Duska Anastasijevic (@duska)
Activity by Duska Anastasijevic
A Third Protein Provides Clue
Since the time of Dr. Alois Alzheimer himself, two proteins (beta-amyloid (Aβ) and tau) have become tantamount to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). But a Mayo Clinic study challenges the perception that these are the only important proteins accounting for the clinical features of the devastating disease.
In a large clinico-imaging pathological study, Mayo Clinic researchers demonstrated that a third protein (TDP-43) plays a major role in AD pathology. In fact, people whose brain was TDP positive were 10 times more likely to be cognitively impaired at death compared to those who didn’t have the protein, showing that TDP-43 has the potential to overpower what has been termed resilient brain aging. The study was published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Seventy-five years ago, on July 4th 1939, baseball legend Lou Gehrig delivered the famous speech bidding farewell to the ballpark and his fans. Two weeks before Gehrig had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Accompanied by his wife, Eleanor, Lou left Mayo Clinic with the devastating diagnosis on June 20th 1939, a day after his 36th birthday. He died in June two years later, not quite 38 years old, of the rare neurological disease that would come to bear his name.
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ALS is a type of progressive motor neuron disease that typically strikes at middle to later life and causes nerve cells in spinal cord, brain stem and brain to gradually break down and die. These nerve cells are responsible for muscle function so eventually, ALS can affect [...]
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Researchers from Mayo Clinic and the University of Pennsylvania announce the launch of the Seizure Detection Challenge, an international competition inviting the best minds in “machine learning” to improve devices to track and treat epilepsy. Researchers from Penn and Mayo Clinic have designed the challenge, which is hosted by Kaggle.com, an online community where data scientists come together to solve complex problems.
The unique data sets gathered during the challenge will be made freely available to researchers worldwide by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), University of Pennsylvania and Mayo Clinic at the International Epilepsy Electrophysiology Portal to advance epilepsy research and treatment.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic research studying the relationship between death and the two types of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) suggests that people who have these conditions die at a higher rate than people without MCI. The research was released today and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26 to May 3, 2014.
For the study, 862 people with thinking problems and 1,292 with no thinking problems between the ages of 70 and 89 were followed for nearly six years. Over the course of the study, 331 of the group with MCI and 224 of the group without MCI died. Those who had either type of MCI had an 80 percent higher death rate during the study than those without MCI. People with MCI with no memory loss had more than twice the death rate during the study than those without MCI, while people with MCI with memory loss had a 68 percent higher death rate during the study than those without MCI.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Palliative care, a specialized, multidisciplinary team approach to caring for seriously ill people and their families, is often errantly reduced to end-of-life care. This misconception has led to palliative care involvement being introduced late in an illness, often depriving patients and their families of comprehensive symptom control, support and assistance with complex decision-making throughout the course of their illness when it could provide the most benefit.
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Palliative care is ideally integrated earlier in the course of an illness as part of a comprehensive care plan, alongside disease-directed care. There is even convincing evidence that integrating palliative care earlier in the disease course improves quality of life, helps to minimize unwanted and unhelpful interventions, and may even help patients live a little bit longer. Palliative care is available to help clinicians care for patients and their families at any age and any stage of a serious illness. Studies show that the involvement of palliative care leads to more effective, efficient and less costly care, but not less care.
In a recent article published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic physicians Jacob Strand, M.D., and Elise Carey, M.D., along with Mihir Kamdar, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital, shared 10 Things Palliative Care Clinicians Wished Everyone Knew About Palliative Care. These include:
"Palliative care is a subspecialty of medicine in which we care for patients with complex and severe illness," says Dr. Carey. "It is really about taking care of patients and their families throughout the course of their illness, at any stage of the illness, even while they are getting life-prolonging or curative care."
Palliative care specialists focus on treating more than the disease; they focus on the whole person and his or her lived experience. "Persons receiving specialist palliative care are able to live better and longer and achieve their goals while living with their serious illness," says Cory Ingram, M.D., the medical director of Palliative Medicine for Mayo Clinic Health System. "This is done by an expert team approach to symptom assessment and management, supportive counseling, care planning, care coordination and crisis prevention. Not only do the patients live better, their family does too."
The following Mayo Clinic experts are available to comment on palliative care and its potential benefits to patients, families, caregivers and providers:
To schedule an interview with one of these palliative care experts, please call Duska Anastasijevic at 507-284-5005.
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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Aug. 21, 2013 — The Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation will hold Transform 2013, its sixth multidisciplinary symposium focused on transforming the way health care is experienced and delivered, Sept. 8–10 in Rochester. Dozens of speakers from a wide array of backgrounds will look through different lenses to understand a larger picture of health care today. Topics include new models of care delivery, the uncertainty of change in the health care landscape, the intersection of business and health care innovation and how to scale programs to large populations.
MULTIMEDIA ALERT: Video of Dr. Nicholas La Russo and John Hockenberry available on the Mayo Clinic News Network