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INI In the News

The Daily Iowan, Sept. 2, 2021: The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Center for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Iowa Neuroscience Institute are combining forces with researchers, clinicians, physicians, and scientists across the university campus to form a new center and advance care for Iowans with disabilities. The new center, the Hawkeye Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, or Hawk-IDDRC, was created by faculty from around the university. Iowa Neuroscience Institute Director Ted Abel, and Lane Strathearn, director of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at UI Hospitals and Clinics, are co-directors of the center.

Des Moines Business Record, Innovation Iowa, July 9, 2021: Rainbo Hultman, a University of Iowa assistant professor of molecular physiology and biophysics, has developed a research method identifying and investigating the role electrical networks play in features of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

KCRG, July 28, 2021: After his autism diagnosis, Ted Abel's son Seamus became part of Abel’s own research. Abel leads the Iowa Neuroscience Institute at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, as well as the new UI Hawkeye Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center. “This idea really grew out of a community and out of an incredible need for our kids in Iowa, kids, and families that are facing the challenges of neurodevelopmental disorders,” Abel said.

The Gazette, July 12, 2021: In collaboration with neuroscience researchers in the Carver College of Medicine and its Iowa Neuroscience Institute, a team of clinicians, researchers and professors — including from the UI Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities — are launching a new UI Hawkeye Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, or Hawk-IDDRC.

The Gazette, June 18, 2021: UI Health Care recently became the first in Iowa to acquire a minimally-invasive robotic surgical assistant that’s proving to be a game-changer for patients and surgeons alike. “It’s quite incredible actually,” said UIHC neurosurgeon Brian Dlouhy, whose patients include children with epilepsy.

The Daily Iowan, Oct 9, 2020: New research from the University of Iowa reveals that people with Parkinson’s disease have a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than the general population. The research team, led by UI neurology resident Qiang Zhang and UI Neurology Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research Kumar Narayanan, studied nearly 80,000 patients who have COVID-19, 700 of which have Parkinson’s disease, using the TriNetX database.

Parkinson's News Today, Oct 9, 2020: Parkinson’s disease patients have an increased risk of dying from COVID-19, a recent study by University of Iowa researchers suggests. To understand whether Parkinson’s is an independent risk factor for death in the context of COVID-19 infection, Kumar Narayanan and team analyzed patients’ data in the TriNetX COVID-19 research network, a health research database with medical records of more than 50 million patients mainly from the United States.

The Gazette (Cedar Rapids), Oct 5, 2020:  Using data from a nationwide research network, researchers determined that those with Parkinson’s diseasehave a 30 percent higher risk of dying if they are infected with the novel coronavirus. The study, which was published in a medical journal called Movement Disorders, was led by University of Iowa Health Care neurologists Dr. Qiang Zhang and Dr. Nandakumar Narayanan.

Knowable Magazine, Sept 30, 2020: For centuries, the cerebellum was considered so unimportant that many scientists would simply ignore it in neuroimaging studies or, when they removed the brains of animals for many kinds of studies, they would chop the structure off and throw it away. Things are slowly beginning to change, however, as evidence builds that the cerebellum makes important contributions to cognition, emotion and social behavior. UI neuroscientist Krystal Parker is among those bringing new understandng to light.

The Daily Iowan, March 9, 2020: INI faculty members Joshua Weiner and Dan Tranel comment on research into the physical effects of music on the brain to determine how it connects to memory and emotion.

The Daily Iowan, Feb. 26, 2020: A University of Iowa research team including Brian Dlouhy and George Richerson is the first to ever use electric stimulation on the amygdala to affect loss of breathing during epileptic seizures — sparking the possibility that they may be able to predict if and when people are at a greater risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.

The Daily Iowan, Feb. 10, 2020: UI neuroscience and pharmacology Professor Kamal Rahmouni and Internal Medicine Department Chair E. Dale Abel recently became the new co-directors of the Obesity Research and Education Initiative.

The Gazette, Jan 24, 2020: A new $33.5 million Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences Building brings the popular department all under one roof for the first time ever. With the university pushing a renewed emphasis on neuroscience — creating the Iowa Neuroscience Institute in 2016 and introducing an undergraduate major in neuroscience in 2017 — the department’s first centralized home is expected to “transform teaching and research.”

Daily Iowan, Jan 24, 2020: Hawkeyes recently celebrated beginning the spring semester with a new home for students studying psychological and brain sciences. The new space will allow for more collaboration in the department, opening doors for diversifying science more and making the department better as a whole.

KCRG, Jan. 24, 2020: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics specialist Stanley Perlman said he doesn’t believe Iowa will see a case of the coronavirus. Perlman has been studying coronavirus for 38 years. “We have to learn more about how the virus is transmitted, but unless you have recently been to China or have been in contact with someone who has, the odds are almost zero that you will get sick.”

CBS2, Jan 13, 2020: Alex Bassuk discusses a case of a child with extremely rare neurological complications from the flu.

The Gazette, Dec 16, 2019:  A University of Iowa clinician and neuroscientist has received an $18 million grant to continue a decade-long study on how a potential treatment for Huntington’s disease may affect children’s brain development. Dr. Peg Nopoulos, chairwoman of the University of Iowa department of psychiatry, was awarded a five-year grant by the National Institution of Neurological Disorders and Strokes, part of the U.S. Institutes of Health.

The Daily Iowan, Dec. 16, 2019: A decade-long investigation at the University of Iowa into the brain development of children at risk for Huntington’s disease — a fatal and incurable neurodegenerative disease — will soon expand significantly in scope. After receiving a five-year extension worth $18 million from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the UI team of researchers led by Peg Nopoulos, chair and DEO of psychiatry, can grow their work.

The Daily Iowan, Dec. 3, 2019: Some researchers, including INI's Hanna Stevens and Peg Nopoulos, are raising concern for what they say could be a disparity in resources that the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital provides in support of mental-health services for children as the hospital works to offer more treatment options and services.

The Gazette, Dec. 1, 2019: Just how children learn to make quick determinations while reading and hearing words is the focus of a new research study called Growing Words, led by Bob McMurray, UI professor of psychological and brain sciences. It’s set to begin early next year.

KWWL, Nov. 8, 2019: Doctors at the University of Iowa, including Nandakumar Narayanan, started collecting prospective data this week on a drug that could stunt the effects of Parkinson’s disease. A collaborating doctor in China noticed patients on the drug Terazosin, for enlarged prostate, were not seeing any decline in their Parkinson’s, as a result of increased cell activity. A larger database and confirmed their findings with over 3,000 cases. They are now testing the drug in a double-blind trial to make sure it’s safe for non-male patients and more.

The Gazette, Nov. 8, 2019: Having spent nearly a decade at Iowa studying the psychological and brain sciences, Ryan Lalumiere in spring 2019 took his first semester-long professional development assignment to — among other things — push forward his research on what happens in the brain when heroin and cocaine users relapse.

The Daily Iowan, Oct. 22, 2019: The National Institute of Health provided two new grants totaling nearly $13 million to a diverse team of University of Iowa research professors who will address the issue of chronic pain and opioid misuse as part of its broader HEAL initiative.

The Daily Iowan: Oct 11, 2019: Ryan LaLumiere, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences, recently received $2.13 million from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study the brain’s impact on heroin relapse.

The Daily Iowan: Oct 9, 2019: The Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, formerly only pharmacology, changed its name to demonstrate more clearly the work it’s doing — and Ted Abel will lead the department as its new chair.

BBC, Sept. 17, 2019: A drug used to treat enlarged prostates may be a powerful medicine against Parkinson's disease, according to an international team of scientists including Nandakumar Narayanan of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute.

Daily Iowan, Sept. 17, 2019: Collaboration among researchers, clinicians, and scientists at the University of Iowa led to the release on Monday of new Parkinson’s research, which suggests that a drug used to treat enlarged prostates could slow progression of the neurodegenerative disease.

KCRG, Sept.6, 2019: A clinical study led by Dr. Nicholas Trapp University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is investigating the effectivness of transcranial magnetic stimulation, more commonly referred to as TMS, for brain disorders, specifically autism, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Researchers with the project are hoping to recruit people above the age of 18 to participate in the study, which they have already been working on for about two years.

KCRG, Aug. 19, 2019: Following the death of Disney star Cameron Boyce this summer, researchers at the University of Iowa warning people about the risk of “SUDEP,” or Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. George Richerson, professor and chair of neurology, explains that patients usually die in their sleep when they stop breathing. He and others at the UI are working to identify causes and ways to prevent death.

The Daily Iowan, July 29, 2019: University of Iowa Professor Kathleen Sluka takes depictions of cells beyond what would be found in a biology textbook, creating grand colorful paintings of the cells she studies in her day job. Her exhibit, Cells of Life, is on display in the sky gallery of the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building and Medical Education & Research Facility through Oct. 9.

KCRG, April 16, 2019: Dr. Gordon Buchanan at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is researching what could be a life-saving link between SIDS--Sudden Infant Death Syndrome-- and SUDEP, or Sudden Death in Epilepsy.

The Daily Iowan, March 27, 2019: A sudden interest in medicine after experiencing health complications paved the way for University of Iowa psychiatry Professor and Director of the Iowa Neuroimaging Consortium Nancy Andreasen’s pioneering career.

Discover Magazine D-brief blog, March 21, 2019: Some individuals may be prone to sudden death syndromes like SIDS and SUDEP because they are born with a neurological difference that can be fatal under the right circumstances, explains Gordon Buchanan, a neurologist and epileptologist at the University of Iowa who authored a review paper in Trends in Neurosciences

Cystic Fibrosis News Today, Feb. 22, 2019: A new strategy to genetically prevent disease-related mutations from occurring shows the potential to treat several genetic diseases, including cystic fibrosis (CF), a study reports. A team led by Christopher Ahern, PhD, a researcher at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and Iowa Neuroscience Institute, developed a new strategy to tackle potentially harmful genetic variants that lead to shorter proteins. The team’s strategy was to detect premature termination codons (PTCs) — the genetic stop signals — and prevent them from being read by the natural protein-producing machinery.

The Daily Iowan, Feb. 12, 2019:  UI biology professor and INI member Bernd Fritzsch and colleagues in Czechia have have found a gene critical to hearing and the auditory system in humans and animals. Their research found that Neurod1 is essential in the development of the auditory system and neural components in the cochlea. This study is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The Daily Iowan, Dec. 2, 2018: A recent INI study showed that inflammation in the womb can cause autism-like traits in male mice. Levels of the inflammatory marker interleukin-17  may be elevated in offspring with autism, the researchers appear to have discovered. The study relied on testing pregnant mice and injecting them with IL-17; researchers found that the females were not affected. “A lot of the changes that we found overlap with changes in clinical populations of patients with autism, both at the level of gene changes and behavior displayed,” said Associate Professor Hanna Stevens. “Also, the notion that males were affected parallels that boys are much more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.”

Spectrum, Nov. 6, 2018: Chronic exposure to inflammation in the womb alters autism gene expression and disrupts social behavior in male mice, but not females. Researchers presented the unpublished findings yesterday at the 2018 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego, California. Chronic inflammation may smolder beneath the surface in some pregnant women, says lead investigator Hanna Stevens, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa. Its effects may not crop up until later in the pregnancy or in the child’s development, she says.

The Gazette (Cedar Rapids), Oct. 8, 2018 (subscription required): After decades of dreaming and designing and revamping plans to replace the historic Seashore — which housed Iowa’s first medical teaching hospital before anchoring its psychological and brain sciences in the 1920s — crews began building its successor a year ago in October 2017. “Seashore Hall was considered a white elephant 90 years ago,” UI professor and department chair Mark Blumberg said during the ground-breaking ceremony.

Radio Iowa, Oct. 8, 2018: At the ground breaking for the the new Psychological and Brain Sciences building, professor and department chair Mark Blumberg said the six-floor, $33 million project will take shape where Seashore Hall once stood, located just east of Van Allen Hall. “The basement is going to have advising for students and classrooms and a lecture hall. The first floor is where the administrative offices will be and the four stories above that will have labs. Most of the stories will have three labs, plus offices for faculty.”

Iowa Public Radio, Aug. 17, 2018:  On the "River to River" talk show, UI neurologists Georgina Aldridge, MD, PhD, and Joel Geerling, MD, PhD, talk about new research on dementia. The interview is the second half of the hour-long program, beginning at about the 24-minute mark.

The Daily Iowan, April 17, 2018: Neuroscience researchers who presented their work at Monday’s 2018 Health Sciences Research Week Faculty TED Talks discussed the unexpected links that help them understand how the human brain works — and how they can fix it when it doesn’t. Presenters were Sam Young, Peggy Nopoulos and Kumar Narayanan.

KGAN, April 2, 2018: In an effort to expand understanding, researchers at the University of Iowa and across the country are SPARKing a movement to improve lives. SPARK is the largest genetic study of autism ever. seeking 50,000 families impacted by autism to grow a genetic database on the condition to increase understanding to potentially improve treatments. "The more families we get to participate and the more people we get to stand up and say, 'I'm going to be a part of this,' the more we will flesh that out and the better understanding of biology we will have," said Jake Michaelson, assistant professor of psychiatry who is leading the UI portion of the study.

Nature Biotechnology, March 6, 2018: The FDA is poised to approve this year the first migraine therapies designed based on a specific laboratory understanding of the mechanisms of this common neurological condition. INI's Andrew Russo notes that further study is needed to identify antagonists that can cross the blood–brain barrier and penetrate other difficult-to-reach areas of the body. 

Spectrum, Feb. 22, 2018: The same processes that enable the brain to store new memories may also control many autism genes, a new study suggests1. Candidate genes for autism are more than three times as prevalent in the genetic regions that become active after mice learn a new task as would be expected by chance, the researchers found. (Abel Lab)

Science Daily, Feb. 14, 2018: In a new study, University of Iowa researchers studied how people stopped an action. The researchers found that when participants heard an unexpected sound, they stopped an action more often than when they heard no sound at all. (Wessel Lab)

Science Daily, Feb. 6, 2018: Researchers have long believed that inhaled carbon dioxide activates neurons responsible for breathing and the physical effect of increased deep breathing then triggers waking from sleep (arousal). A new study by researchers with the Iowa Neuroscience Institute at the University of Iowa challenges that idea. (Buchanan Lab)