OHSU Brain Institute News

Catching up with OHSU scientists about their hyped sleep deprivation-Alzheimer’s study
January 2016

Bill Rooney, Ph.D., & Jeff Iliff, Ph.D., share an update on their research into a potential sleep-dementia link
As featured in: 

How open data can improve medicine
January 2016

Erick Turner, M.D., comments on the push for open data to boost the integrity of scientific literature
As featured in: 

OHSU spinoff raises $11 million to tackle rare brain disease
January 2016

Startup founded by Tom Scanlan, Ph.D., raises $11 million to treat rare genetic disease X-ALD
As featured in: 

Neurosurgery resident Kunal Gupta discussed his passion for competitive ballroom dance
January 2016

“Neurosurgery resident waltzes through joys of ballroom dance”
As featured in: 

Lack of deep sleep may set stage for Alzheimer’s
January 2016

Dr. Iliff and Dr. Rooney take NPR listeners inside their research on the potential link between deep sleep and dementia.
As featured in: 

Game-changers in 2015: Endovascular Tx for Stroke: Tide turned in 2015 after trials that produced ‘sea change’
January 2016

Dr. Clark comments on the advances in imaging that were the game-changers in stroke research in 2015.
As featured in: 

High levels of Vitamin D may help treat MS
December 2015

Dr. Bourdette explains how vitamin D deficiency can exacerbate MS and how supplements might help.
As featured in: Newsweek


When is it more than just the wintertime blues
December 2015

Dr. Lewy comments on how a lack of sun at the start of the day can trigger seasonal affective disorder in winter in some people.
As featured in: MyBeachPalmPost


New B-Cell Drug a 'Game-Changer' for MS? Ocrelizumab trials show benefit for both relapsing and progressive forms
December 2015

Dr. Bourdette highlighted the importance of the ORATORIO trial of ocrelizuma in treating patients who had primary progressive MS.
As featured in: MedPage Today


Geriatric Neurology: An Aging Population, a Dearth of Subspecialists
December 2015

Dr. Erten-Lyons discusses the value of research programs in support clinicians’ time spent counseling patients and their caregivers.
As featured in: Neurology Today


The hot new demographic: Seniors
December 2015

This article describes how the ORCATECH uses sensors to assess motor activity and speed of movement of seniors in their homes.
As featured in: Straights Times


As aging population grows, so do robotic health aides
December 2015

Dr. Kaye explains why he organized a study that showed that older adults that engaged in daily face-to-face online conversations showed significant improvement in cognitive skills.
As featured in: 


5 kinds of dementia that aren't Alzheimer's
December 2015

Dr. Erten-Lyons explains the differences between five types of dementia and steps you can take for prevention.
As featured in: Prevention


Dr. Barr-Gillespie comments on the need for research into hearing restoration
December 2015

"Hearing loss is the second most prevalent affliction, after anemia, worldwide." says Peter Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D., a KU gene therapy who holds new hope for restoring hearing.
As featured in: Kansas City Star


Tracking changes in the brain through daily tasks 
November 2015

OHSU neuropsychologist Dr. Adriana Seelye is interviewed on the Jefferson Exchange about her research into tracking subtle changes in daily tasks that may be indicative of cognitive change. 
As featured in: Jefferson Public Radio


Brain surgery to treat alzheimer's disease patientsBrain surgery could prove effective for treating Alzheimer's Disease
November 2015

Dr. Ahmed Raslan talks about a study that shows the promise of deep brain stimulation surgery to treat dementia. 
As featured in: KMTR - Eugene


New rules to cut down on soccer concussion 
November 2015

Dr. Jim Chesnutt comments on the potential of new rules for young soccer plays to help reduce concussions 
As featured in: 


Pat and John SnyderDr. Joe Quinn explains  the complexities involved in treating Lewy Body Dementia.
November 2015

What It's Like To Love Somebody With Lewy Body Dementia
As featured in: 


Justin Cetas, M.D., Ph.D.Albany woman wakes up pain-free for first time in 20 years 
November 2015

OHSU neurosurgeon Dr. Justin Cetas removes a brain tumor from woman, ending the debilitating symptoms that she endured for 20 years
As featured in: 


Live brain surgery on tvBrain surgery pioneered in the U.S. at OHSU done live on TV
October 2015

Dr. Kim Burchiel, chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery, chats about deep brain stimulation.
As featured in: 


Dr. George KeepersVolunteers man the phones to help prevent suicide
October 2015

Dr. George Keepers, chair of the Department of Psychiatry, comments on Oregon's higher suicide rate and its link to the recession.
As featured in: 


Mao and Zhong - OHSU Husband and wife researchersWhite House gives OHSU husband-and-wife researchers $1M-plus
September 2015

Dr. Zhong and Dr. Mao first OHSU researchers to receive White House BRAIN initiative grant.
As featured in: 


Soccer Players - OSAA/OHSU partner to help high-school concussionsOHSU, OSAA partner on concussion management for high school athletes
September 2015

Dr. Jim Chesnutt helps strengthen concussion management tools for high school athletes across the state.
As featured in: 


Doctors suggest face to face time better than a callCalling your grandma doesn’t cut it, study suggests
September 2015

A study shows that connecting in-person, but not with calls and emails, cuts depression risk years later.
As featured in: 


Therapist and patientEffectiveness of talk therapy is overstated, a study finds
September 2015

Study: Therapy's depression-fighting power is overstated.
As featured in: 



Dr. Joseph Quinn - OHSU Alzheimer's ResearcherOHSU researchers hope to find new diagnostic tools for Alzheimer's disease
September 2015

NIH selected researchers at OHSU for a research grant of more than $1 million to detect and treat Alzheimer's disease earlier through biomarkers in spinal fluid.
As featured in: 


diabetes-researchOHSU researchers make breakthrough discovery in diabetes-related blindness
August 2015

Researchers at OHSU’s Vollum and Casey Eye Institutes revealed the properties of a group of specialized connections in the retina that could prevent blindness in pre-diabetic patients.
As featured in: 


kaye_jeffreyOHSU research helps predict who will get Alzheimer’s disease
July 2015

Q&A with Jeffrey Kaye, M.D., director of OHSU's Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center, highlights the incredible research underway at OHSU. Dr. Kaye also serves as chairman of the International Society for Alzheimer's Research.
As featured in: 


woman-alzheimersWomen appear more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s than men, studies find
July 2015

In looking at the emerging gender gap in Alzheimer's disease, this story spotlights research from OHSU's Katie Schenning, M.D., that suggests that women’s daily activities and cognitive abilities decline faster than men’s after undergoing surgery with general anesthesia.
As featured in: 


rooneyOHSU conference brings together brainiacs for a meeting of the minds
July 2015

The 2nd annual NeuroFutures conference brings the brightest minds in neurotechnology to Portland.
As featured in: PBJ


rooney-iliffPaul Allen Foundation awards $1.4 million to OHSU researchers Jeff Iliff and Bill Rooney for Alzheimer's
July 2015

Jeff Iliff, Ph.D., and Bill Rooney, Ph.D., were awarded $1.4 million to advance their innovative Alzheimer's research.
As featured in: forbes


folmerVA/OHSU tinnitus study: magnetic pulses to brain brief relief to patients
July 2015

A clinical trial led by Robert Folmer, Ph.D., found that transcranial magnetic simulation to the brains of tinnitus suffers brought lasting relief.
As featured in: folmer


powerhousePacific Northwest has become a neuroscience powerhouse
July 2015

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, founder of the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus, shines a light on how OHSU researchers and collaborators are making the Pacific Northwest a neuroscience powerhouse.
As featured in: PBJ


brave-new-worldCan the brave new world of neurotechnology help an OHSU surgeon find a cure for obesity?
July 2015

A fascinating profile of Dr. Kim Burchiel's leadership in the field of deep brain stimulation that explores how he's leading the charge to create a smarter DBS device.
As featured in: oregon-business


Dr. Hormozd BozorgchamiOHSU gets big endorsements for experimental stroke treatment
July 2015

The American Heart Association now recommends a stroke treatment that OHSU helped pioneer when it was considered experimental. The mechanical thrombectomy procedure opens blocked arteries in the brain using a removable stent system.
As featured in: PBJ


portland-classicOHSU researcher aims to boost African Americans' memories with photographs, tour of North Portland June 2015

The Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center in partnership with the Center for Healthy Communities is launching a first-of-its kind study around brain health intervention. The Sharing History through Active Reminiscence and Photo-imagery (SHARP) study aims to boost cognitive health within Portland’s African-American community. Participants will engage in community memory building while walking through historically black neighborhoods in North and Northeast Portland.
As featured in: NPR


drug-costsOHSU/OSU study finds alarming rise in MS drug costs over past two decades May 2015

A new study shows an "alarming rise” over the last 20 years in the costs of drugs used to slow the progression of multiple sclerosis or reduce the frequency of attacks. This NPR story takes a look at the study, and an OHSU patient shares her experience dealing with the soaring costs of the drugs she needs to treat her illness.
As featured in: NPR


brain on drugsHow amphetamines, cocaine harm the brain May 2015

Addiction to amphetamines and cocaine devastates lives, families and communities in Oregon and across the U.S. New OHSU research pinpoints how these addictive drugs interfere with normal signaling in the brain. The findings bring us closer to developing effective treatments for people who are addicted to these drugs. Read more


burchiel-awardDr. Kim Burchiel receives AANS award for remarkable contributions to neurosurgery May 2015

The Distinguished Service Award is one of the highest honors bestowed by the AANS, recognizing exemplary service to both the organization and the field of neurosurgery. Read more



Linda GanziniHow a woman's plan to kill herself helped her family grieve June 2014

Linda Ganzini, a professor of psychiatry with OHSU’s Brain Institute, is quoted talking about her study on the mental health of people left behind after a loved one’s assisted suicide.
As featured in: NPR


3-D Brain3D brain view may help treat Alzheimer's, Parkinson's June 2014

In a breakthrough that may help develop drugs for Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders, a team led by the OHSU Vollum Institute’s Eric Gouaux developed a 3D view of an important brain receptor.
As featured in: Yahoo!


hypnosisHypnosis may help improve deep sleep June 2014

OHSU Brain Institute’s sleep expert Kim Hutchison is quoted talking about a study finding that hypnosis can lead to a better night's sleep.
As featured in: Yahoo! WebMD


Kaye_JeffOHSU scientist to head Alzheimer's research society's advocacy work June 2014

Jeff Kaye of the OHSU Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center will become head of a national society that’s helping to lead research on Alzheimer’s disease.
As featured in: PBJ


low fat dietLow-fat diet good for multiple sclerosis patients May 2014

Vijayshree Yadav of OHSU’s Multiple Sclerosis Center found that following a plant-based low fat diet may help people who suffer from fatigue associated with MS.
As featured in: The India Times Oregonian


processed foodsMany processed foods are heavily dyed May 2014

Joel Nigg, an OHSU Brain Institute expert on ADHD, is quoted in a report about the artificial coloring in many processed foods, which can affect children with ADHD.
As featured in: yahoo! Fox News


Drunk VoleDrunk voles have a lot to teach us about relationships April 2014

A study led by OHSU researcher Andrey Ryabinin finds that alcohol makes male prairie voles more restless in partnerships and likely to stray, while it makes females want to get closer to their partners.
As featured in: Time National Geographic


cognitive workingMentally demanding jobs linked to slower cognitive decline April 2014

OHSU’s Deniz Erten-Lyons is quoted talking a study that finds people with mentally challenging jobs tend to stay mentally sharper while on the job and in retirement.
As featured in: Yahoo! Reuters UK


medical_potMedical marijuana may ease some MS symptoms March2014

Medical marijuana can provide some relief of symptoms caused by MS, according to a review by Vijayshree Yadav of OHSU’s Multiple Sclerosis Center.
As featured in: CNN Huffington PostFox News NBC News Los Angeles Times


630Heart attack or stroke most likely at 6:30 a.m. March 2014

A study co-authored by OHSU’s Steven Shea finds that the human body clock influences the most common time for a heart attack or stroke.
As featured in: Huffington Post UK


rhesusMonkey research shows how omega-3 fatty acids help the brain February 2014

A study by OHSU’s Damien Fair found that monkeys fed an omega-3 rich diet had better brain development than monkeys not fed the diet.
As featured in: US NEWS & World Reports Popular Science health.com


parkinsons patientVitamin D may help Parkinson's patients January 2014

A study by Amie Peterson from OHSU's Department of Neurology finds that higher vitamin D levels are associated with better thinking and mood in people with Parkinson's disease.
As featured in: health



woman-wineModerate alcohol boosts immune system December 2013

A study from the OHSU's Kathy Grant showed the moderate alcohol consumption may actually help our immune systems make us healthier.
As featured in: yahoo Time TDB


brain scan with multiple lesions caused by Multiple SclerosisTB vaccine could help prevent MS December 2013

OHSU's Dennis Bourdette wrote an editorial in Neurology about interesting researching suggesting a tuberculosis vaccine might help prevent MS
As featured in: bbc_blocks WP-logo bloom


demographicsShifting global demographics November 2013

OHSU's Oregon Center for Aging and Technology is featured in a BBC World News report on shifting demographics - the aging of the world's population
As featured in: bbc_blocks


6-steps-to-better-sleepSix steps to get a better night's sleep November 2013

Chad Hagen from OHSU's Department of Psychiatry offers tips to get a good night's sleep.
As featured in: dd-logo


dopamineNew insight into how antidepressants work November 2013

Eric Gouaux and colleagues from OHSU's Vollum Institute published two studies in same print edition of the respected journal Nature. One of them gave scientists new insight into how anti-depressants work in the brain.
As featured in: dd-logo GEN-logo

sleep helps brainSleep helps brain stay fit by clearing waste October 2013

A study co-authored by Jeff Iliff, from OHSU's Department of Anesthesiology, revealed how our brains clear away waste while we sleep.
As featured in: daily-news


ADHD Epidemic - Joel NiggThe not-so-hidden cause behind the ADHD epidemic October 2013

OHSU's Joel Nigg talked to the New York Times magazine about the latest in ADHD research.
As featured in: The New York Times


OHSU Brain Insitute sleep expert offers advice on technology to help you sleepOHSU Brain Insitute sleep expert offers advice on technology to help you sleep July 2013

OHSU's Chad Hagen has advice on technology that might help you sleep, and that is no help at all.
As featured in: KATU



Baring family secrets for scienceBaring family secrets for science

OHSU neuroscientist Larry Sherman has created a lecture that's about nature, nurture, neuroscience and how all of that relates to his own recently discovered family.

As featured in: Sciencemag.org


New research sheds light on possible cause of Alzheimer's diseaseNew research sheds light on possible cause of Alzheimer's disease June 2013

New research from OHSU neuroscientist Hemachandra Reddy looks at two proteins that Alzheimer's researchers have studied for years. But Reddy's research looks at the proteins in a new way -- how they interact with each other, and how that interaction might contribute to Alzheimer's.

As featured in: Oregonlive.com, San Diego Union-Tribune, Medicalnewstoday.com, Medicalxpress.com


New technique improves surgery for Parkinson's and other tremorsNew technique improves surgery for Parkinson's and other tremors June 2013

Kim Burchiel, the chair of OHSU's neurological surgery department, is a pioneer in Deep Brain Stimulation surgery, which can be an effective treatment for tremors but which has required patients to be awake during the surgery to allow for accurate placement of electrodes. Now, Burchiel has developed a new technique that allows patients to be asleep during the surgery.

As featured in: Oregonlive.com, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Sciencedaily.com, Medical News Today


Can diet changes help ADHD childrenCan diet changes help ADHD children? May/June 2013

OHSU psychiatrist Joel Nigg talks about study he co-authored that suggests eliminating coloring, additives and allergens in food might help some ADHD children.

As featured in: Chicago Tribune, WebMD, Baltimore Sun

Avoid jet lag like a scientistAvoiding jet lag .. like a scientist May 2013

The OHSU Brain Institute's Alfred Lewy, vice chair of the department of psychiatry and a sleep and mood disorders expert, offers his expertise about jet lag.

As featured in: The Wall Street Journal


Lonely Search for a CureLonely search for a cure May 2013

OHSU's Susan Hayflick has focused much of her professional life learning about and trying to cure a rare disease of the brain.

As featured in: The Portland Tribune


Breaking the Brain BarrierBreaking the brain barrier May 2013

OHSU neurosurgeon Edward Neuwelt is among the pioneers who are helping to understand - and break - the blood-brain barrier that exists between our brains and the rest of our bodies.

As featured in: Scientific American


OHSU research could revolutionize disease treatmentOHSU research could revolutionize disease treatment May 2013

As featured in: KPTV television


The Backstrokes regain their voice at OHSUThe Backstrokes regain their voice at OHSU Spring 2013

An OHSU Stroke Center volunteer has started a music group of stroke survivors -- based on emerging science that playing and singing music can help in stroke recovery.

As featured in: KOIN-TV, KING-TV (Seattle)


Your Name is Leigh'Your name is Leigh.' The story of memory loss, brain surgery and inspiration at OHSU Brain Fair March 2013

Leigh Sommer's life of countless epileptic seizures was changed by brain surgery by OHSU's Kim Burchiel.

As featured in: The Oregonian


Ultimate Mind Reader (Almost)Ultimate mind reader (almost) March 2013

An OHSU team continues its work on a project that seems more science fiction than reality -- a device that turns brain waves into communication for paralyzed people.

As featured in: The Portland Tribune


Locked InUnlocking the voices of the 'locked in' February 2013

OHSU Brain Institute scientists are leading the way in a fascinating new area of brain communication research -- helping people who have no ability to speak to communicate through their brain waves

As featured in: KTVF-TV (Nashville)


Stroke Recovery StoryFive years after stroke, Lake Oswego father tried to inspire, laugh about new life January 2013

When the paramedics asked her where they should take her unconscious husband, they then quickly answered their own question: 'You want to go to OHSU.' Five years later, Gordon Viggiano continues a slow recovery from his stroke, and now offers an inspiring message to community groups about persevering through many challenges.

As featured in: The Oregonian


Multiple Sclerosis TherapyMultiple Sclerosis therapy from OHSU-affiliated company enters phase 2 clinical trial January 2013

Artielle ImmunoTherapeutics, an OHSU backed company led by OHSU Brain Institute scientists, has entered phase 2 clinical trial with a drug that may be a breakthrough treatment for multiple sclerosis.

As featured in: Oregon Business magazine



How to talk to children about Connecticut shooting How to talk to children about Connecticut shooting December 2012

Meg Cary, M.D., with OHSU's Department of Psychiatry and Doernbecher Children's Hospital, offers thoughts on talking to children about horrific violence like the Connecticut school shootings

As featured in: Oregon Publc Broadcasting's Think Out Loud


Tracking the aging process With seniors' help, OHSU researchers use technology to track the aging process December 2012

Researchers at OHSU Brain Institute’s Oregon Center for Aging and Technology are using sensors and other technology to study aging and explore ways in-home health monitoring might be able to keep elderly in their homes longer.

As featured in: The Oregonian


smart phoneHealth apps often based on flimsy science, and don't work November 2012

OHSU Brain Institute’s Alfred Lewy, M.D., an internationally recognized Seasonal Affective Disorder expert, talks about how a special light that can be added as an application for a mobile phone can't do what its marketers say it can -- treat SAD.

As featured in: The Washington Post


VitaminsCan vitamins and supplements help multiple sclerosis? November 2012

The OHSU Brain Institute's Dennis Bourdette, M.D. talks about the connection between low vitamin D levels and multiple sclerosis.

As featured in: Everydayhealth.com, Huffingtonpost.com

OHSU researchers announce MS breakthrough – November 2012OHSU researchers announce MS breakthrough November 2012

A team led by Larry Sherman, Ph.D., with OHSU Brain Institute and the Oregon National Primate Research Center, has made a discovery that could have major implications for people suffering from multiple sclerosis and a range of other neurological disorders. Sherman's team has found that blocking a certain enzyme in the brain can help repair the brain damage associated with MS and some of the other disorders.

As featured in: KGW TV, KING TV (Seattle), medicalxpress.com


Back Lab OHSU discovery offers new hope for people with MS, children with fatal brain disorders October 2012

Research from OHSU's Stephen Back lab suggests that stem cell transplants to treat certain brain and nervous system diseases -- including MS -- may be moving closer to reality.

As featured in: WebMD, Mashable, Science Daily

Depressed? It could be all the sunshine – October 2012Depressed? It could be all the sunshine October 2012

Alfred Lewy, M.D., Ph.D., psychiatrist with the OHSU Brain Institute, is an internationally recognized expert on Seasonal Affective Disorder. But he also works with people who have a strange derivation of that - people who get depressed with too much sun.

As featured in: mynorthwest.com, KOIN TV


How to fight fibromyalgia pain – October 2012How to fight fibromyalgia pain October 2012

An article on fighting fibromyalgia pain cites a study by James Carson, Ph.D., pain psychologist, of the OHSU Brain Institute showing that yoga can help.

As featured in: The Huffington Post


Is your kid an addict? – September 2012Is your kid an addict? September 2012

Bonnie Nagel, Ph.D., pediatric neuropsychologist at the OHSU Brain Institute and OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital talks about her research into the brains of kids who are at risk for alcoholism and drug addiction.

As featured in: Salon.com


One-fifth of spine surgery patients suffer PTSD symptoms – September 2012One-fifth of spine surgery patients suffer PTSD symptoms September 2012

A study by Dr. Robert Hart, spine surgeon at the OHSU Spine Center finds that some patients who have elective spine surgery develop PTSD symptoms as a result of the surgery.

As featured in: healthnewsdigest.com

Schools must help in managing concussions in student athletes – September 2012Schools must help in managing concussions in student athletes September 2012

Dr. James Chesnutt of OHSU Sports Medicine writes in an op-ed piece about how teachers and principals - not just coaches - must help high school student athletes recover from sports concussions.

As featured in: The Oregonian

How our aging brains leave us open to deception and fraud – September 2012How our aging brains leave us open to deception and fraud September 2012

An article talks about how people's ability to make financial and other judgments deteriorates as we grow older -- and includes suggestions from Diane Howieson, Ph.D., neurologist at the OHSU Brain Institute on keeping your brain sharp.

As featured in: The Oregonian, Bloomberg Business Week (online)

Ben PetrickBen Petrick's battle against Parkinson's September 2012

ESPN chronicles former major league baseball player Ben Petrick's battle against Early Onset Parkinson's disease. Petrick is a patient of Dr. Jay Nutt's at the OHSU Parkinson Center. He also had deep brain stimulation surgery with OHSU Brain Institute's Dr. Kim Burchiel that significantly improved his Parkinson's symptoms.

As featured in: E:60, ESPN TV

A Pill to cure all ills?A pill to cure all ills? It's just in our heads July 2012

Dr. Barry Oken, an OHSU Brain Institute neurologist, is a national leader in understanding how placebo works with the human brain. And sometimes, it works as well or better than real drugs.

As featured in: The Portland Tribune


Walking Speed and AlzheimersOHSU studies link between walking speed and Alzheimer's July 2012

The OHSU Brain Institute's Dr. Lisa Silbert found a link between walking speed and dementia in research she presented at the international Alzheimer's conference in Vancouver, B.C. in July.

As featured in: USA Today

Yoga Improves Balance After StrokeYoga improves balance after stroke July 2012

The OHSU Brain Institute's Andrea Serdar talked about how what she sees with her patients conforms with a recent study -- that yoga helps people recover after their stroke.

As featured in: WebMD

Mild Cognitive Impairment'Mild cognitive impairment' not yet dementia, but still serious July 2012

Dr. Jeffrey Kaye of the OHSU Brain Institute presented his study at an international Alzheimer's conference that showed that people with mild cognitive impairment spent less time outside their home than cognitively healthy people did - and that this isolation could make their impairment worse.

As featured in: USA Today


ORCA RoomtrackAging well, and staying in your own home July 2012

OHSU's Oregon Center for Aging and Technology is at the forefront of studying ways that technology can monitor people's health at home - allowing elderly people to stay in their own homes longer.

As featured in: NBC Nightly News


OOHSU RESEARCHERS HELP WITH OREGON ALZHEIMER'S PLANHSU researchers help with Oregon Alzheimer's plan July 2012

OHSU Brain Institute leaders were a big part of an important state plan unveiled in July that is addressing the needs of Oregon families dealing with Alzheimer's.

As featured in: KATU-TV, Oregonian