UT Southwestern Scientist and States At Odds Over Daylight Saving Time

A UT Southwestern scientist is joining the international coalition taking aim at daylight saving time. Some countries in Europe are looking at eliminating the practice that can negatively affect our circadian rhythms, while other American states are looking to keep it year-round for economic purposes. UT Southwestern’s Dr. Joseph Takahashi, who discovered the first circadian gene in mammals, says that disrupting our internal clocks is linked to higher rates of obesity, heart attack, cancer, and depression. “It is now well established that waking up even an hour earlier adds to stress on our body and sleep deprivation,” said Takahashi, who isChairman and… Full Story

Virtual Reality Hypnosis is Improving Surgery Recovery

Virtual reality hypnosis is being explored as an option to treat postoperative pain and anxiety in children at UT Southwestern. A pilot study based in Europe analyzed 21 young patients and found that the hypnosis reduced anxiety, opioid consumption and vomiting in children after scoliosis surgery. The patients experienced 20 minutes of virtual reality hypnosis within three days of surgery, donning virtual reality goggles and experiencing beaches, underwater swims, hiking in the mountains, with soothing words and music which induced hypnosis. UT Southwestern reported the following results via release. “Only 20 percent required pain medication (IV morphine), compared with 62.5… Full Story

Magnets May be the Key to Treating Severe Depression

A clinical trial at UT Southwestern may change the way physicians treat depression with a treatment that has similar impacts to the often stigmatized electroconvulsive therapy. ECT has often caused temporary memory loss in its treatment of depression, but a new form of brain simulation may avoid the risks and have similar impacts. The new treatment, called Magnet Seizure Therapy, uses magnetic fields to reduce depression without cognitive side effects, meaning it could become a primary treatment for the severely depressed. UT Southwestern is partnering with the University of Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in a five-year clinical… Full Story

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