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Current Spinal Cord Injury News and Events, Spinal Cord Injury News Articles.
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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)

Natural antibiotics produced in wounds increase sleep and survival after injury
When wounded, our body sets off a complex immune response. As part of it, the wound produces small antimicrobial molecules to fight off the pathogens locally. Researchers from the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) of the TU Dresden and Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in collaboration with the Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML) in France have found that these natural antibiotics can also act as long-range molecular messengers. (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)

Damage to brain cells reverberates to 'bystander' cells, study finds
Injury or disease that afflicts a relatively small number of brain cells causes a chain reaction that stops activity across a vast network of neural circuits, according to new research. The study may help to explain why people can suffer from temporary but severe loss of cognitive function in cases of traumatic brain injury or disease. (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)

329 people injured by firearms in US each day, but for every death, 2 survive
Researchers examine trends in fatal and nonfatal firearm injuries to inform prevention strategies, finding that twice as many people who are shot survive than die. (2020-12-07)

Kidney injury in diabetic ketoacidosis linked to brain injury
Researchers have identified factors that make children with diabetic ketoacidosis more likely to experience acute kidney injury. Analyzing data from a large, multicenter clinical trial, the researchers also found that children who experience acute kidney injury are more likely to also experience subtle cognitive impairment and demonstrate lower IQ scores, suggesting a pattern of multiple organ injury. (2020-12-04)

Scientists reverse age-related vision loss, eye damage from glaucoma in mice
Researchers at Harvard Medical School have successfully reversed age-related vision loss in animals as well as eye damage stemming from with a condition mimicking human glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness around the world. (2020-12-02)

Unmet job expectations linked to a rise in suicide, deaths of despair
The study, published in JAMA Network Open, is the first to link the rise in suicide and drug-poisoning deaths among men without a college degree to declines in working-class jobs. (2020-12-02)

COVID-19 can impact young children's hearts
A 2-month-old infant diagnosed with COVID-19 experienced reversible myocardial injury and heart failure, similar to COVID-19 related heart issues seen in adults, according to a case published in JACC: Case Reports. The infant recovered with normal heart function and was discharged with no heart failure medications. (2020-12-02)

'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)

First meta-analysis shows promise for yoga, meditation, mindfulness in concussion
Chronic concussion symptoms are notoriously difficult to treat. But Rebecca Acabchuk - a UConn researcher who is also a yoga instructor and has been teaching yoga for 17 years - is hoping that a recently published InCHIP study, the first-ever meta-analysis looking at the use of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness-based interventions for the effective treatment of chronic concussion symptoms, will offer hope to those still struggling with their symptoms. The study was recently published in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being. (2020-11-30)

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)

Simple measurement could transform injury rehabilitation
Researchers from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia have found a simple way to analyse the effectiveness of exercise training that could one day be conducted easily at a local gym or physio. Using vertical jumps as a test activity, the researchers could predict detailed information regarding technique and muscle activation patterns just through a relatively simple analysis of forces produced against the ground during the jump. (2020-11-19)

A gene mutation that protects against disease
Called PCSK9Q152H, the mutation of the PCSK9 gene was initially thought to protect against cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies reveal that it may protect against other human illnesses, mainly liver diseases. It may allow the PCSK9Q152H mutant subjects to stay in good health and live longer. (2020-11-19)

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)

Cellular pathway of genetic heart disease similar to neurodegenerative disease
Research on a genetic heart disease has uncovered a new and unexpected mechanism for heart failure. This landmark discovery found a correlation between the clumping of RNA-binding proteins long linked to neurodegenerative disease and the aggregates of protein found in the heart tissue of patients with RBM20 dilated cardiomyopathy. (2020-11-18)

Blood biomarkers for detecting brain injury in COVID-19 patients
COVID-19 can directly cause neurologic symptoms and long-term neurological disease. Elevations of blood biomarkers indicative of brain injury have been reported in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of COVID-19 patients. Clinical application of blood biomarkers to improve medical management of COVID-19 patients (2020-11-17)

New ALS guideline establishes national standard for managing neurodegenerative disease
The first Canadian guideline for the care and management of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- Lou Gehrig's disease -- recommends a patient-focused approach, with attention to holistic and emotional aspects of well-being. The guideline, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191721, is intended for ALS clinicians, allied health professionals and primary care providers, and contains an easy-to-reference table with comprehensive recommendations. (2020-11-16)

Reversal of glial scar tissue back to neuronal tissue through neuroregenerative gene therapy
Brain or spinal cord injury often results in glial scar tissue that is correlated to neural functional loss. Glial scar is a well-known obstacle for neural regeneration. A research team led by Prof. Gong Chen at Jinan University, Guangzhou, published an article in the current issue of Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, demonstrating that glial scar tissue can be reversed back to neuronal tissue through NeuroD1-based neuroregenerative gene therapy. (2020-11-16)

Promising MS drug may worsen disease, research suggests
The drug has not yet made it to human trials for multiple sclerosis, but scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine are urging their colleagues to move cautiously. (2020-11-13)

Repeated small blasts put military, law enforcement at risk for brain injury
Military and law-enforcement personnel repeatedly exposed to low-level blasts have significant brain changes - including an increased level of brain injury and inflammation -- compared with a control group, a new study has found. (2020-11-12)

Exoskeleton-assisted walking improves mobility in individuals with spinal cord injury
''Participants showed improvement regardless of level of injury, completeness, or duration of injury,'' noted Dr. Forrest, ''indicating that exoskeletons can be used to improve mobility across a broad spectrum of individuals with neurological deficits caused by spinal cord injury. Our results can be used to guide the application of exoskeletons to spinal cord injury rehabilitation, and the timely acquisition of skills for the safe use of these devices for rehabilitation and community use.'' (2020-11-12)

University of Pittsburgh neuroscientists advance understanding of pain from light touch
Researchers from the Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research uncovered additional complexities behind mechanical allodynia - the sensation of pain from innocuous stimuli, such as light touch. (2020-11-11)

Balance dysfunction after traumatic brain injury linked to diminished sensory acuity
Compared with the control group, the TBI group had higher perturbation perception thresholds (PPT) and lower functional scores on balance - findings with important implications. 'As a means of detecting and quantifying sensory acuity PPT may serve as a novel marker for sensory integration deficits that underlie balance impairments after traumatic brain injury,' said Dr. Pilkar. 'This line of research will provide the information we need to develop new rehabilitative treatments that restore balance and reduce the risk for falls, and improve long-term outcomes.' (2020-11-11)

Penn researchers develop approach to prevent toxicity tied to neurological gene therapy
Penn Medicine researchers have developed a new targeted approach to prevent a toxicity seen in the sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia after gene therapy to treat neurological disorders. It's an important hurdle to clear, as the field works toward more safe and effective gene therapies for patients with disorders like spinal muscular atrophy. (2020-11-11)

Protein in blood may predict prognosis, recovery from stroke
Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida and collaborators have found that a biomarker in the blood may determine the extent of brain injury from different types of strokes and predict prognosis in these patients. Their findings are reported in Science Translational Medicine. (2020-11-11)

Rapid test can ID unknown causes of infections throughout the body
UC San Francisco scientists have developed a single clinical laboratory test capable of zeroing in on the microbial miscreant afflicting patients hospitalized with serious infections in as little as six hours -- irrespective of what body fluid is sampled, the type or species of infectious agent, or whether physicians start out with any clue as to what the culprit may be. (2020-11-10)

Electrical stimulation reduces swallowing problems in patients with neurological conditions
Using electrical stimulation in the throats of patients recovering from conditions such as strokes or head injuries will help to relieve swallowing problems, leading to a quicker recovery time, according to a new study. (2020-11-10)

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