Applications are being sought for a joint MGH/Biogen Idec two-year training program in translational neuroscience.
09/01/2015: Mass. General study identifies another way urate may protect against Parkinson’s disease, supports new clinical trial of urate-boosting treatment
The MGH-led research team investigating whether raising blood levels of urate can slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease has found that urate’s neuroprotective effects extend beyond its own antioxidant properties. An NIH-funded phase 3 trial of a urate-elevating drug will begin enrolling patients next year.
Amyloid precursor protein (APP), a key protein implicated in the development Alzheimer's disease, may play an important role in eye and muscle health. In a new report, scientists have discovered that when proteins that bind to the APP, called FE65 and FE65L1, are deleted, they cause cataracts and muscle weakness in mice.
Investigators from MGH and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a potential target for therapies to treat cocaine addiction. Their study finds evidence that a small change in an important protein alters whether cocaine-experienced animals will resume drug seeking after a period of drug abstinence.
10/12/2014: Novel culture system replicates course of Alzheimer’s disease, confirms amyloid hypothesis
An innovative laboratory culture system has succeeded, for the first time, in reproducing the full course of events underlying the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Using the system they developed, MGH investigators provide the first clear evidence supporting the hypothesis that deposition of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain is the first step in a cascade leading to the devastating neurodegenerative disease.
02/07/2014: First Huntington disease prevention trial shows treatment safety, suggests slowing of presymptomatic progression
The first clinical trial of a drug intended to delay the onset of symptoms of Huntington disease reveals that high-dose treatment with the nutritional supplement creatine was safe and well tolerated by most study participants. In addition, neuroimaging provided evidence that creatine might slow the progression of presymptomatic disease.
The Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS) website is devoted to supporting clinical research of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other motor neuron disease (MND).
Formal statement on the forthcoming US Brainstorm trial
“This is the largest collection of familial Alzheimer’s whole-genome sequences in the world,” Dr. Tanzi says, comprising half a petabyte of data, equivalent to the entire contents of the Library of Congress. “This is as big as big data gets.”
Neurofibrillary tangles - largely composed of tau protein- are one of the two pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
12/10/2013: Alzheimer's Early Treatment
Can anti-amyloid antibody treatment reverse Alzheimer’s disease pathology before memory loss sets in?
12/10/2013: Alzheimer’s Preclinical Disease Biomarker
Mark Albers, MD, PhD, is developing a set of simple but powerful tools to screen for the very earliest stages of preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease.
A study led by MGH investigators shows that even low levels of the Alzheimer's-associated APOE4 protein can increase toxic amyloid beta brain plaques and the characteristic neuronal damage in mouse models of the disease. Introducing APOE2, a rare, potentially protective variant, reduced amyloid deposits and associated damage.
MGH researchers have identified and validated two rare gene mutations that appear to cause the common form of Alzheimer's disease (AD) that strikes after the age of 60. The two mutations occur in a gene called ADAM10, which now becomes the second pathologically-confirmed gene for late-onset AD and the fifth AD gene overall.
Understanding the molecular pathogenesis of Huntington’s disease.
An assay designed to measure normal and abnormal forms of the huntingtin protein – the mutated form of which causes Huntington's disease – was successful in detecting levels of the mutant protein in a large multicenter study of individuals at risk for the devastating neurological disorder.
07/22/2013: E Pluribus Unum for Parkinson Disease - Researchers Draw on Sources to Improve Treatment of PD
What do Gaucher’s disease, gout, and amyloid plaques have in common? For researchers at the MGH, each of them may shed light on the causes and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
07/22/2013: NeuroBlast e-Newsletter
NeuroBlast: the newsletter of translational neuroscience and clinical care advances in neurology, neurosurgery, and neuroscience from Massachusetts General Hospital.
06/17/2013: Rare genomic mutations found in 10 families with early-onset, familial Alzheimer's disease
MGH researchers have discovered a type of mutation known as copy-number variants – deletions, duplications, or rearrangements of human genomic DNA – in affected members of 10 families with early-onset Alzheimer's. These are the first new early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease gene mutations to be reported since 1995.
MGH investigators have determined that one of the recently identified genes contributing to the risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease regulates the clearance of the toxic amyloid beta (A-beta) protein that accumulates in the brains of patients with the disease.
04/12/2013: Mass. General Neurological Clinical Research Institute and Prize4Life receive Bio-IT World Award for creation of ALS data platform
The MGH Neurological Clinical Research Institute and Prize4Life, an organization dedicated to accelerating discovery of treatments and a cure for ALS, received a Best Practices Award at the 2013 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo for their creation of PRO-ACT ,the largest database of information from ALS clinical trials and patient care.
The initial clinical trial of a novel approach to treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – blocking production of a mutant protein that causes an inherited form of the progressive neurodegenerative disease – may be a first step towards a new era in the treatment of such disorders.
The Informatics Core at MIND offers state-of-the-art bioinformatics services, connecting researchers with tools, each other, and expertise to manage their clinical and research databases.
12/17/2012: Genetic manipulation of urate alters neurodegeneration in mouse model of Parkinson's disease
A study by MGH researchers adds further support to the possibility that increasing levels of urate may protect against Parkinson's disease. The investigators report that mice with a genetic mutation increasing urate levels were protected against Parkinson's-like neurodegeneration, while the damage was worse in animals with abnormally low urate.
Treatment with a novel agent that inhibits the activity of SIRT2, an enzyme that regulates many important cellular functions, reduced neurological damage, slowed the loss of motor function and extended survival in two animal models of Huntington's disease.
Understanding who is most susceptible to Alzheimer's disease and developing early detection models, effective therapies and possibly a cure, is the goal of the largest single private scientific grant ever invested in Alzheimer's Whole Genome Sequencing focused on families afflicted with the disease.
Use of the antioxidant urate to protect against the neurodegeneration caused by Parkinson's disease appears to rely on more than urate's ability to protect against oxidative damage.
12/18/2011: Increased expression of regulatory enzyme may protect against neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease
Treatment that increases brain levels of an important regulatory enzyme may slow the loss of brain cells that characterizes Huntington's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
11/24/2011: Rebuilding the Brain’s Circuitry
Neuron transplants have repaired brain circuitry and substantially normalized function in mice with a brain disorder, an advance indicating that key areas of the mammalian brain are more reparable than was widely believed.
10/03/2011: Biomarker for Huntington's disease identified
In a new research paper BWH and MGH researchers identify a transcriptional biomarker that may assist in the monitoring of Huntington's disease activity and in the evaluation of new medications.
MGH investigators may have found the mechanism behind a previously reported link between the rare genetic condition Gaucher disease and the common neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson's disease.
Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be an exception to the rule that being overweight is a health hazard. In a retrospective study of over 400 ALS patients, MGH researchers found that those who were mildly obese survived longer than patients who were normal weight, underweight or even overweight.
ANNE YOUNG, MD, PHD, chief of Neurology, made history for women in academic medicine by making a $1 million gift to the Department of Neurology through a deferred charitable gift annuity.
05/17/2010: New study characterizes cognitive and anatomic differences in Alzheimer’s disease gene carriers
In the most comprehensive study to date, neurologists have clearly identified significant differences in the ways that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects patients with and without the apolipoprotein E ε4 gene, a known genetic risk factor for the neurodegenerative disease.
Amyloid-beta protein – the primary constituent of the plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients – may be part of the body's first-line system to defend against infection. In their report in the March 3 issue of PLoS One, a team led by MGH researchers describe their evidence that amyloid-beta protein is an antimicrobial peptide.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are seeking recently diagnosed Parkinson's disease (PD) patients to participate in a clinical trial investigating whether inosine taken to raise the body’s level of urate — a naturally occurring antioxidant — can be used to slow the progress of PD.
Therapeutic drug trial is a definitive test of whether high-dose creatine can slow the progression of HD.
01/01/2010: Testing new drugs for ALS
Merit Cudkowicz, MD, director of the Mass General Neurological Clinical Research Institute, talks about clinical trials for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
By examining data from a 20-year-old clinical trial, a research team based at the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Harvard School of Public Health, has found evidence supporting the findings of their 2008 study – that elevated levels of the antioxidant urate may slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease researcher Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital adds another distinction to his scientific career when he joins Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and other rock celebrities in a designer menswear photo shoot as a “Rock Star of Science” in the June issue of GQ Magazine.
A new study has identified a potential strategy for removing the abnormal protein that causes Huntington’s disease from brain cells, which could slow the progression of the devastating neurological disorder.
The impact of the amyloid plaques that appear in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease may extend beyond the deposits’ effects on neurons– the cells that transmit electrochemical signals throughout the nervous system.
A collaborative research effort spanning nearly a decade between researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and King’s College London has identified a novel gene for inherited amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
01/01/2009: Gender differences in Parkinson’s disease
Drs. Anne B. Young, Ippolita Cantuti-Castelvetri and Michael Schwarzschild study gender differences in Parkinson’s disease from three different investigative approaches.
Leveraging Alzheimer’s Genome Project™ data, geneticist Rudy Tanzi, PhD, completes research to discover all gene variants that increase a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
09/23/2013: The Lancet: Neurology
Dexpramipexole vs placebo for patients with ALS (EMPOWER): a randomised, double-blind, phase 3 trial
In a phase III trial, dexpramipexole was generally well tolerated but did not differ from placebo on any pre-specified efficacy endpoint measurement. The trial can inform the design of future clinical research strategies in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
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