OHSU researchers discover how to speed, improve Alzheimer’s clinical trials

What if clinical trials for new Alzheimer’s disease treatments could be made quicker, more efficient and more accurate? Jeff Kaye, M.D., director of OHSU’s Layton Center for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center, has found a way, using new technology to track the behaviors of patients. Kaye and his team of researchers determined that gathering and analyzing rich daily data points from trial participants significantly reduced the sample size required for clinical trials conducted to research … Read More

Research finds prostate cancer patients helped by targeted exercise

Men being treated for prostate cancer through androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT, face a troubling problem: The loss of bone and muscle mass while gaining fat.  The side effects of this treatment put them at risk for heart disease, frailty, and broken bones. But a first-of-its-kind randomized clinical trial is providing evidence that targeted exercise can slow bone loss, reverse muscle weakness, and prevent gains in body fat in men undergoing ADT. Kerri Winters-Stone, Ph.D., … Read More

Research finds face-to-face interactions guard against depression

Spending time with friends and family in person can lower depression risk in older adults, according to a new study led by Alan Teo, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of psychiatry at OHSU and researcher at the VA Portland Health Care System. The study, published this week in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, reaffirms research that has long supported the idea that strong social bonds strengthen people’s mental health. But this study was a … Read More

OHSU Casey Eye Institute researchers shed light on retinal neural circuitry

Researchers from the Casey Eye Institute, graduate student Benjamin Murphy-Baum and co-investigator W. Rowland Taylor, Ph.D., have deciphered how neurons in the eye detect the orientation of objects in the visual field. The paper detailing their findings, “The synaptic and morphological basis of orientation selectivity in a polyaxonal amacrine cell of the rabbit retina,” was published in the Sept. 30, 2015, edition of The Journal of Neuroscience. Vision is a complex sensory system triggered by light energy … Read More

OHSU researchers identify enhanced functional connectivity in the brain after methamphetamine exposure

Damien Zuloaga, Ph.D., a former post-doctoral fellow in the Raber lab, and colleagues at OHSU published results of a study examining the effects of methamphetamine (MA) on the sleep-wake cycle. The article, “Enhanced functional connectivity involving the ventromedial hypothalamus following methamphetamine exposure,” appearing in the 23 September, 2015, edition of Frontiers in Neuroscience, identified MA-induced alterations in coordinated activity in the brain, particularly connectivity involving the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH). The VMH is the portion of … Read More

Knight Cancer Institute researchers track metastasis with cell-free DNA

Researchers at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute recently found that sequencing the fragments of tumor DNA that circulate in blood may give a more accurate picture of a patient’s metastatic cancer than can be obtained from biopsies. Paul Spellman, Ph.D., professor of molecular and medical genetics at OHSU, led the study, which showed that whole-exome sequencing of cell-free DNA can find the same clinically relevant mutations identified in DNA from tumor tissue, and it can … Read More

OCT angiography summit draws international attention to pioneering technology

Scientists, clinicians, and engineers from around the world gathered at OHSU’s Casey Eye Institute in July for the first international Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Angiography Summit. Participants spent the day sharing their knowledge and discussing applications of a pioneering imaging technology that has the potential to transform how we diagnose and treat patients with common causes of blindness, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. James Fujimoto, Ph.D., was the summit’s distinguished guest speaker, … Read More

von Gersdorff team sheds light on how diabetes triggers blindness

A new study published in Neuron,  led by Henrique von Gersdorff, Ph.D., is the first characterization of a group of specialized synapses in the retina, the part of the eye that captures and transmits visual signals. These specialized synapses are inhibitory synapses that reduce the activity (or normal ‘chatter’) between neurons connected by multiple excitatory synapses. von Gersdorff and his team–Veeramuthu Balakrishnan, Theresa Puthussery, Mean-Hwan Kim, and W. Rowland Taylor–from the Vollum and Casey Eye … Read More

TTBD innovator spotlight: Carmem Pfeifer, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Carmem Pfeifer, D.D.S., Ph.D., assistant professor of biomaterials and biomechanics for the OHSU School of Dentistry, became an inventor without intending to. “When you get removed from your everyday problems, sometimes you can have an idea completely out of the blue,” she said. In 2009, with a suggestion from her postdoc supervisor, Pfeifer attended a UVA/UVB conference to showcase what they were doing in his lab to industries other than dental. During a session on … Read More

OHSU researchers identify structural changes in the cannabinoid receptor, yielding new insights into alternate GPCR signaling states

If you’re a vertebrate animal, you should be interested in new findings from the Farrens lab. All vertebrates use G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to detect a variety of different stimuli. Upon binding their target molecules, these membrane proteins undergo structural changes that induce internal signal transduction cascades and alter cellular responses. Because GPCRs are involved in so many signaling systems and diseases, they are a common drug target in pharmacology. Recently, two exciting new areas … Read More

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Welcome to the Research News Blog

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