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The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is advancing age. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified some of the key changes in the aging brain that lead to the increased risk. The changes center on amyloid beta 42, a main ingredient of Alzheimer’s brain plaques.​MORE

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, led by Eric J. Lenze, MD, have received a $15 million grant to study strategies — including exercise, health education, meditation and yoga — aimed at helping older adults prevent or reverse typical age-related cognitive declines.

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Patient being treated for parasite

Two new studies explain why some parasite infections, such as those common in developing countries, sometimes can’t be cured with standard treatments. The research shows the parasite Leishmania — which infects 12 million people worldwide — often harbors a virus that helps the parasite survive treatments.

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Calming a neural circuit in the brain can alleviate stress in mice, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis that lays the foundation for understanding stress and anxiety in people. The researchers also showed they could shine a light into the brain to activate the stress response in mice that had not been exposed to stressful situations.

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Researchers led by Gregory Storch, MD, have developed a diagnostic test to quickly detect enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a respiratory virus that caused unusually severe illness in children last summer and fall. The outbreak caused infections at an unprecedented rate, with over 1,000 confirmed cases and 14 reported deaths nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Researcher
New insight into one of the most common inherited causes of brain tumors may help physicians diagnose and treat the learning disabilities that often accompany the condition, neurofibromotosis 1. The School of Medicine's David H. Gutmann is the study's senior author.  MORE

A study published July 20 in JAMA Pediatrics provides even more compelling evidence that growing up in poverty has detrimental effects on a child's brain. Dealing with this must become "our top public health priority," writes the School of Medicine's Joan Luby, MD, in an accompanying editorial.

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Joni Westerhouse
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