Health Research

Health + Wellness

LSU aims to provide, promote, and support services that integrate individual health, education for health, prevention of disease, clinical treatment for illness, and public health responsibilities consistent with the educational mission of the university.

Alzheimer’s

The LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center is conducting clinical trials on a new drug meant to stop the formulation of plaque deposits in the brain as well as other therapies designed to either treat or potentially prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and provides free, annual Alzheimer’s screenings for anyone 55 years old and over.

Researchers at the LSU Health Neuroscience Center of Excellence discovered that adding a certain labproduced chemical to human brain cells stops the production of a toxic chemical from gathering in the brain, which can restore memory function.

A researcher from LSU Health Shreveport is working on development of a drug made from a compound found in sea moss, which has been found to have powerful cognitive benefits , as a small molecule amyloid reducing therapy.

GENOMICS & INDIVIDUALIZED MEDICINE

The ability to look at entire genomes across the globe is just amazing. It provides new insight into human biology. Coupled with our deeper understanding of the human genome, doctors will be able to utilize this research to provide better targeted treatments for a variety of illnesses.

 

Cancer

photo: culture sample

LSU Health New Orleans and Shreveport are involved in research using genomic sequencing to match the specific DNA of a patient’s tumor to the most effective chemotherapy to treat it. 

LSU College of Art & Design in partnership with the LSU Medical Physics program and Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is at the forefront of utilizing 3D printing technology to improve cancer screenings and treatment for patients.

Aging And Geriatrics

People are living longer than ever before due to advances in healthcare and disease control. Despite advances in medical technology, older adults are still prone to a number of age-related complications often not completely alleviated by care from even the best primary care providers and general practitioners. Thankfully, LSU’s Life Course and Aging Center faculty offer a full range of compassionate, specialized primary care for older adults with and without neurological problems.

Military Nutrition

Pennington Biomedical was part of the team that developed the First Strike® ration—a replacement for Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MREs)—to feed soldiers in the field. 

More than 12,000 soldiers and their families use Pennington Biomedical’s Army H.E.A.L.T.H. program to help them stay physically fit at home and assure they are prepared for combat and state deployments. The program was first tested by 137 Louisiana National Guard Units in 40 parishes.

Pennington Biomedical confirmed the importance of dietary protein needed by soldiers during high activity military operations and the effectiveness of certain amino acids and nutrients in sustaining mental performance and immune function during periods of intense stress.

photo: military nutrition

Mental Health

photo: psychology research

The LSU AgCenter has been working to identify behavioral health needs of Orleans Parish residents, share data, and develop and promote best practices for improving community behavioral health.

LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center studies confirmed high-fat diets can lead to an uptick in anxiety, depression, impaired memory, and repetitive behaviors.

LSU Health New Orleans has developed mental health intervention and prevention strategies, and enhanced accessibility to care for children and families who continue to struggle with the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Based on the projections generated by the Prevention Impact Systems Model, supported by the LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center, policies that support healthy eating and active lifestyles may reduce childhood obesity by 20% by the year 2020.

The LSU College of Human Sciences and Education and the LSU AgCenter Smart Bodies program are nationally recognized, innovative programs of nutrition and physical activities integrated into Louisiana elementary schools to help prevent children from becoming overweight or obese.

Pennington Biomedical designed and distributed more than 2,000 copies of their Childhood Obesity Treatment Toolkit to pediatricians across Louisiana in an effort to evaluate and combat childhood obesity.

Pennington Biomedical’s Translational Research Clinic for Children utilizes telehealth to combine video games, exercise, and online coaching for cutting-edge research aimed at lowering kids’ body weights.

Autism

photo: speech language clinic

LSU created a widely used comprehensive autism screening test, the Baby & Infant Screen for Autistic Traits, and used it to evaluate more than 11,000 children in Louisiana.

An LSU autism researcher is developing a method to create a personalized treatment plan that is more effective and reduces the cost of care.

The Children’s Center at LSU Health Shreveport, the only such facility in 200 miles , offers multidisciplinary diagnostic evaluations for children ages 0–15 as well as speech/language therapy and occupational therapy and social skills groups.

The Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disabilities Project, a collaboration between the LSU Health New Orleans Human Development Center and the Louisiana Department of Education, improves educational practices and outcomes for students with autism spectrum disorders.

Diabetes

The LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center is focused on understanding the underlying inflammatory processes that cause diabetes. Recent research has led to the discovery of two new molecules that reduce inflammation without triggering losses in insulin secretion, a dangerous side effect of steroid-based, anti-inflammatory interventions.

Researchers at Pennington Biomedical, together with 21 academic sites, determined that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented in high-risk individuals.

Pennington Biomedical will receive $9.2 million over the next five years from the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health to continue work investigating native plants, botanical extracts and natural products as prospects for the prevention and treatment of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

photo: diabetes research

Arthritis

photo: speech language clinic

LSU Health Shreveport researchers conduct studies to help develop treatments for different autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. 

LSU Veterinary Medicine researchers study all species of animals to diagnose arthritis before the typical signs are apparent, resulting in the development of treatments to reverse the condition before joint damage. 

LSU Health New Orleans is active in promoting education to facilitate the early diagnosis and treatment of patients with rare diseases that involve the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues.

Researchers at the LSU Pennington Biomedical Center are looking at the effects of a high-fat diet to discover solutions to slow or prevent inflammation progression that could contribute to arthritis pain.