Live 2020

While neurons in the brain are known to control sleep directly, another specific type of brain cell, the astrocyte, is also important for sleep regulation. So far, it has been unclear whether astrocytes are involved in regulating the need for recovery sleep after a sleep-deprived night, also known as rebound sleep. In a paper published this month in the journal eLife, researchers at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre used sleep-deprived fruit flies to investigate the role of astrocytes in regulating rebound sleep.
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Live 2020

Today, Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force announces its support for a research project that will estimate how many children and teens in Montreal have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This $720,000 investment will allow us to better understand how much virus transmission has occurred to children and teens, and will help inform decision-making around prevention strategies in neighbourhoods, schools, and daycares. This study is the first to be announced in a series of child- and teen-focused studies funded by the Task Force.
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Live 2020

As countries struggle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination uptake is a public health priority now more than ever. Efforts to increase vaccinations vary greatly around the globe. A new McGill-led study comparing policies around the world finds broad implementation of mandatory vaccination mandates. However, the penalties for failing to vaccinate differ significantly by country, ranging from fines to jail time.
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Live 2020

Facial transplantation, a novel procedure where the face of a deceased person is transplanted to a facially disfigured patient, is a controversial topic in the field of plastic surgery. A new McGill study provides evidence that patients with severe facial disfigurement are less likely to appreciate the significant risks associated with the procedure, highlighting the importance of informed consent.
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Live 2020

Restoring vision to people with inherited retinal dystrophies through a new gene therapy surgery will soon be possible at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), thanks to the long-term work of Dr. Robert K. Koenekoop, Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) of the MUHC. Health Canada has approved the Luxturna® treatment, the first gene therapy in Canada for the treatment of patients with inherited retinal dystrophies caused by the RPE65 gene mutation, such as Leber congenital amaurosis and retinitis pigmentosa. This is the first treatment for these devastating conditions; it represents a giant step forward in the field of personalized medicine.
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Live 2020

A McGill-led multi-institutional research team has discovered that during memory consolidation, there are at least two distinct processes taking place in two different brain networks – the excitatory and inhibitory networks. The excitatory neurons are involved in creating a memory trace, and the inhibitory neurons block out background noise and allow long-term learning to take place.
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Live 2020

Trust in public institutions is linked to fewer COVID-19 deaths, but trust and belonging to groups is associated with more deaths, according to a wide-ranging, McGill-led study of 30-day COVID-19 mortality rates in 84 countries. Greater economic inequality is also associated with COVID-19 mortality. The study led by McGill researchers published in Social Science & Medicine, is the first to show how global differences in COVID-19 mortality relate to income inequality.
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Live 2020

Allergic diseases are widespread, affecting an estimated 30-40% of people around the globe according to the World Allergy Organization. Asthma Canada, for example, notes that allergic asthma has become the number one chronic illness in children in Canada, and is a major cause of their hospitalization. The incidence of allergic disease has been rising for years in industrialized countries, for reasons that are not yet fully understood. A new study from researchers at McGill University, published in Nature Immunology, hopes to shed some light on this question.
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Live 2020

A recent study by researchers at McGill University has identified polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) as an independent risk factor for gestational diabetes and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. The condition, known to lead to multiple reproductive complications, including infertility, affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age.
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Live 2020

A new study examining the link between peanut and tree-nut anaphylaxis in children and holidays found spikes at Halloween and Easter. The study, led by a team of researchers from the Montreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MCH-MUHC), found that most were previously unknown allergies, calling for increased awareness.
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