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NINDS Grantees in the News


See news releases about NINDS-supported research from across the U.S. 

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

2015


Mayo Clinic study uncovers key differences among ALS patients
July 20 | Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida
Researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have identified key differences between patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and those with the most common genetic form of ALS, a mutation in the C9orf72 gene.

Researchers Identify Gene Causing Neurodegenerative Disorders
July 13 | University of Miami
Researchers at the University of Miami have discovered and characterized a previously unknown disease gene linked to the degeneration of optic and peripheral nerve fibers. The study titled “Mutations in SLC25A46, encoding a UGO1-like protein, cause an optic atrophy spectrum disorder” is published in the journal Nature Genetics.

Learning Impacts How the Brain Processes What We See
July 13 | University of California, San Diego
From the smell of flowers to the taste of wine, our perception is strongly influenced by prior knowledge and expectations, a cognitive process known as top-down control.

Stem Cells Provide Lasting Pain Relief in Mice
July 13 | Duke University
One protein helps cell-based therapy remain in the spinal cord.

Small RNAs Found to Play Important Roles in Memory Formation
July 1 | The Scripps Research Institute
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that a type of genetic material called “microRNA” plays surprisingly different roles in the formation of memory in animal models. In some cases, these RNAs increase memory, while others decrease it.

Mayo Clinic study suggests which glioblastoma patients may benefit from drug treatment
June 29 | Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida
Clinicians testing the drug dasatinib, approved for several blood cancers, had hoped it would slow the aggressive growth of the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma; however, clinical trials to date have not found any benefit. Researchers at Mayo Clinic, who conducted one of those clinical trials, believe they know why dasatinib failed — and what to do about it.

Quiet that Ringing in the Brain
June 26 | University of Connecticut & University of Pittsburgh
A new drug that selectively affects potassium channels in the brain may offer effective treatment for epilepsy and prevent tinnitus, UConn neurophysiologist Anastasios Tzingounis and colleagues report in the June 10 Journal of Neuroscience.

Redrawing Language Map of the Brain
June 25 | Northwestern University
Old beliefs upended as dementia research yields new locations for word and sentence comprehension.

Muscle contraction may contribute to stroke damage, Yale researchers find
June 25 | Yale University
An investigation of blood flow network in the brain has revealed some surprising behavior of vessels during stroke, according to Yale researchers.

UCI-led study demonstrates how Huntington’s disease proteins spread from cell to cell
June 23 | University of California, Irvine
‘Seeding’ property provides new focus for treatment to delay progression of disorder.

Scientists Identify Amino Acid that Stops Seizures in Mice
June 18 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Finding suggests novel mechanism for treating epilepsy.

TSRI Research Leads to 3D Structures of Key Molecule Implicated in Diseases of the Brain
June 18 | Scripps Research Institute
New Study Reveals Links to Marijuana Receptor System.

Specific Roles of Adult Neural Stem Cells May Be Determined Before Birth
June 18 | University of California, San Francisco
UCSF-Led Study in Mice Suggests that Stem Cells in the Brain May Not Be Able to Develop Into Many Different Cell Types.

New Imaging Technique Could Make Brain Tumor Removal Safer, More Effective, Study Suggests
June 17 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Brain surgery is famously difficult for good reason: When removing a tumor, for example, neurosurgeons walk a tightrope as they try to take out as much of the cancer as possible while keeping crucial brain tissue intact — and visually distinguishing the two is often impossible.

Redrawing the brain's motor map
June 17 | Emory University
Neuroscientists at Emory have refined a map showing which parts of the brain are activated during head rotation, resolving a decades-old puzzle.

Gene Therapy Prevents Parkinson’s Disease in Animal Model, Says Pitt Study
June 15 | University of Pitsburgh Medical Center
Gene therapy to reduce production of a brain protein successfully prevented development of Parkinson’s disease in an animal study, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

New Study Brings Together Neuroscience and Psychology to Paint More Complete Picture of Sleep and Memory
June 11 | The Scripps Research Institute
In Macbeth, Shakespeare describes sleep as “the death of each day’s life,” but he may have gotten it wrong. Sleep, as it turns out, may be the one thing that keeps our memories alive and intact.

Star-shaped cells help blood vessels in the brain keep a grip on a healthy tone
June 8 | Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University
A star-shaped brain cell called an astrocyte appears to help keep blood pressure and blood flow inside the brain on a healthy, even keel, scientists report.

Scientists Identify New Drug Target to Treat ALS
June 8 | J. David Gladstone Institutes
Scientists from the Gladstone Institutes and the University of Michigan have identified a cellular mechanism that can be targeted to treat ALS.

Researchers Find Textbook-Altering Link Between Brain, Immune System
June 1 | University of Virginia
In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist.

UTHealth research: grass plants can transport infectious prions
May 15 | University of Texas Health Science Center
Grass plants can bind, uptake and transport infectious prions, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The research was published online in the latest issue of Cell Reports.

Antiviral compound may protect brain from pathogens, West Nile virus study shows
May 15 | Washington University, St. Louis
Researchers have found that an antiviral compound may protect the brain from invading pathogens.

Researchers See Promise in Treatment to Reduce Incidence of Dementia after Traumatic Brain Injury
April 23 | University of Kentucky & Northwestern University
It was once thought that effects of a mild head injury — dizziness, headaches, memory problems — were only temporary, and the brain would heal over time.

U.Va. Identifies a Surprising Contributor to Rett Syndrome
April 22 | University of Virginia
The immune system is designed to protect us from disease. But what if it was malfunctioning? Would it make a disease worse?

A New Tool for Understanding ALS: Patients’ Brain Cells
April 13 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have transformed skin cells from patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), into brain cells affected by the progressive, fatal disease and deposited those human-made cells into the first public ALS cell library, enabling scientists to better study the disease.

How Deep-Brain Stimulation Reshapes Neural Circuits in Parkinson’s Disease
April 13 | University of California, San Francisco
UC San Francisco scientists have discovered a possible mechanism for how deep-brain stimulation (DBS), a widely used treatment for movement disorders, exerts its therapeutic effects.

Touch-Sensing Neurons Are Multitaskers
April 9 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
wo types of touch information — the feel of an object and the position of an animal’s limb — have long been thought to flow into the brain via different channels and be integrated in sophisticated processing regions.

Depolarizing wave may trigger sudden death in epilepsy
April 8 | Baylor College of Medicine
A slow, depolarizing electrical wave – sometimes called a “brain tsunami” – may be the hidden cause of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, a disorder that kills as many as 4,000 people in the United States each year, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

First Look at ‘Wasabi Receptor’ Brings Insights for Pain Drug Development
April 8 | UCSF
In a feat that would have been unachievable only a few years ago, researchers at UC San Francisco have pulled aside the curtain on a protein informally known as the “wasabi receptor,” revealing at near-atomic resolution structures that could be targeted with anti-inflammatory pain drugs.

TSRI Scientists Find Molecular Trigger of Schizophrenia-Like Behaviors and Brain Changes
April 7 | The Scripps Research Institute
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified a molecule in the brain that triggers schizophrenia-like behaviors, brain changes and global gene expression in an animal model.

New Blood Signature Analysis May Help Diagnose Parkinson's Disease Earlier
April 6 | Mount Sinai School of Meicine
A new blood test may more accurately identify blood signatures, or biomarkers, for Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to a new study published in the journal Movement Disorders.

Cerebral cortex in rats’ brains is set up like the Internet
April 6 | University of Southern California
Rsearchers sketching out a wiring diagram for rat brains — a field known as “connectomics” — have discovered that its structure is organized like the Internet.

Study: ‘Lightning Bolts’ in the Brain Show Learning in Action
March 30 | NYU Langone Medical Center
Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have captured images of the underlying biological activity within brain cells and their tree-like extensions, or dendrites, in mice that show how their brains sort, store, and make sense out of information during learning.

Autistic Children More Likely to Have GI Issues in Early Life
March 25 | Columbia University
Scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health report that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) had two-and-a-half times the odds of persistent gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms as infants and toddlers than children with typical development. Results are published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Blood pressure drug protects against symptoms of multiple sclerosis in animal models
March 13 | University of Chicago
FDA-approved drug prevents myelin loss and alleviates symptoms of MS by enhancing innate cellular protective response.

UCI study of fruit fly ‘brain in a jar’ reveals mechanics of jet lag
March 9 | University of California, Irvine
Long the stuff of science fiction, the disembodied “brain in a jar” is providing science fact for UC Irvine researchers, who by studying the whole brains of fruit flies are discovering the inner mechanisms of jet lag.

From chick to bedside: Removing the Wnt barrier
March 5 | Baylor College of Medicine
Kick starting a process that might repair the damage done in cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis could begin with disabling a driver that helps block regeneration, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers in a report that appears in the journal Neuron.

Research Suggests Brain's Melatonin May Trigger Sleep
March 5 | Caltech
If you walk into your local drug store and ask for a supplement to help you sleep, you might be directed to a bottle labeled "melatonin." The hormone supplement's use as a sleep aid is supported by anecdotal evidence and even some reputable research studies.

Using Fruit Flies to Understand How We Should Sense Hot and Cold
March 4 | Northwestern University
Innately, we pull our hand away when we touch a hot pan on the stove, but little is known about how our brain processes temperature information. Northwestern University scientists now have discovered how a fruit fly’s brain represents temperature, mapping it neuron by neuron, which has implications for understanding the much more complex human brain and how it responds to sensory stimuli.

Scripps Florida scientists find a defect responsible for memory impairment in aging
March 3 | Scripps Research Institute
Everyone worries about losing their memory as they grow older--memory loss remains one of the most common complaints of the elderly.

Sleep-Walking Neurons: Brain’s GPS Never Stops Working—Even During Sleep
March 2 | NYU Langone Medical Center
Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have found that navigational brain cells that help sense direction are as electrically active during deep sleep as they are during wake time—and have visual and vestibular cues to guide them.

Genetic Discovery May Help Determine Effectiveness of Huntington’s Disease Treatments
March 2 | Boston Univesity
A new genetic discovery in the field of Huntington’s disease (HD) could mean a more effective way in determining severity of this neurological disease when using specific treatments.

Reviving drugs with anti-stroke potential, minus side effects
February 27 | Emory University
In the 1990s, neuroscientists identified a class of drugs that showed promise in the area of stroke.

New Compounds Protect Nervous System From the Structural Damage Characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis
February 27 | Mount Sinai School of Medicine
A newly characterized group of pharmacological compounds block both the inflammation and nerve cell damage seen in mouse models of multiple sclerosis, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published online this week in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Penn Vet Researchers Identify Effective Treatment for Niemann Pick Type C
February 25 | University of Pennsylvania
Niemann Pick Disease type C, or NPC, is a disease most people have never heard of, affecting just one person in 150,000. Yet the disease is a devastating one.

Evolving a Bigger Brain With Human DNA
February 19 | Duke University
The size of the human brain expanded dramatically during the course of evolution, imparting us with unique capabilities to use abstract language and do complex math.


New ALS Gene and Signaling Pathways Identified

February 19 | University of Massachusetts Medical School & Columbia University Medical Center
Using advanced DNA sequencing methods, researchers have identified a new gene that is associated with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.


Brain’s iconic seat of speech goes silent when we actually talk

February 18 | University of California, Berkeley & Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
For 150 years, the iconic Broca’s area of the brain has been recognized as the command center for human speech, including vocalization. Now, scientists at UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University in Maryland are challenging this long-held assumption with new evidence that Broca’s area actually switches off when we talk out loud.


What Autism Can Teach Us About Brain Cancer

February 9 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Applying lessons learned from autism to brain cancer, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have discovered why elevated levels of the protein NHE9 add to the lethality of the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, glioblastoma.


UVA finds trigger for protective immune response to spinal cord injury

February 6 | University of Virginia
Hot on the heels of discovering a protective form of immune response to spinal cord injury, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have pinpointed the biological trigger for that response – a vital step toward being able to harness the body’s defenses to improve treatment for spinal cord injuries, brain trauma, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.


Anti-epilepsy drug preserves brain function after stroke

February 4 | UT Health Science Center San Antonio
New approach stops nerve activity instead of breaking up clots.


Study ties immune cells to delayed onset of post-stroke dementia

February 3 | Standford University
Researchers say that the appearance in the brain of a type of immune cell has been implicated in delayed dementia in mice and humans who have suffered a stroke.


New reset button discovered for circadian clock

February 3 | Vanderbilt University
The discovery of a new reset button for the brain's master biological clock could eventually lead to new treatments for conditions like seasonal affective disorder, reduce the adverse health effects of working the night shift and possibly even cure jet lag.


Neurologists find movement tracking device helps assess severity of Parkinson’s

February 3 | University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
A device that measures movement and balance can effectively help assess and track the progression of Parkinson’s disease, even when medications are used to reduce Parkinson’s symptoms, UT Southwestern Medical Center research found.


Laying a foundation for treating ALS, spinal cord injury

February 2 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
This story starts in 1955, upon the death of Albert Einstein, when the pathologist charged with performing the famous scientist’s autopsy stole his brain.


Glioblastoma: Three Genes Tied to Radiation Resistance in Recurrent Tumors

January 30 | The Ohio State University
A new study has identified several genes that together enable a lethal form of brain cancer to recur and progress after radiation therapy.


Walking on ice takes more than brains

January 29 | Salk Institute
Walking across an icy parking lot in winter–and remaining upright–takes intense concentration. But a new discovery suggests that much of the balancing act that our bodies perform when faced with such a task happens unconsciously, thanks to a cluster of neurons in our spinal cord that function as a “mini-brain” to integrate sensory information and make the necessary adjustments to our muscles so that we don’t slip and fall.


Brain’s On-Off Thirst Switch Identified

January 26 | Columbia University Medical Center
Neurons that trigger our sense of thirst—and neurons that turn it off—have been identified by Columbia University Medical Center neuroscientists. The paper was published today in the online edition of Nature.


Scientists find gene vital to central nervous system development

January 23 | Washington University in St. Louis
Scientists have identified a gene that helps regulate how well nerves of the central nervous system are insulated, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.


Scientists find gene vital to central nervous system development

January 21 | Washington University in St. Louis
Scientists have identified a gene that helps regulate how well nerves of the central nervous system are insulated, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.


Muscle weakness studies suggest possible therapeutic strategies

January 20 | University of Colorado Denver
A recently published study by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and her colleagues suggests potential therapies for central core disease, a condition that can delay development of motor skills such as sitting, crawling and walking in affected infants.


New high-speed 3-D microscope -- SCAPE -- gives deeper view of living things

January 19 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science
Opening new doors for biomedical and neuroscience research, Elizabeth Hillman, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia Engineering and of radiology at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), has developed a new microscope that can image living things in 3D at very high speeds.


What Really Causes Brain Problems After Traumatic Brain Injury in Football and Elsewhere? University of Maryland School of Medicine Researchers Have a Surprising Answer

January 15 | University of Maryland
New Study Finds That Brain Inflammation Is a Major Treatable Cause.


Blood Test for Brain Injury May Not Be Feasible

January 13 | University of Rochester
Complications involving the brain’s unique waste removal system – the existence of which has only recently been brought to light – may thwart efforts to identify biomarkers that detect traumatic brain injury (TBI).


Breakthrough on chronic pain: New imaging study paves way for potential new treatments

January 12 | Harvard Gazette
For the first time, scientists have found evidence of neuroinflammation in key regions of the brains of patients with chronic pain, according to a new study from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard affiliate.


Brain Scientists Figure Out How A Protein Crucial To Learning And Memory Works

January 7 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found out how a protein crucial to learning works: by removing a biochemical “clamp” that prevents connections between nerve cells in the brain from growing stronger.


Study Pinpoints Autism-Linked Protein for Sculpting Brain Connections

January 6 | Duke University
A new study by Duke researchers provides a close-up of synapse refinement and identifies a protein that is crucial in this process. Disruptions in the protein, called hevin, have previously been linked to autism, depression and suicide, but the molecule’s role in the developing brain was mostly unknown until now.


Animal Study Points to a Treatment for Huntington's Disease -- CHOP Gene Therapy Expert Fine-Tunes Protein Signals, Improves Motor Function and Reduces Brain Shrinkage in a Neurological Disorder

January 5 | The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
By adjusting the levels of a key signaling protein, researchers improved motor function and brain abnormalities in experimental animals with a form of Huntington’s disease, a severe neurodegenerative disorder. The new findings may lay the groundwork of a novel treatment for people with this fatal, progressive disease.


 

Last updated July 29, 2015