September 18, 2012 News

News in Brief: September 18, 2012

New Drug for Brain Diseases

A new class of drugs shows promise for treating brain inflammation associated with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, multiple sclerosis, and traumatic brain injury. In the first human Phase 1 clinical trial of the drugs' ability to prevent the damaging overproduction of brain proteins (proinflammatory cytokines), treatment was associated with a reduction in the cytokines, which contribute to the development of many degenerative neurological diseases and to neurological damage caused by brain injury and stroke. Visit the Journal of Neuroscience.

Growth Hormone Helps Cognitive Function

Treatment with growth-hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) appears to benefit healthy older adults and adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Researchers studied 137 participants (76 healthy and 61 with MCI), ages 55–87. Results of blood and cognitive tests at baseline, 10 weeks, and 20 weeks showed that GHRH treatment was associated with improved cognitive functioning for both groups. Visit Archives of Neurology.

Pay Attention in Preschool

Preschoolers who can pay attention and persist with a task may have a greater chance of completing college. Parents of 430 4-year-olds rated their children on attention and persistence, and researchers assessed the children's math and reading skills at ages 7 and 21. Those whose parents rated them highly on attention span and persistence at age 4 were nearly 50% more likely to complete college by age 25. Read more at ScienceDirect.


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