Study yields clues to why Alzheimer’s disease damages certain parts of the brain (Links to an external site)

Red and orange areas on these heat maps of human brains show where the gene APOE is most active (top two brain images) and where tangles of the protein tau are most concentrated (bottom two brain images). APOE is the biggest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s, and tau tangles drive brain damage in the disease. The similarities in the two sets of maps suggested to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis that APOE plays a role in making certain brain areas particularly vulnerable to Alzheimer’s damage.

Memory loss is often the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease, followed by confusion and difficulty thinking. These symptoms reflect the typical pattern of worsening damage to brain tissues. Toxic clusters of proteins first concentrate in the temporal lobes of the brain — the memory area — before spreading to parts of the brain important for […]

Pediatric clinic for Rett syndrome draws patients for multispecialty care, clinical trials (Links to an external site)

Kerrigan Waggenspack, 4, of Baton Rouge, La., cheers with her sister, Shea Rodriguez. Kerrigan has Rett syndrome, a condition that affects brain development. Her family travels to the Rett Spectrum Clinic at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital so Kerrigan can be seen by a multispecialty care team.

Families that have a child with Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that almost exclusively affects females, often travel hundreds of miles to the Rett Spectrum Clinic in St. Louis — a collaboration between Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital — for multispecialty care and access to innovative clinical trials.

Testing Inclusivity and Innovation Benefits All (Links to an external site)

Masked children in classroom

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in the spring of 2022, students and staff at schools that serve children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) were left stranded. These students and staff faced unique circumstances because they could not always follow the CDC guidance on masking, testing, and social distancing due to the nature of these […]

COVID-19 infections increase risk of long-term brain problems (Links to an external site)

A comprehensive analysis of federal data by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows people who have had COVID-19 are at an elevated risk of developing neurological conditions within the first year after infection. Movement disorders, memory problems, strokes and seizures are among the complications.

If you’ve had COVID-19, it may still be messing with your brain. Those who have been infected with the virus are at increased risk of developing a range of neurological conditions in the first year after the infection, new research shows. Such complications include strokes, cognitive and memory problems, depression, anxiety and migraine headaches, according […]