Can tiny bits of cells in the blood help track the progress of spinal muscular atrophy?
From the Ottawa Hospital Media: Dr. Robin Parks was awarded $150,000 from CureSMA to see if tiny bits of cells called exosomes can be used to track how spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) progresses and responds to treatment. Dr. Parks’ team previously found that exosomes naturally released into the blood contain similar levels of SMN protein as the affected nerve and muscle cells. This funding will allow them to continue to explore the practicality and accuracy of analyzing SMN protein levels using exosomes.
Mouse study surprises with antidepressants and exercise links in stroke recovery
From the Ottawa Hospital: Exercise and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are effective in treating certain kinds of depression. But little research has tested them together in post-stroke depression, which affects 20 to 80 percent of stroke survivors. Drs. Paul Albert and Faranak Vahid-Ansari investigated this using a novel mouse model they developed for this condition. Surprisingly, they found exercise had no impact on depression, but SSRIs had a much greater impact than expected.
New funding for patient-centered approach to Parkinson’s care
From the The Ottawa Hospital - L'Hôpital d'Ottawa: Dr. Tiago Mestre has received a $197,000 New Investigator Award from the Physicians’ Services Incorporated Foundation to test a new model of care for people living with Parkinson’s disease. This project, called the Integrated Parkinson’s Care Network, was developed in collaboration with Dr. David Grimes. People with Parkinson’s disease often need to be seen by a wide range of professionals both in the hospital and the community, and often this care is not well coordinated. The doctors and their colleagues will implement and test a model that puts patients in charge of managing their condition and delivers care in one location.
Stroke repair: study shows single pathway crucial for generating new stem cells, neurons and blood vessels
From the The Ottawa Hospital - L'Hôpital d'Ottawa: If you were to suffer a stroke, would you want your brain to create more stem cells, replace the damaged neurons or repair the broken blood vessels? A new study led by Dr. Jing Wang shows that fine-tuning a single molecular pathway may allow the brain to accomplish all three of these crucial tasks.
New research in Nature Communications: Dr. Park's lab delineates novel molecular pathway in Parkinson’s pathogenesis.
A team of researchers from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine, led by Dr. Park, has delineated the mechanism by which a gene mutation leads to a form of Parkinson’s disease—namely, the loss of the PINK1 gene. Their findings were published today in Nature Communications, of the highly prestigious Nature family of journals.