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How a Brain Tumor Helped Cyclist Chris Baccash Change His Life
Being a professional cyclist with an optimistic disposition and an adventurous spirit comes in handy when, after having a seizure at work and waking up in a hospital, you eventually learn that you have a large brain tumor.
This happened to then-27-year-old Chris Baccash in December 2019. It turned out that he had a diffuse astrocytoma — a slow-growing malignant brain tumor. The recommended course of action: two surgeries, three weeks apart with neurosurgeon Donald M. O'Rourke, MD, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), to remove as much of it as possible. It would have been understandable for him to feel despondent, afraid, or worried about the road that lay ahead. But he had a different reaction to the news.
At the time, Baccash had a job Monday-Friday managing a business analytics team for a company in New Jersey and spent his weekends racing and training with the
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Blood-Based Biomarkers Help Predict Outcomes After Traumatic Brain Injury
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that biomarkers present in the blood on the day of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can accurately predict a patient’s risk of death or severe disability six months later. Measuring these biomarkers may enable a more accurate assessment of patient prognosis following TBI, according to results published today in Lancet Neurology.
Researchers with the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in TBI (TRACK-TBI(link is external)) study examined levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1)—proteins found in glial cells and neurons, respectively—in nearly 1,700 patients with TBI. TRACK-TBI is an observational study aimed at improving understanding and diagnosis of TBIs to develop successful treatments.
The study team measured the biomarkers in blood samples taken from patients
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Scientists Find Surprising Link Between Mitochondrial DNA And Increased Atherosclerosis Risk
Mitochondria are known as cells’ powerhouses, but mounting evidence suggests they also play a role in inflammation. Scientists from the Salk Institute and UC San Diego published new findings in Immunity on August 2, 2022, where they examined human blood cells and discovered a surprising link between mitochondria, inflammation and DNMT3A and TET2—two genes that normally help regulate blood cell growth but, when mutated, are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis.
“We found that the genes DNMT3A and TET2, in addition to their normal job of altering chemical tags to regulate DNA, directly activate expression of a gene involved in mitochondrial inflammatory pathways, which hints at a new molecular target for atherosclerosis therapeutics,” says Gerald Shadel, co-senior author, Salk professor and director of the San Diego Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of
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UCI Study Examines Distorted Time Perception During Pandemic
The passage of time was altered for many people during the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from difficulty in keeping track of days of the week to feeling that the hours themselves rushed by or slowed down. In prior work, these distortions have been associated with persistent negative mental outcomes such as depression and anxiety following trauma, making them an important risk factor to target with early interventions, according to a study by University of California, Irvine researchers.
The study, recently published online in the journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, documents how pervasive the experience, known as “temporal disintegration” in psychiatric literature, was in the first six months of the pandemic. The team also found that pandemic-related secondary stresses such as daily COVID-19-related media exposure, school closures, lockdowns and financial