests compound protects myelin, nerve fibers
A compound developed at Oregon Health & Science University appears to protect nerve fibers and the fatty sheath, called myelin, that covers nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The new research in a mouse model advances earlier work to develop the compound - known as sobetirome - that has already showed promise in stimulating the repair of myelin. (2021-01-13)

Imaging technique proves effective in measuring mitochondrial dysfunction in motor neuron disease (MND)
Non-invasive imaging technique called 31-phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy used to measure mitochondrial function in patients with motor neuron disease (MND) (2021-01-13)

New treatment allows some people with spinal cord injury to regain hand and arm function
University of Washington researchers helped six Seattle-area people with spinal cord injuries regain some hand and arm mobility. (2021-01-12)

Tapping the brain to boost stroke rehabilitation
Stroke survivors who had ceased to benefit from conventional rehabilitation gained clinically significant arm movement and control by using an external robotic device powered by the patients' own brains. (2021-01-12)

GridTape: An automated electron microscopy platform
Scientists have developed an automated, faster, and more rapid electron microscopy technique, called GridTape, that enables them to label and read the location of every neuron in a tissue sample. The team used GridTape to map the circuity of the spinal cord nerve of the fruit fly. The technique not only provides a comprehensive map of neuronal circuits; it can also be used to study nerve circuitry in larger animal systems. (2021-01-11)

Drug combination increases susceptibility to chemotherapy in cases of severe neuroblastoma
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg now suggest a possible cure for children with hard-to-treat forms of neuroblastoma using a new combination of drugs. In a new study in the journal Cancer Research, they describe how a two small molecule-based drug combination likely inhibit the tumor's growth. (2021-01-07)

IU research findings could reduce treatment-related complication for blood cancer patients
Researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center published promising findings today in the New England Journal of Medicine on preventing a common complication to lifesaving blood stem cell transplantation in leukemia. (2021-01-07)

Neuronal circuits for fine motor skills
Writing, driving a screw or throwing darts are only some of the activities that demand a high level of skill. How the brain masters such exquisite movements has now been described in the journal ''Nature'' by a team of researchers at the University of Basel and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research. A map of brainstem circuits reveals which neurons control the fine motor skills of the arm and hand. (2021-01-06)

Scientists explore deficits in processing speed in individuals with spinal cord injury
This study is the first to examine the neural mechanisms of higher order cognitive tasks of individuals with SCI.''Our ability to observe brain activation while the individual performs specific cognitive tasks provides new information on the mechanisms that underlie the cognitive deficits that we now know affect a substantial proportion of the SCI population,'' Dr. Wylie said. ''Developing treatments targeted to these deficits depends on our pursuit of this line of research, which may benefit other populations affected by delayed processing speed.'' (2020-12-30)

Immersive virtual reality boosts the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain
For patients receiving spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for chronic pain, integration with an immersive virtual reality (VR) system - allowing patients to see as well as feel the effects of electrical stimulation on a virtual image of their own body - can enhance the pain-relieving effectiveness of SCS, reports a study in PAIN®, the official publication of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer. (2020-12-23)

A new species of mammal may have been found in Africa's montane forests
A research team from the University of Helsinki has discovered a tree hyrax in the Taita Hills, Kenya, which may belong to a species previously unknown to science. (2020-12-22)

Connections determine everything
A team of scientists, with the first author from the HSE University, were investigating which factors are the most important for the upper limb motor recovery after a stroke. The study is published in Stroke, the world's leading journal for cerebrovascular pathology. (2020-12-16)

Neuroregenerative gene therapy
Spinal cord injury (SCI) often causes disability and seriously compromises quality of life. The major reasons for the difficulty of treatment for SCI might be due to the fact that many neurons are lost during the injury, leading to permanent loss of neural functions. An innovative gene therapy approach regenerated functional new neurons using local glial cells in the injured spinal cord, bringing new hope to millions of SCI patients worldwide. (2020-12-16)

HSS bone study sheds light on complications after spinal surgery
The microscopic structure of bone appears to predict which patients will experience poor outcomes after spinal fusion, according to a new study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City. (2020-12-15)

Robotic exoskeleton training improves walking in adolescents with acquired brain injury
'At the end of the 4-week training, participants had progressed to a more normal gait pattern,' said Dr. Karunakaran, 'including improved loading, a longer step length and faster walking speed' Although results are promising, Dr. Nolan acknowledged the limitations of the study, including small sample size and lack of a control group: 'Further study is needed to confirm the training effect in this age group with ABI, optimal dosing for the training protocol, and the durability of functional improvements.' (2020-12-14)

FEFU scientists suggest using neuromodulation to treat patients with spinal cord injuries
Scientists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) together with leading international experts suggest reconsidering the existing treatment protocol for severe spasticity, one of the main complications after spinal cord injury with partial spinal cord disruption. Spasticity aggravates a patient's state and dramatically reduces the prospects of rehabilitation. The new treatment protocol has been run at FEFU Medical Center. A related article was published in the Progress in Brain Research journal. (2020-12-10)

Embryonic development in a petri dish
3D cell culturing technique could replace mouse embryos (2020-12-10)

When it comes to feeling pain, touch or an itch, location matters
When you touch a hot stove, your hand reflexively pulls away; if you miss a rung on a ladder, you instinctively catch yourself. Both motions take a fraction of a second and require no forethought. Now, researchers at the Salk Institute have mapped the physical organization of cells in the spinal cord that help mediate these and similar critical ''sensorimotor reflexes.'' (2020-12-10)

Antiepileptic drug reduces motor neuron excitability in ALS
The antiepileptic drug ezogabine reduced pathologic excitability of cortical and spinal motor neuron cells that are early signs of clinical dysfunction in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a study conducted by the Neurological Clinical Research Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). In addition, the multi-site study involves the first clinical investigation of ALS using a drug identified through an induced pluripotent stem cell model. (2020-12-10)

AAV capsid-promoter interactions in the non-human primate brain
The phenomenon of AAV capsid-promoter interaction recently seen in the rat central nervous system has now been shown to occur in the non-human primate brain. This interaction can directly determine cell-specific transgene expression (2020-12-10)

Genetic differences important in Alzheimer's diagnosis
The two used methods for detecting amyloid pathology in Alzheimer's disease do not give unambiguous results, with the risk of incorrect or delayed care interventions. Now, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found genetic explanations for the differences. The study is published in Molecular Psychiatry and may be important for more individual diagnostics and the development of future drugs. (2020-12-10)

DeepLabCut-Live! real-time marker-less motion capture for animals
Behavioral scientists at EPFL introduce DeepLabCut-Live!, a deep-learning tool that can enable real-time feedback studies on animal movement and posture. The software features 'maker-less' real-time motion capture, can interface with lab hardware for neurological analysis, and is now available open source for use by researchers. (2020-12-09)

Time to lower body temperature is critical in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
Time to reach the target body temperature was a significant factor in achieving favorable neurological outcomes in patients with witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Significantly more favorable neurological outcomes occurred if the time to target temperature management was <600 min or less. (2020-12-09)

New method to boost supply of life-saving stem cells
Researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona and Columbia University in New York City have found a new method for growing a large quantity of life-saving blood stem cells. The scarcity of these cells is one of the greatest limitations for their use in a variety of medical procedures, from treatment of blood cancers to inherited blood disorders that require a bone marrow transplantation. (2020-12-08)

Novel form of Alzheimer's protein found in spinal fluid indicates stage of the disease
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found a novel form of the Alzheimer's protein tau in the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This form of tau -- known as MTBR tau -- indicates what stage of Alzheimer's a person is in and tracks with tangles of tau protein in the brain. (2020-12-07)

'Anti-antibiotic' allows for use of antibiotics without driving resistance
An inexpensive, FDA-approved drug -- cholestyramine -- taken in conjunction with an antibiotic prevents the antibiotic from driving antimicrobial resistance, according to new research by scientists at Penn State and the University of Michigan. (2020-12-01)

Scientists identify new genetic MND risk factor in junk DNA
Researchers from the University of Sheffield have identified a new genetic risk factor for Motor Neurone Disease (MND). (2020-12-01)

Spinal/epidural anesthesia associated with increased survival in leg artery bypass surgery
A new study published in The BMJ shows that people who had surgery to improve blood flow in their legs under spinal or epidural anesthesia were less likely to die than those who were given general anesthesia. (2020-11-25)

New mechanism of pain control revealed
Researchers have identified a unique population of astrocytes in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord of mice that produces pain hypersensitivity when activated by neurons carrying signals down from the brain. The findings indicate that the role of descending neurons in controlling spinal pain transmission is not limited to suppression and point to this group of astrocytes as a new target for enhancing the effect of chronic pain treatments. (2020-11-25)

Central trafficking compartment in neurons malfunctions in majority of Alzheimer's patients
A new Columbia study suggests that malfunctioning endosomes--a central trafficking station inside neurons--are commonly involved in the appearance of Alzheimer's disease. (2020-11-25)

World's first: Drug guides stem cells to desired location, improving their ability to heal
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have created a drug that can lure stem cells to damaged tissue and improve treatment efficacy--a scientific first and major advance for the field of regenerative medicine. (2020-11-24)

Trinity researchers discover how the brain 're-wires' after disease
Trinity College researchers are studying how the brain re-wires itself in neurological disease. The team is building treatments for today's more common global conditions like Motor Neurone Disease (MND/ALS) and Spinal Muscular Atrophy and their findings could impact rehabilitation for patients, the discovery of effective drugs and quantifying the potential efficacy of new therapies. (2020-11-24)

Tarantula toxin attacks with molecular stinger
A bird-catching Chinese tarantula bite contains a stinger-like poison that plunges into a molecular target in the electrical signaling system of their prey's nerve cells. New cryo-electron microscopy studies show how this venom traps the voltage sensors of sodium channels in a resting state so they can't be activated. Such research may suggest designs for better drugs for chronic pain. (2020-11-23)

New non-invasive technology could spot early signs of motor disorders in babies
Imperial College London scientists have created the world's first non-invasive way to map how baby movements are generated on a neuronal level. (2020-11-20)

Lovestruck by oxytocin! Novel roles of the hormone in controlling male sexual function
Hormones are the master regulators of sexual functions in mammals. The hormone oxytocin has a well-established role in social bonding, sexual function, maternal instinct, nursing, and lactation. Researchers from Okayama University have now explored the roles of oxytocin in male sexual function for the first time. Findings from the study suggest that oxytocin-mediated control of male sexual function via the spinal cord may in fact be instrumental in treating erectile dysfunction. (2020-11-18)

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