The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched a clinical trial of a vaccine candidate intended to prevent Zika virus infection. The early-stage study will evaluate the experimental vaccine’s safety and ability to generate an immune system response in participants. At least 80 healthy volunteers ages 18-35 years at three study sites in the United States, including the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, are expected to participate in the trial. Scientists at NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC) developed the investigational vaccine — called the NIAID Zika virus investigational DNA vaccine — earlier this year.
In a global study of myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness and fatigue, researchers found that surgical removal of an organ called the thymus reduced patients’ weakness, and their need for immunosuppressive drugs. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health
“Our results support the idea that thymectomy is a valid treatment option for a major form of myasthenia gravis,” said Gil Wolfe, M.D., Professor and Irvin and Rosemary Smith Chair of Neurology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, New York, and a leader of the study.
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Risk genes for schizophrenia and autism conspicuously activate in the same neuronal neighborhood of the brain’s cortex, or outer mantel, during infancy. This suggests some related underlying illness processes – even though known genetic variations associated with the disorders overlap by only 5 percent, say researchers.
Their study, which pinpointed the developmental trajectories of the suspect genes in the monkey brain, also identified divergent timing of risk gene activation that might help to explain the differing courses of the illnesses. Autism-related genes first switched on in newborn neurons during prenatal development, while schizophrenia risk genes didn’t activate until infancy
Neuroscientists peered into the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease and two similar conditions to see how their neural responses changed over time. The study, funded by the NIH’s Parkinson’s Disease Biomarkers Program and published in Neurology, may provide a new tool for testing experimental medications aimed at alleviating symptoms and slowing the rate at which the diseases damage the brain.
“If you know that in Parkinson’s disease the activity in a specific brain region is decreasing over the course of a year, it opens the door to evaluating a therapeutic to see if it can slow that reduction,” said senior author David Vaillancourt, Ph.D., a professor in the University of Florida’s Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. “It provides a marker for evaluating how treatments alter the chronic changes in brain physiology caused by Parkinson’s.”
A majority of respondents expressed willingness to participate in a nationwide research effort. In a recent survey designed to measure public attitudes about the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program, a majority of respondents expressed willingness to participate in the nationwide research effort. The findings (link is external) were published online in PLOS ONE by a team of National Institutes of Health researcher
The PMI Cohort Program is a landmark longitudinal research effort that aims to engage 1 million or more U.S. participants to improve our ability to prevent and treat disease based on individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics. Participants will be invited to contribute a range of data about themselves via questionnaires, electronic health records and mobile or wearable devices. They will also undergo a baseline physical evaluation and provide blood and urine samples for analysis. These data, protected by essential privacy and security safeguards, will comprise a valuable national resource for researchers and citizen scientists studying a range of health conditions. NIH anticipates launching the PMI Cohort Program in phases, beginning later this year.
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National Institutes of Health researchers have discovered a rare and sometimes lethal inflammatory disease — otulipenia — that primarily affects young children. They have also identified anti-inflammatory treatments that ease some of the patients’ symptoms: fever, skin rashes, diarrhea, joint pain and overall failure to grow or thrive.
Otulipenia is caused by the malfunction of OTULIN, a single gene on chromosome 5. When functioning properly, OTULIN regulates the development of new blood vessels and mobilization of cells and proteins to fight infection. NIH researchers published their findings Aug. 22, 2016, in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
On August 25, the National Park Service turned 100. Make plans to visit one of the more than 400 parks available this year. Find your park and get on the road this year. Here are a few suggested parks you may want to visit.
1-Cumberland Gap National Historical Park-Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia
2-San Juan National Historic Site- Puerto Rico
3-Shenandoah National Park- Virginia
4-Death Valley National Park- California, Nevada
5-Yosemite National Park- California
6-Grand Canyon National Park- Arizona
7-Fort Washington National Park- Maryland
8-Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park- California
9-C&O Canal National Historical Park- District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland
10-Olympic National Park- Washington
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Researchers at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) recently identified compounds that potentially can be used to inhibit Zika virus replication and reduce its ability to kill brain cells. These compounds now can be studied by the broader research community to help combat the Zika public health crisis. NCATS is part of the National Institutes of Health.
Data from a review of U.S.-based clinical trials published today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggest that some of the most popular complementary health approaches — such as yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture — appear to be effective tools for helping to manage common pain conditions. The review was conducted by a group of scientists from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health.
The review focused on U.S.-based trial results on seven approaches used for one or more of five painful conditions — back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and severe headaches and migraine — and found promise in the following for safety and effectiveness in treating pain:
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National Cancer Institute (NCI) Acting Director Douglas Lowy, M.D., today accepted the recommendations of a Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) on 10 scientific approaches most likely to make a decade’s worth of progress against cancer in five years under the Cancer Moonshot. The report was presented by the BRP to the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB), and it was subsequently considered and accepted by the NCAB with revisions that reflect the NCAB’s discussion. An overview of the report (link is external) was published today in the journal Science.
Contestants will vie for $20 million in prizes to develop new innovative laboratory diagnostic tools that detect and distinguish antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Washington, DC – A federal prize competition launched is calling for innovative ideas for rapid, point-of-care laboratory diagnostic tests to combat the development and spread of drug resistant bacteria, a rising public health threat. Antibiotic resistant bacteria cause at least 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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ADNI adds novel methods for recruitment, testing disease risk. The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) — the long-running National Institutes of Health-supported study investigating brain and fluid biomarkers of the disease — enters a new phase of discovery with the launch of ADNI3. With the recent NIH award of approximately $40 million over the next five years—coupled with anticipated private sector contributions of $20 million through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) — ADNI3 will use cutting-edge technologies in brain imaging as it recruits hundreds of new volunteers. Expansion of the groundbreaking study, now in its 12th year, will further develop ways to speed clinical trials by providing researchers the biomarkers needed to detect the onset and track the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.