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Is Parkinson’s an Autoimmune Disease?

The cause of neuronal death in Parkinson’s disease is still unknown, but a new study proposes that neurons may be mistaken for foreign invaders and killed by the person’s own immune system, similar to the way autoimmune diseases like type I...
4/17/2014 2:25 PM EDT

Columbia Scientists Identify Key Cells in Touch Sensation


In a study published in the April 6 online edition of the journal Nature, a team of Columbia University Medical Center researchers led by Ellen Lumpkin, PhD, associate professor of somatosensory biology, solve an age-old mystery of touch: how cells...
4/4/2014 3:00 PM EDT

Gene Expression Signature Reveals New Way to Classify Gum Disease


Researchers have devised a new system for classifying periodontal disease based on the genetic signature of affected tissue, rather than on clinical signs and symptoms. The new classification system, the first of its kind, may allow for earlier...
3/21/2014 2:10 PM EDT

Study Finds No Evidence That Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Depression

Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in numerous health conditions in recent years, including depressed mood and major depressive disorder. Recent observational studies provide some support for an association of vitamin D levels with depression,...
3/18/2014 4:15 PM EDT

Ever-So-Slight Delay Improves Decision-Making Accuracy


Researchers have found that decision-making accuracy can be improved by postponing the onset of a decision by a mere fraction of a second. The results could further our understanding of neuropsychiatric conditions characterized by abnormalities in...
3/7/2014 3:10 PM EST

Researchers Pinpoint Brain Region Essential for Social Memory

Researchers have determined that a small region of the hippocampus known as CA2 is essential for social memory, the ability of an animal to recognize another of the same species. A better grasp of the function of CA2 could prove useful in...
2/20/2014 12:00 PM EST

Prenatal Vitamin A Deficiency Tied to Postnatal Asthma


Researchers have found the first direct evidence of a link between prenatal vitamin A deficiency and postnatal airway hyperresponsiveness, a hallmark of asthma. The study, conducted in mice, shows that short-term deficit of this essential vitamin...
2/12/2014 4:00 PM EST

Toxin from Brain Cells Triggers Neuron Loss in Human ALS Model


In most cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a toxin released by cells that normally nurture neurons in the brain and spinal cord can trigger loss of the nerve cells affected in the disease, Columbia researchers...
2/6/2014 2:00 PM EST

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