Research

Alzheimer’s and the brain game challenge

The efficacy of brain games has come under scrutiny in the wake of a recent two million dollar settlement between the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Lumos Labs, parent company of the “Lumosity” program. While the brain game industry makes billions in revenue, substantive evidence to validate these games’ effectiveness for preventing dementia remains to be seen. Lumos Labs’ heavily promoted claims that individuals who used its software could delay age-related cognitive decline and protect … Read More

Ask these 3 questions to quickly identify inflammatory neuropathy

Patients with peripheral neuropathy present with weakness, numbness and/or tingling and pain in the upper or lower extremities or both. There are many causes for peripheral neuropathy. The most common causes for peripheral neuropathy are genetic mutations and diabetes. For those types of neuropathies which are non-inflammatory, treatment is usually symptomatic, meaning focusing on the symptoms and removing the offending agent if possible. For example if a drug is causing the neuropathy, stop the drug … Read More

Men’s Health: 3 reminders for maintaining a healthy mind

National Men’s Health Week is observed each year leading up to Father’s Day. Help support the men in your life with these three tips for better mental health. 1. Depression affects everyone. Men and women, older adults and young adolescents, all types of people can be affected by this “poisonous fogbank” which is how the author William Styron described depression. But men may be inclined to falsely think they don’t (or shouldn’t) get depression. Major … Read More

Nothing great is ever achieved without enthusiasm

NW Noggin, the brain-child of Bill Griesar and Jeff Leake, is an arts-and-science integrated outreach program that targets underserved communities in the Portland-metropolitan area. Teams of artists and scientists from universities all over the Portland/Vancouver area collaborate to create art-based science projects that illustrate complex concepts in ways that non-experts can understand. Recently, NW Noggin was invited to travel to DC to participate in “Briefing with Brains,” a week-long series of events aimed to inform … Read More

Two ears are not always better than one

My team of researchers has discovered that as many as one in two individuals with hearing loss experience abnormal fusion, or a blending of dissimilar sounds, when wearing either bilateral hearing aids or a cochlear implant with a hearing aid. This “averaging” of sounds worsens their ability to hear others’ speech. Typically, two hearing devices, when possible, are better than one. But some individuals with bilateral hearing loss hear speech better when using a hearing aid … Read More

Help us understand how to better design health technologies

Currently, there are many claims and promises of how electronic medical records, fitness bands, smartphone apps, telemedicine and many related technologies will become mainstay components of healthcare. Yet despite this promise, there is a dramatic lack of knowledge of how such innovations are or may be used among the diverse members of our community. Most importantly, we don’t know when, where, or even whether they may work. Please consider joining us as a research volunteer in a … Read More

Is there a connection between stress and Parkinson’s disease?

Most neurology text books will state that stress seems to exacerbate Parkinson’s disease symptoms and persons with Parkinson’s disease often describe the worsening of their tremor when having to speak publicly or the worsening of dyskinesias while watching a suspenseful movie scene. In spite of this observation there has not been a lot of research really examining the interplay of stress and the development or exacerbation of Parkinson’s. We know that stress can have effects … Read More

Men suffering from depression who have social support less likely to seek mental health treatment

Researchers, led by Alan Teo, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at OHSU, and researcher at the VA Portland Health Care System, sought to determine whether support from a loved one encourages people experiencing depression to seek treatment from a health provider or whether that support, by serving as informal treatment, inadvertently discourages people from seeking mental health services. Their findings show that men experiencing moderate or severe depression who had social support from family or … Read More

Diabetes drug may prevent recurring strokes and heart attacks

The OHSU Stroke Center was an integral part of an NIH-funded global study that has shown that a diabetes drug may prevent a second stroke or heart attack in patients with insulin resistance. The study was conducted at 167 institutions in seven countries, with the Oregon Stroke Center enrolling the second highest number of participants across the globe. Wayne Clark, M.D. was a co-author of the paper. The following press release was originally published by the NIH on February 17, 2016: NIH-funded … Read More

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

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