Wash U Researchers Find Blood Test Can Detect Early Alzheimer’s Symptoms

For years, doctors have used an expensive brain scan to detect symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. But researchers at Washington University have found that a simple blood test could be similarly effective, according to a study published this month in the journal Neurology. A blood test to diagnose early symptoms could help make finding a cure […]

Genes linked to Alzheimer’s risk, resilience ID’d

An international team of researchers led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified a pair of genes that influence risk for both late-onset and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Most genes implicated thus far in Alzheimer’s affect neurons that transmit messages, allowing different regions of the brain to communicate with one […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Sleep disturbances in Wolfram syndrome” (2019) Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases Sleep disturbances in Wolfram syndrome (2019) Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 14 (1), art. no. 188, .  Licis, A.a , Davis, G.d e , Eisenstein, S.A.b c , Lugar, H.M.b , Hershey, T.a b c a Department of Neurology, Washington University, School of Medicine, Campus Box 8111, 660 South Euclid Ave, […]

Antisense Drugs for Huntington’s, ALS and Prion Diseases Could Meet the Dire Need for Brain Treatments

Among the human body’s many maladies, few have stumped medical researchers like those that decimate the brain. After decades of effort, effectively treating—let alone curing—neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease has been a source of frustration for many, as old theories are questioned and clinical trials fail. Basic scientists have achieved some progress. […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Genetic variation across RNA metabolism and cell death gene networks is implicated in the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia” (2019) Scientific Reports Genetic variation across RNA metabolism and cell death gene networks is implicated in the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (2019) Scientific Reports, 9 (1), art. no. 10854, .  Bonham, L.W.a b , Steele, N.Z.R.a , Karch, C.M.c […]

Neuroscientists Discover the Brain Circuity for Persistence

Why do some people give up easily and others do not? A common leadership ability among extraordinary achievers—such as CEOs, inventors, astronauts, best-selling authors, successful artists and musicians, popular comedians, media stars, trail-blazing entrepreneurs, ace pilots, Nobel prize winning scientists, and professional athletes—is persistence and motivation—the ability to go the extra mile and not give up easily. Is […]

Blood test is highly accurate at identifying Alzheimer’s before symptoms arise

Up to two decades before people develop the characteristic memory loss and confusion of Alzheimer’s disease, damaging clumps of protein start to build up in their brains. Now, a blood test to detect such early brain changes has moved one step closer to clinical use. Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“A comparison of buprenorphine and psychosocial treatment outcomes in psychosocial and medical settings” (2019) Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment A comparison of buprenorphine and psychosocial treatment outcomes in psychosocial and medical settings (2019) Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 104, pp. 135-143.  Presnall, N.J.a b , Wolf, D.A.P.S.a , Brown, D.S.a , Beeler-Stinn, S.a , Grucza, R.A.b a Brown School of […]

A Blood Test for Alzheimer’s? It’s Coming, Scientists Report

For decades, researchers have sought a blood test for beta amyloid, the protein that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Several groups and companies have made progress, and on Thursday, scientists at Washington University in St. Louis reported that they had devised the most sensitive blood test yet. The test will not be available for […]

Culver named Sherwood Moore Professor of Radiology

Joseph P. Culver, PhD, a professor of radiology recognized for helping develop optical neuroimaging technologies to map brain function in humans and animals, has been named the inaugural Sherwood Moore Professor of Radiology. Based at the university’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR), Culver’s lab is notable for advancing diffuse optical tomography (DOT), a technology that uses light […]

Covey named Taylor Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry

Douglas F. Covey, PhD, a leader in the development of a new class of drugs — neurosteroids — to treat mental illness, has been installed as the inaugural Andrew C. and Barbara B. Taylor Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The professorship was established through a gift from […]

Children with rare genetic disorder gather for research clinic at Washington University

ST. LOUIS — Emily Bejerano, who has worn glasses since before she can remember, was diagnosed at age 5 with insulin-dependent diabetes. Two years later, a doctor linked her vision troubles and diabetes symptoms to diagnose her with Wolfram syndrome, a rare genetic disease that affects only one in every 500,000 people worldwide. “You see […]

Whelan named head of molecular microbiology

Noted virologist Sean Whelan, PhD, has been named head of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and the Marvin A. Brennecke Distinguished Professor of Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He studies how deadly viruses such as Ebola and rabies enter cells and multiply, a key step to finding targets for new […]

“A fact of life – not a crime”

Fifty years ago today the Stonewall uprising began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. In the 1960s, as in preceding decades, police commonly raided bars that catered to gay and lesbian clientele on the pretext of liquor license violations. This was the case at Stonewall when officers […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“CRISPR/Cas9 mediated generation of an ovine model for infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN1 disease)” (2019) Scientific Reports CRISPR/Cas9 mediated generation of an ovine model for infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN1 disease) (2019) Scientific Reports, 9 (1), art. no. 9891, .  Eaton, S.L.a , Proudfoot, C.a , Lillico, S.G.a , Skehel, P.b c , Kline, R.A.a , Hamer, K.e , Rzechorzek, N.M.d […]

A Mix Of These Foods Could Restore Healthy Microbes In Malnourished Kids

When children suffer from severe malnourishment, they don’t just lose weight. The condition wreaks havoc on biological systems throughout the body — including the microbiome, the healthy bacteria and other microbes that live in our digestive tracts. Those bacteria number in the trillions in every person and include hundreds of different species. They’re essential for […]

For malnourished children, new therapeutic food boosts gut microbes, healthy development

A new type of therapeutic food, specifically designed to repair the gut microbiomes of malnourished children, is superior to standard therapy in an initial clinical trial conducted in Bangladesh. An interdisciplinary team of investigators from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Dhaka, Bangladesh, have […]

Sean Whelan to be head of the Department of Molecular Microbiology

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students: I am so pleased to announce that Professor Sean Whelan has accepted the position of head of the Department of Molecular Microbiology, effective January 1, 2020. Sean is currently Professor of Microbiology, Chair of the Program in Virology and Director of a Center of Excellence in Translational Research at Harvard […]

Anne Cross honored for multiple sclerosis research

Anne H. Cross, MD, the Manny and Rosalyn Rosenthal and Dr. John L. Trotter MS Center Chair in Neuroimmunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Academy of Neurology. The award recognizes outstanding contributions […]

Limbrick named T.S. Park, MD, Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery

Pediatric neurosurgeon David D. Limbrick Jr., MD, PhD, a professor of neurosurgery and of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named the T.S. Park, MD, Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The honor, bestowed by St. Louis Children’s through a gift from an anonymous donor, recognizes Limbrick’s expertise in […]

‘How I learned to stop researching and live in the moment’

Brooke Sadler, a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Medicine and daughter of the late hematologist J. Evan Sadler, writes a poignant first-person article in the journal Neurology about how her family of scientists dealt with her father’s diagnosis last year of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The School of Medicine professor died in December. Read more.

BrainWorks: Theater production explores wonders of human brain

Two nationally renowned neurosurgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will present “BrainWorks,” a live theatrical performance that explores the wonders of the human brain by dramatizing real-life neurological cases. The performance, comprised of four one-act plays, will debut July 19-21 at the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts at Webster University. Albert Kim, […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“A longitudinal study of neurocognition and behavior in patients with Hurler-Scheie syndrome heterozygous for the L238Q mutation” (2019) Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports A longitudinal study of neurocognition and behavior in patients with Hurler-Scheie syndrome heterozygous for the L238Q mutation (2019) Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports, 20, art. no. 100484, .  Ahmed, A.a , Ou, L.b , Rudser, K.c , […]

Creed, McCall named Rita Allen Foundation Scholars

Meaghan Creed, PhD, and Jordan McCall, PhD, both assistant professors in anesthesiology, have been named to the 2019 class of Rita Allen Foundation Scholars. The foundation chose 10 young leaders whose research in biomedical sciences holds promise for revealing new pathways to advance human health. Each scholar receives a grant of up to $110,000 annually […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Integrated analysis of environmental and genetic influences on cord blood DNA methylation in new-borns” (2019) Nature Communications Integrated analysis of environmental and genetic influences on cord blood DNA methylation in new-borns (2019) Nature Communications, 10 (1), art. no. 2548, .  Czamara, D.a , Eraslan, G.b c , Page, C.M.d e , Lahti, J.f g , Lahti-Pulkkinen, M.f h , Hämäläinen, E.i […]

Alzheimer’s missing link ID’d, answering what tips brain’s decline

Years before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease appear, two kinds of damaging proteins silently collect in the brain: amyloid beta and tau. Clumps of amyloid accumulate first, but tau is particularly noxious. Wherever tangles of the tau protein appear, brain tissue dies, triggering the confusion and memory loss that are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. Now, researchers at […]

Understanding how tics are suppressed may help some at risk for tic disorders

At least 20 percent of elementary school-age children develop tics such as excessive blinking, throat clearing or sniffing, but for most of those kids, the tics don’t become a long-term problem. Conventional wisdom has held that most tics go away on their own and that only in rare cases do they become chronic or develop into […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“High-fidelity mapping of repetition-related changes in the parietal memory network” (2019) NeuroImage High-fidelity mapping of repetition-related changes in the parietal memory network (2019) NeuroImage, 199, pp. 427-439.  Gilmore, A.W.a , Nelson, S.M.h i j , Laumann, T.O.b c , Gordon, E.M.h i , Berg, J.J.a , Greene, D.J.c d , Gratton, C.b , Nguyen, A.L.b , Ortega, M.b , […]

Cashen named Institutional Review Board chair

Amanda F. Cashen, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named executive chair of the university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), the multidisciplinary group that reviews and approves protocols for research studies that involve human subjects. The group is responsible for protecting the rights and welfare of […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“A synthesis strategy for tetracyclic terpenoids leads to agonists of ERβ” (2019) Nature Communications A synthesis strategy for tetracyclic terpenoids leads to agonists of ERβ (2019) Nature Communications, 10 (1), art. no. 2448, .  Kim, W.S.a , Shalit, Z.A.a , Nguyen, S.M.b , Schoepke, E.c , Eastman, A.d , Burris, T.P.c , Gaur, A.B.b , Micalizio, G.C.a a Dartmouth College, Department of […]

Chen awarded Office of Naval Research grant for detection of TBI

Hong Chen, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering and of radiation oncology at the School of Medicine, received a $470,500 research grant from the Office of Naval Research to detect traumatic brain injury (TBI) using ultrasound sensors. This research represents just one arm of a multi-faceted approach in the Chen […]

2019 McKelvey School Collaboration Initiation Grants awarded to four faculty members

Rajan Chakrabarty, Fangqiong Ling, Chuan Wang, and Patty Weisensee, all assistant professors in the McKelvey School of Engineering, have been awarded $25,000 Collaboration Initiation Grants from the school. The program awards one-year grants to projects that facilitate collaborative research outside of and within McKelvey Engineering departments for tenure-track faculty. The grants are a pathway for […]

Aging delayed in older mice given blood component from young mice

New research has identified a novel approach to staving off the detrimental effects of aging, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The study suggests that a protein that is abundant in the blood of young mice plays a vital role in keeping mice healthy. With age, levels of […]

Thorp to conclude term as Washington University provost

Holden Thorp, provost at Washington University in St. Louis, will leave his position effective July 15, according to Chancellor Andrew D. Martin. Thorp, who has served in his current role since 2013, plans to take a one-year sabbatical and then return to the university in a newly created leadership role in the drug discovery and […]

Immune cells determine how fast certain tumors grow

Tumors arise when cells shake off their restraints and start to multiply out of control. But how fast a tumor grows does not depend solely on how quickly the cancer cells can divide, a new study has found. By examining brain tumors in mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Regulation of neuronal connectivity in the mammalian brain by chromatin remodeling” (2019) Current Opinion in Neurobiology Regulation of neuronal connectivity in the mammalian brain by chromatin remodeling (2019) Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 59, pp. 59-68.  Goodman, J.V.a b , Bonni, A.a a Department of Neuroscience, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, United States b Medical Scientist Training Program, Washington […]

Powderly to lead Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences

William G. Powderly, MD, the Dr. J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named director of the university’s Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS). The institute is funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). […]

$9.5 million aimed at detecting autism earlier in childhood

A multicenter research team led jointly by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a five-year, $9.5 million grant to further evaluate whether brain imaging can help detect very high risk of autism spectrum disorder in early infancy. Researchers believe that if they […]

Imai awarded $1.6M from NIH’s National Institute on Aging

Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, professor of developmental biology at the School of Medicine, received a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his project titled “eNAMPT-mediated adipo-hypothalamic communication for NAD+ production and aging.” Read more.

Michael Nelson to be Interim Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dear Colleagues, I am writing to let you know that D. Michael Nelson, MD, PhD, the Virginia S. Lang Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has graciously agreed to serve as Interim Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and he will start in the role on Monday June 3, 2019. George Macones, MD, MSCE, […]

Academy of Science-St. Louis honors faculty

The Academy of Science-St. Louis recently honored Washington University in St. Louis Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton for his leadership in science and three researchers at the School of Medicine for their work as outstanding scientists. The medical school faculty honored were Susan K. Dutcher, professor of genetics and of cell biology and physiology; Anne M. […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Epigenetic dysregulation of enhancers in neurons is associated with Alzheimer’s disease pathology and cognitive symptoms” (2019) Nature Communications Epigenetic dysregulation of enhancers in neurons is associated with Alzheimer’s disease pathology and cognitive symptoms (2019) Nature Communications, 10 (1), art. no. 2246, .  Li, P.a , Marshall, L.a , Oh, G.b , Jakubowski, J.L.a , Groot, D.b , He, Y.c , Wang, […]

Metcalfe gift supports study of adversity’s effects on children’s brains

Compelled by the potential to improve the lives of vulnerable children, emeritus trustee Walter Metcalfe Jr. and his wife, Cynthia, have made a commitment of nearly $4 million through outright and estate gifts to support the work of Joan L. Luby, MD, a highly regarded child psychiatrist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. […]

Perlmutter receives Spirit of Hope Award

David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and the George and Carol Bauer Dean of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the Christopher Hobler Spirit of Hope Award in recognition of his advocacy for neurological research. The award was presented April 25 by the nonprofit organization Hope Happens. […]

Students with sickle cell disease stay on track with help from St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Brandon Gardner graduated Friday on schedule with his class from Trinity Catholic High School in north St. Louis County. The rite of passage wasn’t always a certainty for Gardner, 18, who was born with sickle cell disease and has endured various complications including infections and chronic pain throughout childhood. In March of his junior year, […]

E3 Nutrition Lab Links Child Nutrition, Economics and Evolution

A transdisciplinary laboratory at the Brown School is undertaking research across the world to address “hidden hunger”— poverty-related nutritional deficiencies in mothers and young children. The founder and director of the E3 Nutrition Lab is Lora Iannotti, associate professor and associate dean for public health. The three “E”s represent the lab’s principles for nutrition interventions: […]

WashU weekly Neuroscience publications

“Classification of temporal ICA components for separating global noise from fMRI data: Reply to Power” (2019) NeuroImage Classification of temporal ICA components for separating global noise from fMRI data: Reply to Power (2019) NeuroImage, 197, pp. 435-438.  Glasser, M.F.a b c , Coalson, T.S.a , Bijsterbosch, J.D.d , Harrison, S.J.d e , Harms, M.P.f , Anticevic, A.g , Van […]