How deep sleep keeps our brains intact

When you live with dementia, your sleep breaks apart, the nights a strobe-lit blur, the grayed days lost to catnaps. Physicians — and families — have known this for years. But what no one realized, until landmark research at Washington University in 2009 set a series of studies in motion, was that fragmented sleep might […]

Young people at risk

Phantom voices instructed a 13-year-old girl to store knives in her bed, taunted her with vulgarities and convinced her that she could see god, even be a god. For months, the voices destroyed peace in the family’s home. “I felt helpless because my daughter’s inner demons wouldn’t go away,” said the teenager’s mother, Takisha, recalling […]

Diagnostic odyssey

When you seek medical care, you expect a diagnosis. You may need to answer a lot of questions and undergo tests, but usually doctors can figure out the root of the problem. This is not the case for a surprisingly large group of patients. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 25 million to […]

Inventive pathways

Moving innovations out of the so-called ivory tower and into the public domain holds enormous power to treat disease and improve quality of life. But while academic researchers and physicians may imagine promising clinical solutions, some are unprepared to navigate commercialization: pitching themselves, attracting investors, wrangling with intellectual property law, designing rigorous proof-of-concept studies, locating […]

Fighting MS

During his freshman year of college, Brian Phillips came home one day to find his parents unexpectedly already there. With tears in his eyes, his dad, a former Marine, put his hand on his son’s shoulder and asked him to sit down. “I’ll never forget it,” Phillips said. “I’d never seen my dad cry before.” […]

Nature vs. nurture

Compelled by the potential to improve the lives of vulnerable children, emeritus trustee Walter Metcalfe and his wife, Cynthia, have committed nearly $4 million through outright and estate gifts to support the work of Joan L. Luby, MD, a highly regarded child psychiatrist. Luby and her colleagues have linked adversity, including poverty and neglect in the […]

Leading the way for personalized medicine

Washington University is working with unparalleled research capabilities to make personalized medicine a reality. The medical school is pioneering individualized treatment approaches in obesity, diabetes, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Watch the video spotlight.

Collective power

When Greg Bowman was in second grade, he began to have trouble reading the board in his classroom. Playing goalie for his soccer team also became difficult. Over the following year, he lost most of his central vision due to an inherited genetic disorder, a form of juvenile macular degeneration. “It gradually dawned on me […]