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Duke Neurology Research Round-Up, May 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Image courtesy NIH

From using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess the size and shape of glioma brain tumors, to evaluating how much the smartphone game Pokemon Go influences physical activity, the month of May saw new advances in clinical and basic research from the Duke Department of Neurology. Here’s a quick summary of studies written by our residents and faculty over the past 30 days.

  • Lead authors Don Sanders, MD, and Juel Vern, MD, as well as Lisa Hobson-Webb, MD, Janice Massey, MD, Shruti Raja, MD, Missy Pittman, BSN, and colleagues tested the reliability of a the Triple Timed-Up-and-Go (or 3TUG) test for assessing clinical function for patients with Lambert-Eaton myasthenia. Read what they found in the latest issue of Muscle and Nerve.
  • Michael Lutz, PhD, and Allen Roses, MD, were part of a national collaborative effort to examine associations between family history of Alzheimer’s disease and the ‘523 section of the TOMM40 gene. Their results were published here in Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
  • Nicole Calakos, MD, PhD, and Ricardo Hernandez-Martinez, PhD, wrote a commentary article discussing new research discussing the organization of the basal ganglia, including a major study recently published in Neuron as well as other studies over the past decade that place those new findings in context. Read their article here.
  • Ying Xian, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the DCRI found that games like Pokémon Go promote modest increases physical activity and may act as a “gateway drug” for exercise for people who aren’t usually active. Read more about their findings here.
  • Suma Das, MD, and Tim Collins, MD wrote a case study about a 64-year-old woman featuring headaches who was ultimately diagnosed with transsphenoidal  meningoencephalocele. Read their full report in Headache here.
  • Miguel Nicolelis, MD, PhD, was the senior author of a study that discusses the potential electrical stimulation of the dorsal columns of the spinal cord  to treat symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease and reviews the past decade of research on the subject. Read the full article in Movement Disorders here.
  • Katy Peters, MD, PhD, and colleagues measured glioma tumor shapes using MRI to determine associations between glioma tumor genomics and patient outcomes. Read what they found in the latest issue of the Journal of Neuro-Oncology.
  • Andrew Spector, MD, was part of a team that described two recent cases of unilateral anterior spinal artery occlusion resulting in bilateral bilateral medullary pyramidal infarction. Read what they have to say about this rare but devastating sub-type of stroke here.