Healthcare

Finding the key to open the blood brain barrier (The Dana Foundation Website – 5 December 2011)

Neuroscientists are finding novel ways to open the blood brain barrier–to potentially deliver much-needed drugs to individuals with Alzheimer's or other neurodegenerative disorders. Excerpt: Potential drugs for neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s disease have been stymied…

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For first time, researchers describe molecular mechanism for a ‘gateway drug’—nicotine (The Dana Foundation Website – 22 November 2011)

Nicotine has long been thought to be a "gateway drug."  For the first time, the biological underpinnings of that gateway mechanism have been explained. Excerpt: A few years ago, I attended an open Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to support a friend…

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Viral treatment may offer hope to brain tumor treatments (The Dana Foundation Website – 18 October 2011)

Scientists and clinicians at the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, Texas are re-engineering the herpes virus in order to treat a deadly form of brain tumor. Excerpt: People diagnosed with a particularly insidious form of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, typically…

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Genes, patients and psychiatric disorders (The Dana Foundation Website – 29 September 2011)

A Q&A with Huda Y. Zoghbi, winner of the 2011 Gruber Prize for Neuroscience.  Excerpt: Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi, a professor in the departments of pediatrics, molecular and human genetics, and neurology at the Baylor College of Medicine, took home…

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New Army risk and resilience project searches for signs of potential suicide (The Dana Foundation Website – 8 September 2011)

An ambitious new research project led by the U.S. Army and the National Institute of Mental Health hopes to find predictors of suicide for members of the military–and beyond. Excerpt: In the late 1940s, the National Heart Institute (now called…

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Is the neuroscientific study of pain lagging? (The Dana Foundation Website – 30 August 2011)

A remark at the One Mind for Research summit inspires the question, "Is the neuroscientific study of pain lagging?" Excerpt: Earlier this year, scientists, politicians and other healthcare advocates came together to share their hopes for the next decade of…

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Using EHRs to improve patient outcomes (Healthcare Informatics – May 2011)

How are electronic health records (EHRs) helping to improve patient outcomes?  I interviewed two physicians to get their take in a special section of the May 2011 issue of Healthcare Informatics. Using EHRs to improve patient outcomes Patients learn to…

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Cataloguing environmental toxins (Proto – Winter 2011)

The CDC tracks hundreds of environmental toxins in a random sample of Americans.  But what can that data really tell us? Excerpt: None of us can escape the myriad chemicals in the air, the water, our food and our homes….

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Vitamin D found to influence more than 200 genes (The Dana Foundation Website – 1 December 2010)

A new study inks Vitamin D directly acts on over 200 genes and suggests the mechanism in which a lack of this hormone is linked to so many disease states. Excerpt: In the past few years, a deficiency in Vitamin…

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Should genes be patented? (Proto Magazine – Fall 2010)

Hundreds of genes have already been patented by various healthcare companies–but the question remains, should they be? Excerpt: If women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer want to check for mutations of their BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes,…

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