Neuroprotective Chemicals and More Than One Way to Skin A Cat

So I saw a fascinating Grand Rounds presentation on traumatic brain injury today. The Grand Rounds is a lifelong learning kind of activity in our department recently undergoing a change. We used to have separate presentations, one for researchers to present their research, and a more traditional Grand Rounds in which clinicians (or researchers) could present interesting cases, including a live interview of a patient in front of the audience, followed by a review of the evidence-based literature. The new and hopefully improved presentation combines the two approaches into one presentation, with a clinician and researcher both presenting, a trainee delivering a case presentation, and preserving the live or videotaped patient interview.

(c) Andrew Pieper, M.D., Ph.D., University of Iowa

(c) Andrew Pieper, M.D., Ph.D., University of Iowa

Anyway, today’s researcher summarized his research about a novel molecule, P7C3, which has been shown to slow the degradation of hippocampal neurons.

This could have broad application for treating a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including dementia and even depression. Dr. Andrew Pieper delivered the talk about his research in this area and mentioned partnering with a company called Calico to explore the miracle of drug development for P7C3–which I’m told could take about 20 years from start to finish.

That got me wondering if there were any other non-drug way to attack the problem of neurodegenerative diseases, which led me to mindfulness meditation research.

I thought it was interesting that the meditators had been practicing mindfulness for about 20 years. By the way, both of the research papers are available open access. Don’t forget, Open Access Week is coming up next month. I’ll have a blog post published on the University of Iowa web Open Access web page. Guess what I’ll mention? That’s right, mindfulness meditation! You can find out more about it at the mindfulness links on my site menu below the header.

Lots of fires burning at Iowa.

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