Spotlight

 

It turns out, they like us, or so they say. Biomedical researchers should take note that for the second year in a row, U.S. Senate appropriators have declared funding the National Institutes of Health a...

 

When presenting to the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus (CBRC), you want to best represent the work...

CBRC Briefings

The Treatment of Depression: What Works, When, a...

Robert DeRubeis
April 21, 2010

Dr. Robert DeRubeis from the University of Pennsylvania presents to the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on The Treatment of Depression: What Works, When, and Why.

Watch as Dr. DeRubeis discusses his surprising and somewhat controversial findings on how a study that looked at how antidepressant medication affects people with varying degrees of depression. Millions of people suffer from depression, and subsequently are treated with antidepressant medications. Research has shown that medication treatments are extremely effective. In fact, the only approach proven more effect in treating patients with severe depression is electroconvulsive therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) also appears to be a good treatment option for people struggling with depression, but the effectiveness of the treatment has been subjected to less empirical testing. Hear Dr. DeRubeis answer essential questions such as "what gets people better faster?" and "what keeps depression at bay over the long term?"

Airport Screening: The Science and Risks of Back...

David Brenner
March 17, 2010

Watch Dr. David Brenner from Columbia University present to the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on Airport Screening: The Science and Risks of Backscatter Imaging. While privacy issues have attracted most attention, the long-term risks associated with the X-ray exposure have been less widely considered. Most of us do not get X-rayed on a regular basis; and when we do get X-rayed in a hospital or doctor's office, we've got a lead vest thrown over our vital organs. But at airports, there's no lead vest. Dr. Brenner addresses health-related questions that arise from the use of backscatter imaging, including what do we know and what do we not know about the risks associated with these doses? And what are the risks vs. the benefits associated with backscatter imaging?

Fragile X Syndrome - Can Drugs Be Used to Reverse Autism? - 9/30/09

 

Dr. Stephen T. Warren
Emory University

 

Dr. Warren led the research that discovered how the gene mutation responsible for Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) alters the way brain cells communicate. FXS is the most commonly inherited form of mental retardation, with nearly a third of FXS patients also having autism, making FXS the single best understood cause of autism and a model for autism research.

FXS is caused by a mutation in the FMR1 gene on the X chromosome. Dr. Warren and his colleagues led an international team that discovered the FMR1 gene in 1991.They found that in patients with FXS, the expanded CGG triplet repeats can be repeated from 55 to over 200 times—whereas in healthy individuals the repeats range from 40 to fewer than 10. As a result of the hyper-CGG repeats, the expression of the FMR1 gene is repressed, which leads to the absence of FMR1 protein and subsequent mental retardation.

Dr. Warren and his team have since developed diagnostic tests for FXS. Clinical trials are now under way for FXS, taking advantage of the fundamental basic science research on FXS carried out over the past two decades. FXS is now used as a model of how fundamental research on autism could lead the way for future therapeutic interventions in autistic disorders.