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Breakthroughs

Drug Combo Beats Aspirin Alone in Reducing Stroke Risk After TIA
N Engl J Med. 2013 Jul 4;369(1):11-9.
UCSF investigators, with researchers in China, have found that a combination of clopidogrel and aspirin within 24 hours of the onset of transient ischemic attack or minor ischemic stroke have a reduced risk of stroke in the next 90 days compared to patients who received aspirin alone. There was no increase in the risk of hemorrhage.

High-Resolution Mapping Technique Uncovers Underlying Circuit Architecture of the Brain
June 27, 2013
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes and the Salk Institute have found a way to untangle complex networks of synapses using an innovative brain-tracing technique that is activated genetically to ensure that it is only turned on in specific neurons. This is a huge technological advance that allows researchers to focus on just the networks that connect to specific kinds of cells.

High Frequency of Seizures in Inpatient Population Revealed by EEG
Mayo Clin Proc. 2013 Apr;88(4):326-31.
Dr. John Betjemann, director of the SFGH Neurohospitalist Program and a UCSF fellowship-trained epileptologist, has recently found that seizures in hospitalized patients are more common than previously thought and may be identified by using a routinely available test, the electroencephalogram (EEG), if used more frequently. His work is also addressing disparities in utilization of epilepsy treatment resources, including epilepsy surgery, among patients with various socioeconomic backgrounds in order to identify and decrease barriers to care.

Improved Emergency Treatment for Prolonged Seizures
N Engl J Med. 2/16/12
UCSF neurological emergency researchers at SFGH, working with the SF Fire Department Paramedic Division, were national leaders in the recently completed RAMPART study. RAMPART found that paramedics who used a special anti-seizure medication called midazolam that was delivered using an easy-to-use autoinjector could stop seizures more often than the prior usual treatment. RAMPART was a national study sponsored by the NIH in which San Francisco was one of the top enrolling sites. This simple streamlined study has already led to changes in the way patients are treated with emergency ongoing seizures.

Identification of genes responsible for disturbances in sleep rhythm.

Identification of early changes that lead to degeneration in Parkinson's disease.

Understanding the mechanisms responsible for brain malformation and childhood brain tumors.

Discovery of prions (Nobel Prize) and subsequent work on prion disease prevention with global impact.

Identification of genes associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), muscle diseases, aging, memory loss and dementia.

Discovery of antibodies that cause myelin sheath destruction in MS, and development of a new treatment approach against this mechanism.

Identification of a gene activity fingerprint that predicts who will progress to MS within a year.

Development of evidence-based treatment for brain aneurysms and stroke.

Discovery that neurodegenerative diseases target and progress along distinct neural networks that normally support healthy brain function.

Mapping of abnormal brain regions associated with epilepsy.

Elucidation of the links between stroke and ethnicity.

Creation of safer and more effective neuroimaging technology for infants.

Identification of risk factors and early intervention for several forms of dementia.

Development of targets for deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's patients.

Advances in gene therapy for Parkinson's Disease.

ICU interventions that save brain function of stroke patients.


Also of interest
Center Watch Clinical Trials Listing Service
Clinical Trials in Neurology at UCSF
ClinicalTrials.com
ClinicalTrials.gov
The Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trials Database
WebMD