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Harvard medical school Post stroke: Addressing thinking and memory problems A stroke can disrupt your ability to think clearly and can cause problems with your memory, attention, and organizational abilities. Both speech and occupational therapists work with people to improve these areas and to develop strategies to compensate for problems — for example, using cue cards and detailed lists or simplifying daily routines. Coping with spatial neglect. One fairly common effect of stroke is called "neglect." This is a lack of awareness of one side of the body and the space around that side of the body. The left side is more commonly affected than the right. If you have neglect, you may bump into things on your left without noticing them, shave or apply makeup only on the right side of your face, or eat food on only the right side of your plate. Skin Care and Repair Protect your brain: That’s the strategy that Harvard doctors recommend in this report on preventing and treating stroke. Whether you’ve already had a mini-stroke or a major stroke, or have been warned that your high blood pressure might cause a future stroke, Stroke: Diagnosing, treating, and recovering from a "brain attack" provides help and advice. If you have this problem, occupational and speech therapists will cue you to look frequently toward your neglected side and then teach you to cue yourself. One example: A red line down the left margin of the page you are reading may help remind you to look all the way to the marker so you see all the words on that line. A variety of software programs and games can also help train people to pay attention to the things on the neglected side. Caregivers and family members can help by setting important objects (food, writing implements) on the person's neglected side to train him or her to focus more on that side. Prism glasses — which are shaped in a way that changes the focus point of your eyes — can be helpful to shift your view more toward the neglected side. To learn more about strokes and how they can affect you, read Stroke: Diagnosing, treating, and recovering from a "brain attack", a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
  • 2018-07-14T15:23:43

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Gene editing can help treat congenital disease before birth Updated Oct 09, 2018 | 20:02 IST | IANSPrenatal treatment could open a door to disease prevention, for HT1 and potentially for other congenital disorders. Representational image Photo Credit: ThinkstockRepresentational Image New York: In a first, a team of scientists have performed prenatal gene editing to prevent a lethal metabolic disorder in laboratory mice, offering the potential to treat human congenital diseases before birth. The study led by research from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania used both CRISPR-Cas9 and base editor 3 (BE3) gene-editing tools and reduced cholesterol levels in healthy mice treated in utero by targeting a gene that regulates those levels. They also used prenatal gene editing to improve liver function and prevent neonatal death in a subgroup of mice that had been engineered with a mutation causing the lethal liver disease hereditary tyrosinemia type 1 (HT1). Advertising Advertising HT1 in humans usually appears during infancy, and it is often treatable with a medicine called nitisinone and a strict diet. However, when treatments fail, patients are at risk of liver failure or liver cancer. Prenatal treatment could open a door to disease prevention, for HT1 and potentially for other congenital disorders. "Our ultimate goal is to translate the approach used in these proof-of-concept studies to treat severe diseases diagnosed early in pregnancy, " said William H. Peranteau, a paediatric and foetal surgeon at CHOP. "We hope to broaden this strategy to intervene prenatally in congenital diseases that currently have no effective treatment for most patients, and result in death or severe complications in infants, " he added. In the study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, the team used BE3, joined it with a modified CRISPR-associated protein 9. After birth, the mice carried stable amounts of edited liver cells for up to three months after the prenatal treatment, with no evidence of unwanted, off-target editing at other DNA sites. In the subgroup of the mice bio-engineered to model HT1, BE3 improved liver function and preserved survival. However, "a significant amount of work needs to be done before prenatal gene editing can be translated to the clinic, including investigations into more clinically relevant delivery mechanisms and ensuring the safety of this approach", said Peranteau. He added: "Nonetheless, we are excited about the potential of this approach to treat genetic diseases of the liver and other organs for which few therapeutic options exist."
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