Current Spinal cord News and Events

Current Spinal cord News and Events, Spinal cord News Articles.
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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)

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)

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)

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)

Technique to regenerate optic nerve offers hope for future glaucoma treatment
Scientists have used gene therapy to regenerate damaged nerve fibres in the eye, in a discovery that could aid the development of new treatments for glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. (2020-11-05)

The ebb and flow of brain ventricles
Enlarged ventricles in the brains of people with multiple sclerosis were previously considered a sign of tissue loss. But a team at the MDC and ECRC demonstrated that this expansion often recedes. A study published in JCI Insight now shows that the process observed in mice is transferable to humans. (2020-11-05)

The dangers of collecting drinking water
Fetching drinking water in low and middle income countries can cause serious injury, particularly for women. A new international study published in BMJ Global Health reveals dangers including falls, traffic accidents, animal attacks, and fights, which can result in broken bones, spinal injuries, lacerations, and other physical injuries. The work draws on a survey of 6,291 randomly selected households across 24 sites in 21 low- and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. (2020-11-04)

Venous origin of brain blood-vessel malformations
In the condition known as cavernoma, lesions arise in a cluster of blood vessels in the brain, spinal cord or retina. Researchers from Uppsala University can now show, at molecular level, that these changes originate in vein cells. This new knowledge of the condition creates potential for developing better therapies for patients. The study has been published in the journal eLife. (2020-11-03)

Brain effects of repetitive low-level occupational blast exposure
Military and law enforcement personnel with extensive occupational blast exposure had statistically significant differences in brain imaging measures compared to nonexposed control personnel (2020-11-03)

Neurosurgeons and malpractice suits
To determine the frequency of medical malpractice suits among neurosurgeons and neurosurgeons' reactions when faced with the prospect of such lawsuits, three researchers from The Netherlands surveyed members of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The results of the survey can be found in this article. (2020-11-01)

Treating spinal mets with fewer, higher doses of radiation reduces pain more effectively
A new study shows using fewer and higher doses of high-precision radiation therapy is a more effective approach for treating painful spinal tumors than conventional radiation therapy. Findings from the Canadian phase II/III trial (NCT02512965) will be presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting. (2020-10-26)

New population of immune cells could play a role in multiple sclerosis
Researchers uncover defining features of a subset of T-cells that may drive autoimmunity in MS, and could prove to be a new target for therapy. (2020-10-23)

Multiple sclerosis as the flip side of immune fitness
About half of the people with multiple sclerosis have the HLA-DR15 gene variant. A study led by the University of Zurich has now shown how this genetic predisposition contributes to the development of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis in combination with environmental factors. The decisive factor is the shaping of a repertoire of immune cells which - although they are effective in fighting off pathogens such as Epstein-Barr virus - also attack brain tissue. (2020-10-22)

Enzyme biofactories to enhance cord blood transplants
Stem cell trafficking to the bone marrow is improved by enzyme manufactured in silkworms and yeast. (2020-10-22)

Tracer molecule may improve imaging tests for brain injury
Researchers have validated a new radiolabeled molecule that can be used with imaging tests to accurately detect and characterize brain injury. (2020-10-22)

Cord blood DNA can hold clues for early ASD diagnosis and intervention
Specific regions in cord blood DNA can help identify kids who might develop autism, according to a UC Davis MIND Institute study. The findings from the study may hold clues for early autism diagnosis and intervention. (2020-10-22)

Findings shed light on the ancient origins of speed control during movement
Movement in animals is complex. Little has been known about how spinal inhibitory interneurons work to silence other neurons and related muscle groups in coordination with the active muscle groups across changing speeds. Now a Northwestern University research team has discovered in a study of zebrafish that there is a very orderly relationship between when these critical inhibitory neurons are born, their participation in different speeds of movement and what part of a motor neuron they innervate. (2020-10-22)

Robotic trunk support trainer improves upper body control of children with cerebral palsy
Columbia Engineering researchers report their innovative robotic Trunk Support Trainer, when combined with active practice of postural movements, improves trunk and reaching control in CP children with impaired sitting control. TruST helps physical therapists to not only support the children in the region of the trunk where they suffer from weakness and incoordination but also challenge them to perform rehabilitation tasks outside their base of support to improve their movement and coordination. (2020-10-22)

Tumor DNA in spinal fluid could help doctors better monitor childhood brain cancer
Researchers have demonstrated that a new liquid biopsy approach overcomes traditional barriers to quickly and efficiently diagnose and monitor high-grade pediatric gliomas. (2020-10-21)

New dimensions in the treatment of muscle spasticity after stroke and nervous system defects
Chronic muscle spasticity after nervous system defects like stroke, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and painful low back pain affect more than 10% of the population, with a socioeconomic cost of about 500 billion USD. Currently, there is no satisfying remedy to help these suffering people, which generates an immense medical need for a new generation antispastic drug. Drug candidate MPH-220 could mean new hope for millions of patients suffering from spasticity. (2020-10-16)

Lineage tracing of direct astrocyte-to-neuron conversion for brain repair
A research team led by Prof. Gong Chen at Jinan University (Guangzhou, China) published a work on October 9th in Neural Regeneration Research, providing unambiguous data that brain internal astrocytes are directly converted into neurons through lineage tracing studies. Using brain internal astrocytes, a type of supporting cells to neurons, to directly convert into new neurons is an innovative brain repair technology that may benefit millions of patients worldwide. (2020-10-16)

University of South Carolina research finds trigger that leads to faster nerve healing
Damaged nerves regenerate faster when protein clusters are broken apart, releasing mRNAs that can be used to rebuild the nerve. University of South Carolina scientists have found the trigger that could be used to accelerate regrowth more. (2020-10-15)

Research could change how blood pressure is managed in spinal cord injury patients
New research from the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD) challenges the current standard for managing blood pressure in people with spinal cord injury (SCI). (2020-10-15)

Eyeglass-attached display device provides fluoroscopic guidance during spine surgery
Researchers from Tokyo tested a device that, when attached to everyday eyeglasses, displays fluoroscopic images used for surgical guidance directly to the surgeon. The device allowed the surgeon to focus on operative tasks more efficiently and resulted in a slightly shorter length of surgery and less exposure to radiation than use of a fluoroscopic monitor in the OR. (2020-10-13)

Primates aren't quite frogs
Researchers in Japan demonstrated for the first time the 'spinal motor module hypothesis' in the primate arm, wherein the brain recruits interneuronal modules in the spinal cord rather than individual muscles to create movement and different modules can be combined to create specific movements. (2020-10-12)

New therapy improves treatment for multiple sclerosis
A new therapy that binds a cytokine to a blood protein shows potential in treating multiple sclerosis, and may even prevent it. (2020-10-12)

Relationship value and economic value are evaluated by the same part of the brain
Researchers from several Japanese universities have revealed that the orbitofrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for calculating economic value, is also responsible for judging the value of relationships with friends based on the received commitment signals. (2020-10-12)

A diet high in prunes prevents bone loss associated with spinal cord injuries
Findings from a new study among mice show a diet high in dried plum (prunes) completely prevents bone loss associated with spinal cord injury (SCI), while also restoring some of the bone lost following SCI. (2020-10-06)

Exposure to vitamin D in the womb might minimize risk of high blood pressure for children born to mothers with preeclampsia
Children appear to be at greater risk of having high blood pressure when their mothers had the high blood pressure condition called preeclampsia during pregnancy--but this adverse association may be reduced or even eliminated for children who were exposed to higher levels of vitamin D in the womb. (2020-10-05)

Latent lineage potential in neural stem cells enables spinal cord repair in mice
Spinal stem cells in mice can be reprogrammed to generate protective oligodendrocytes after spinal cord injury, enhancing neural repair, according to a new study. (2020-10-01)

How cells build organisms
Researchers at Harvard Medical School have discovered a key control mechanism that cells use to self-organize in early embryonic development. The findings, published in Science, shed light on a process fundamental to multicellular life and open new avenues for improved tissue and organ engineering strategies. (2020-10-01)

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