The Clinical Center's Dr. Thomas Bulea is leading the effort to explore the role of exoskeletons for pediatric patients. An engineer, Bulea and his colleagues have built robotic exoskeletons that address "crouch gait," a common problem in patients with cerebral palsy.
Former NIMH scientist Dr. Husseini Manji, who is now in private industry, has helped bring to market a fast-acting treatment for patients with major depressive disorder. The drug, delivered by nose spray, is administered in the clinic and can be effective in patients thought to be at imminent risk of suicide.
It used to be thought that discussion of religion and personal values were not relevant in the physician-patient dialogue. But Duke University's Dr. Farr Curlin has studied the issue and concluded that patients are often appreciative and grateful for having religious or spiritual discussions with their caregivers.
Regenerative medicine researchers can envision a not-too-distant future when stem cells help to treat periodontal disease, broken jaws, craniofacial defects and more. But first, several challenges must be addressed. For one, it’s not effective to simply inject a mass of stem cells into damaged tissue.
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Stem cells engineered to grow cartilage. A scaffold was shaped over a mold, attached to mesh and seeded with stem cells. After 38 days in culture, the stem cells had grown to create a smooth, glistening surface. This process may lead to treatments for hip osteoarthritis that avoid the need for extensive hip replacement surgery.
Photo: guilak lab, washington university with funding from NIAMS