Can You Exercise Too Much? New Research Has an Answer

With the growing popularity of high-intensity interval training, Crossfit, and ultra-marathoning, scientists began to wonder if this level of intense exercise might be bad for the heart. Researchers from The Cooper Institute and UT Southwestern Medical Center analyzed how this type of heightened exercise impacts the risk of heart disease and death, but found no additional risk in highly active individuals. The study did find that these individuals have an 11 percent greater risk for coronary artery calcification, which can be a sign of atherosclerosis, a disease where plaque builds up in the arteries and gives risk to heart attack and… Full Story

Photos: Dallas Aging and Cognition Conference

The Center for Vital Longevityheld its biennial Dallas Aging and Cognition Conference last weekend focusing on the cognitive neuroscience of aging. Around 25o neuroscience, aging, and cognition experts from around the globe gathered at the Marriott downtown to learn and share their research. The conference focused on the impacts of aging on the brain, and how dementia and Alzheimer’s are connected to brain atrophy. Its keynote address was by Dr. Lars Nyberg of Umea University, called “Successful Memory and Aging — What is the Evidence?” It included topic overviews as well as research poster presentations. The meeting is part of… Full Story

Local Research Severs Link Between Liver Cancer and Hep C Therapy

Patients with liver disease and hepatitis C, which often occur in congruence, have some good news from UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers. A study found that antiviral drugs for hepatitis C do not impact the reoccurrence of liver cancer. Researchers looked at patient records for those treated successfully for liver cancer and compared two groups: those that received hep C drugs and those that didn’t, and found those that received the drugs were less likely to have the cancer return.  Over 3 million people in the U.S. have chronic hepatitis C, many of whom experience liver inflammation, impaired liver function,… Full Story

Remembering Dr. Adi Gazdar, Prolific Author and Award-Winning Cancer Researcher

Dr. Adi Gazdar, one of the world’s most cited authors whose collected cancer cells helped researchers around the world study the disease, died in late December. He was 81. Gazdar spent 27 years at UT Southwestern researching the basis of human cancers and their therapies. Prior to UTSW, where he held the W. Ray Wallace Distinguished Chair in Molecular Oncology Research, he worked at the National Cancer Institute for 23 years. “Adi Gazdar was one of the first great lung cancer ‘molecular pathologists’ who combined great experience in clinical pathology with the development and application of molecular techniques to help characterize… Full Story

Research Shows This Additive Makes You More of a Couch Potato

Researchers at UT Southwestern have found that laziness might be compounded by an additive that is in 70 percent of the American diet. Inorganic phosphate, which is used in fast food, processed foods, and bottled drinks, has been shown to decrease mice’s ability to exercise. Phosphates occur naturally in fruits, dairy products, meat and fish, but the organic version isn’t absorbed by the body and doesn’t have an impact. But food labels make it difficult to avoid the more harmful inorganic phosphates, as they don’t have to label how much are included in foods. According to Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, Professor of… Full Story

Cary Council Recognizes UT Southwestern Doctors for Promising Research

The Cary Council has recognized three UT Southwestern doctors with grants for their early stage research. Dr. Prasanna Alluri, Dr. David Greenberg, and Dr. Animesh Tandon were this year’s recipients at the DocStars event this fall. The Cary Council is a group of young leaders who support the Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern Medical Center, and the Cary Council Steering Committee selected this year’s winners. The organization gifted over $220,000 this year. Alluri’s work focuses on overcoming treatment-resistant breast cancer and has identified a drug that inhibits the cancer’s growth. Greenberg is working to predict strains of bacteria that… Full Story

Local Research Could Lead to Preventing Alzheimer’s Before it Starts

Researchers at UT Southwestern have neutralized what they believe to be a primary factor in Alzheimer’s disease, which could lead to a drug that could be taken by patients long before they show symptoms. If taken for life, they found it could prevent the disorder in 50 to 80 percent of at-risk adults. If a person contains the protein ApoE4, they are 10 times more likely to develop the disease than someone who has another form of the same protein. The protein causes a build up that negatively impacts nerve cells in the brain, but researchers found a way to… Full Story

UTSW Researchers Hope to Predict Dementia

UT Southwestern researchers say the identification of a molecular Alzheimer’s trigger can be used to predict which type of dementia will develop in patients. The knowledge can be used to diagnose and possibly treat the degenerative neurological disorder. A new study has identified how the tau protein’s shape gives information about which type of dementia will develop, and was created with the help of a larger network of researchers who hope to improve treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. An earlier study from the same lab found a molecular clue to how Alzheimer’s disease forms. “Our expanded understanding of the tau protein structure… Full Story

A New Formula For Reducing Drug Prices

Much of the increases in healthcare costs can be attributed to the rise in price of pharmaceuticals, and one reason pharmaceutical expenses are so high is because clinical trials are long, costly, and difficult to run. SMU and UTSW researcher Vishal Ahuja and his colleague from the University of Chicago John R. Birge hope to use statistics to change the way trials are performed, saving time, money, and improving outcomes for patients. Pharmaceutical companies have to run clinical trials to test new medicines, but they can take years with hundreds of patients, who are difficult to recruit and retain. According… Full Story

Researchers Identify Enzyme that Helps Lung Cancer Grow

Researchers at UT Southwestern have found an enzyme that removes lactate from lung cancer cells, promoting the cancer’s growth. Led by Dr. Kathryn O’Donnell, the research was published in the journal Cell Reports. The enzyme is called transmembrane serine protease 11B (TMPRSS11B), and scientists were able to suppress the enzyme through gene editing and RNA interference to reduce tumor growth in mice. “In this study, we found that the enzyme strongly promoted the growth of certain types of lung cancer cells. We uncovered a new mechanism that expands our understanding of how cancer cells reprogram their metabolism to provide energy for rapid… Full Story