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Daily News Roundup: Tuesday, 5 March

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Welcome to your daily round-up of everything happening in the world of neurorehabilitation.

Research news

Study provides evidence for degree of universality in music perception and cognition

The human brain appears to be biased toward hearing and producing rhythms composed of simple integer ratios when listening to music. For example, a series of four beats separated by equal time intervals (forming a 1:1:1 ratio). However, according to new findings, favored ratios can vary greatly between different societies.

The researchers say the findings provide the “clearest evidence yet for some degree of universality in music perception and cognition, in the sense that every single group of participants that was tested exhibits biases for integer ratios” and that they reveal a mechanism that the brain uses to aid in the perception and production of music.

Differences in how patients with impulse control disorder process consequences

One characteristic of Parkinson’s disease is the deficiency of dopamine. While dopaminergic medicines can help alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, in some patients the medications can cause impulse control disorder (ICD).

Now, new research has now shed light on the relationship between dopamine and decision-making, showing that when patients with ICD were on their medications, the researchers found that their expectations drove their feelings significantly more than when they were off of their medications. This difference was not observed for patients without ICD. The researchers say these results suggest that “patients with ICD may get positive feelings from taking risky actions based on their expectations of good outcomes. But, when those risky choices do not pan out, they do not process the negative feedback in a typical way.”

Company news

$4.1M to further development of gene therapy for Menkes Disease

A three-year grant of approximately $4.1M has been awarded to the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Principal Investigator, Stephen G. Kaler, M.D., M.P.H., from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant has been awarded in order to fund completion of pre-clinical studies, manufacturing and preparation of an IND application for a first-in-human clinical trial to advance adeno-associated virus (AAV)-ATP7A gene therapy, also known as AAV-ATP7A, for the treatment of Menkes disease.

The treatment is being developed Cyprium Therapeutics, a majority-owned subsidiary of Fortress Biotech.

Stroke Advisory Board established

Aruna Bio, which develops neural exosome-based therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, has announced the formation of its Stroke Advisory Board which includes distinguished experts in fields of neurology, stroke research, and clinical development. The company has stated that the board underscores Aruna Bio’s commitment to advancing its clinical development programme with unparalleled expertise.

Phase 2 trial of PGN-EDO51 for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

PepGen, a company working to advance the next generation of oligonucleotide therapies with the goal of transforming the treatment of severe neuromuscular and neurological diseases, has announced that the UK Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has authorised its clinical trial Application to initiate the CONNECT2-EDO51 Phase 2 trial of PGN-EDO51 in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) amenable to an exon 51-skipping approach.

Technology

Hip exoskeleton shows promise for helping stroke patients

A portable robotic device created by University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers provides a new avenue for making state-of-the-art gait rehabilitation methods more effective and accessible. The study, published in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, reveals that the robotic hip exoskeleton has the potential to effectively train individuals to modify their walking asymmetry.

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