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:
Secondhand smoke may be abetting rise of chronic liver disease in children and adults
Smoke exposure can alter how the liver processes fats, according to lab research, ultimately contributing to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
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.
‘Dabbing’ teens more likely to keep using cannabis and increase its use
USC-led study finds that, although the total number of high schoolers who were dabbing was low, those adolescents had nearly six times the likelihood of continuing to use concentrates.
USC 2019 | Research that makes a difference in health, the environment and more
✌ Year in review: USC scientists are serious about changing the world. Take a look at some of this year’s discoveries that are already positively affecting people’s lives.
Social media bots often tweet fake health claims about cannabis, USC study reveals
Researchers analyzed tens of thousands of tweets and found that social bots frequently shared false information about cannabis’s medicinal benefits.
NIH funding for USC Alzheimer’s research grew by more than 400% in 4 years
Funding from the National Institutes of Health — the world’s largest public funder of biomedical research — was $68 million last year, a substantial increase from $13 million in 2015.
Averting Alzheimer’s through exercise, clean air and an active social calendar
November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and USC scientists are researching healthy lifestyle choices and certain drugs that might reduce the risk of developing the disease.
USC study connects air pollution, memory problems and Alzheimer’s-like brain changes
Women in their 70s and 80s who were exposed to fine particle pollution had declines in memory and physical brain changes that were not seen in women who breathed cleaner air.
Teen vapers choose mint as their favorite e-cigarette flavor
Findings in a new USC study could impact pending legislation intended to reduce the growth of e-cigarette usage among teens.
Alzheimer’s disease impacts women in higher numbers and different ways
As Alzheimer’s Awareness Month begins, USC researchers examine how the disease affects men and women, including theories on estrogen depletion and higher life expectancy.
USC study implicates flavored e-cigs in teen vaping epidemic
Researchers found that 64% of teens using flavored e-cigs were still vaping six months later, compared to 43% who used more traditional flavors.
Research reveals why breast cancer spreads to the brain
USC researchers have determined how cancer cells target certain organs, which could help develop treatments to slow or stop the disease from spreading.
Breakthrough in testosterone-producing cells could lead to treatment for ‘low T’
Low testosterone can affect men’s mood, sex life and health. USC scientists say they’ve hit upon a potential new solution.
E-cig use jumps 46% among young adults in one year
New research co-led by USC scientists suggests hundreds of thousands of young adults took up vaping between 2017 and 2018.
USC researchers receive $12.5 million grant to build out unique facial database
The project seeks new research data for FaceBase, a freely available collection of DNA samples, data and images related to abnormalities of the head and facial bones.
Can the circadian clock in cancer cells help defeat a deadly brain cancer?
USC scientists and colleagues have discovered a novel potential target for treating glioblastoma, the deadly cancer that took the life of Sen. John McCain and kills 15,000 Americans a year.
Healthy blood vessels may be the answer to Alzheimer’s prevention
USC research into Alzheimer’s — which will be on display at the upcoming Alzheimer’s Association International Conference — has uncovered much about the disease, including establishing a link between cardiovascular health and a fully functioning brain.
Teens who abuse opioids are more likely to later use heroin, USC study shows
The association between prescription opioids abuse and later heroin use reinforces that adolescents need to be considered in the opioid epidemic discussion.
Certain cells secrete a substance that may head off Alzheimer’s, USC study finds
The cells — known as pericytes — preserve neurons in the brain, which can keep dementia and other cognitive disorders at bay.
Native Hawaiians have a 60% greater risk than whites for pancreatic cancer
A new USC study highlights uninvestigated disparities between certain ethnic groups as to their risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Improved air quality leads to fewer L.A.-area kids developing asthma
USC scientists have linked nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter reductions to a decrease in new asthma cases, reinforcing the health detriments of air pollution.
Lead contamination found in baby teeth of children living near Exide battery plant
A new USC study revealed high amounts of lead in the teeth of children in five Los Angeles communities and reinforced the need to test for lead exposure before and during pregnancy.
USC-led advance in groundbreaking cancer treatment eliminates severe side effects
Though the study was designed to assess safety, six out of 11 lymphoma patients who received a commonly used dose of the improved CAR T-cell therapy went into complete remission.
Study finds disadvantages in life add up to increased smoking risk, difficulty quitting
With each additional disadvantage — unemployment, poverty, low education, disability, serious psychological distress and heavy drinking — smoking rates climbed.