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Encephalopathy Press Releases


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NIH and NFL tackle concussion research
Monday, Dec 16, 2013
The National Institutes of Health has selected eight projects to receive support to answer some of the most fundamental problems on traumatic brain injury, including understanding long-term effects of repeated head injuries and improving diagnosis of concussions.

U.S. Army soldier in Afghanistan

First cases of degenerative brain disease CTE found in veterans with blast injuries
Friday, Jun 29, 2012
Some veterans who experience blast-related head injuries can develop the same kind of long-term brain damage seen in athletes who have had multiple head injuries on the playing field. The finding expands the potential public health impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – the name for degenerative changes in the brain that sometimes occur after a history of multiple concussions.

JC Virus - credit Eugene Major, NINDS

NINDS Lab Helps Track a Viral Brain Disease
Friday, Oct 28, 2011
NINDS intramural scientists led by Eugene Major have developed a sensitive laboratory assay to detect JC virus. The test has become an important resource for diagnosing cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy or PML, a brain disease that is a rare side effect associated with some monoclonal antibody therapies used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune disorders.

NINDS Names Dr. Petra Kaufmann Director of the Office of Clinical Research
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2009
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health, has named Petra Kaufmann, M.D., M.Sc., as director of its Office of Clinical Research.

Evaluation of Patients Treated With Natalizumab Finds No New Cases of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006
An independent clinical and laboratory study of more than 3000 people treated with the drug natalizumab (Tysabri®) for multiple sclerosis (MS), Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis has found no evidence of new cases of the often-fatal disorder called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The laboratory component of the study was coordinated by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), working in conjunction with the NIH Clinical Center.

Test Could Improve Detection of Prion Disease in Humans
Monday, Feb 14, 2005
A highly sensitive post-mortem test could help scientists more accurately determine if a person died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a human neurological disorder caused by the same class of infectious proteins that trigger mad cow disease, according to a new study supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The finding opens the possibility that such testing might be refined in the future so it can be used to detect prion disease in living people and animals before the onset of symptoms.

Serotonin Receptor Lets JC Virus Enter Brain Cells
Friday, Jan 14, 2005
Researchers funded in part by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) have identified the cellular receptor for the JC virus, which causes the fatal neurological disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Generic medicines currently available may be useful in preventing the infection.

Pressure Combined with Heat Reduces Prion Infectivity in Processed Meats
Monday, May 5, 2003
The combination of high temperature and very high pressure in the preparation of processed meats such as hot dogs and salami may effectively reduce the presence of infective prions while retaining the taste, texture, and look of these meats, according to a new study.
Fact Sheet

Long-Time NIH Grantee Stanley B. Prusiner Wins Nobel Prize
Monday, Oct 6, 1997
Stanley B. Prusiner, M.D., a long-time grantee of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his discovery of an unusual class of infectious particles called prions. Prions are believed to be responsible for a group of diseases that include "mad cow" disease. Prusiner, who is professor of neurology, virology, and biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), has received more than 56 million dollars in research grant support from NIH during the last three decades.

Protein Marker Found in Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies: Finding May Lead to Diagnostic Test for Human, Cattle Disorders
Wednesday, Sep 25, 1996
A protein widely distributed in tissues throughout the body, with the highest concentration in the brain, has been shown to be a specific marker in the spinal fluid of humans and animals infected with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, scientists say. This discovery paves the way for the development of an improved test for the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and encephalopathies in animals. The test could enable precise identification of disease in British cattle presently targeted for slaughter because of suspected infection with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, known as Mad Cow disease.

Study Detects Brain Virus in HIV-Positive Patients
Tuesday, May 5, 1992
Scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) have identified a potentially fatal virus in the bloodstream in half of a small group of HIV-positive patients without neurological symptoms, they announced today at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in San Diego.