OSU Researchers Uncover Positive News About Brain Tissue and Concussions

New research at the Ohio State University reveals details about sub-cellular change in the brain in a post-concussive state that might one day be used to provide better treatment to concussion sufferers and other patients with brain damage.

Researchers examined the changes in rodent brains when affected by laboratory induced mild traumatic brain injury. They found rapid microscopic swelling along the axons. The axons are the long, slender part of the nerve cell that sends vital messages to other parts of the brain. This same kind of swelling is also seen in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients.

There is some guarded good news, though—the swollen axons are reversible. It remains, however, unclear how exactly all this plays out in a human brain and the degree to which people may respond differently to brain trauma and other neurological problems.

OSU Finds Timing of Dosage Affects Side Effects

In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from the Ohio State University’s Wexler Medical Center found that the time of day during which breast cancer chemotherapy drugs are given affect the amount of damaging inflammation that occurs within the body.

It is believed that inflammation that can happen in the brain due to these drugs is what causes a lot of the neurological side effects such as depression, anxiety and short-term memory loss. And researchers are hoping that through understanding why the timing of doses affects the level of inflammation they can reduce it and its damaging effects.

The results also showed an important complicating factor: The inflammatory effects were opposite in the brain versus the spleen depending on the time the drugs were given. While researchers don’t fully understand the either of these discoveries or their implications, this line of research could lead to discoveries that make side-effect heavy cancer treatments like chemo safer for patients.

Observational Study at OSU Suggest Anti-inflammatory Diet to Increase Bone Health in Women

Women with the least-inflammatory diets (based on a scoring system called the Dietary Inflammatory Index) lost less bone density during the six-year follow-up period than their peers with the most-inflammatory diets. This was despite the fact that they started off with lower bone density overall.

Furthermore, diets with low inflammatory potential appeared to correspond to lower risk of hip fracture among one subgroup of the study – post-menopausal white women younger than 63.

Researchers examined data from the landmark Women’s Health Initiative to compare levels of inflammatory elements in the diet to bone mineral density and fractures and found new associations between food and bone health. The study, led by Tonya Orchard, an assistant professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University, appears in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

The findings suggest that women’s bone health could benefit when they choose a diet higher in beneficial fats, plants and whole grains, said Orchard, who is part of Ohio State’s Food Innovation Center.

However, because the study was observational, it’s not possible to definitively link dietary patterns and bone health and fracture outcomes.

Jody Victor: OSU Researchers’ Improve High Temp Properties of “Super” Alloys

At the Ohio State University have made a discovery that could change jet engine technology making it more powerful, efficient and environmentally friendly. A problem with these so called super alloys is that microscopic defects grow inside the alloys and weakening them. The Ohio State researchers, in the journal Nature Communications, describe how a process in which they can tailor make an alloy for conditions like a jet engine would produce. Tailoring an alloy involves exposing it to high heat and pressure. This process not only prevents the forming of the micro defects, it also increases the strength of the alloy.

The engineers at OSU have called the process “phase transformation strengthening.” The process decreased alloy deformation by half in their study.

Strong, heat-resistant alloys enable turbine engines to run cleanly and efficiently. When an engine can run at very high temperatures, it consumes its fuel more thoroughly and produces lower emissions. Most modern alloys are designed at the atomic level and this research sought to fill a gap in knowledge of how exotic metal based materials deform under high stress.

OSU Researchers Study Violence and Find Its Spreads like Disease

A new study of U.S. adolescents provides some of the best evidence to date of how violence spreads like a contagious disease.
Researchers found that adolescents were up to 183 percent more likely to carry out some acts of violence if one of their friends had also committed the same act.

But the spread of violence doesn’t just stop at friends – results suggest the contagion extends by up to four degrees of separation – from one person to a friend, to the friend’s friend and two more friends beyond.

Results showed that participants in the study were 48 percent more likely to have been in a serious fight, 183 percent more likely to have hurt someone badly, and 140 percent more likely to have pulled a weapon on someone if a friend had engaged in the same behavior.

This study is the first to show how far violent behavior may spread within a social network, Bond said. The findings showed that the influence of one person’s violent act can spread up to two degrees of separation (friend of a friend) for hurting someone badly, three degrees (friend of a friend’s friend) for pulling a weapon on someone, and four degrees for serious fights. The influence declines with each degree of separation, but is still noticeable.

Researchers think that one important factor of this study could be to demonstrate the value of anti-violence programs.