SUNY Downstate News February 2017
Empire State Development recently announced that 43 businesses will expand in or locate to New York State, partnering with colleges and universities to spur economic growth across the state. These 43 businesses have committed to create more than 640 new jobs and invest more than $15 million statewide. Eight businesses representing 90 new jobs are at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. Read more about Empire State Development and SUNY Downstate’s announcement, here.
Neuronal degeneration is the most severe long-term consequence of repetitive seizures in patients with epilepsy, which until now was thought to be primarily caused by excitotoxicity, or over-stimulation of the neurons. New findings indicate hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, due to abnormal blood flow may be to blame for as much as half the neuronal death caused by the condition. Read more about Downstate’s new epilepsy findings, here.
Targeted drug therapies during adolescence may be used to normalize synapse number in the brains of individuals with abnormal numbers of synapses, such as found in schizophrenia and autism. Memories are formed at structures in the brain known as dendritic spines, which communicate with other brain cells through “synapses.” The number of these brain connections decreases by half after puberty in a process termed adolescent “synaptic pruning” that is necessary for normal learning in adulthood. However, the pruning away of unnecessary synapses does not follow the normal process in diseases such as autism and schizophrenia, where the abnormality is thought to underlie many of the cognitive impairments associated with these disorders. Read more about Downstate research here.
A new test using peripheral vision reaction time could lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment of mild traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a concussion, according to Peter J. Bergold, PhD, professor of physiology and pharmacology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and corresponding author of a study newly published online by the Journal of Neurotrauma. Read more about Downstate research into brain injury, here.