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Image: Graphic of a brain; Copyright:

Imaging technique maps serotonin activity in living brains


Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that's partly responsible for feelings of happiness and for mood regulation in humans. This makes it a common target for antidepressants, which block serotonin from being reabsorbed by neurons after it has dispatched its signal, so more of it stays floating around the brain.
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Laughter-based exercise program has health benefits


Incorporating laughter into a physical activity program that is focused on strength, balance and flexibility could improve older adults' mental health, aerobic endurance and confidence in their ability to exercise, according to a study led by Georgia State University.
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Image: multiple coordinated views of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI; Copyright: Sugeerth Murugesan, Berkeley Lab/UC Davis

Brain modulyzer provides interactive window into the brain


New Berkeley Lab tool could shed light on how neurological diseases spread.
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Image: Graphic of the micorna connection between pictures of Laurel and Hardy; Copyright: Petra Pollins

Study reveals a biological link between stress and obesity


For the first time - researchers revealed a connection between anxiety and metabolic disorders at the molecular level; the discovery opens new possibilities for detecting and treating both symptoms.
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Image: Close-up of an eye; Copyright: /Pirotehnik

Brain diseases manifest in the retina of the eye


Diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) may manifest as pathological changes in the retina of the eye. Research from the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) shows that retinal changes may be detected earlier than brain changes. Findings from mouse models suggest that eye examination could be used as a noninvasive screening tool for human brain diseases.
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Developing brain regions in children hardest hit by sleep deprivation


A team of researchers from the University of Zurich has studied the effects of acute sleep deprivation in children for the first time. They discovered that the brain in five to 12-year-olds responds differently to sleep deprivation compared to adults.
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Image: A circular diagram; Copyright: Robert Kofler/Vetmeduni Vienna

Software helps to find out why "jumping genes" are activated


Jumping genes, so-called transposons, reproduce as parasites in the genome. This selfish behavior can be an evolutionary advantage for the organism or harm it. There is still a debate about the factors controlling the activity of transposons.
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Image: Three scientists standing in a row; Copyright: RUB, Kramer

Poison in the brain


The following factors facilitate the formation of putatively toxic structures in the neuronal nuclei of Alzheimer's patients. Spherical structures in the nucleus of nerve cells, so-called nuclear spheres, are suspected to trigger Alzheimer's disease.
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Image: A word cloud. In the centre is written

Belgian scientists discover missing link in septic shock


Researchers at VIB and Ghent University have discovered an important mechanism of sepsis, an overreaction of the body’s immune system to an infection. In this condition, the brain is unable to curb an inflammatory response, causing organ failure or ‘septic shock’.
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Medication against schizophrenia inhibits pancreatic cancer


A receptor for the dopamine neurotransmitter promotes growth and spread of pancreatic cancer -- and schizophrenia drugs, which block the function of this receptor, slowed tumor growth and metastatic spread in mice, according to researchers at McGill University and the German Cancer Research Center.
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Researchers find concept of using light to image, potentially treat PTSD


After years of studying the effects of near-infrared light on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries, a team led by a University of Texas at Arlington bioengineer has published groundbreaking research that could result in an effective, long-term treatment for brain disorders.
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Image: Hybrid OR; Copyright: Philips GmbH

Hybrid Operating Room: The OR of the Future Today?


Patients take center stage during surgery. Their treatment should be as gentle and effective as possible, which is why there is a trend towards minimally invasive surgery (MIS). But minimal procedures require better supporting technologies. The hybrid operating room combines surgery and imaging systems and increasingly replaces conventional open surgery approaches with MIS.
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Image: Evolution in skulls; Copyright: Roger Seymour. Casts photographed in the South Australian Museum

Smarter brains are blood-thirsty brains


A University of Adelaide-led project has overturned the theory that the evolution of human intelligence was simply related to the size of the brain -- but rather linked more closely to the supply of blood to the brain.
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Image: a smiling dark haired man - Salvatore Oddo; Copyright: MIchelle Saldana, Biodesign Institute

Critical protein shows promise for the treatment of Alzheimer's


The tidal wave approaches. In the coming decades, Alzheimer's disease is projected to exact a devastating economic and emotional toll on society, with patient numbers in the US alone expected to reach 13.5 million by mid-century at a projected cost of over a trillion dollars.
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Image: Two pictures of a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease; Copyright: Salk Institute

Elevating brain protein allays symptoms of Alzheimer's


Boosting levels of a specific protein in the brain alleviates hallmark features of Alzheimer's disease in a mouse model of the disorder, according to new research published online in "Scientific Reports".
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Brain study confirms gene mutation link to psychiatric disorders


Brain scans have revealed how a genetic mutation linked to major psychiatric disorders affects the structure, function and chemistry of the brain.
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Sugar addiction: Discovery of a brain sugar switch


Researchers at Technical University of Munich discovered that our brain actively takes sugar from the blood. Prior to this, researchers around the world had assumed that this was a purely passive process.
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Image: A copmputer monitor shows the brain activity of a monkey using a brain-machine interface.; Copyright: Shawn Rocco/Duke Health

Brain-machine interfaces: Paraplegics regain feelings and movements


Eight people who have spent years paralyzed from spinal cord injuries have regained partial sensation and muscle control in their lower limbs after training with brain-controlled robotics.
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Image: two scans of brains; Copyright: Lisa Ronan

Brains of overweight people "ten years older" than lean counterparts at middle-age


From middle-age, the brains of obese individuals display differences in white matter similar to those in lean individuals ten years their senior, according to new research led by the University of Cambridge. White matter is the tissue that connects areas of the brain and allows for information to be communicated between regions.
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Leaky calcium triggers brainstem blackout that results in sudden cardiac death


Epilepsy is an extremely common disorder affecting people of all ages, from infants through teenagers to older adults. One of the most mysterious things about this disorder is that about 6 percent of the people with epilepsy have an unusually high incidence of sudden unexpected death.
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Image: An image of a brain, with different coulors; Copyright: INS UMR1106 INSERM/AMU

A virtual brain helps decrypt epilepsy


Researchers at CNRS, INSERM, Aix-Marseille University and AP-HM have just created a virtual brain that can reconstitute the brain of a person affected by epilepsy for the first time. From this work we understand better how the disease works and can also better prepare for surgery. These results are published in Neuroimage.
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Randomized penumbra 3-D trial of next generation stent retriever meets primary endpoints


The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery's (SNIS) 13th Annual Meeting announced that the Penumbra 3D Trial successfully met the primary trial endpoints, demonstrating non-inferiority in safety and efficacy of Penumbra 3D Revascularization Device, when used with Penumbra System aspiration devices compared to Penumbra System aspiration devices alone.
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Electrical Stimulation: Using Electrical Pulses to Combat Blindness


Millions of people all over the world suffer from partial blindness – caused by glaucoma, a stroke or traumatic brain injury. For years, the loss of vision was deemed irreversible. But now a new treatment makes it possible to improve eyesight and vision.
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Photo: child with broken arm

Different specialties, one goal – treating children right


Children, especially newborns, are generally no longer simply considered to be small adults whose treatment just needs to be "reduced". This is why a pediatrician’s education includes several specialties because ultimately everything in terms of care comes together here.
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Photo: pipette in petri dish

Great leaps forward thanks to new methods


Self-healing powers like a superhero on the big screen? That’s the aim of regenerative medicine; at least in a very broad sense. This promising field of biomedicine is currently highly dynamic with innovative technologies and development. New methods are designed to help propel medicine into a whole new sphere.
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Photo: Magnet draws zigzag lines

Magnetogenetics: how neural stem cells grow in a certain direction


If you could stimulate brain cells to grow in a specific direction, you would probably be able to achieve a significant improvement in the health of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. This is why the MAGNEURON project focuses on this approach. The EU is funding the project with approximately 3.5 million Euros.
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Graphic: stent in a blood vessel

Mechanical thrombectomy: stroke treatment 2.0


Each year, approximately 250,000 Germans suffer a stroke. This makes stroke the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. The circulatory disorder that occurs in the brain is normally treated using systemic thrombolysis, a procedure that bears various risks. Unlike mechanical thrombectomy, which offers clear advantages by comparison.
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Photo: laboratory mouse eating something

Multiple Sclerosis: does the colon affect the immune system?


Multiple sclerosis apparently can strike anyone - regardless of age, family history, lifestyle or gender. Yet why then does it not strike everyone? Genetic and environmental factors appear not to be the only reason whether it develops or not. The countless microorganisms that colonize our intestinal tract could also be involved in this.
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Pediatric anesthesia: "I would object to a specialty medical training"


When very young children already need to be in the operating room, it’s not just the parents that are concerned. This type of situation is a special challenge for the entire operating team, because children are always very special patients - especially since they are not just simply small grown-ups!
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Persistent vegetative state: brain stimulation with laser beams


The public only notices diseases when celebrities become patients: in the spring of 2014, Formula One driver Michael Schumacher fell into a coma for several months as the result of a head injury caused by a skiing accident. These types of accidents show how delicate the brain responds to injuries. Brain stimulation could possibly support the rehabilitation of vegetative patients.
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Diagnosing Parkinson's: the skin is revealing


In patients with Parkinson's, neural cells in the brain die off that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. Certain physical symptoms that can indicate the disease follow years later. But a reliable diagnosis can only be made through examination of the brain after the patient's death, and not during his lifetime.
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Graphic: Space station

"Studies involving microgravity suggest stem cells will grow faster in space"


The International Space Station ISS is not only the largest artificial object in space. It is also a laboratory for physicists, chemists, biologists and physicians and orbits earth at 28.000 kilometers per hour at an altitude of 400 kilometers. Thanks to this location, the ISS could one day make an important contribution to regenerative medicine.
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