Research

Special delivery: Discovery of viral receptor bodes better gene therapy

There is much hope for gene therapy’s future potential to treat a number of human diseases. The use of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to transport genetic material into cells has been critical to the initial success of experimental gene therapy treatments of hereditary diseases, including hemophilia B.  But in order to develop gene therapy cures for additional diseases and conditions, like diabetes and heart disease, it will be necessary to deliver the treatment to specific tissues. Achieving … Read More

Study hopes to clarify the link between sleep problems and Alzheimer’s disease

An upcoming study led by Jeffrey Iliff, Ph.D. and Bill Rooney, Ph.D. hopes to clearly determine the relationship between a lack of sleep and Alzheimer’s disease. The team received funding from the Paul G. Allen Foundation to test their approach. They hope to begin scanning the brains of participants within a year, using a 7-Tesla MRI (pictured below). Iliff and Rooney recently spoke to Jon Hamilton at NPR’s Morning Edition about the upcoming study and the importance of adequate sleep. Listen to … Read More

Year in review: The most popular “On the Brain” posts of 2015

As we welcome in the new year, here’s a look back at the brain-related news you may have missed; a round-up of our most read blog posts of 2015: 1. Acupuncture and diet changes to treat neuropathic pain Peripheral Neuropathy is a common neurologic condition, which affects the peripheral nerves. The most common symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy are burning, tingling pain, which often feels like sharp electric sensation. More… 2. Dietary and lifestyle modifications for migraine … Read More

Neurology residents teach Milwaukie 5th graders about the brain

“What have you learned about the brain so far today?” Hands shot into the air all around the 5th grade classroom at Linwood Elementary. “I learned that you have to wear a helmet.” “I knew this already, but that the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body.” It was an unusual day. As a resident in pediatric neurology, I usually spend my days seeing patients in the hospital or in … Read More

Give Time: 3 ways to increase face-to-face contact with loved ones

With Thanksgiving just behind us and the end-of-the-year holiday seasons fast upon us, our minds often turn to our loved ones. In my family, we have made a conscious effort (and yes, with airfares these days, not a cheap one either!) to gather with an assortment of family members around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Though it can be an effort to meet up with family and friends, recent research brings home the point that this extra effort … Read More

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is key goal for OHSU researchers

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Symptoms include memory loss, personality changes and trouble thinking, and the disease typically worsens over time. Current treatments cannot stop the disease from progressing, but they can slow the development of symptoms temporarily. Clinical diagnosis is determined by noting the degree of a patient’s mental decline, which is not obvious until there is severe … Read More

A look back at a neuroscience meeting of the minds in the Pacific Northwest

A Congressman, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) director, a leader of a national advocacy group, and a scientist-turned-advocate shared a stage last month in Portland, OR, to talk about the importance and impact of neuroscience research nationwide. This Neuroscience Town Hall was the final event of the NeuroFutures conference, organized and sponsored by the OHSU Brain Institute, the University of Washington, and the Allen Institute for Brain Science, which brought together scientists and clinicians in … Read More

Research affirms use of thrombectomy procedure for stroke treatment

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability, according to the National Stroke Association. For patients who experience strokes and the physicians who treat them, time is brain. A mechanical thrombectomy is a groundbreaking stroke treatment that our doctors use to return patients to full function at an astonishing speed – often within a matter of hours of having a stroke. Because this procedure can remove the … Read More

NeuroFutures 2015: Neuroscience innovation in the Pacific Northwest

Last month, scientists and clinicians in the Pacific Northwest spent three days sharing new discoveries, igniting collaborations, and discussing the future of neuroscience research at the NeuroFutures meeting in Portland. Stimulating research talks covered advances in clinical technologies, such as deep brain stimulation for depression, retinal prosthetics, and advanced MRI imaging to study myelination, sleep, and ADHD, as well as basic science discoveries that are the building blocks for how we understand the cellular basis … Read More

Three questions for Sean Speese

Sean Speese, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the OHSU Jungers Center for Neurosciences Research. His career has spanned 17 years of research in invertebrate model systems.  What questions are you trying to answer in your work? Our main overarching goal is to understand how cells regulate expression of specific genes in time and space. For example, neurons in our brains are quite large, highly arborized and can span long distances. However, these cells are tasked … Read More

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