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Fragile X syndrome, an inherited cause of autism and intellectual disability, can have consequences even for carriers of the disorder who don’t have full-blown symptoms. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a potential target for treatment for fragile X carriers.MORE

New research highlights how nerves – whether harmed by disease or traumatic injury – start to die, a discovery that unveils novel targets for developing drugs to slow or halt devastating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyolateral sclerosis as well as peripheral nerve damage.

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Many studies have linked more sleep to better memory, but new research in fruit flies at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis demonstrates that extra sleep helps the brain overcome catastrophic neurological defects that otherwise would block memory formation.MORE

An enzyme secreted by the body’s fat tissue controls energy levels in the brain, according to new research led by Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, of the School of Medicine. The findings, in mice, underscore a role for the body’s fat tissue in controlling the brain’s response to food scarcity, and suggest there is an optimal amount of body fat for maximizing health and longevity.

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U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., visited the Medical Campus this week to meet with physicians who treat patients with Alzheimer's disease, and patients and caregivers who live with the debilitating disease every day. Blunt, pictured with physician-scientist Randall J. Bateman, chairs a subcommittee that oversees funding for medical research.

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Scientists have long suspected that respiratory viruses play a critical role in the development of chronic lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Studying mouse and cell models of this process, researchers now have shown how immune cells dispatched to the lung to destroy a respiratory virus can fail to disperse after their job is done, setting off a chain of inflammatory events that leads to long-term lung problems.

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Scientists, including researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, have found antibiotic resistance genes in the bacterial flora of a South American tribe that never before had been exposed to antibiotic drugs. The findings suggest that bacteria in the human body have had the ability to resist antibiotics since long before such drugs were ever used to treat disease.

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Joni Westerhouse
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(314) 286-0120
westerhousej@wustl.edu