Richard Mayeux, MD, MS, Chair of the Department of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center; Gertrude H. Sergievsky Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Epidemiology; Director of the Sergievsky Center; and Co-Director of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain has been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Dr. Mayeux was selected by his colleagues in the greater AAAS membership "for pioneering contributions to the epidemiology of Alzheimer's disease based on studies of multi-racial populations, utilization of biological and genetic markers, and defining the complex interactions of both environmental and genetic factors in rates of dementia." [read more]
In a landmark study published online this week in Nature, Michio Hirano, Valentina Emmanuele, and colleagues – including scientists from the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) – have demonstrated the potential of nuclear genome transfer to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial disorders in humans. The researchers removed the nucleus of an unfertilized oocyte and placed it into another donor's enucleated oocyte containing normal mitochondria. The resultant egg cell contained the genome of the donor but not her mitochondrial DNA. In addition, by employing a novel technique of lowering the temperature of the egg before nuclear transfer, the study team was able to achieve no detectable adverse effects on the oocyte, a prerequisite for clinical translation. This significant breakthrough was also reported this week in Forbes.
Also covered by Drugs.com, and Red Orbit
Call in the Backup
November 10, 2012
"A study by scientists from the Motor Neuron Center at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) suggests that spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic neuromuscular disease in infants and children, results primarily from motor circuit dysfunction…"
SCIENCE & U (CUNY-TV)
Dr. Larry Honig was recently featured on a special Science and Aging edition of the City University of New York television program Science & U!
October 23, 2012
Levine's Return Is Set
October 11, 2012
James Levine, the legendary Metropolitan Opera music director who withdrew from conducting last year after a spinal injury, will return to the podium next spring, the opera announced Thursday. … The symptoms were aggravated by his back pain, but aren't expected to worsen and should have little effect on his ability to conduct, said his neurologist, Stanley Fahn, of Columbia University.
"Researchers in the Taub Institute at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have identified a mechanism that appears to underlie the common sporadic (non-familial) form of Parkinson's disease…" [read more]
Clue to Cause of Alzheimer's Disease Found in Mitochondria "Bridges"
April 14, 2010 Eric Schon, Estela Area-Gomez, and colleagues present a thus far unrecognized role for "Upregulated function of mitochondria-associated ER membranes in Alzheimer disease," currently online in the European Molecular Biology Organization's EMBO Journal, and the topic of CUMC's latest Research Capsule. They propose that perturbations in communication between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria are involved in both the familial and sporadic forms of AD and suggest that "the clinical and biochemical features of the disease may be downstream consequences of this disturbance." Their study sheds new light on AD and has potential implications for the treatment of this devastating disease. [read more]
Dr. James Noble was featured on CBS New York this week, commenting upon a new, non-affiliated epidemiologic study that found some measures of good oral hygiene were associated with lower risk of incident dementia. His own research on this subject has identified an association between serum periodontal antibodies and cognitive impairment among the elderly. [watch video]
Vascular Neurology fellow Dr. Jose Gutierrez and colleagues recently "performed a sex-based meta-analysis, seeking to determine if statins yield a similar protective effect on both men and women in preventing recurrent cardiovascular events…" [read more]
Dr. Olajide Williams
WALL STREET JOURNAL (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Dr. Olajide Williams' 4th Annual Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) Summit took place June 16, 2012. Highlights included the on-going success of Dr. Williams' acclaimed Hip Hop H.E.A.L.S. (Healthy Eating And Living in Schools) program and the launch of HHPH's three newest initiatives: Hip Hop F.E.E.T. (Finding Exercise and Energy Thresholds), Hip Hop P.O.P. (Pouring On the Pounds), and Old S.C.H.O.O.L. (Seniors Can Have Optimal Aging and Ongoing Longevity) Hip Hop.
Dr. Lewis P. Rowland
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF NEUROMUSCULAR AND ELECTRODIAGNOSTIC MEDICINE
Lewis P. Rowland, MD, Professor of Neurology and Chairman Emeritus was elected to be an Honorary Member of the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (publisher of the journal, Muscle & Nerve).
Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas cautioned the public, in a Reuter's article this week, against "spending a lot of money on [omega-3 fatty acid supplements] without solid evidence they do something." A recent review of medical evidence has shown such supplements to have no comparative benefit on measures of cognition later in life.
Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is a group of poorly-understood, frequently misdiagnosed brain diseases that can result in drastic personality changes in affected individuals. Columbia Neurology FTD expert Dr. Edward Huey and Genetic Counselor Jill Goldman were recently featured in an in-depth New York Times article titled, "When Illness Makes A Spouse A Stranger," which chronicles one couple's courageous battle with this devastating neurological disorder.
Dr. Larry Honig authored a review, currently available online in Archives of Neurology, that discusses the application of translational research to both diagnosis and treatment of dementia disorders.
Dr. Oliver Sacks
Dr. Oliver Sacks is involved in a new documentary titled, Alive Inside, featured in TIME online, which chronicles the "awakening" certain people suffering from Alzheimer's and memory loss experience when presented with music that is meaningful to them. Alive Inside premieres at the Rubin Museum of Art on Wednesday, April 18, with a series of post-screening discussions featuring AD experts Drs. Scott Small (April 18) and Ottavio Arancio (April 20), among others.
Dr. Roy N. Alcalay
Dr. Roy Alcalay was featured in several news reports this week, commenting on a recent study that found newer antidepressants help treat depression in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients without worsening PD symptoms. Dr. Alcalay also spoke with CBS News about another study linking berry consumption with lower risk of Parkinson's disease.
Dr. Derryl C. De Vivo
Dr. Darryl C. De Vivo spoke with ABC News this week about the nature of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), as part of a tragic story of how this rare, devastating genetic disorder can sometimes be mistaken for child abuse by untrained professionals. [read more]
Dr. Roy Alcalay Dr. Karen Marder Dr. Elise Caccappolo
Drs. Roy Alcalay, Karen Marder, Elise Caccappolo and colleagues examined the neuropsychological profiles of glucocerebrosidase (GBA) mutation carriers with early-onset Parkinson's disease (PD) in participants from the Consortium on Risk for Early Onset PD Study (CORE-PD). Their results, published online this week in Neurology, showed that GBA mutation status may be an independent risk factor for cognitive impairment in patients with PD.
Dr. Joshua Willey Dr. Mitchell S. V. Elkind
Drs. Joshua Willey and Mitchell Elkind examined whether Hispanic ethnicity was associated with a lower risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), coronary death (CD), and vascular death (VD) in a large, prospective cohort study of Caribbean Hispanics from the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS). Recently published online in the Annals of Epidemiology, their results showed that, despite a higher burden of cardiovascular risk factors, Hispanics were at lower risk of CD and VD, though not nonfatal MI, compared to non-Hispanic whites.
Dr. Scott A. Small
JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
Dr. Scott Small and colleagues from Neurology and the Taub Institute examined the association of depressive symptoms, antidepressant use and brain volumes on MRI, in a large cohort of nondemented, elderly individuals from the Washington/Hamilton Heights-Inwood Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP). Their results, currently published online in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, suggest that late life depression is associated with more global brain atrophy, more atrophy of the hippocampus, and more white matter lesions, mainly driven by antidepressant use. [read more]
Dr. Karen Marder
Dr. Karen Marder co-authored a study, published in the March 6th edition of Neurology, that has dismissed a significant role for the normal allele CAG repeat length in modifying age at onset of motor manifestations in Huntington's disease. These findings indicate that the expanded allele CAG repeat length is not only the initial trigger of HD pathogenesis but also the predominant factor determining the rate of process that leads to motor onset. [read more]
Dr. Derek J. Chong
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Dr. Derek Chong was featured in the New York Times this week, commenting on a recent study that suggests surgery, soon after antiepileptic drug therapy has failed, may be the best approach for patients with uncontrolled epilepsy. [read more]
A Quest to Understand How Memory Works
by Claudia Dreifus
March 5, 2012
At 82, the Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Dr. Eric R. Kandel is still constantly coming up with new ideas for research. This winter, he has been working on a project that he hopes will lead to a new class of drugs for treating schizophrenia. [read more]
Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas Dr. Mitchell S. V. Elkind Dr. Bernadette Boden-Albala
Drs. Nikolaos Scarmeas, Mitchell S. V. Elkind, and Bernadette Boden-Albala co-authored a study, led by colleagues from the University of Miami, which examined the association between a Mediterranean-style diet (MeDI) and White Matter Hyperintensity Volume (WMHV) in participants from the NOMAS cohort. The results, published in the current issue of Archives of Neurology and widely-reported, link a MeDI with lower WMHV and suggest that even modest adherence to MeDI principles may be associated with reduced risk for vascular outcomes.
Dr. Roy Alcalay Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas
Drs. Roy Alcalay, Nikolaos Scarmeas, and others from Neurology and Taub Institute found Mediterranean-style diet adherence to be associated with reduced odds for Parkinson's disease (PD). Their study, currently published in an online version of Movement Disorders, also suggests an association between higher MeDI adherence and later PD age at onset. [read more]
Dr. Yaakov Stern
Dr. Yaakov Stern discussed his thoughts and studies on "Brain Reserve, Exercise, Cognitive Training, Angry Birds, YMCA and more," on SharpBrains.com this week. [read more]
Dale C. Hesdorffer, PhD analyzed generalized tonic-clonic seizure (GTCS) and antiepileptic drug (AED) therapy data concurrently to evaluate the association of both with an increased risk for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Co-authored by Dr. W. Allen Hauser, the study showed that none of the AEDs considered, as monotherapy or polytherapy, were associated with increased SUDEP risk when GTCS frequency was taken into account, suggesting that GTCS frequency, and not AEDs, increases the risk of this tragic outcome. [read more]