Posts Tagged ‘Discoveries’

New OHSU research suggests possible target in fight against Alzheimer’s

In most of the human body, the lymphatic system clears away waste and toxins. The brain, however, has no lymphatic vessels. Its waste, including plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease, is cleaned instead by cerebrospinal fluid recirculating through brain tissue. Over the course of five years, research in the lab of Jeffrey Iliff, Ph.D., has defined this brain-wide paravascular pathway, called the glymphatic system. Iliff’s team has found that this recirculation is modulated by sleep and also that, as the brain ages, this … Read More

New OHSU research provides key insight about mitochondrial replacement therapy

No treatments exist for children born with mitochondrial diseases, but a series of discoveries in the OHSU Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy is making progress on a technique that prevents transmission of these often-fatal genetic diseases, which are passed on from mothers to their children. The latest findings were published on Nov. 30 in the journal Nature. OHSU scientist Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., led a team that successfully prevented transmission of genetic defects in … Read More

New study documents role of glial cells in brain

Glial cells, once considered passive bystanders of neural transmission, are now understood to provide support and protection for neurons in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the brain, closely associate with neuronal synapses and perform supporting roles in neuronal activity by providing oxygen and sugars and by removing carbon dioxide. New research findings demonstrate a function scientists have proposed but not proven — that astrocytes not only support … Read More

New research suggests travel to Mars may alter cognition

Cosmic radiation during deep space travel could alter the cognitive function and behavior of astronauts on an extended mission — such as a trip to Mars. Cosmic rays are generated in the shockwaves of exploding stars outside our solar system and are composed primarily of ionized atomic nuclei moving at nearly the speed of light. Exposure to this radiation may be unavoidable for astronauts on any future mission to Mars. Results of a study led by … Read More

Groundbreaking study opens door for treating congenital disease before birth

Congenital diseases account for nearly a quarter of perinatal deaths and are important causes of childhood illness and long-term disability. Prenatal screening techniques now make early diagnosis possible, presenting the opportunity to intervene in disease processes before birth. The rapid proliferation of stem cells in the fetus and its immature immune system make in utero gene therapy an attractive target for gene therapy, but ethical considerations and the consequences of disrupting fetal development have so far … Read More

OHSU researchers reveal atomic structure of a key molecular receptor

The receptor proteins of a cell’s surface are important transmitters of signals between its internal and external environments. The P2X integral membrane proteins, first defined in 1976, modulate processes as diverse as platelet activation, smooth muscle contraction, synaptic transmission, inflammation, hearing and taste, making P2X receptors important pharmacological targets. P2X receptors are activated by ATP, a major intracellular energy source, resulting in a change in the receptor’s structure and the flow of ions such as … Read More

OHSU researchers reveal mechanism of neuronal activity that controls fertility

Reproductive function is a highly regulated process that depends on certain hormones interacting in a controlled and rhythmic manner.  The hypothalamus and pituitary together control pubertal development and fertility; the hypothalamus releases a chemical messenger called gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which attaches to specific receptors of the pituitary gland, in turn releasing reproductive hormones that control ovulation in females and sperm production in males. In females, the hypothalamus releases GnRH in appropriately timed pulses and in one … Read More

New research shows search and destroy function for leukemia cells

The rapid growth of leukemia cells that “crowd out” healthy stem cells within the bone marrow has traditionally been considered the root cause for prolonged risk of infections and necessary blood transfusions. A study recently completed by a team of OHSU pediatric cancer biology researchers in the Pape Family Pediatric Research Institute – and published in the journal Science Signaling –  disputes this theory and provides the first description of leukemia cells’ ability to actively … Read More

Researchers study potential treatment to reduce brain swelling after stroke

Brain swelling resulting from a large, acute stroke event causes further damage and can lead to major disability and death, and there are few effect treatment options. Existing drug regimens do not improve survival or functional outcome. Decompressive craniectomy, a surgical procedure to remove part of the skull, allowing the brain to swell without being squeezed, improves outcomes in some patients but increases survival with major disability in others. Future treatments are likely to target pathways involved in brain swelling, and … Read More

Co-invented by OHSU’s David Huang 25 years ago, OCT technology helps detect and stop blindness

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the invention of Optical Coherence Tomography technology, co-invented by Oregon Health & Science University Casey Eye Institute’s David Huang, M.D., Ph.D., while Huang was a Ph.D. student with James Fujimoto, Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. To commemorate the anniversary, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) published a special anniversary edition in their journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science with more than 70 articles. OCT is the … Read More

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