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Genomic blood test predicts survival rates after surgery for advanced heart failure
UCLA HealthDr. Mario DengFINDINGSAn experimental blood test developed at UCLA that uses gene activity data from immune cells was 93 percent accurate in predicting survival rates for people with advanced heart failure who had surgery to implant mechanical circulatory support devices.BACKGROUNDMechanical circulatory support devices, such as ventricular assist devices and temporary total artificial hearts, can be surgically implanted in people with advanced heart failure to help the heart ’s pumping function.But people with advanced heart failure often also suffer from multi-organ dysfunction syndrome, which can lead to...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 14, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

27% of California adolescents are gender nonconforming, study finds
A new UCLA study finds that 27 percent, or 796,000, of California ’s youth, ages 12 to 17, report they are viewed by others as gender nonconforming at school.The study also assessed differences in mental health among gender nonconforming youth and gender conforming youth in the state, and found no significant difference in the rates of lifetime suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts between gender nonconforming youth and their gender conforming peers. However, gender nonconforming youth were more than twice as likely to have experienced psychological distress in the past year.“The data show that more than one i...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Treating depression requires a multifaceted approach
Depression affects one in four women and one in six men. It is the cause of more than $200 billion in lost productivity, work absenteeism, and disability and health care costs annually, and is believed to contribute to roughly a million suicides worldwide each year.These were among the statistics experts shared at aZ ócalo/UCLA discussion on depression and the efforts UCLA is undertaking to better diagnose and treat it. The event, which was held Dec. 11, drew a packed house to the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in downtown Los Angeles.The evening featured panelists Gene Block, UCLA chancellor; &nb...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Research reveals how diabetes in pregnancy affects baby ’s heart
Researchers at the  Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have discovered how high glucose levels — whether caused by diabetes or other factors — keep heart cells from maturing normally. Their findings help explain why babies born to women with diabetes are more likely to develop congenital heart disease.The study, which was led by Atsushi “Austin” Nakano, a UCLA associate professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology and member of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center, was published today in the journal eLife.When developing heart cell...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 12, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

$5 million grant from NIH will enable UCLA to develop new models for autism
Many genes that increase the risk of autism spectrum disorders have been identified, but their mechanisms remain largely unknown. Now a team of UCLA researchers has received a five-year grant of more than $5 million from the National Institutes of Health to support its work to identify those mechanisms.Led by Dr. Daniel Geschwind at UCLA, researchers will work with counterparts at Stanford University to assess the specific impact of genetic mutations on alterations in molecular, cellular and neural circuitry. Geschwind is the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Chair in Human Genetics and a professor of neurology a...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 12, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Blood flow –sensing protein protects against atherosclerosis in mice
FINDINGSUCLA scientists have found that a protein known as NOTCH1 helps ward off inflammation in the walls of blood vessels, preventing atherosclerosis — the narrowing and hardening of arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes.The new finding, from research conducted on mice, also explains why areas of smooth, fast blood flow are less prone to inflammation: levels of NOTCH1 are higher in these vessels.BACKGROUNDNOTCH1 was already known to be a key player in the development of blood vessels in embryos, but researchers weren ’t sure whether it was also critical to adults’ health. In a 2015 study, Lu...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 11, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Neuroscientists show deep brain waves occur more often during navigation and memory formation
FINDINGSUCLA neuroscientists are the first to show that rhythmic waves in the brain called theta oscillations happen more often when someone is navigating an unfamiliar environment, and that the more quickly a person moves, the more theta oscillations take place — presumably to process incoming information faster.In an unexpected finding, theta oscillations were most prominent in a blind person who relied on a cane to move. The scientists hypothesized that a sightless person explores a strange environment through multiple senses, which would require more brain activity to process the extra sensory input.BACKGROUNDThe...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 11, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

$6.6 million grant will fund UCLA-led study on how to increase use of HPV vaccine
The discovery of human papillomavirus, or HPV, as a major cause of many cancers — including cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, vaginal, vulvar and penile — and the subsequent development of prophylactic HPV vaccines was a revolution in cancer prevention.But 10 years after the vaccine ’s introduction, HPV vaccination rates among U.S. adolescents remain unacceptably low. Now, a five-year study led by UCLA cancer researcher Roshan Bastani will examine the comparative effectiveness of strategies designed to increase the number of adolescents who receive the HPV vaccine. The work i s being funded by a $6.6 million...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 8, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Population of Americans with Alzheimer ’s will more than double by 2060, UCLA study shows
About 15 million Americans will have either Alzheimer ’s dementia or mild cognitive impairment by 2060, up from approximately 6.08 million this year, according to a new study by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.The findings highlight the need to develop measures that could slow the progression of the disease in people who have indications of neuropathological changes that could eventually lead to Alzheimer ’s dementia, said Ron Brookmeyer, professor of biostatistics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the study’s lead author. The country’s population is aging and...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 7, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Doctors develop new way to use MRI to predict pregnancy complications
FINDINGSUCLA scientists have developed anew way to use magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to scan the placenta. The noninvasive approach offers valuable insights into how the mother ’s blood enters the placenta and sustains the fetus with oxygen and nutrients during early pregnancy. The technique breaks new ground because most previous studies on this subject occurred in the laboratory after childbirth.BACKGROUNDThe placenta is a temporary organ that joins a pregnant woman to her baby through the umbilical cord. Few methods exist for safely and accurately studying the placenta in early pregnancy. Ultrasound indirect...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Genes on Y chromosome protect against pulmonary hypertension, study suggests
This study is the first to examine the involvement of sex chromosomes in the disease's development in the absence of sex hormones. In humans, females typically have two copies of the X chromosome, while males typically have one X and one Y chromosome.METHODIn the lab, the researchers engineered mice with different chromosomal makeups and measured their development of pulmonary hypertension in an environment with 10 percent oxygen, which is a well-established setting for inducing the disease.One group of mice was engineered with sex chromosomes that were independent of their gonadal sex, or sex based on their genitalia, so ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 4, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Medical note system could boost patients ’ engagement in their health care
Encouraging patients to help write and add notes to their personal medical charts — a task typically handled only by medical professionals — may help patients feel more involved with their own care and improve relationships with their doctors, a new study has found.Inresearch published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, doctors at UCLA Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that patients could benefit if they are invited to co-produce medical notes, called “OurNotes,” with their doctors, rather than merely reading them. The practice may also benefit doctors by reducing time spent on ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 2, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Language patterns reveal the body ’s biological response to stress
FINDINGSCertain language patterns track the body ’s molecular response to stress more closely than a person’s own description of the stress, anxiety or depression that they are experiencing.BACKGROUNDPoverty, loneliness or post-traumatic stress disorder can have serious consequences on health, increasing the risk of cancer, Alzheimer ’s disease and heart disease, among other health problems. Previous research has shown that our genes respond to psychological adversity by increasing inflammation and reducing virus-fighting activity. These factors may contribute to social disparities in health.Steve Cole, a...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 1, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA faculty voice: DACA students represent the students we want, the doctors we need
UCLADr. Clarence Braddock IIIClarence Braddock III is vice dean for education of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Kelsey Martin is dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Thiscolumn originally appeared in U.S. News and World Report.Many eloquent voices have been raised in opposition to the move by President Trump and some members of Congress to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, justly protesting the profoundly negative, destructive impact it would have on the individuals and properly condemning its inconsistency with our values and history as a nation. We seek to add...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 30, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health, UCLA study finds
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health,a UCLA study found. Comparing figures from 2006 through 2013, researchers found that more people were screened for diabetes, high cholesterol, cigarette use and high blood pressure — all risk factors for heart disease — after the ACA was implemented than before.But the research, published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Managed Care, also revealed a disparity between men and women in one key area. Although more men who ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 23, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

HIV-positive adults are under-treated for cardiovascular problems compared to those without HIV
This study provides evidence that U.S. policymakers and professional societies should focus on improving the quality of the cardiovascular care that people who are HIV-positive receive.AUTHORSStudy authors are Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Dr. Adam Richards, Cassandra DeWitt, Nina Harawa, Steven Shoptaw, Dr. William Cunningham and Dr. John Mafi, all of UCLA. Mafi is also associated with Rand Corporation.JOURNALThestudy is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.FUNDINGGrants from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and National Institute of Men...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Rainfall can indicate that mosquito-borne epidemics will occur weeks later
FINDINGSA new study demonstrates that outbreaks of mosquito-borne viruses Zika and Chikungunya generally occur about three weeks after heavy rainfall.Researchers also found that Chikungunya will predominate over Zika when both circulate at the same time, because Chikungunya has a shorter incubation period — just two days, versus 10 days for Zika. The latter finding explains why a late-2015 Zika epidemic in Rio de Janeiro ended while the number of Chikungunya cases increased in February 2016.BACKGROUNDViruses transmitted by insects can lead to serious health repercussions. Zika is linked to birth defects, and up to 1 ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 21, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Happy Thanksgiving, Grandma … guess what? I’m quitting my job to raise chickens
Thanksgiving is often a time to share big news. The entire family, maybe some relatives you rarely see, is there to celebrate when you announce, “I’m getting married!” or “I’ve been promoted!”On the flip side, Thanksgiving is also when some people drop bombshells — news that is likely to upset or surprise some family members. “We’re getting a divorce,” “I’m gay,” or “We’re moving,” are a few examples.You can deliver news like this in a way that makes it less stressful for yourself and gentler on your loved ones, says Emanuel Mai...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 20, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Three UCLA professors named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Two  doctors and a dentist from UCLA have been selected as 2017 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are among 396 members awarded this honor by the AAAS for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.New fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin, representing science and engineering, on Feb. 17, 2018, at the association ’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas, and formally announced in the “AAAS News and Notes” section of the journal Science on Nov. 24.UCLA ’...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 20, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

In recovery from sports concussions, state of mind really does matter
When a student-athlete suffers a concussion, one of their biggest concerns is getting back to the playing field as soon as they are well. While the physical symptoms of their brain injury may fade after a week or two, for a small minority of them the emotional recovery is longer and more complicated.Researchers at UCLA have been taking a closer look at the psychological aspects of recovery from head injuries and have recently begun a program that integrates a common type of talk therapy as part of their treatment for athletes with lingering emotional impacts after their injuries.“Generally speaking, the psychological...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 17, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA Operation Mend ’s wounded warriors march in New York City Veterans Day Parade
It was a frigid 32 degrees during the New York City Veterans Day Parade but the more than 60 people marching on behalf of UCLA Health ’s Operation Mend were all smiles.Patients, family members, physicians, staff and supporters from the Operation Mend program, which provides free medical treatment as well as psychological support to post-9/11 veterans injured during combat or training, have been walking in the parade each Veterans Day for the past seven years.“Not everybody gets to do this in their lifetime,” said Tony Casada, a retired Army infantry specialist and a patient of Operation Mend. “Being...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 17, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

New tool predicts risk of heart attack in older surgery patients
FINDINGSA tool designed to more accurately predict the risk of heart attack in older patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery works significantly better than traditional risk assessment tools. By having more accurate information, older patients and their physicians can make an informed decision on whether to undergo surgery, UCLA researchers concluded.BACKGROUNDIn adults who undergo inpatient surgery, the mortality rate for those patients who experience cardiac arrest after surgery is 65 percent, and is about 15 to 25 percent for those who have a heart attack. Estimating the risk of cardiac complications is an important ste...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 16, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Sex differences a rich field for UCLA multiple sclerosis researcher
As a child, Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl had terrible asthma, was often sick and had to get weekly allergy shots. She wondered why her body was so reactive to pollen, cats, wheat and eggs — her throat would swell, breathing became more difficult and her skin developed a rash. A frequent visitor to the doctor’s office, she had “a wonderful doctor who made me feel so much better.”It ’s no surprise, then, that Voskuhl grew up to become a doctor. Today, Voskuhl directs UCLA’s multiple sclerosis program and is the Jack H. Skirball professor of Multiple Sclerosis Research. She’s wrapping up one cl...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Heart ’s pumping function is not an indicator of heart failure survival rates
FINDINGSContrary to popular practice, a measure of the heart ’s pumping function known as “left ventricular ejection fraction” is not associated with the long-term outcomes of hospitalized heart failure patients, a UCLA-led study of Medicare patients has found. Hospitalized heart failure patients in all age groups within the study and with all levels of ejection fraction had significantly lower rates of survival after five years and a higher risk of re-hospitalization than people in the United States without heart failure. Better treatments for heart failure and new ways of predicting patient outcomes are...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Federal policy to reduce re-hospitalizations is linked to increased mortality rates
Federal policymakers five years ago introduced the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program to spur hospitals to reduce Medicare readmission rates by penalizing them if they didn ’t. A new analysis led by researchers at UCLA and Harvard University, however, finds that the program may be so focused on keeping some patients out of the hospital that related death rates are increasing.In a study of 115,245 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries at 416 hospitals, implementation of the reduction program was indeed linked to a decrease in readmissions at 30 days after discharge and at one year after discharge among people hos...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 12, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA helps many to live long and prosper
In Westwood, more than 100 faculty experts from 25 departments have embarked on anall-encompassing push to cut the health and economic impacts of depression in half by the year 2050. The mammoth undertaking will rely on platforms developed by the new Institute for Precision Health, which will harness the power of big data and genomics to move toward individually tailored treatments and health-promotion strategies.On the same 419 acres of land, researchers across the spectrum, from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside, are ushering in a potentially game-changing approach to turning the body ’s immune defenses a...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 9, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA awarded $1.1 million grant to answer big biological questions
A UCLA research team led by Patrick Allard, assistant professor of society and genetics, has been awarded a $1.1 million grant from theJohn Templeton Foundation as part of the foundation ’s funding efforts for research into genetics.The project ’s co-leaders are Amander Clark, associate professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology, and Hannah Landecker, director of the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics, and professor of sociology, who uses the tools of history and social science to study contemporary developments in the l ife sciences, including epigenetics.The big questions Allard and his UCLA ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 7, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Spacing out after staying up late? Here ’s why
Ever sleep poorly and then walk out of the house without your keys? Or space out while driving to work and nearly hit a stalled car?A new study led by UCLA ’sDr. Itzhak Fried is the first to reveal how sleep deprivation disrupts brain cells ’ ability to communicate with each other. Fried and his colleagues believe that disruption leads to temporary mental lapses that affect memory and visual perception. Their findings are published online today by Nature Medicine.“We discovered that starving the body of sleep also robs neurons of the ability to function properly,” said Fried, the study’s ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 6, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA scientists contribute to plan for how U.S. can deliver on 2016 cancer ‘moonshot’ initiative
In 2016, the Obama administration announced it intended to fund a new research initiative aimed at curing cancer. The cancer “moonshot,” as it was called, generated much fanfare and inspired new hope for research breakthroughs to come. But for the U.S. to deliver on that goal, a fundamental shift in how research is conducted and care is provided would be required, according to a report published today in the Lancet Oncology.Two UCLA cancer research pioneers, Dr. Patricia Ganz and Dr. Roshan Bastani, are among the 54 scientists who make up the Lancet Oncology Commission, which authored the report. The ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 2, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Mortality rate for people with lupus remains higher than U.S. rate overall
FINDINGSWhile the mortality rate in the United States have declined over the past four decades, UCLA researchers found that the mortality rate for people with lupus has not declined as much as it has for the population overall.The researchers found that among people with lupus, mortality rates are still higher for black people than for other ethnicities; rates for women are higher than those of men; and those in the South were higher than for other regions of the U.S. Mortality rates for people with lupus were affected by where they lived.BACKGROUNDLupus is a chronic disease in which the immune system attacks the body &rsq...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - November 1, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Survey provides insight into demographics and health of California ’s transgender adults
The first release of transgender data from the  California Health Interview Survey, the nation ’s largest state survey, reveals the demographic characteristics of transgender adults in the state — such as population size, racial makeup and marital status — as well as sobering disparities in their health status. For example, one in five transgender adults in California has attempted suic ide — a rate six times that of the state’s adult cisgender population.The health data used in a  new policy brief by The Williams Institute and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Re...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 31, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Biomarkers can reveal traumatic brain injury, even when concussions don ’t show up on CAT scan
FINDINGSUCLA researchers have identified four biomarkers that could help doctors diagnose brain trauma and concussions through a simple blood test. The biomarkers are proteins, from brain cells called astrocytes, which are released instantly into the bloodstream when astrocytes ’ outer membranes rupture from blunt impact or whiplash trauma.BACKGROUNDMild traumatic brain injuries, also called concussions, often go undiagnosed, but they can lead to lasting neurological impairment, especially after repeated occurrences.Currently, doctors use CT scans or a standard scoring system to describe the level of consciousness in...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 27, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joins UCLA Health and the Los Angeles Lakers in leukemia and lymphoma fundraiser
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is teaming up with UCLA Health and the Los Angeles Lakers at the 2017 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society ’s Los Angeles Light the Night Walk. The annual event, which raises research funds to find cures for blood cancers, will be held on Nov. 4, starting at 4:30 p.m. at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.The Los Angeles Lakers legend and UCLA Bruin basketball player will serve as the celebrity ambassador for the UCLA Health/Lakers group. As a survivor of leukemia himself, Abdul-Jabbar will lead the walk, which brings together patients, families, friends and co-workers to celebrate, honor or remember thos...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 26, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Nearly 235 million women worldwide lack legal protections from sexual harassment at work
More than one-third of the world ’s countries do not have any laws prohibiting sexual harassment at work, leaving nearly 235 million working women without this important protection. A study byUCLA ’s WORLD Policy Analysis Center also found that nearly 82 million working women live in 24 countries that do not have any legal protections against gender-based discrimination in compensation, promotions and/or demotions, or vocational training at work.“Gender discrimination in the workplace adversely affects employees and their families, and impedes the economic success of companies and countries,” said D...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 26, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA Health launches pioneering mobile stroke unit with support from L.A. County
Roughly every 40 seconds, someone in the United States will have a stroke. Almost every four minutes, one of those people will die as a result. Against that backdrop, UCLA Health has officially launched the first mobile stroke unit on the West Coast, enabling rapid delivery of brain-saving medications to stroke patients who might otherwise face debilitating delays in treatment.  As part of the first phase of a pilot program, the specialized ambulance unit and highly trained personnel began responding in September to select 911 calls in Santa Monica in coordination with the Santa Monica Fire Department. With support fr...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 26, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA neuroscientists use weak electrical signal to stimulate human brain and improve memory
FINDINGSNeuroscientists at the  David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have discovered precisely where and how to electrically stimulate the human brain to enhance people’s recollection of distinct memories. People with epilepsy who received low-current electrical pulses showed a significant improvement in their ability to recognize specific faces and ignore simila r ones.Eight of nine patients ’ ability to recognize the faces of specific people improved after receiving electrical pulses to the right side of the brain’s entorhinal area, which is critical to learning and memory. However, electri...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 24, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Nanodiamonds show promise for aiding recovery from root canal
People who undergo root canals may soon have a tiny but powerful ally that could prevent infection after treatment.Researchers at theUCLA School of Dentistry and theUCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science found in a clinical trial that nanodiamonds protected disinfected root canals after the nerve and pulp were removed, thereby improving the likelihood of a full recovery. The findings are a milestone for the use of nanodiamonds in humans.Nanodiamonds are tiny particles made of carbon and are so small that millions of them could fit on the head of a pin. They resemble soccer balls but have facets like a...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 23, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Digital storytelling helps encourage Latinas to pursue treatment for depression and anxiety
A UCLA Nursing professor has found that culturally tailored multimedia content holds great promise for encouraging Latina woman seek help for, and address the symptoms of, anxiety and depression.“In my previous research, I found that Latina participants were hard-working and dedicated to their families,” said MarySue Heilemann, an associate professor at the UCLA School of Nursing, the study’s lead author. “To them, getting much-needed mental health care felt selfish and indulgent. I f it doesn’t help the family, they just won’t pursue it.”Theresearch is published in JMIR Mental Hea...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 21, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Why schizophrenia leads to social isolation
Michael Green, neuroscientist and professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA, has been fascinated with the human brain, behavior and mental illness since his undergraduate days.In graduate school at Cornell University, he worked in a state hospital with people who had schizophrenia. While working with them, Green noticed he could be having an ordinary conversation one moment, and then suddenly the conversation would shift dramatically, erasing the common ground they had established.“I have never encountered a condition so perplexing, both scientifically and clinically,” said Green, who is a seni...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 17, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

3 UCLA faculty receive National Institutes of Health research awards
Three researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have received National Institutes of Health Director ’s Awards for 2017, highlighting the game-changing potential of the research at UCLA. The awards, which total more than $10 million, are part of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program supporting creative scientists who propose innovative, high-risk or unconventional biomedical research projects with the potential for unusually broad impact.“I continually point to this program as an example of the creative and revolutionary research NIH supports,” NIH Director Dr. Fran...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

NIH awards almost $10 million to UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment
The National Institutes of Health, recognizing UCLA ’s leadership in understanding and developing interventions for autism spectrum disorder, has renewed its support of the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment with a five-year, $9.7 million grant.The Autism Center of Excellence grant is directed by Susan Bookheimer, director of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center at UCLA. It supports research projects led by autism experts Mirella Dapretto, Dr. Shafali Jeste, Connie Kasari, Elizabeth Laugeson, Dr. Daniel Geschwind and Dr. Jim McCracken.“This renewed support will allow UCLA t...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Study reveals reciprocal activity of brain proteins necessary for learning and memory
This study waspublished in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal eLife.FUNDINGResearch was supported by National Institutes of Health grants. (Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences)
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 12, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Operation Mend ’s 10th anniversary celebration raises more than $1.1 million for wounded veterans
UCLA Health ’s Operation Mend, a program for wounded U.S. veterans, celebrated its 10th anniversary at a Red, White and Denim-themed backyard party that raised more than $1.1 million to benefit the program.The celebration was held at the home of Operation Mend founder and philanthropist Ronald Katz on Sept. 24.  Nearly 600 guests attended, including 53 veterans who have been treated through the program and their caregivers. Operation Mend provides free surgical, medical and psychological services to  wounded service members injured in the line of duty after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attac...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 12, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA study shows cell diversity of a key brain region
Courtesy of Weizhe HongWeizhe HongUCLA researchers have shown for the first time a comprehensive picture of cell diversity in the amygdala, a vital brain region involved in the regulation of emotions and social behavior, as well as in autism spectrum disorders, depression and other mental disorders. As part of the study, the team also reported on a new method for systematically linking the distinct types of brain cells to specific behavioral functions.“The level of diversity of cells within the brain has not been well understood,” said study senior author Weizhe Hong, assistant professor of biological chemistry...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 11, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

‘Teaching kitchen’ cooks up basics for health sciences students at UCLA
Spinach, eggs, tomatoes, skillets and spatulas are not typically in a health professional ’s toolkit. But for some UCLA students, they eventually might be.At UCLA Health Sciences, students are learning about nutrition and food preparation in what might seem an unlikely place — not a classroom but rather a kitchen in a store better known for high-end kitchenware: Sur La Table. The store is playing host to a so-called “teaching kitchen,” as part of a pilot program that teaches healthy eating and cooking skills to students in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UC LA, Fielding School of Public Healt...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 11, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Psychologist named to scientific council of major funder of mental health research
Carrie Bearden, a professor of psychology at UCLA and a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA ’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, was recently named to the scientific council of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the nation’s top non-governmental funder of mental health research grants.The voluntary, 177-member scientific council reviews 1,200 grant applications each year and awards funding to support scientists conducting cutting-edge research   to better understand, diagnose, treat, prevent and cure mental illness.Bearden, whose research is focused on und...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 11, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Better ‘mini brains’ could help scientists identify treatments for Zika-related brain damage
UCLA researchers have developed an improved technique for creating simplified human brain tissue from stem cells. Because these so-called “mini brain organoids” mimic human brains in how they grow and develop, they’re vital to studying complex neurological diseases.In a study published in the journal Cell Reports, the researchers used the organoids to better understand how Zika infects and damages fetal brain tissue, which enabled them to identify drugs that could prevent the virus ’s damaging effects.The research, led by senior author Ben Novitch, could lead to new ways to study human neurological ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 10, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Combination treatment targeting glucose in advanced brain cancer shows promising results in preclinical study
UCLA HealthPositron emission tomography images show glioblastoma tumor glucose uptake before, left, and after treatment in mice.FINDINGSUCLA scientists have discovered a potential combination treatment for glioblastoma, the deadliest form of brain cancer in adults. The three-year study led by David Nathanson, a member of UCLA ’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, found that the drug combination tested in mice disrupts and exploits glucose intake, essentially cutting off the tumor’s nutrients and energy supply. This treatment then stimulates cell death pathways — which control the cancer cells’ fat...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 9, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Researchers create molecule that could ‘kick and kill’ HIV
Current anti-AIDS drugs are highly effective at making HIV undetectable and allowing people with the virus to live longer, healthier lives. The treatments, a class of medications called antiretroviral therapy, also greatly reduce the chance of transmission from person to person.But the medications do not actually rid the body of the virus, which has the ability to elude medications by lying dormant in cells called CD4+ T cells, which signal another type of T cell, the CD8, to destroy HIV-infected cells. When a person with HIV stops treatment, the virus emerges and replicates in the body, weakening the immune system and rai...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 5, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

School of Dentistry creates endowed chair for oral and maxillofacial surgery
A new endowed chair at theUCLA School of Dentistry will support the recruitment and retention of a faculty member in oral and maxillofacial surgery and help ensure UCLA ’s continued leadership in that field.The Alumni and Friends Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Endowed Chair is the result of a fundraising effort launched by Dr. Howard Park, a graduate of the school ’s postgraduate training program and a part-time faculty member. Led by Park’s efforts, 20 alumni and supporters — including BioHorizons, a Birmingham, Alabama-based maker of dental implants and biologics — funded the endowed chair, ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 5, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news