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Discovering How Diabetes Leads To Vascular Disease
A team of UC Davis Health scientists and physicians has identified a cellular connection between diabetes and one of its major complications — blood vessel narrowing that increases risks of several serious health conditions, including heart disease and stroke.
The authors hope their work leads to diabetes treatments — beyond blood sugar monitoring and insulin therapy — that target the molecular source of its damaging effects on the vascular system.
The same team previously found that high blood glucose, the hallmark symptom of diabetes, activates an enzyme known as protein kinase A (PKA), which increases calcium channel activity and constricts blood vessels.
“This was a surprise, since PKA is typically associated with blood vessel widening and wasn’t really on our radar,” said senior author Manuel Navedo, professor of pharmacology at UC Davis Health. “We wanted to understand the mo
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Nanoparticles Promote Functional Healing Following Spinal Cord Injury
Paralyzing damage in spinal cord injury (SCI) is often caused by the zealous immune response to the injury. NIBIB-funded engineers have developed nanoparticles that lure immune cells away from the spinal cord, allowing regeneration that restored spinal cord function in mice.
Just as in the brain, the spinal cord has a blood brain barrier that protects the delicate nerves from potential damage from various insults, including blocking immune cells from moving in to clean up debris from the injury.
When the spinal cord suffers a traumatic injury, the blood brain barrier is damaged, and the rapid influx of immune cells creates an environment that aims to quickly shore-up the injury, yet also inhibits regenerative processes that can successfully rebuild and reconnect delicate damaged nerves.
Now NIBIB-grantee Lonnie Shea, Ph.D., the Steven A Goldstein Collegiate Professor, Biomedical engin
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Gut Microbes May Affect the Course Of ALS
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have shown in mice that intestinal microbes, collectively termed the gut microbiome, may affect the course of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. As reported in Nature, progression of an ALS-like disease was slowed after the mice received certain strains of gut microbes or substances known to be secreted by these microbes. Preliminary results suggest that the findings on the regulatory function of the microbiome may be applicable to human patients with ALS.
“Our long-standing scientific and medical goal is to elucidate the impact of the microbiome on human health and disease, with the brain being a fascinating new frontier,” says Prof. Eran Elinav of the Department of Immunology. His team performed the study together with that of Prof. Eran Segal of the Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathem
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Federal Government Taps Saint Louis University To Improve Care for Missouri’s Older Adults
A $3.75 million federal grant to Saint Louis University (SLU) builds upon its 30-year legacy of educating, studying and caring for older adults to further advance geriatric care across Missouri.
Partnering with multiple educational, patient care and service organizations and supported by a new five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SLU will expand its previously funded work. Through its Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) grant, SLU will:
•Expand the number of health systems in Missouri that are age-friendly
•Launch a program to address social isolation and loneliness among older adults
•Train practitioners to detect cognitive impairment and refer those in need to appropriate services
•Care to promote the well-being of caregivers
•Educate the general public about geriatric issues
•For more than a quarter of a century, SLU has received funding