About half of a small group of patients with fibromyalgia – a common syndrome that causes chronic pain and other symptoms – was found to have damage to nerve fibers in their skin and other evidence of a disease called small-fiber polyneuropathy, a disorder that sometimes can be treated.
The initial clinical trial of a novel approach to treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – blocking production of a mutant protein that causes an inherited form of the progressive neurodegenerative disease – may be a first step towards a new era in the treatment of such disorders.
An assay designed to measure normal and abnormal forms of the huntingtin protein – the mutated form of which causes Huntington's disease – was successful in detecting levels of the mutant protein in a large multicenter study of individuals at risk for the devastating neurological disorder.
A search for genes that change their levels of expression in response to starvation has uncovered potential clues to the mechanism behind the health benefits of omega fatty acids. MGH researchers report that omega-6 fatty acids may activate a cellular renewal process called autophagy, which may be deficient in several important diseases of aging.
Is aging inevitable? What factors make older tissues less able to maintain and repair themselves? A new study from MGH investigators and collaborators at King's College London describes how muscle repair is impaired during aging and a strategy that may rejuvenate aging tissue by manipulating the environment of muscle stem cells.
MGH researchers have identified a gene variant that helps predict how much weight an individual will lose after gastric bypass surgery, a finding with the potential both to guide treatment planning and to facilitate the development of new therapeutic approaches to treating obesity and related conditions like diabetes.
A phase I clinical trial has confirmed that use of a generic vaccine to raise levels of an immune system modulator can cause the death of autoimmune cells targeting the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas and temporarily restore insulin secretion in human patients with type 1 diabetes.
Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Heart, Vascular and Stroke Care and Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute have found a chemical biomarker in blood that can predict diabetes risk more than a decade before the onset of the disease.