• Mayo Clinic and Other Experts Call For Increased Focus On Brain Disease Similar to Alzheimer’s

    Through a collaboration with the University of Kentucky and other institutions, Mayo Clinic researchers helped to establish a name for a degenerative brain disease that afflicts the elderly and mimics features of Alzheimer’s disease. The working group describes "limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy," or LATE, as an underrecognized risk for public health and calls for an urgent focus on research to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. LATE has been known to clinicians for about a decade, but a common terminology was lacking. The group recommends that LATE testing be performed as part of routine autopsy evaluation in all older patients. No diagnostic tests are available to identify patients with LATE, though an exciting area of research will be the development of biomarkers for brain imaging, with the goal of revealing the disease early in the patient’s progression.

  • Study Reveals Strongest Links Yet Between Genes And ADHD Risk

    By analyzing the DNA of more than 55,000 people, scientists from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, and more than 60 additional institutions worldwide have identified 12 regions of the genome that raise the risk of ADHD, providing valuable biological insights. In their publication the researchers note that these variants reveal important insights into the biology behind ADHD risk, and that the many of these variants also influence an individual's risk or likelihood for a variety of psychiatric, metabolic, and behavioral traits. "These findings represent the culmination of over a decade of genome-wide association studies for ADHD, and the willingness of the community of ADHD geneticists to work together and share data to advance our understanding of why people develop ADHD," said Benjamin Neale, an institute member at the Broad Institute and core faculty member at MGH.

  • Mayo Clinic Implements New Regenerative Therapeutics Program

    In a recent article, a team of Mayo Clinic scientists, including Dr. Shane Shapiro, propose a new model in regenerative medicine therapies to address three of the traditional obstacles to delivering regenerative care, (including deficits in patient education, the challenge of studying and treating a wide variety of both common and less-common diseases, and the lack of high-quality RWE in regenerative medicine in support of translation.) The Regenerative Therapeutics Program will present opportunities for all medical specialties to participate in the translation of regenerative and cell-based therapies into practice. Support for this project was provided by Gerstner Philanthropies and the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine.

    Hear more on this topic from Dr. Shapiro
  • Scientists Call For ‘Global Moratorium’ On Heritable Genome Editing

    A group of 18 prominent scientists and bioethicists from seven countries, including Eric Lander of the Broad Institute, are calling for a temporary ban on all clinical uses of human germline editing (changing heritable DNA to make genetically modified children.) Their call, which has been endorsed by Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, calls for an "international framework in which nations, while retaining the right to make their own decisions, voluntarily commit to not approve any use of clinical germline editing unless certain conditions are met." The proposed 5-year ban would not apply to genome editing to treat diseases or germline editing for research that does not involve implanting embryos into a person's uterus.