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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

Low-cost, high-volume services make up big portion of spending on unneeded health care
Low-cost, high-volume health services account for a high percentage of unnecessary health spending, adding strain to the health care system,  new UCLA-led research suggests.Analyzing data on 5.5 million patients in Virginia, the researchers found that services providing no net health benefits to patients cost that state ’s health care system more than $586 million in 2014. Of that amount, 65 percent went to low-cost, high-volume services such as unnecessary lab tests.The findings arepublished in the October issue of the peer-reviewed journal  Health Affairs.The researchers relied on a large Virginia claims ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 4, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

New method to measure cell stiffness could lead to improved cancer treatments
Todd Cheney/UCLAIn the future, doctors could use the method the researchers developed to track a patient over time to see how a drug is affecting the patient ’s cancer cells, senior author Amy Rowat said. UCLA biophysicists have developed a new method to rapidly determine a single cell ’s stiffness and size — which could ultimately lead to improved treatments for cancer and other diseases.The method allows researchers to make standardized measurements of single cells, determine each cell ’s stiffness and assign it a number, generally between 10 and 20,000, in a unit of measurement called pascal...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 4, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Black tea may help with weight loss, too
UCLA researchers have demonstrated for the first time that black tea may promote weight loss and other health benefits by changing bacteria in the gut. In a study of mice, the scientists showed that black tea alters energy metabolism in the liver by changing gut metabolites.The research is published in the European Journal of Nutrition.The study found that both black and green tea changed the ratio of intestinal bacteria in the animals: The percentage of bacteria associated with obesity decreased, while bacteria associated with lean body mass increased.Previous studies indicated that chemicals in green tea called polypheno...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - October 2, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA receives $5 million grant for sharing research on AIDS and substance abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded $5 million to researchers at UCLA to develop a resource and data center for millions of pieces of research, lab samples, statistics and other data aimed at boosting research into the effects of substance abuse on HIV/AIDS.The five-year grant, called Collaborating Consortium of Cohorts Producing NIDA Opportunities, will connect groups of investigators with National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded research and data ranging from state-of-the-art bioinformatics to laboratory specimens, said Pamina Gorbach, professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 29, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Children with craniofacial defects face most difficult social pressures in elementary school
UCLA HealthDr. Justine LeeFINDINGSUCLA researchers  found that elementary school children with craniofacial anomalies show the highest levels of anxiety, depression and difficulties in peer interactions when compared to youths with craniofacial defects in middle and high schools.The findings suggest that keeping a close watch for these signs and educating the child ’s peers about their condition may be necessary for this age group.BACKGROUNDChildren born with congenital craniofacial anomalies, such as cleft lip and cleft palate, may have difficulty socializing with their peers and others and may face bullyi...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 28, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

$8.3 million grant from National Science Foundation will help UCLA spread technology behind mini microscope
A tiny, do-it-yourself microscope — which can be built from instructions posted online — has opened a new universe to brain scientists in at least 200 labs worldwide, and the device has earned its creators at UCLA an $8.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.When mounted on an animal ’s head, the “miniscope” enables scientists to observe neurons firing, and even the creation of memories. The five-year grant will allow the scientists to further refine their design to combine electrical and optical recordings, which will give them the ability to visualize how brain regions a nd lar...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 27, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA report shows most vulnerable Angelenos reject managed health program
Three in five of the poorest, sickest residents in Los Angeles County have rejected a managed health care program meant to improve their access to health services, according to a  policy brief  by the  UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. As a result, the county ’s opt-out rate for the program is the highest in California, pushing overall enrollment far lower than expected.The managed care program, called Cal MediConnect, was designed to integrate financing and delivery of medical, mental health and other health care services for 415,000 medically frail elderly or severely disabled young Californian...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 27, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA report shows frail Angelenos reject managed health program
Three in five of the poorest, sickest residents in Los Angeles County have rejected a managed health care program meant to improve their access to health services, according to a  policy brief  by the  UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. As a result, the county ’s opt-out rate for the program is the highest in California, pushing overall enrollment far lower than expected.The managed care program, called Cal MediConnect, was designed to integrate financing and delivery of medical, mental health and other health care services for 415,000 medically frail elderly or severely disabled young Californian...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 27, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Most alternative therapies for treating autism show, at best, inconclusive benefits
Dr. Shafali Jeste knows well the desperation of a parent seeking a cure for their child with autism spectrum disorder. As a clinician who both researches the causes of the disorder and treats children with autism, Jeste, UCLA associate professor of psychiatry, neurology and pediatrics and a lead investigator in the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment, understands why many parents will try anything that sounds reasonable. A change to a gluten- and casein-free diet to reduce symptoms. Mega-vitamins for the same. Medical marijuana to calm. Melatonin to sleep. Omega-3 fatty acids for hyperactivity. Delaying or refusi...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 26, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Grants awarded to pediatric cancer researcher at UCLA Mattel Children ’s Hospital
UCLA Mattel Children ’s Hospital has received two awards totaling $300,000 to fund research into treatments for various pediatric cancers: a $150,000 award from the Hyundai Hope On Wheels Foundation and a $150,000 award from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. The awards will support the work of Dr. Steven Jonas, clinical fellow in the division of pediatric hematology/oncology and trainee at the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. He is one of 40 recipients of the Hyundai Hope  on Wheels Young Investigator Grant, presented during September for National ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 26, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Tiny diamonds could become best friends to youths with cleft palates
This study showed that our method has a contained, targeted and sustained effect, so we’re very excited about it,” Hong said.Previous experiments showed nanodiamonds to be safe within the body and to be excreted normally. Similarly, earlier work demonstrated that enzymes break down hydrogel.The researchers plan to continue laboratory studies and hope to bring their treatment to clinical trials. Their approach has implications for treating other craniofacial conditions and sleep apnea, as well as healing wounds and bone injuries.Other authors of the study were Dong-Keun Lee, Lawrence Lin, Hsin Chuan Pan, Deborah...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 22, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

One e-cigarette with nicotine leads to adrenaline changes in nonsmokers ’ hearts
A new UCLA study has found that healthy nonsmokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their hearts after one electronic cigarette with nicotine.Thefindings are published in  Journal of the American Heart Association,  the open access journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.Unlike cigarettes, e-cigarettes, also known as e-cigs, have no combustion or tobacco. Instead, these electronic, handheld devices deliver nicotine with flavoring and other chemicals in a vapor rather than smoke.“While e-cigarettes typically deliver fewer carcinogens than are found in the tar of tobacc...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 20, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

National Cancer Institute designates UCLA brain cancer program a site of research excellence
The brain cancer program at UCLA ’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UCLA Brain Tumor Center has been designated a Specialized Program of Research Excellence, or SPORE, by the National Cancer Institute, making it one of only five brain cancer programs nationwide to receive this national recognition and substantial rese arch funding.The designation comes with an $11.4 million, five-year grant that recognizes UCLA ’s brain cancer program as one of the best in the country. The program supports research into the prevention, detection and treatment of one of the most lethal and deadly cancers, which often...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 20, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

How first ‘vouchers’ in UCLA kidney donation program led to 25 lifesaving transplants
In 2014 a former judge from San Diego County approached the UCLA Kidney Transplant Program with an unusual request: If the judge donated a kidney to a stranger now, could his then-4-year-old grandson, who suffered from chronic kidney disease, receive priority for a future kidney transplant if needed later in life?The suggestion from Howard Broadman, then 64 years old, initiated the kidney “voucher” program, an innovative system allowing living donors to donate a kidney now, or at some time in the near future, allowing a family member or friend to be given priority for a kidney transplant in the future if needed...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 19, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Behavioral therapy increases connectivity in brains of people with OCD
UCLA researchers report that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, when treated with a special form of talk therapy, demonstrate distinct changes in their brains as well as improvement in their symptoms.In the study, published in  Translational Psychiatry, people with OCD underwent daily cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, to learn how to better resist compulsive behaviors and to decrease distress. Within one month, they had developed extensive increases in the strength of the connections between regions of their brains — which may reflect the participants gained new non-compulsive behaviors and thought p...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 18, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA to offer free mental health screening, treatment to all incoming students
Speaking before dozens of influential business and civic leaders about mental health in the workplace, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block announced today the university will for the first time offer free mental health screening and, if appropriate, treatment, to all incoming freshmen and transfer students.“It affects about 350 million people worldwide, and yet, in my view, depression remains somewhat overlooked and understudied. That depression has not been identified as our number one health issue astounds me,” said Block during his keynote speech at the inauguralOne Mind Initiative at Work summit.The One Mind Initiat...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 14, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Superhero window washers scale hospital, bring smiles to young patients
 It was mid-morning when Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Spider-Man and the Hulk descended from the roof of UCLA Mattel Children ’s Hospital. The superheroes though weren’t there to rescue anyone; instead, they cleaned the hospital windows and waved to on-looking patients before joining them on the Chase Child Life terrace.The appearance of the window washers dressed as comic book hero icons was for the fifth annual Superhero Day at the Hospital.“Today is the most awesomest day ever,” said 7-year-old Tyrek Hanford.Rick Kincer, owner of Sunland Window Cleaning, created the event in 2013. ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 14, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Device used to close small hole in heart may protect against recurrent stroke
A device used to close a small hole in the heart may benefit certain stroke patients by providing an extra layer of protection for those facing years of ongoing stroke risk, according to the results of a large clinical trial led by UCLA researchers.“It is a major new treatment option for some people,” said Dr. Jeffrey Saver, director of theUCLA Comprehensive Stroke Center and lead author of the study. However, he added, “Using the device is going to have to be a considered clinical decision between the doctor and the patient about who’s the right person to get it.”Thefindings appear in the Sep...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 14, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Device provides scientists with clearest view of sperm ’s motion in 3-D
Scientists have been able to observe sperm cells since the invention of the optical microscope. But capturing their unique swimming motion in 3-D has been surprisingly challenging — and that information is valuable because it could help explain the key physical attributes of healthy and defective sperm.Now, a microscope developed by researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and UCLA ’s California NanoSystems Institute has made it possible to precisely track the motion of sperm heads and tails in 3-D with unprecedented accuracy and detail. The device, which uses holography a...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Consortium links experts in engineering, medicine to improve health in underserved communities
One of the enduring problems in America ’s health care landscape is managing chronic disease among people who live in low-income communities. Because access to health care services is so often a challenge, many who have serious illnesses and live in these neighborhoods aren’t diagnosed until their health worsens — and when the cost of treating their diseases are higher.To address that need, experts from UCLA, Texas A&M University, Rice University and Florida International University are joining forces to develop technologies to help people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, two of the leading c...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 12, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

New University of California Cancer Consortium to tackle state ’s second leading cause of death
The University of California ’s five academic cancer centers, home to some of the world’s leading scientists and physicians, have formed a consortium to better address California’s most pressing cancer-related problems and opportunities, UC President Janet Napolitano and Dr. John Stobo, executive vice president of UC Heal th, announced today.Despite steady declines in cancer rates over the past 20 years, cancer is soon expected to overtake heart disease as California ’s leading cause of death. This year alone, 176,000 state residents will be diagnosed with cancer and nearly 60,000 will die from it. ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 11, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA faculty voice: A healthy lifestyle can help prevent dementia
UCLAJonathan FieldingDr. Jonathan Fielding is a distinguished professor of public health and pediatrics at UCLA. This column appeared in U.S. News and World Report.Does behavior have a significant impact on your risk of developing dementia? That ’s what a wealth of new data is suggesting, and the evidence, gathered from different research teams around the globe, is pointing in the same intriguing direction.A suite of new studies came to a common finding — that our own behavior could partially stave off the effects of dementia, including dementia-related to Alzheimer’s, which accounts for up to 7...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 8, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Adding modified herpes virus to immunotherapy shows promise for treating advanced melanoma
FINDINGSIn a two-year study at UCLA, nearly two-thirds of people with advanced melanoma responded positively to a treatment that combines the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab with a herpes virus called talimogene laherpareovec, or T-VEC. Researchers led by Dr. Antoni Ribas found that the treatment ’s side effects were manageable, and comparable to side effects for people who took either pembrolizumab or T-VEC as a standalone treatment.BACKGROUNDUCLA scientists are testing the combination of pembrolizumab (marketed as Keytruda) and T-VEC (marketed as Imlygic) as a treatment option for people with advanced melanoma tha...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 7, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA receives $8.4 million NIH grant to help liver transplant recipients stay healthier longer
UCLA has received an $8.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to research ways to help donated livers last longer and improve outcomes for transplant recipients.The five-year grant is the fourth in a series from the NIH to the Dumont –UCLA Transplant Center to develop medications to prevent the body from rejecting a transplanted liver and help patients live longer, healthier lives. The grants have totaled more than $13 million.The initiative is headed by Dr. Jerzy Kupiec-Weglinski, the Paul I. Terasaki Chair in Surgery and vice chair of research at the Department of Surgery at the David Gef...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 6, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA study challenges common theories on how heart disease develops
This study tells us that simply changing the way genes are packed together — even by a little bit — can have a widespread effect on the functioning of cells,” Vondriska said. This observation suggests treatments that restore the right arrangement of the chromatin might be able to restore pr oper genome-wide functioning, he said.“This is startling and quite exciting because it allows us to challenge assumptions about how cells work and about what causes disease — in this case, heart failure, which affects over 5 million Americans,” Vondriska said.The protein that investigators deleted is ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 6, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

New technique gives a clearer image of immunotherapy results in advanced brain cancer
FINDINGSResearchers led by Robert Prins, a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, have developed a new approach for brain imaging that can better distinguish immune responses from tumor growth in both preclinical studies and in people with glioblastoma.BACKGROUNDDespite clinical advances in immunotherapy for cancer, non-invasive monitoring of tumor growth (especially in people with brain tumors) has been a significant problem. When clinicians use traditional medical imaging processes, the inflammation that sometimes results from immunotherapies can resemble neurological decline and tumor growth.METHODPrins...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 5, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Brief primary care intervention cut risky drug use among Latinos by 40 percent
FINDINGSNew research finds that brief interventions in a primary care clinic can reduce patients ’ risky substance use by 4.5 days per month — a 40 percent decline among the Latino patients surveyed — compared with people who did not receive the brief intervention. This corresponds to two fewer weekends of drug use per month, or one less day of use per weekend, or a shorter monthly binge period.BACKGROUNDThe findings duplicate those of the Quit  Using Drugs Intervention Trial, or Project QUIT — conducted by the same research team in 2011 and 2012 — which is aimed at reducing ris...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 1, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Neuroscientist harnesses the power of virtual reality to unlock the mysteries of memory
We ’re all familiar with the image of someone donning virtual reality goggles to enter a new environment while seated at their computer.At UCLA,  Nanthia Suthana is one of the first neuroscientists in the world to harness the power of VR to unravel how someone’s brain encodes and retrieves memories while the person explores a new virtual setting on foot.Her work recently captured the attention of the popular digital network, Mashable, which profiled her in its “How She Works” video series.“Without our memories, each of us would be lost in time and c...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 30, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Why one teenager may need more — or less — sleep than another
This study contributes to the empirical basis for pediatric sleep recommendations,” said the study’s lead author, Andrew Fuligni, a professor in residence at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. “Rather than just say ‘more sleep is better’ and ‘everyone should get more sleep,’ we also want to know about individual needs for sleep.”To study the relationship between sleep duration and next-day mood, researchers recruited 419 Los Angeles ninth- and 10th-graders. For 14 days, the teens completed three-page-long daily checklists before going to bed and...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 29, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Gene therapy using ‘junk DNA’ could lower risk for heart disease
FINDINGSScientists from UCLA and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute successfully used a gene that suppresses cholesterol levels as part of a treatment to reduce plaque in mice with a disorder called familial hypercholesterolemia. In a preclinical study, researchers found that the gene, LeXis, lowered cholesterol and blockages in the arteries, and the treatment appeared to reduce the build-up of fat in liver cells.BACKGROUND                    Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited condition characterized by extremely high...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 28, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Leprosy hijacks immune system, similar to autoimmune diseases
Leprosy hijacks the immune system, turning an important repair mechanism into one that causes potentially irreparable damage to our nerve cells, UCLA researchers have discovered. The new findings,published online today in the journal  Cell, suggest that leprosy shares underlying characteristics with some autoimmune diseases.Courtesy of Cressida MadiganCressida Madigan“We discovered that the mechanism of nerve damage in leprosy is very similar to what happens in diseases like multiple sclerosis,” said Cressida Madigan, a postdoctoral research fellow at UCLA and first author of the paper. “That means w...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 25, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Team led by UCLA, UCSF receives $8 million to study virus that often strikes after kidney transplants
UCLA, UC San Francisco and City of Hope have received a five-year, $8 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study how a common virus called cytomegalovirus may provoke the immune system to reject transplanted kidneys.The 14-member interdisciplinary team is co-led by Elaine Reed, who holds the Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Endowed Chair in Diagnostic Medicine at UCLA and is director of the UCLA Immunogenetics Center.  “Nearly 70 percent of people around the world carry antibodies to the cytomegalovirus infection, yet healthy people rarely display symptoms,” said Ree...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 24, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Don ’t multitask while you read this
“In a world of computers and iPhones, it’s rare that we’re fully focused,” said Alan Castel, a UCLA professor of psychology.But how much do all of those distractions diminish our ability to remember? A new study led by Castel and Catherine Middlebrooks, a UCLA graduate student, found that while divided attention does impair memory, people can still selectively focus on what is most important — even while they’re multitasking.In one experiment, the researchers showed 192 students 120 words, divided into six groups of 20 words each.  Each word was visible on a computer screen for thre...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 23, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Parks After Dark turns Los Angeles County parks into safe havens for communities
A Los Angeles County recreational program created stronger ties within communities, improved relations between the community and law enforcement officers, and decreased crime,  according to a report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The study also found that the program, called Parks After Dark, saved millions of dollars in policing and health care costs.The program was intended to make specific Los Angeles parks safer through positive community engagement by the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department, while providing wider access to free recreation, health and wellness programs. The eff...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 22, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Study provides insight into link between two rare tumor syndromes
FINDINGSUCLA researchers have discovered that timing is everything when it comes to preventing a specific gene mutation in mice from developing rare and fast-growing cancerous tumors, which also affects young children. This mutation can also cause a benign tumor condition in humans in adulthood.The scientists found that when one tumor suppressor gene is turned off or inactivated during early stages of a developing mouse embryo, it induces the formation of a malignant tumor. The research demonstrates that this type of malignant tumor will not form if the gene is inactivated during later stages of nerve development. However,...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 21, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Few women with history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer take a recommended genetic test
UCLA HealthDr. Christopher ChildersOf the nearly 4 million women in the United States who have had either breast cancer or ovarian cancer, at least 1.5 million have a high risk of carrying certain types of genetic mutations that could increase their risk for additional cancers in the future.And although the mutations, including those that affect the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, can be identified through a simple blood or saliva test, more than 80 percent of those women have not taken the test or even discussed it with a health care provider, according to a new study from the  UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.The study ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 19, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

For post-menopausal women, vaginal estrogens do not raise risk of cancer, other diseases
This study, the first to examine potential adverse health effects in users of vaginal estrogen compared with non-users, suggests that vaginal estrogen therapy is a safe treatment for genitourinary symptoms such as burning, discomfort, and pain during intercourse associated with menopause.AUTHORSThe paper ’s authors are Dr. Carolyn Crandall of UCLA; Kathleen Hovey of the State University of New York at Buffalo; Christopher Andrews of the University of Michigan; Dr. Rowan Chlebowski of City of Hope; Marcia Stefanick of Stanford University; Dr. Dorothy Lane of the State University of New York at Ston y Brook; Dr. Jan Sh...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 16, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA researchers demonstrate new material that could aid body ’s cellular repair process
A research team led by UCLA biomolecular engineers and doctors has demonstrated a therapeutic material that could one day promote better tissue regeneration following a wound or a stroke.During the body ’s typical healing process, when tissues like skin are damaged the body grows replacement cells. Integrins are class of proteins that are important in the cellular processes critical to creating new tissue. One of the processes is cell adhesion, when new cells “stick” to the materials between cells, called the extracellular matrix. Another is cell migration, where at the cell’s surface, integrins hel...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 15, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA scientists identify a new way to activate stem cells to make hair grow
In this study, Christofk and Lowry, ofEli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, found that hair follicle stem cell metabolism is different from other cells of the skin. Cellular metabolism involves the breakdown of the nutrients needed for cells to divide, make energy and respond to their environment. The process of metabolism uses enzymes that alter these nutrients to produce “metabolites.” As hair follicle stem cells consume the nutrient glucose — a form of sugar — from the bloodstream, they process the glucose to eventually produce a metabolite called py...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 14, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news