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Could general anaesthetic be damaging to children’s brains?

July 4th, 2015
by Tania

Could general anaesthetic be damaging to children's brains?Giving children general anaesthetics before the age of four could be detrimental to their brain development, according to new research.

A team from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in the US compared the scores of 53 healthy participants of a language development study aged five to 18 years with no history of surgery with those of 53 youngsters in the same age range who had undergone surgery before the age of four. Read the rest of this entry »

​​Researchers make colon cancer stem cell ‘breakthrough’

July 3rd, 2015
by Tania

Researchers make colon cancer stem cell 'breakthrough'​Colon cancer is one of the most common types of the disease, with around 40,000 cases being diagnosed in the UK each year.

However, a breakthrough has been made by a team of researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute (LHRI) that might explain why this particular region of the body is so susceptible to the condition. Read the rest of this entry »

Brain inflammation targeted in Alzheimer’s treatment drive

July 2nd, 2015
by Tania

Brain inflammation targeted in Alzheimer's treatment driveBrain inflammation will be targeted in the first drug discovery project to be funded by the Dementia Consortium.

Academics at the University of Southampton will work alongside drug discovery experts at the medical research charity MRC Technology to target the immune system in an attempt to find a new treatment for Alzheimer's Disease.

The researchers will be backed by funding from the Dementia Consortium – a £3 million drug discovery collaboration between Alzheimer's Research UK, MRC Technology and the pharmaceutical companies Eisai and Lilly.

Building on their previous research, Dr Diego Gomez-Nicola and colleagues at the University of Southampton will investigate their findings that an immune system protein called CSF1R could be the key to an effective new drug for the disease. 

It is now thought that Alzheimer's disturbs the brain's inflammatory response, causing the damage associated with the disease.

The Southampton-based researchers have already shown that blocking CSF1R can dampen the inflammatory response to nerve cell death and improve symptoms in other neurodegenerative diseases. 

However, the compounds currently available to block CSF1R have unwanted effects and there are difficulties in ensuring they reach the brain. 

The investment from the Dementia Consortium will enable the researchers to explore other, more targeted approaches to block CSF1R – important groundwork before any new treatment can go into testing on humans.

Dr Gomez-Nicola, career track lecturer and MRC NIRG fellow at the University of Southampton, said: "We know that targeting CSF1R is being explored as a potential treatment for cancer and inflammatory conditions, and we hope that by fine-tuning compounds to act specifically in the brain, this approach could be tested for benefits in Alzheimer's too."

Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, added that investment in new drug targets is essential to turn promising research findings into tangible benefits for the 500,000 people in the UK with Alzheimer's.

Smart insulin patch ‘could revolutionise diabetes treatment’

July 1st, 2015
by Tania

The management of diabetes could become more hassle-free in the near futureResearch carried out at the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State (UNC/NC State) could pave the way for millions of diabetes sufferers to live more hassle-free lives in the coming years.

A new 'smart insulin patch' has been developed by researchers at the educational establishment, with a focus on providing a means to effectively manage the delivery of insulin for diabetes sufferers without the need for regular injections. Read the rest of this entry »

Study shows benefits of brain stimulation on depression

June 30th, 2015
by Tania

Study shows benefits of brain stimulation on depressionLow-field synchronised transcranial magnetic stimulation (sTMS) can be a safe and effective means of treating major depressive disorder, a new study has shown.

Published in the journal Brain Stimulation, the study enrolled more than 200 subjects, who were analysed across 17 leading academic and private psychiatric institutions in the US. Read the rest of this entry »