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Recently Identified Biomarker Could Be Valid Diagnostic Tool for Gaucher Disease, Mouse Study Suggests

Glucosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb1), a recently identified biomarker for Gaucher disease (GD), was shown to contribute to the development or peripheral symptoms in a mouse study, potentially validating its use as a diagnostic tool, according to new research. The study, “Glucosylsphingosine Causes Hematological and Visceral Changes in Mice—Evidence for a Pathophysiological Role in Gaucher Disease,” was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

So My Brain Amyloid Level is “Elevated”—What Does That Mean?

Testing drugs to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia and using them in the clinic will mean identifying and informing adults who have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s but are still cognitively normal. A new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has shed light on how seniors cope with such information.

NIH Consortium Takes Aim at Vascular Disease-linked Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

To better predict, study, and diagnose small vessel disease in the brain and its role in vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID), the National Institutes of Health has launched MarkVCID, a consortium designed to accelerate the development of new and existing biomarkers for small vessel VCID.

The five-year program, developed by the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), in collaboration with the National Institute on Aging (NIA), consists of seven research groups across the United States working together via a coordinating center based at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. A kick-off meeting for the consortium was held immediately prior to the International Stroke Conference 2017 in Houston, Feb. 20-21.

Cocaine Addiction Leads to Build-up of Iron in Brain

Cocaine addiction may affect how the body processes iron, leading to a build-up of the mineral in the brain, according to new research from the University of Cambridge. The study, published today in Translational Psychiatry, raises hopes that there may be a biomarker – a biological measure of addiction – that could be used as a target for future treatments.

Predicting Autism: Researchers Find Autism Biomarkers in Infancy

By using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the brains of infants who have older siblings with autism, scientists were able to correctly identify 80 percent of the babies who would be subsequently diagnosed with autism at 2 years of age.

Researchers from the University of Washington were part of a North American effort led by the University of North Carolina to use MRI to measure the brains of “low-risk” infants, with no family history of autism, and “high-risk” infants who had at least one autistic older sibling. A computer algorithm was then used to predict autism before clinically diagnosable behaviors set in. The study was published Feb. 15 in the journal Nature.