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Leigh Hopper

Leigh Hopper is a media relations specialist with USC University Communications. She previously worked in communications for UCLA, in state government at the Texas Medical Board and as a medical reporter at the Houston Chronicle.

Stories by Leigh Hopper:

Acinetobacter baumannii superbug treatment
Using an innovative screening method, USC researchers have discovered that an old antibiotic is a powerful tool against one of the most drug-resistant causes of infection among hospitalized patients. (Photo/Matthew J. Arduino, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis could be surprise treatment for deadly superbug

Through a new screening method, USC researchers have found that the antibiotic rifabutin is effective against life-threatening Acinetobacter baumannii.

pericytes Alzheimer's APOE4 gene
Damage to pericytes, the layer of cells that wrap around blood vessels in the brain, leads to decline in cognition and is accelerated in people who carry the APOE4 gene. (Image/Courtesy of Jim Stanis and Arthur W. Toga, USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute)

Alzheimer’s gene triggers early breakdowns in blood-brain barrier, predicting cognitive decline

Although scientists have long known APOE4 is a leading risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, they were unsure how exactly it drives a decline in memory. USC researchers now believe they have an answer.

Covid antibody testing results
Based on the results of the first round of testing, the research team estimates that approximately 4.65% of the county’s adult population has an antibody to the virus. (Photo/Kit Karzen)

Early antibody testing suggests COVID-19 infections in L.A. County greatly exceed documented cases

USC and L.A. County Department of Public Health officials have released the preliminary results of their antibody tests, which show a surprising number of residents have been infected with the coronavirus.

Alzheimer's drug USC
In this image taken from tissue of an Alzheimer’s patient, the large pink-and-blue plaque on the lower right contains the abnormal protein amyloid. Also seen are several neurofibrillary tangles (smaller blue areas). Both of these abnormalities disrupt the normal working of the brain. (Image/Simon Fraser, Science Source)

Alzheimer’s study aims to see if drug can block brain plaques linked to disease

Keck School of Medicine of USC is launching a large clinical trial that targets amyloid plaques in the brain. The goal: to see whether a drug can clear or slow this plaque in people who have early Alzheimer’s or who appear clinically normal.