Up at 5AM: The 5AM Solutions Blog

New Studies Could Lead to New Diagnostics for Alzheimer's Disease

Posted on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 03:30 PM

Two new studies published in JAMA this week confirm that amyloid plaques on the brain predict future Alzheimer's Disease (AD). What's more, there is evidence that the plaques appear decades before patients experience the cognitive declines associated with AD. Researchers have long suspected that amyloid plaques precede the disease, but according to an article in the New York Times, this new research is "[t]he largest analysis to date of amyloid plaques in people’s brains [and it] confirms that the presence of the substance can help predict who will develop Alzheimer’s and determine who has the disease."

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Tags: research, clinical trials, map of biomedicine, diagnostics, Alzheimer's Disease

Put Away Your Winter Genes

Posted on Thu, May 14, 2015 @ 02:30 PM

The azaleas are in full, colorful blossom in my suburban Washington, DC neighborhood. To me their appearance signals spring marching toward summer; the end of the last of winter's blahs. According to a paper published in Nature Communications last Tuesday, the impact of seasonal changes on human health are much deeper than aesthetic, and in, fact, may be genetic.

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Tags: research, personalized medicine, genes

What We Talk About When We Talk About Curing Cancer

Posted on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 05:01 PM

Last night, the three-night documentary series "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies" based on Siddartha Mukherjee's bestselling book premiered on PBS. In the first episode, the filmmakers traced the disease's history from a reference in a 15-foot, 4,000-year-old Egyptian medical parchment (under cures it reads: "There is none.") to the present, at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, where two families are facing unimaginably difficult decisions about how to treat their children's leukemia.

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Tags: cancer, cancer research, research

NIH Has a $150M to Spend on Pediatric Research this Year

Posted on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

It seems like a nice problem to have: an additional $150 million for important research. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found itself in this very position. The agency has a bit more than $150 million to spend on pediatric studies from two sources this year. 

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Tags: cancer, research, EHR, NCS

Researchers Uncover 8 Genes That Build Your Brain

Posted on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 @ 03:29 PM

In terms of our brains, size matters. In the animal kingdom, humans are somewhat remarkable for our brain to body size ratio. A paper published in Nature points to a genetic basis for the size of some of the structures that make up our brains and that influence diverse functions from being able to ride a bike without thinking about it to remembering your route to work. 

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Tags: research, Big Data

Crowdfunding Scientific Research

Posted on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

By 2011, the average age of a first-time NIH-funded, principal investigator with a PhD was 42. First-time PI's with MDs or MD-PhDs were over 44-years-old. In 1980, the average first time PhD-level NIH grant recipients hadn't quite reached their 36th birthdays. So what's a researcher to do?

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Tags: research

Alzheimer's Disease in 3D

Posted on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

The National Institute on Aging estimates that about 5 million Americans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer's Disease (AD). In general, as people get older, they become more susceptible to this irreversible, degenerative brain disease. In fact, the prevalence of AD doubles every five years after age 65, and while AD is not "normal" aging, as the population ages the numbers of cases of AD will increase commensurately. To put that into perspective, by 2050, 20% of the population will be 65 years old and older.

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Tags: research, drug development, Alzheimer's Disease

6 Health Stories to Read this Week: Cancer, Kissing, Coffee and More

Posted on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 @ 03:00 PM

From a device that shows promise in lengthening the lives of patients with glioblastomas to using magnets to decrease concussions on the football field, this week is full of good (or at least very interesting) science and health news.

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Tags: cancer, research, The Senses

Malaria and Dengue Vaccines for Mosquitoes?

Posted on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 @ 03:00 PM

According to the World Heath Organization (WHO), 207 million people contracted malaria and  627,000 died from it in 2012. Additionally, there were 50 - 100 million cases of dengue in the world's tropical and sub-tropical regions. The good news: infection and mortality rates for both mosquito-borne illnesses are declining. The better news is that researchers may be on to a solution that targets these dangerous diseases at their source: the mosquitoes that carry malaria and dengue pathogens. 

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Tags: research, vaccines

Hate Leafy Greens, Coffee, and Hoppy Beer? Blame Your Genes.

Posted on Thu, Oct 09, 2014 @ 03:55 PM

I love kale. And arugula, and black coffee, and brussels sprouts. To me, these foods' bitterness is pleasant and, in the veggies' cases, they strike me as subtly sweet. I am a nontaster according to recent health research. Others are very sensitive to bitter flavors and cringe at the mere thought of -- for instance -- eating a radish plucked fresh from the garden. 

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Tags: research, genes, health research, The Senses


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