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  • richardmitnick 3:30 pm on December 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , NIV-neovascular inflammatory vitreoretinopathy, Proteomic profiling allows for clinicians to analyze a patient’s diseases tissue in real time and identify proteins that are targeted by already-approved drugs, Stanford Scope blog   

    From Stanford Scope blog: “Proteomics allows researchers to identify existing drugs to treat rare eye disease” 

    Stanford University Name
    Stanford University

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    Stanford Scope blog

    December 21, 2017
    Becky Bach

    1
    Image by Pexels

    In the past, treatment for a very rare genetic eye condition called neovascular inflammatory vitreoretinopathy, or NIV, was trial-and-error, and usually not very successful. For example, if a patient experienced an internal eye bleed, or hemorrhage, which totally blocks vision, clinicians tried surgery, the customary way to resolve a hemorrhage. But in NIV patients, the surgery causes scarring and inflammation.

    Then, the next symptom would pop up.

    So, a team led by Stanford ophthalmologist Vinit Mahajan, MD, PhD, decided to try something different. “This constant uphill battle to save the vision of NIV patients made us determined to find the molecules active inside the eye that can lead us to better therapies,” he said.

    After extracting a small amount of liquid from the eyes of patients with NIV and several non-NIV eyes, the Mahajan and his colleagues catalogued 200 immune-signaling proteins that could be involved in inflammatory processes. In eyes affected by NIV, they identified 64 that were different, usually more abundant.

    In a paper that appears in JCI Insight, the team chronicles how they paired these overexpressed proteins with existing drugs known to lessen their effects. For the NIV patients, all from the same family, the approach helped, although it didn’t cure the disease.

    But the applications for this proteomics-based approach are much broader, first author Gabriel Velez, a MD-PhD student at the University of Iowa and a visiting researcher at Stanford, explained in a recent news release:

    Patients with rare diseases often have few therapeutic options, and many conventional therapies fail them. Proteomic profiling allows for clinicians to analyze a patient’s diseases tissue in real time and identify proteins that are targeted by already-approved drugs.

    That could clinicians to diagnose diseases before symptoms develop, or to tailor treatments to each individual’s unique stage of disease, Mahajan said.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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    Stem Education Coalition

    Scope is an award-winning blog founded in 2009 and produced by the Stanford University School of Medicine. If you’re curious about the latest advances in medicine and health and enjoy compelling, fresh and easily digestible news and features, then we’ve got just the thing. We’ve written quite a bit (7,000 posts and counting!), and we’re quite proud of it — so please enjoy.

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members

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  • richardmitnick 8:20 am on December 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A small electrical jolt to the right brain region at just the right time derails impulsive behavior, , , DBS is in clinical trials for depression obsessive-compulsive disorder and multiple other disorders of the brain, DBS-deep brain stimulation, , Stanford Scope blog   

    From Stanford Scope blog: “A small electrical jolt to the right brain region at just the right time derails impulsive behavior” 

    Stanford University Name
    Stanford University

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    Stanford Scope blog

    December 18, 2017
    Bruce Goldman

    1

    Just imagine if you could predict and prevent a burst of binge eating or alcohol intake, a heroin injection, a sudden bout of uncontrolled rage or a suicide attempt. The world would be a better place.

    Long journeys start with first steps. In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Stanford researchers led by neurosurgeon Casey Halpern, MD, have identified, both in mice and in a human subject, a signature pattern of electrical activity in a small but important deep-brain region called the nucleus accumbens just a second or two before a burst of impulsive behavior.

    The nucleus accumbens is the hub of the brain’s reward circuitry, which evolution has engineered to reinforce survival-promoting actions by inducing pleasure in anticipation or performance of those actions. The researchers showed in mice that supplying a small electrical jolt to the nucleus accumbens as soon as the electrical signature manifested there stopped the mice from overindulging in fatty food — without messing up the rest of their natural activities.

    “Impulses are normal and absolutely necessary for survival,” Halpern said when I interviewed him for our news release on the new study. “They convert our feelings about what’s rewarding into concrete action to obtain food, sex, sleep and defenses against rivals or predators.”

    But in some contexts, impulsive behavior can be pathological, manifesting as a marked tendency to make poor decisions and act on them. One need look no further than the rash of recent reports about sexual predators perched in powerful positions in Hollywood, the media, finance and politics to see blatant examples of a fundamentally healthy drive — sexual appetite — taken to a pathological level.

    Halpern focuses on deep-brain stimulation, whereby devices deliver electrical pulses to targeted brain regions in which they’ve been implanted. Tens of thousands of DBS devices are in current use for treating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, and DBS is in clinical trials for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and multiple other disorders of the brain.

    But DBS devices in use today are inflexible; they just keep firing away nonstop on a preprogrammed basis. In the new study, the scientists fitted the mice with new-generation DBS devices that can fire or not fire, depending on feedback they get from sensors in the brain region they target — in this case, the nucleus accumbens. They identified a particular pattern of electrical activity that arose there just as mice were about to plunge into a pile of high-fat food to which they’d become quite fond, to the point of pigging out on it. But whenever the implanted device detected this pre-gluttony signal, it zapped the nucleus accumbens with an electrical pulse equivalent to a standard DBS pulse. That snuffed a mouse’s high-fat food bingeing — but not its intake of normal food, social behavior or other physical activity.

    The study’s findings offer the promise, Halpern told me, of an implantable device that monitors the nucleus accumbens for the telltale signal preceding a burst of impulsivity and immediately delivers a measured dose of electricity. This intervention may prevent impulsive and sometimes life-threatening actions by high-risk people for whom all noninvasive therapies have failed.

    Halpern is hoping to find out whether this kind of feedback could be helpful for obese patients who’ve been unable to curb their dietary intake even after bariatric surgery. The findings could also lead to less noninvasive methods of countering substance-abuse disorders, pathological gambling, sexual addiction or intermittent explosive disorder, a psychiatric condition marked by impromptu outbursts of inappropriate ferocity.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Scope is an award-winning blog founded in 2009 and produced by the Stanford University School of Medicine. If you’re curious about the latest advances in medicine and health and enjoy compelling, fresh and easily digestible news and features, then we’ve got just the thing. We’ve written quite a bit (7,000 posts and counting!), and we’re quite proud of it — so please enjoy.

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members

    Stanford University Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 12:48 pm on October 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Stanford Scope blog   

    From Stanford Scope blog: “Teamwork repairs a baby’s heart defect” 

    Stanford University Name
    Stanford University

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    Stanford Scope blog

    October 31, 2017
    Erin Digitale

    1
    baby Kennedy. Photo courtesy of the Greenfield family.

    When Marlo and David Greenfield found out their eagerly awaited baby girl would need cardiac surgery soon after birth, they were relieved to be referred to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. “Knowing we would be at one of the best hospitals in the nation, with doctors and nurses that strictly deal with children and pregnant women, was reassuring,” David told me when I interviewed the couple for a story on the hospital’s website. What the couple didn’t initially realize was how many different types of experts would play a role in baby Kennedy’s care.

    While Marlo was still pregnant, Kennedy’s heart was evaluated by physicians from the hospital’s Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program, who determined that her aortic arch was unusually small and would require repair. As soon as Kennedy was born, a team of neonatologists and cardiac intensivists — pediatric cardiologists who specialize in ICU care — began working together to ensure she was getting enough oxygen and reaching the right milestones before surgery. At a week old, she was ready to go to the OR:

    “In a five-hour procedure, Katsuhide Maeda, MD, clinical associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery, and his team put Kennedy on a heart-lung bypass machine and carefully removed the too-small portion of her aortic arch. Once the abnormally narrow region of blood vessel was gone, Maeda reconstructed an aortic arch from her own blood vessel tissue. ‘This is a relatively straightforward procedure for our team,’ Maeda said. Kennedy did well, staying for four days in the cardiovascular intensive care unit, and then transferring back to the neonatal intensive care unit. Her multidisciplinary care team followed her the whole time. ‘Every time we spoke to someone, they knew exactly what was going on with Kennedy,’ Marlo said. ‘Every single person was on the same page. They really knew what they were doing and had it under control.”

    Today, as a result of the well-coordinated care Kennedy received, she’s home with her family and doing great. “She’s absolutely beautiful, very content and happy,” David said. “Of course, I’m a little biased, but I think she’s perfect in every way.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    Scope is an award-winning blog founded in 2009 and produced by the Stanford University School of Medicine. If you’re curious about the latest advances in medicine and health and enjoy compelling, fresh and easily digestible news and features, then we’ve got just the thing. We’ve written quite a bit (7,000 posts and counting!), and we’re quite proud of it — so please enjoy.

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members

    Stanford University Seal

     
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