Posts Tagged ‘Discoveries’

Despite progress, health disparities remain among racial and ethnic minority groups post-ACA

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from OHSU and OCHIN report that community health centers in states that expanded Medicaid coverage experienced a decrease in uninsured visits and an increase in Medicaid-insured visits compared with non-expansion states. The research, published in the Annals of Family Medicine. also found that Hispanic patients have the highest rates of uninsured clinic visits, both before and after Affordable Care Act expansion. Read the full story on the OHSU News Hub. Heather Angier, … Read More

Motor neurons aren’t the only site for restoring locomotive function

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is the most common adult onset motor neuron disease for which there is no cure or treatment that significantly extends life. ALS causes the death of neurons that control voluntary muscles and is characterized by gradually worsening weakness, loss of motor function and, when the individual can no longer breathe, death. The only FDA-approved drug used to treat ALS prolongs on average the lifetime of a patient by two to three months. A feature in neurodegenerative diseases, including about 90 percent … Read More

New findings show retinal development requires the protein dystroglycan

OHSU scientists have published a paper that provides new information on retinal development and visual system abnormalities present in dystroglycanopathy, a form of muscular dystrophy that results from defective function of the protein dystroglycan. Patients with severe forms of dystroglycanopathy frequently experience visual system problems in addition to other neurodevelopmental abnormalities. There is some understanding of dystroglycan’s influence on brain development, but its role in regulating retinal development has remained poorly understood. A team led … Read More

Study suggests cosmic rays pose long-term risks for astronauts

For astronauts on long missions in deep space, the brain’s response to radiation exposure is an important concern. Cognitive and other impairments put crews at risk during space travel and may pose significant health hazards to space flight crews for years after a mission. A unique feature of the space radiation environment is the presence of galactic cosmic rays and solar particle events, both of which involve protons. Exposure to these will likely impact multiple … Read More

Study in Nature demonstrates method for repairing genes in human embryos that prevents inherited diseases

In a paper published in Nature today, August 2, 2017, Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., reported the successful removal of a lethal genetic defect in human embryos. Read the OHSU News story on Mitalipov’s new research. The gene-editing technique described in this study could one day provide an avenue for people with known heritable disease-causing genetic mutations to eliminate the risk of passing the disease to their children. The study also demonstrated a way to overcome a crucial problem in … Read More

Tracing the mechanisms of pain and empathy for pain

A new study finds a potential neural overlap between physically induced and socially transferred increased sensitivity to pain, or hyperalgesia. Previous research has shown that pain sensitivity associated with alcohol withdrawal can be communicated to nearby individuals by olfactory cues. But how this social transfer of pain occurs is not known. Scientists at OHSU have now demonstrated that pain and empathy for pain activate partially overlapping regions of the brain in mice and that those … Read More

Modifying a battlefield dressing to prevent maternal death

Every day around the globe, more than 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths occur in developing countries, where resources are limited and childbirth occurs outside of the health care system. Postpartum hemorrhage is one of the primary causes of maternal death and the leading cause of death for new mothers in developing countries. A major challenge in treating postpartum hemorrhage is that it is not … Read More

OHSU researcher Horner-Johnson: Groundbreaking research on disability and pregnancy

Height adjustable exam tables, scales that accommodate wheelchair users, and tactile models of the birth canal are not common equipment in OB/GYN offices. These are examples of accommodations that can improve prenatal care and the experience of pregnancy for women with specific disabilities. Often missing, too, are the knowledge and skills necessary to provide information to women with intellectual disabilities or to adjust the volume on a sonogram for women with hearing impairments. These are … Read More

Sex matters: OHSU researchers shine light on mechanisms of ischemic stroke

Sex—like age, weight, and underlying health conditions—is a biological variable that is often a critical factor when it comes to health. However, sex has been largely absent in research and this has led to an incomplete understanding of sex-based differences in disease processes and treatment therapies that are appropriate for men and women. Ischemic stroke is one of the diseases for which a lack of preclinical data on male and female subjects presents a critical … Read More

OHSU researchers: New discovery on obesity-high blood pressure relationship

Obesity contributes to high blood pressure, but why and how this happens remains unclear. One of the major causes of high blood pressure—or hypertension—is the inappropriate activation of the fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system response, and most obesity researchers have focused on factors that increase sympathetic activity. Virginia Brooks, Ph.D., however, has been investigating mechanisms that inhibit this activity. A team led by Brooks, professor of physiology and pharmacology at OHSU, identified a neuromodulator, neuropeptide Y (NPY), that inhibits sympathetic activity in a specific area of … Read More

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