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Neuroscience

At least 80% of opioid overdoses aren’t fatal, WVU researchers want to know how they affect the brain

The vast majority of people who overdose on an opioid will survive the experience. Yet scientists know little about how nonfatal overdoses affect the brain and cognition. WVU School of Medicine researchers Erin Winstanley and James Mahoney systematically reviewed journal articles that examined the topic. Overall, the studies supported a link between overdose, brain abnormalities and cognitive impairment, but more research—with more precision—is needed. Their findings appear in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

WVU names 2021 class of Ruby Fellows

Six students pursuing doctoral degrees at West Virginia University are receiving funding through the Ruby Scholars Graduate Fellows Program. This year’s fellows are Kelsey Bentley, Julia Ivey, Anuj Kankani, Claire Kelly, Zoe Pagliaro and Matthew Waalkes.

WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute first in region, among first in U.S. to offer latest deep brain stimulation technology for patients with Parkinson’s

The West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute today (June 14) announced the first procedure in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and among the first in the U.S., to use new deep brain stimulation technology that has the potential to improve the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, tremor, dystonia, and other movement disorders.

Like night and day: Animal studies may not translate to humans if time of day is disregarded

Imagine being woken up at 3 a.m. to navigate a corn maze, memorize 20 items on a shopping list or pass your driver’s test. According to a new analysis out of West Virginia University, that’s often what it’s like to be a rodent in a biomedical study. Mice and rats, which make up the vast majority of animal models, are nocturnal. Yet a survey of animal studies across eight behavioral neuroscience domains showed that most behavioral testing is conducted during the day, when the rodents would normally be at rest.

WVU addresses addiction crisis with novel ultrasound treatment

On the heels of the country’s deadliest year for drug overdoses, the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute launched a first-in-the-world clinical trial to investigate the use of focused ultrasound technology to treat those with opioid use disorder. The procedure marks the potential for a new innovative treatment for addiction.

WVU experts encourage healthcare providers, institutions to build trust with communities of color to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates

While West Virginia is one of the nation’s leaders in COVID-19 vaccine delivery, some folks in the state—notably people of color—may be hesitant to receive the vaccine. Experts at West Virginia University point to misinformation about how the vaccine works and a long-standing mistrust of government and medical institutions as reasons for lower vaccination rates among Black Americans.