The purpose of this study will be to collect a skin biopsy (skin tissue) or blood sample from each participating patient with retinal degeneration, such as Best?s disease or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), including geographic atrophy (GA). Each skin biopsy or blood sample will be taken to the laboratory of the investigators where skin epithelial cells called fibroblasts, will be induced to make ?pluripotent stem cells? or ?iPSCs?. These iPSCs will be differentiated into retina epithelial cells which will be tested for their ability to function as new retinal cells in animal models of retinal degeneration. Because these special cells are individualized or patient-specific, they will not be rejected by that individual patient, and thereby represent the first step in a potential future treatment for retinal disease. Cells will also be processed at the New York Stem Cell Foundation IPSC core facility using the procedure described above. The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) will enter into a material transfer agreement (MTA) initiated by the MUSC Foundation for Research Development. Once MTAs are initiated, samples will be coded at MUSC. Coded samples will be sent via dry ice to ensure full competency to the NYSCF. Samples will remain coded at MUSC and will not be released to the NYSCF. Fibroblasts will be reprogrammed using the method described above and sent back to MUSC (as iPS cells) for the research purposes of this study. Cells will only be identifiable to the NYSCF by disease, sex, and gender. Once cells are received by the NYSCF they receive a number bar code for further processing and are in no way traceable to the patient by the NYSCF. Reprogrammed cells will be stored at the NYSCF biorepository but only shared with the knowledge of MUSC. These samples will be used for the purposes of this study. Any other use will be evaluated by the investigators and the MUSC Foundation for Research Development and the appropriate action taken. Once samples are processed that will not be withdrawn from the biorepository. The NYSCF biorepository is a secure facility with only authorized personnel having access to the facility
Among individuals that have had a stroke, poor motor rehabilitation outcomes are often associated with elevated brain activity in the hemisphere that was not directly affected by the stroke. There are several reasons that this may be happening. The purpose of this study is to determine whether elevated brain activity in the opposite hemisphere is due to changes in brain function or brain structure.
This project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is recruiting participants for a multi-site study evaluating an auditory training program for people who use hearing aids. This study includes a hearing evaluation, several listening tasks, and 30 hours of participation in a computer-based speech-training program. Native English speakers between the ages of 35 and 89 who have worn hearing aids for at least the past 3 months are currently being recruited. The study requires at least 2 visits per week for a period of 12-15 weeks, scheduled at the participant’s convenience. Compensation for time will be provided and parking validated.
This project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is being conducted to determine the effects of aging on hearing, understanding speech, and brain functions. This study will provide a scientific basis for diagnosis, rehabilitation and prevention of hearing loss due to aging. Volunteers who meet the eligibility requirements may enroll in this study, which will include measurements of hearing, making listening judgments of sounds, behavioral tasks, questionnaires, and MRI scanning of the brain. Participants 50 years of age and older with normal hearing or hearing loss are currently being recruited. Three visits of 2-3 hours each are required and scheduling is flexible.