Clinical Research

In humans, no therapy for  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease,  has ever been discovered that could extend lifespan more than a few additional months.

ALS was first identified as a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease in the late 1800s but only gained international recognition in 1939 when it was diagnosed in American baseball legend Lou Gehrig. It's known to be caused by motor neurons in the spinal cord deteriorating and dying, and has been traced to mutations in copper, zinc superoxide dismutase, or SOD1. Ordinarily, superoxide dismutase is an antioxidant whose proper function is essential to life.


Individuals who are hospitalized for the skin conditions of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis appear to have a high risk of recurrence, according to a new study.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) are life-threatening conditions that develop primarily as responses to drugs, and result in extensive epidermal detachment (upper layers of the skin detach from the lower layers). Recurrence has been reported in isolated cases, and the overall risk of recurrence has been unknown, according to background information in the article.

Wine was once okay for pregnant women in moderation, then all alcohol was bad, then wine was good again because of the miracle product du jour,  resveratrol , but now it may be bad again.

A new research says that when taken during pregnancy, resveratrol supplements led to developmental abnormalities in the fetal pancreas. Resveratrol has been touted for its human health benefits for years and is readily available over the counter.


Can you predict how sensitive your sense of taste is by sticking your tongue out and counting the bumps?

A long-standing hypothesis says this is so. But a little crowdsourcing of science - what used to be called doing a study - disproved that idea that "supertasters" owe their special sensitivity to bitter tastes to an usually high density of taste buds on their tongue, according to a paper in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience.


Defensive medicine, to prevent malpractice claims, are far higher costs than medical personnel, but the United States shift to government health care is going to add a third component. Tests will be free and people will demand them.

Dr. Alai Tan, a senior biostatistician in the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston   Sealy Center on Aging and lead author of a new study has concluded that providing better access to health care may lead to the overuse of mammograms for women who regularly see a primary care physician and who have a limited life expectancy.

Screening women in this category could subject them "to greater risks of physical, emotional and economic suffering" but it could happen anyway.  


Children with bronchiolitis (a common respiratory tract infection that can result in hospitalization) who were treated in the emergency department showed less clinical improvement after receiving nebulized 3 percent hypertonic saline (HS) than infants who received normal saline (NS).  

Nebulized HS has been shown to increase mucociliary clearance (the clearing of mucus) in healthy people and in those patients with conditions such as asthma and cystic fibrosis because it is believed to lower the viscosity of mucus secretions. Other studies have suggested HS may reduce the length of hospital stays and lessen severity in children with bronchiolitis.


You've really got to hand it to all those 15-minute oil change places that dot the American landscape: they know how to pull motorists in.

With their brightly colored signs and endless promotions, it’s no wonder they succeed in getting our business. Whether you’re driving a brand new sports car or sedan with 200,000 miles on it, you’re welcome to drive up, get fresh oil and drive away...no problem.

But when it comes to bone marrow transplants, the sobering fact is that the age of the vehicle —in this case, your body — does matter.
Synthetic Genomics announceda multi-year research and development agreement with Lung Biotechnology to develop humanized pig organs using synthetic genomic advances. The collaboration will focus upon developing organs for human patients in need of transplantation, with an initial focus on lung diseases. 

In the United States alone, about 400,000 people die annually from various forms of lung disease including cancer. 2,000 people are saved with a lung transplant and about the same number are added to the transplant wait list annually. 99% of deaths due to lung failure are unavoidable because of the shortage of transplantable human lungs.
The esophagus carries food and liquid from the mouth to the stomach. There are two main types of esophageal cancer: adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The most common form of the disease in the U.S. is adenocarcinoma and is most prevalent in Caucasian men between the ages of 50 and 70.

Adenocarcinoma, which is one of the fastest growing cancers in the country, has also been linked to obesity – perhaps related to chronic exposure to stomach acid. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 18,000 Americans were diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2013.

Brittle bone disease is a congenital disorder that results in fragile bones that break easily.  

A new study in Nature Medicine showed that excessive activity of an important signaling protein in the matrix of the bone called transforming growth factor beta is associated with the cause of the disease. It suggests that there may be common mechanisms that cause the decreased quality and quantity of bone in these different forms. 

"There are many genetic causes of brittle bone disease in children and adults," said Dr. Brendan Lee, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. "We have discovered many of them but clinicians still cannot easily distinguish the different forms.