Neurosciences News and Events

A free educational Brain Tumor support group designed to help adults with brain tumors improve their quality of life, and share their experiences. Brain Tumor Support Group

Please join us to learn about resources and treatment options, share information and develop new relationships. Patients and their families are welcome. Lunch will be provided. For more information call 843-792-8552.

Date: 1st Thursday of every month
Time: 12 to 1 p.m.
Location: MUSC Clinical Sciences Building, Room 429, 96 Jonathan Lucas Street, Charleston, SC

Please RSVP to Brittaine Hinkson at 843-792-855

Find out more about the MUSC Brain and Spine Tumor program.

The work of MUSC's Neuro-Oncology research and clinical teams was featured on the cover of the August Journal of Neuro-Oncology for their work in discovering the first direct evidence that the compound DATS, found in garlic, is effective in blocking pathways of the proliferation of cancer cells and ultimately may help reduce tumor growth in patients with glioblastoma, the most lethal brain tumor.

To learn more about this exciting research, please visit the MUSC Newsroom for a full article.

Dr. Sunil Patel, Chief of Neurosurgery at the Medical University of South Carolina, discusses a rare case of Bobble-Head Doll Syndrome. Characterized by a "yes-yes" head bob, the syndrome is often associated with cystic abnormalities in the third ventricle that produce hydrocephalus. Opting against the traditional craniotomy, Dr. Patel drained the cyst endoscopically—a 15-minute procedure requiring an incision only an inch long. MUSC specializes in minimally invasive endoscopic neurosurgery.

Press Release: MUSC study: Alzheimer’s disease linked to high fat diets

Evidence mounts that what’s bad for the body is bad for the mind

Recent evidence suggests that metabolic disorders and many diseases frequently develop due to unhealthy lifestyles, such as poor diet and lack of physical activity. Researchers Narayan R. Bhat, Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) neurosciences professor and Lakshmi Thirumangalakudi, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute, have found evidence to suggest that what’s bad for the body is also bad for the mind in a study published this month in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

            “Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progressively robs its victims of their memory, mental faculties and independent living,” Bhat said. “Although specific genetic mutations have been identified that

directly cause the disease, these cases are rare. Our study suggests potential common causes and co-morbidities of metabolic disorders and sporadic cases of Alzheimer’s disease and hence an opportunity to develop treatments targeted at improving insulin sensitivity for those more common cases of AD.”

Epidemiological and experimental studies point to a link between metabolic diseases and Alzheimer’s-like dementia via common vascular-associated risk factors. Although the underlying mechanisms are unclear and complex, certain common features are emerging including inflammation and insulin resistance, leading to changes in metabolic derangement in the brain similar to peripheral organs. In fact, some researchers now describe AD as “type 3 diabetes” –a consequence of insulin deficiency and inaction (i.e., resistance). One of the consequences of altered insulin signaling and resistance in the brain is increased phosphorylation of tau, a brain protein that loses its normal function while becoming toxic in the AD brain.

In their study Bhat and Thirumangalakudi describe brain changes that indicate altered insulin signaling and increased tau phosphorylation in normal mice fed a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet. The hypothesis for the link between vascular disorders and AD-like changes in the brain is that metabolic changes including peripheral inflammation and insulin resistance resulting from high fat intake cause dysfunction in the brain’s vascular system that in turn leads to cellular and metabolic changes in the brain similar to what occurs in an AD brain. For more information, a full citation of the study is here:

Increased Tau Phosphorylation and Impaired Brain Insulin/IGF Signaling in Mice Fed a High Fat/High Cholesterol Diet

Narayan R. Bhat and Lakshmi Thirumangalakudi

JAD Volume 36/Issue 4 (August 2013)

DOI: 10.3233/JAD-2012-121030

MUSC's Chair of Neurology, Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele was the lead author on a recently published study that has some alarming facts about stroke.  The study results include:

  • Almost 4 percent of U.S. adults — nearly one in 25 — will have a stroke. This translates into an additional 3.4 million people with stroke in 2030.
  • Costs to treat stroke may increase from $71.55 billion in 2010 to $183.13 billion.
  • Annual costs due to lost productivity could rise from $33.65 billion to $56.54 billion.
  • Americans currently 45-64 years old are expected to have the highest increase in stroke at 5.1 percent.
  • Stroke prevalence is projected to increase the most among Hispanic men between now and 2030, and the costs of treating stroke in Hispanic women is expected to triple.

Dr. Ovbiagele was quoted in the AHA press release regarding the report saying, “getting patients specialized acute stroke care as soon as possible is critical. During every minute of delayed treatment, brain cells are dying. EMS systems nationwide should take patients directly to a designated stroke center equipped to quickly diagnose and administer drugs to restore blood flow to the brain.”   Our Comprehensive Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center is pleased to be able to offer highly specialized stroke care to the residents of South Carolina.

You can read more about the study online from TIME Healthland.


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