A vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis in other parts of the world may help prevent multiple sclerosis (MS) in people who show the beginning signs of the disease, according to a new study published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study involved 73 people who had a first episode that was suggestive of MS, such as numbness, vision problems or problems with balance, and an MRI that showed signs of possible MS. About half of all people in this situation, called clinically isolated syndrome, develop definite MS within two years, while 10 percent have no more MS-related problems.
Method Recharges Medical Device Batteries with Ultrasound
Human beings don’t come with power sockets, but a growing numbers of us have medical implants that run off electricity. To keep our bionic body parts from powering down, a group of Arizona researchers is developing a safe, noninvasive and efficient means of wireless power transmission through body tissue. The team presents their findings at the 166th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, held Dec. 2–6.
For those living with gastrointestinal disorders, such as ulcers or Crohn’s disease, treatment often means quelling uncomfortable symptoms through medications or dietary changes. But what if one day treatment meant doing away with the old gut for a new gut free of inflamed or diseased tissues?
That is where scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and MIT are hoping their new study findings will lead. In their work, the researchers were able to grow extensive numbers of intestinal stem cells, then coax them to develop into different types of mature intestinal cells.
A successful joint collaboration between researchers at the Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem and the startup company TyrNovo may lead to a potential treatment of brain diseases. The researchers found that TyrNovo’s novel compound, named NT219, selectively inhibits the process of aging in order to protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases, without affecting lifespan. This is the first towards the development of future drugs for the treatment of various neurodegenerative maladies.
Age-related cognitive decline and changes in the nervous system are closely linked, but up until recently, they were thought to result from the loss of neurons in areas such as the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain important in working memory. A series of papers have shown that the “loss of neurons” concept is simply not true. Now, Mount Sinai scientists have begun to look elsewhere, focusing instead on synaptic health in the prefrontal cortex. Their work, published online in PNAS, shows that synaptic health in the brain is closely linked to cognitive decline. Further, the scientists show that estrogen restores synaptic health and also improves working memory.
“We are increasingly convinced that maintenance of synaptic health as we age, rather than rescuing cognition later, is critically important in preventing age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease,” says the study’s senior author, John Morrison, Dean of Basic Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Researchers have identified a protein that causes loss of function in immune cells combating HIV. The scientists report in a paper appearing online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that the protein, Sprouty-2, is a promising target for future HIV drug development, since disabling it could help restore the cells’ ability to combat the virus that causes AIDS.
“A large part of the reason we lose wars against viruses that cause chronic infection is that immune cells called T cells get turned off,” says Jonathan Schneck, a professor of pathology in the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering, who led the study. “We’ve been trying for some time to find out why that is, and in our study we were able to identify a family of proteins called Sprouty, specifically Sprouty-2, as a culprit.”