Archive for the Neurosciences and Alzheimer’s Category

USF study finds blood-brain barrier damaged by devastating disease

March 8, 2011

Sanfilippo Syndrome compromises the barrier, leading to brain damage in mouse model Tampa, Fla. (March 8, 2011) – A study into the effects of Sanfilippo Syndrome type B (MPS III B) has found that the barrier responsible for protecting the brain from the entry of harmful blood-borne substances is structurally and functionally damaged by the devastating disease. University of South Florida researchers identified damage in specific brain structures involved in the pathology of MPS III B, one of four Sanfilippo syndromes, all inherited diseases of metabolism. The study, using a […]

Preladenant reduces motor fluctuations in patients with Parkinson’s disease

February 10, 2011

The USF-led study reports the non-dopaminergic drug lessens “off time” in patients receiving standard dopamine therapy Tampa, FL (Feb. 10, 2011) — Preladenant, a non-dopaminergic medication, reduces off time in patients with Parkinson’s disease receiving standard dopamine therapy, an international study led by the University of South Florida found. Results of the double-blind, randomized clinical trial are reported online today in the journal Lancet Neurology. The findings suggest that preladenant may offer a new supplemental treatment for Parkinson’s disease without some of the complications of levodopa and other standard dopamine […]

USF joins Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative as study site

January 28, 2011

Note: For more information about enrolling in PPMI, please contact  USF site coordinator Holly Delgado at or (813) 844-4453. The $40-million, five-year observational clinical study, sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, will seek biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease Tampa, FL (Jan. 31, 2011) — The University of South Florida (USF) announced that it is one of 16 official U.S. study sites for the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), a landmark observational clinical study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which will use a combination of advanced imaging, biologics […]

Michael J. Fox appeal to physicians: Invite patients to join landmark PD biomarkers study

January 28, 2011

Michael J. Fox, center, with USF Health’s Dr. Robert Hauser and MJFF co-founder Deborah Brooks, asked area physicians to encourage their patients to participate in trials that will advance the discovery of treatments for Parkinson’s disease.  Two dozen neurologists in the hotel conference room overlooking Tampa Bay had gathered to learn more about how they might help USF Health recruit patients for the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, a landmark international study to find biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease.  Of course, the fact that the Foundation’s affable and inspirational founder, Michael J. […]

Human placenta-derived stem cells show therapeutic potential in mouse models of stroke

January 27, 2011

Study suggests human amniotic cells “cross talk” with melatonin receptor MT1 Tampa, Fla. (Feb. 1, 2010) – Human amniotic epithelial cells, stem cells derived from human placenta left over from live births and generally discarded, proliferated and differentiated when they interacted with one kind of melatonin receptor, MT1. This potentially therapeutic response occurred when the stem cells were transplanted into laboratory test tube and animal models of stroke. The same cells did not perform similarly when interacting with melatonin receptor MT2. Researchers from the University of South Florida’s Department of […]

Stimulating brain’s immune response may provide treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

January 26, 2011

USF researchers find CD45 blocks early AD developmental step in mouse model Tampa, Fla. (Jan. 26, 2011) – A new target for the prevention of adverse immune responses identified as factors in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been discovered by researchers at the University of South Florida’s Department of Psychiatry and the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair. Their findings are published online in the Journal of Neuroscience. The CD45 molecule is a receptor on the surface of the brain’s microglia cells, cells that support the […]

USF Health neuroscientist named AAAS fellow

January 12, 2011

Huntington Potter, PhD, a USF Health neuroscientist well known for his research on Alzheimer’s disease, has been elected a 2010 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Potter is a professor of molecular medicine at the USF Health and holds an endowed chair in Alzheimer’s research. He received the high-profile AAAS distinction for his contributions to the fields of genetic recombination, electroporation and neuroscience, particularly the findings that inflammation and aneuploidy (abnormal number of chromosomes) link Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome. Recently, Dr. Potter and […]

Unlocking the puzzles of the brain

December 22, 2010

Dr. Gabriel de Erausquin recently joined  USF Health from Harvard to fill the Roskamp Chair of Biological Psychiatry.       Scientists used to think that the brain, unlike other parts of the body, could not repair itself.       Now they know better.       But how that repair works remains mysterious.       Why does stimulating the brain with electricity reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but not keep the disease from progressing?       Why do people with schizophrenia develop some of the same physical symptoms as Parkinson’s?       How do the brain’s efforts […]

USF scientists test blue-green algae for treating ALS

December 21, 2010

Ancient food source relieved motor symptoms in mouse model of neurodegenerative disease Tampa, FL (Dec. 21, 2010) – Nutritional supplementation with spirulina, a nutrient-rich, blue-green algae, appeared to provide neuroprotective support for dying motor neurons in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, University of South Florida neuroscientists have found. Although more research is needed, they suggest that a spirulina-supplemented diet may provide clinical benefits for ALS patients. A spirulina dietary supplement was shown to delay the onset of motor symptoms and disease […]

USF brain repair researchers prominent in Aging and Disease special issue

December 14, 2010

Commentary focuses on latest knowledge about inflammation and biology of aging brain University of South Florida researchers from the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair have published several articles in a special issue of the journal Aging and Disease, a peer-reviewed, open access journal focused on issues relating to the biology of aging and innovative therapies. The journal’s December 2010 issue is dedicated to research on the aging brain, the role of inflammation, and potential therapies for brain repair, including stem cell transplantation and other methods to therapeutically “tinker” with, […]

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