Large study links dementia to poor kidney function
Older people with kidney disease have a higher risk of dementia, and the risk increases with the rate and stage of kidney function decline. That is according to a large observational study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, published in Neurology. The findings stress the significance of screening and monitoring for dementia in persons with kidney disease, the researchers say.
New marker predicts benefit of radiotherapy for early-stage breast cancer
A study involving researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Gothenburg University has found that low levels of a protein called PDGFRb are associated with particularly good results of radiotherapy in women with early-stage breast cancer. The study, which is published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, also suggests that the efficacy of radiotherapy can be improved with drugs that block this protein.
Intestinal polyps in close relatives can increase risk of colorectal cancer
Cancer of the colon and rectum is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, and has in recent years affected growing numbers of young people. In the largest registry study to date, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Harvard University in the USA demonstrate a possible connection between colorectal polyps in close relatives and the risk of developing colorectal cancer. The study, which is published in The British Medical Journal, is of potential consequence for screening procedures.
The new coronavirus
Low risk of infection in babies born to mothers with COVID-19
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the Public Health Agency of Sweden have studied newborn babies whose mothers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy or childbirth. The results show that although babies born of test-positive mothers are more likely to be born early, extremely few were infected with COVID-19. The study, which is published in JAMA, supports the Swedish recommendation not to separate mother and baby after delivery.
New findings on barriers and support in global fight against tuberculosis
Nine out of ten cases of tuberculosis appear in 30 identified low and middle-income countries, each of which has a national tuberculosis programme. The managers of these programmes agree that it is important to screen for tuberculosis outside of health facilities. However, each screening programme must have its own well-considered, sustainable strategy and sufficient resources for it to be meaningful – which is not always the case today. This is one conclusion drawn by Olivia Biermann’s thesis.
Study shows how meningitis-causing bacteria may sense fever to avoid immune killing
KI researchers have discovered a mechanism through which meningitis-causing bacteria can evade our immune system. In laboratory tests, they found that Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae respond to increasing temperatures by producing safeguards that keep them from getting killed. The findings are published in PLoS Pathogens.
Early MR scans found more people with broken-heart syndrome
In almost ten per cent of myocardial infarctions, no obvious cause in the coronary artery can be found. Some of the patients are diagnosed with broken-heart syndrome, while others are left without a diagnosis. A new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden suggests that early magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the heart can greatly increase the rate of diagnosis. The study has been published in the journal JACC Cardiovascular Imaging.
Study finds links between blood groups and disease risks
KI researchers have found links between certain blood groups and a total of 49 diseases, including a new finding that having blood group B seems to be a protective factor against kidney stones. The study, which includes data on more than five million people and over 1,000 diseases, confirms previously identified connections between certain blood groups and increased risk of blood clots, bleeding conditions or pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Screening score at emergency psychiatric clinic is linked to death by suicide
Researchers at the Centre for Psychiatry Research at Karolinska Institutet have completed a large study evaluating a screening instrument for assessing the risk of suicide in connection with a visit to an emergency psychiatric clinic. The researchers found a link between screening score and suicide risk a short time after the emergency visit. The study is published in the journal Psychological Medicine.
Possible new PET tracer for early detection of Alzheimer’s
New biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease are a priority area for researchers seeking to learn more about the disease and find possible methods of early diagnosis. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now studied a new PET tracer that is an important diagnostic tool for the disease. The study on the tracer substance BU99008, which is published in Molecular Psychiatry, can play a key part in the early identification of signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
A limited selection of recent publications in high impact journals to which researchers at KI have contributed.
Severe COVID-19 may be driven by RAAS imbalance
COVID-19 pathophysiology may be driven by an imbalance in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, Susanne Rysz et al, Nature Communications, April 2021.
One step closer toward understanding the origin of neuroblastoma
Single-cell transcriptomics of human embryos identifies multiple sympathoblast lineages with potential implications for neuroblastoma origin, Polina Kameneva et al, Nature Genetics, April 2021.
Personalized care the way forward to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes
Metabolic Consequences of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: Balancing Genes and Environment for Personalized Care, Nicolas J. Pillon et al, Cell, March 2021.
Neandertal protein variant may protect Europeans against COVID-19
A Neanderthal OAS1 isoform protects individuals of European ancestry against COVID-19 susceptibility and severity, Hugo Zeberg et al, Nature Medicine, February 2021.
Severe COVID-19 more common in patients with collagenous colitis
Association Between Collagenous and Lymphocytic Colitis and Risk of Severe COVID-19, Hamed Khalili et al, Gastroenterology, February 2021.
More high impact publications
KI in the media
The Macchiarini case: timeline
She wants to understand long-term COVID
As a tuberculosis researcher, she is accustomed to studying airborne pandemic contagion. Early in the current pandemic, Judith Bruchfeld saw the need to assemble various experts to investigate long-term illness after COVID-19. “There’s a lot we don’t understand yet.”
The Conversation: Here's why you should take a nap
Napping in the afternoon can improve memory and alertness, according to KI researcher John Axelsson and his colleague, Tina Sundelin, at Stockholm University. Find this news article and others from KI, recently published by the news site The Conversation.
Spotlight on Vaccine Research
Vaccines have saved lives for more than 200 years, but the research area continues to evolve with new discoveries that provide more effective and safer vaccines. Doors are now opening to develop vaccines against, for example, cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has given vaccine research a real boost.