Adult-onset neurodegeneration has roots in early development

The disease mechanism for adult-onset progressive degenerative diseases begins much earlier than previously thought, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Using a mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) genetically engineered to precisely mirror the human disease, a team of investigators showed that there is an altered neural circuitry in the cerebellum […]

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Researchers define target and mechanism of antibacterial drug fidaxomicin (Dificid)

A team of Rutgers University and international scientists has determined the molecular target and mechanism of the antibacterial drug fidaxomicin (trade name Dificid). Fidaxomicin was approved in 2011 for treatment of the CDC “urgent threat” bacterial pathogen Clostridium difficile (C. diff) and currently is one of two front-line drugs for treatment of C. diff. Fidaxomicin also exhibits potent antibacterial activity […]

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Slow, steady waves keep brain humming

If you keep a close eye on an MRI scan of the brain, you’ll see a wave pass through the entire brain like a heartbeat once every few seconds. This ultra-slow rhythm was recognized decades ago, but no one quite knew what to make of it. MRI data are inherently noisy, so most researchers simply ignored the ultra-slow waves. But […]

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Researchers find alternate path for Listeria to sicken people

Purdue University scientists have found another pathway that Listeria uses to enter the bloodstream, suggesting that forms of the foodborne bacteria considered benign may be more dangerous than once thought. About 600 million people around the world contract listeriosis each year, with 420,000 dying, according to the World Health Organization. In the U.S., 1,600 people are infected each year, causing […]

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Relapse in major depression linked to brain cortical changes

(HealthDay)—For patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), relapse is associated with brain cortical changes over two years, according to a study published online March 28 in JAMA Psychiatry. Dario Zaremba, from the University of Münster in Germany, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal case-control study involving patients with acute MDD at baseline and healthy controls. Participants were subdivided into groups with […]

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Preventing tumors from shedding their identifying proteins allows immune system to attack

A team of researchers with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the U.S. has found that introducing an antibody into a cancerous mouse model prevented the escape of ligands from a tumor surface allowing natural killer cells to attack. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their technique and how well it […]

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Federal officials urged to increase perinatal depression treatment in minority women

Despite Latinas’ and African-American women’s increased risks of perinatal depression and the availability of reliable screening tools and national awareness campaigns, research has shown that these women are significantly less likely to be screened or treated. In a new position paper, researchers at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University are urging federal policymakers to appropriate funds to boost diagnosis […]

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Memory researchers link two brain regions to conceptual organization

If your idea of a perfect dog is an abstract rendering of canine qualities extracted across many encounters in your life, you are not alone in how your brain connects memories, say University of Oregon scientists. A long debate has existed in psychology whether concepts, such as a dog, are represented in the mind as a collection of specific dogs […]

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