Among the human body’s many maladies, few have stumped medical researchers like those that decimate the brain. After decades of effort, effectively treating—let alone curing—neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease has been a source of frustration for many, as old theories are questioned and clinical trials fail. Basic scientists have achieved some progress. Over the past few decades, they…
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Importance  Psychotic depression is a severely disabling and potentially lethal disorder. Little is known about the efficacy and tolerability of continuing antipsychotic medication for patients with psychotic depression in remission. Objective  To determine the clinical effects of continuing antipsychotic medication once an episode of psychotic depression has responded to combination treatment with an antidepressant and antipsychotic agent. Design, Setting, and Participants  Thirty-six week…
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Can Pomegranate Juice Protect the Infant Brain?

When it comes to protecting the newborn brain, taking steps to mitigate risk before birth may be critical. Some newborns, such as those with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), are at heightened risk. Being able to intervene before birth to aid in protecting the newborn brain may prevent the often-devastating effects of brain injury. In ongoing investigations, clinical researchers from Brigham…
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Lewina Lee, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and clinical research psychologist at the National Center for PTSD at VA Boston, has received a five-year, $3.5 million, R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Aging to establish the Boston Early Adversity and Mortality Study (BEAMS). Dr. Lee, along with co-principal investigator Daniel Mroczek, PhD, professor of…
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Clinical trials at Cummings School seek to improve the treatments and prognosis for pets—and hopefully someday children—battling osteosarcoma. When Truman, a Bernese mountain dog, started limping in March 2018, his owners did not waste any time getting him to a veterinarian. Unfortunately, X-rays and a subsequent biopsy revealed that Truman had osteosarcoma in his left front leg. An aggressive bone…
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Genomics is increasingly grappling with complex issues, and a new group has formed at the Broad Institute to talk about them. The Broad Institute’s bioethics group owes its existence, in part, to a cat named Darwin. Darwin belongs to Elinor Karlsson, Broad’s director of vertebrate genomics, and when he fell ill in 2017, Karlsson took him to the MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical…
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Children diagnosed with low-grade astrocytomas, the most common type of pediatric brain tumor, have more than a 90 percent chance of being cured. Yet in the process, the standard treatments (neurosurgery and chemotherapy) for this form of tumor can cause serious side effects, including damaging developing brains and bodies. Researchers at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center recently led an in-depth exploration into…
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Clustered protocadherins, a large family of paralogous proteins that play important roles in neuronal development, provide an important case study of interaction specificity in a large eukaryotic protein family. A mammalian genome has more than 50 clustered protocadherin isoforms, which have remarkable homophilic specificity for interactions between cellular surfaces. A large antiparallel dimer interface formed by the first 4 extracellular…
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Most pharmaceuticals must either be ingested or injected into the body to do their work. Either way, it takes some time for them to reach their intended targets, and they also tend to spread out to other areas of the body. Now, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have developed a system to deliver medical treatments that can be released at…
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A simple and robust DNA-based signal amplification method to simultaneously visualize multiple proteins in tissues has the potential to accelerate many large-scale protein mapping and biomarker discovery projects By Benjamin Boettner (BOSTON) — To better understand how tissues and organs develop, fail to function, and regenerate over time, researchers would like to visualize their constituent cells’ repertoires of molecules within…
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