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Daily News Update: Wednesday, 19 June



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

Research news

Face screening tool detects stroke in seconds

A new smartphone face-screening tool could help paramedics to identify stroke in seconds – much sooner and more accurately than is possible with current technologies. Strokes, which affect millions of people globally, occur when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, which prevent brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. A few minutes of delay can result in permanent damage to the brain cells. A team of biomedical engineers at RMIT University developed the AI capabilities behind the software technology and has published their results in Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine.

Blood test could predict Parkinson’s seven years before symptoms

A team of researchers, led by scientists at UCL and University Medical Center Goettingen, have developed a simple blood test that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to predict Parkinson’s up to seven years before the onset of symptoms. Currently, people with Parkinson’s are treated with dopamine replacement therapy after they have already developed symptoms, such as tremor, slowness of movement and gait, and memory problems. But researchers believe that early prediction and diagnosis would be valuable for finding treatments that could slow or stop Parkinson’s by protecting the dopamine producing brain cells.

Rensselaer professor receives $3.7 million grant for Alzheimer’s disease research

Chunyu Wang, M.D., Ph.D., professor of biological sciences and chemistry and chemical biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been awarded a five-year grant of more than $3.7 million by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging to study Apolipoprotein E isoform interactions with heparan sulfate in Alzheimer’s disease. “At first, my research was motivated by my curiosity of how the brain and memory work,” said Wang. “However, over the years, I have known many people affected by Alzheimer’s disease, so I am more and more motivated by the urgent need for discovering more effective, safer, and affordable drugs for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Company and financial neuro-rehab news

Pinnacle accelerates expansion with acquisitions and partnerships

LongueVue Capital  is pleased to announce that its portfolio company Pinnacle Clinical Research,  specialising in complex therapeutic areas, has completed successful investments in Kerwin Medical Center, The Cognitive and Research Center of New Jersey, Bellaire Clinical Research, Palmetto Clinical Research – Low Country, and Dallas Research Institute. These five additions to the Pinnacle network broaden Pinnacle’s geographic footprint to include twelve total sites across the U.S. In addition, the KMC and CRCNJ acquisitions expand Pinnacle’s therapeutic area expertise into central nervous system indications with a focus on Alzheimer’s Disease. These acquisitions further bolster Pinnacle’s value proposition as a leader across multiple complex therapeutic indications while providing high quality patient care, superior patient enrolment timelines, and access to underrepresented patient populations.

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus receives $2 Million gift

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus announced the creation of the Céline Dion Foundation Endowed Chair in Autoimmune Neurology, made possible by a $2 million philanthropic investment from the Céline Dion Foundation. The investment will fund initiatives to advance research in autoimmune neurological disorders, such as stiff person syndrome, and support Amanda Piquet, MD, associate professor of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who has been named the inaugural chairholder. Piquet specialises in diagnosing, treating and advancing research for SPS, a rare, chronic and progressive autoimmune neurologic disease characterized by muscle stiffness, painful spasms and difficulty walking.

Neurotechnology news

Editorial: Deep Brain Stimulation Think Tank

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience has published Volume IV of Deep Brain Stimulation Think Tank: Updates in Neurotechnology and Neuromodulation.