Genetic Marker Enables Better Prediction of Warfarin Dose in Patients of African Ancestry

A new-found genetic marker promises to better predict warfarin dose in African Americans, according to a study published online in The Lancet. If confirmed in further studies, the finding may help to avert more of the bleeds and blood clots that come when a patients's starting dose misses the drug's narrow safety window. To read the full story click below:

Study Finds Proof that Immune Defenses Amplify Parkinson's Disease Damage

The same mechanism that lets the immune system mount a massive attack against invading bacteria contributes to the destruction of brain cells as part of Parkinson’s disease, according to a study published online today in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Harms-neurons_sBuild-up of a protein called alpha-synuclein (green)
triggers an immune reaction through MHCII (red)
that kills nerve cells (blue) in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) found that shutting down production of a key group of immune proteins, major histocompatibility complex II (MHCII), completely protected mice that displayed a “human version” of the disease from related nerve cell death.

The MHCII protein complex enables cells that first respond to infections to display pieces of bacteria or viruses on their surfaces for notice by a second part of the immune system. These displayed pieces of invaders trigger a massive, second wave of immune reactions led by T cells and B cells. While vital to body’s ability to combat infectious disease, full-scale immune responses cause disease-related inflammation and cell death when unleashed in the wrong place. To see the full story click below:


Gift will fund dystonia research at UAB

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has received a $1 million dollar gift from the family of Mrs. Joel E. Johnson, Jr., daughter-in-law of the late Joel E. Johnson, Sr., to enhance and strengthen the dystonia research program at UAB. Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures.

The Joel E. Johnson, Sr., Research Acceleration Fund in Dystonia will support ongoing dystonia research in the Division of Movement Disorders, part of the Department of Neurology.

This gift will help UAB create a world-class research program in dystonia.

Dr. Anne Alexandrov receives top award from AACN

The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Professor and Assistant Dean for Program Evaluation Anne Alexandrov, Ph.D., R.N., CCRN, FAAN, will receive the Flame of Excellence Award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) at its 2013 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition in Boston, May 18-23, 2013.

AACN's Flame of Excellence Award honors sustained contributions to acute and critical care nursing at a high level and with broad research. Considered the leading international nursing authority on acute stroke management, Alexandrov is a clinical expert in the areas of emergency and critical care nursing, with concentrations in neuroscience and vascular dynamics. In addition to her position with the UAB School of Nursing, Alexandrov has a joint appointment as a professor of neurology at the UAB Comprehensive Stroke Research Center.