Emphasizing Prevention in Alzheimer’s Disease Trials

alzheimer's researchFor most chronic diseases, improvements in care over the past few decades have resulted from early interventions that prevent disease progression. Brigham and Women’s Hospital investigators, along with collaborators at other institutions around the world, are applying a similar approach to the early detection and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

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Neuroendocrine Collaboration Focuses on Cushing’s Disease

brain imaging

Cushing’s disease, caused by a pituitary adenoma, is the most common type of endogenous excessive cortisol production and results in Cushing’s syndrome. This is a particularly challenging disease to diagnose and treat. Surgery to remove the pituitary tumors that drive the disease can bring it under control, but these tumors can’t always be completely removed. In addition, they frequently recur, even a decade or more after surgery.

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$14.5M Grant Awarded for Glioblastoma Research

close up of microscope

E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and David Reardon, MD, of Brigham and Women’s and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, have received a $14.5M Program Project grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for his research on glioblastoma. These NCI grants support multidisciplinary research that addresses a major scientific objective. The highly competitive grants are only awarded to a few research programs every five years.

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Surgical Collaboration Treats Complex Spinal Deformities

surgeons

A unique collaboration at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is helping patients with scoliosis and other complex spinal problems reclaim their quality of life. The Adult Spinal Deformity and Scoliosis Program, led by co-directors Hasan A. Zaidi, MD, Melvin C. Makhni, MD, MBA, and Yi Lu, MD, PhD, is one of the very few in the country to bring together specialists in neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery to treat patients through the entire continuum of care.

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$12.5M Grant to Develop Targeted Glioma Therapies

brain scan

At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Tracy Batchelor, MD, MPH, chair of the Department of Neurology, has received a Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

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Brigham Leads the Way in Brain Circuit Therapeutics

brain imaging
Dr. Siddiqi’s trial uses brain imaging to target specific circuits (white arrows). Siddiqi et al, Am J Psychiatry 2020

Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently opened its innovative Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics. A joint clinical, research and education initiative, the new center brings together experts from neurology, psychiatry, neurosurgery and neuroradiology to develop innovative treatment methods for brain disorders that don’t respond to medication.

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Could MicroRNAs Change the Face of Glioblastoma Treatment?

a rendition of the RNA structure What is the role of microRNAs in glioblastoma (GBM)? How do they control the epigenetic landscape of the tumor and its microenvironment? Questions like these are at the heart of the research of Pier Paolo Peruzzi, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon and researcher at the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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Deceased COVID-19 Patients Show Hypoxic Injury in the Brain

Human brain
Coronal view of one of the 18 human brains in a study led by Isaac H. Solomon, MD, PhD, a pathologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

While COVID-19 primarily affects the lungs of those infected, many patients have reported a wide range of unusual neurological symptoms. These include headaches, altered mental status, strokes, seizures and loss of smell. Many researchers have hoped that autopsies could shed light on the unknowns of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

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Attacking GBM: Building a micro RNA Therapy; Testing a Treatment Microdevice

A research team from the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has published its step-by-step “recipe” for combining microRNAs into genetic therapies. The new publication comes on the heels of earlier work that shows promise for a potential glioblastoma (GBM) gene therapy. In sharing their technique, the researchers hope to help others create transgenes that could target virtually any complex molecular pathway in a broad range of tumors and other disorders.
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7T MRI Reveals a Link Between Meningeal and Gray Matter Involvement in MS

7 Tesla MRI findings in multiple sclerosis*

Increased immune system activity at the brain’s surface, or meningeal inflammation, is believed to be important for understanding how relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) — the most common early form of the disease — progresses to more advanced clinical stages. But the most commonly available MRI technology, 3 Tesla (3T), offers a limited view of meningeal inflammation.
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