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Dr. Francis Collins

Max Rosenberg and Francis Collins

While at the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC on June 18, 2018, I posed for a “selfie” with the 15-year-old Alzheimer’s advocate Max Rosenberg. When not in school, Max helps take care of his grandmother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six years ago.
Credit: Max Rosenberg

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Francis Collins shakes hand of Senator Roy Blunt

I joined Senator Blunt and others in celebrating the great social value of biomedical research during an early evening reception held on June 20, 2018 at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The reception was hosted by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Credit: NIH

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Credit: Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

Though our thoughts can wander one moment and race rapidly forward the next, the brain itself is often considered to be motionless inside the skull. But that’s actually not correct. When the heart beats, the pumping force reverberates throughout the body and gently pulsates the brain. What’s been tricky is capturing these pulsations with existing brain imaging technologies.

Recently, NIH-funded researchers developed a video-based approach to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that can record these subtle movements [1]. Their method, called phase-based amplified MRI (aMRI), magnifies those tiny movements, making them more visible and quantifiable. The latest aMRI method, developed by a team including Itamar Terem at Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, and Mehmet Kurt at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ. It builds upon an earlier method developed by Samantha Holdsworth at New Zealand’s University of Auckland and Stanford’s Mahdi Salmani Rahimi [2].

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Stressed by schoolwork

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Just ask any parent or teacher, most of today’s teens and pre-teens don’t seem to get enough sleep. And what sleep they do get is often poor quality—no great surprise, given that smartphones and other electronic devices are usually never far from their reach. Now, an NIH-funded team has uncovered the strongest evidence yet that this lack of quality sleep may be setting our kids up for some serious health issues later in life.

The team’s study of more than 800 adolescents, ages 11 through 13, confirmed that many are getting an insufficient amount of undisturbed, restful sleep each night. While earlier studies had found a link between sleep duration and obesity [1], the new work shows that a wide range of other cardiovascular risk factors are affected by both too little sleep and poor sleep quality [2]. When compared to well-rested kids, sleep-deprived youth were found to have higher blood pressure, bigger waistlines, and lower levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Francis Collins meeting with Jonathan LaPook

Enjoyed my one-on-one exchange with Dr. Jonathan LaPook, CBS Evening News medical correspondent. We talked during the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) Advocacy Forum on June 18, 2018 in Washington, D.C. The event was sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association. Credit: Alzheimer’s Association

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