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Image: proteins that stand guard at transmembrane channels in the walls of nerve cells; Copyright: Rice University/UTHEALTH

Nerve cells' gatekeepers take many forms

11/10/2017

Rice, UTHealth researchers use light-sensitive molecules to track proteins critical to cell signaling.
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Image: Immune cells are more activated (red) in the brains of mice with the gene TREM2 (left) than in those without the gene (right); Copyright: DAVID HOLTZMAN LAB

Alzheimer's gene poses both risk and benefits

10/10/2017

Study suggests role of inflammation in brain disease is complicated.
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Image: little boy falling asleep over his laptop; Copyright: panthermedia.net/WavebreakmediaMicro

Why do we fall asleep when bored?

09/10/2017

University of Tsukuba researcher discovers why we have the tendency to fall asleep in the absence of motivating stimuli, when bored.
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Image: clipboard with a diet plan; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Andriy Popov

Brain cells that control appetite identified for first time

04/10/2017

Dieting could be revolutionised, thanks to the ground-breaking discovery by the University of Warwick of the key brain cells which control our appetite.
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Photo: A hand with the Gripfroce Box; Copyright: TU München

Determining motor deficits more precisely following a stroke

03/10/2017

After a stroke, many people are unable to successfully perform basic hand movements in everyday life. The reason are symptoms of hemiparesis resulting from damage to the brain. These very frequently affect fine motor skills. A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is now paving the way to better diagnosis and more targeted therapy.
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Image: transparent human head, showing the brain and firing synapses; Copyright: panthermedia.net/the_lightwriter

Researchers of TU Dresden have pioneered a brain-network bio-inspired algorithm to predict new therapeutic targets of approved drugs

29/09/2017

An international team of scientists led by Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci, Junior Group Leader of the Biomedical Cybernetics lab at the BIOTEChnology Center TU Dresden, has developed a powerful computational method that can exploit the principles of brain-network self-organization.
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Image: teenage girl sleeping; Copyright: panthermedia.net/christoph_dieterle

Teens come jet lagged to school – shifting sleeping patterns at weekends

27/09/2017

A lack of sleep is associated with more absence and teens turn up jet lagged to school on Mondays, as shown in a doctoral thesis by sleep researcher Serena Bauducco, at Örebro University, Sweden.
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Image: electrode next to a cent piece; Copyright: Christian Burkert

Stimuli fading away en route to consciousness

26/09/2017

Whether or not we consciously perceive the stimuli projected onto our retina is decided in our brain. A recent study by the University of Bonn shows how some signals dissipate along the processing path to conscious perception. This process begins at rather late stages of signal processing.
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Image: model of a human brain with luminous areas; Copyright: panthermedia.net/pixologic

Drugs in disguise heal the brain

22/09/2017

The treatment of brain diseases is on the verge of a breakthrough. Researchers from Aalborg University are developing a new method that 'smuggles' medicine past the brain's defense systems, giving hope that diseases such as Alzheimer's can one day be cured.
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Image: documents and a stetoscope are lying on the table, the word

Differences in aggression among people with dementia

21/09/2017

Physical aggression among people with dementia is not unusual. A study from Lund University in Sweden showed that one-third of patients with the diagnosis Alzheimer's disease or frontotemporal dementia were physically aggressive towards healthcare staff, other patients, relatives, animals and complete strangers. This manifestation of disease must be both understood and addressed in the right way.
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Image: hand holding words that have to do with Parkinson's disease; Copyright: panthermedia.net/design36

Altered bacterial communities in the gut could be an indicator for Parkinson’s disease

08/09/2017

Parkinson's disease is an insidious disease: by the time it manifests as the typical motor dysfunctions such as tremors or muscle rigidity, portions of the brain have already been irreversibly destroyed. By this stage, the disease will have often begun already decades earlier.
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Image: man in front of a computer; Copyright: Stephanie Henry

Gut microbes may talk to the brain through cortisol

05/09/2017

Gut microbes have been in the news a lot lately. Recent studies show they can influence human health, behavior, and certain neurological disorders, such as autism. But just how do they communicate with the brain?
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Image: stressed man holding his head; Copyright: panthermedia.net/pressmaster

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

04/09/2017

New research reveals the mechanisms behind the effects of chronic stress and tiny inflammations in the brain on fatal gut failure. Hokkaido University researchers revealed that fatal gut failure in a multiple sclerosis (MS) mouse model, EAE, under chronic stress is caused by a newly discovered nerve pathway.
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Image: middle-aged man holding one hand to his forehead with an anxious expression on his face; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Volodymyr Melnyk

Severe stress behind self-perceived memory problems

01/09/2017

Stress, fatigue, and feeling like your memory is failing you. These are the symptoms of a growing group of patients studied as part of a thesis at Sahlgrenska Academy. Result – They may need help, but they are rarely entering the initial stages of dementia.
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Image: tablet with the diagnosis

Inadequate recognition and treatment of infants with bacterial meningitis could lead to tragedies, warn experts

28/08/2017

Research has shown that bacterial meningitis in infants may not be being diagnosed or acted on quickly enough by medical professionals.
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Image: a sleeping newborn; Copyright: panthermedia.net/mschlake

The brains of newborns distinguish between caresses

25/08/2017

The ability to distinguish between different kinds of caresses on the skin already exists at a very early age. This is evident from a study by the Sahlgrenska Academy, in which the blood supply in brains of infants 6 to 10 weeks old was investigated.
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Image: Side view of the brain; Copyright: IOS Press

Women Have More Active Brains Than Men

22/08/2017

In the largest functional brain imaging study to date, the Amen Clinics (Newport Beach, CA) compared 46,034 brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) imaging studies provided by nine clinics, quantifying differences between the brains of men and women. The study is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
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Image: transparent brain with a tumor, highlighted in orange; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Sebastian Kaulitzki

Researchers map brain tumour cells’ adaptation to oxygen deprivation

18/08/2017

The most aggressive variant of brain tumour – glioblastoma – has an average survival rate of 15 months. There is therefore an urgent need for new treatment strategies for this group of patients. A research team from Lund University in Sweden has now identified new factors which may affect the tumour cells’ ability to resist treatment.
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Image: people in front of laptops; Copyright: panthermedia.net/danr13

Playing with your brain

16/08/2017

Human-computer interactions, such as playing video games, can have a negative impact on the brain, says a new Canadian study published in Molecular Psychiatry. For over 10 years, scientists have told us that action video game players exhibit better visual attention, motor control abilities and short-term memory. But, could these benefits come at a cost?
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Image: green leaves forming the shape of a head, one puzzle piece missing; Copyright: panthermedia.net/SLphotography

Antidepressant use increases risk of head injuries among persons with Alzheimer’s disease

15/08/2017

Antidepressant use is associated with an increased risk of head injuries and traumatic brain injuries among persons with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. Antidepressant use has previously been linked with an increased risk of falls and hip fractures, but the risk of head injuries has not been studied before.
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Image: brain and brain cells; Copyright: panthermedia.net/lightwise

A molecule for proper neural wiring in the cerebellum

02/08/2017

A molecule produced by insulating glial cells facilitates the functional wiring of brain cells involved in motor coordination.
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Image: elderly man listening to a woman; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Scott Griessel

Scientists use new data mining strategy to spot those at high Alzheimer's risk

31/07/2017

The push to develop treatments for Alzheimer's disease has been a promising and disappointing endeavor over the past two decades, yielding a greater understanding of the disease yet still failing to generate successful new drugs.
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Image: A older man is riding an exercise bike; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Boris Franz

How physical exercise prevents dementia

24/07/2017

Numerous studies have shown that physical exercise seems beneficial in the prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia in old age. Now researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt have explored in one of the first studies worldwide how exercise affects brain metabolism.
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Image: hand erasing a sketch of a human brain; copyright: panthermedia.net/Andreus

Blood test IDs key Alzheimer's marker

20/07/2017

Decades before people with Alzheimer's disease develop memory loss and confusion, their brains become dotted with plaques made of a sticky protein - called amyloid beta - that is thought to contribute to the disease and its progression.
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Image: Zebrafish brain, fluorescence image (left) and 3D image (right); Copyright: private

"A 3D movie of the brain in action"

08/12/2016

Watching millions of neurons in the brain interacting with each other – for a long time this was possible only to a limited extent. The current techniques can visualize only superficial layers or the imaging they use is too slow. But now, Prof Daniel Razansky and his team have found a new method to visualize the brain activity – by using optoacoustics.
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Image: Hybrid OR; Copyright: Philips GmbH

Hybrid Operating Room: The OR of the Future Today?

01/09/2016

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: Closed eyes of a patient. Electrodes are attached above the eyebrows; Copyright: savir-center.com

Electrical Stimulation: Using Electrical Pulses to Combat Blindness

22/07/2016

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

01/02/2016

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

01/02/2016

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: laboratory mouse eating something

Multiple Sclerosis: does the colon affect the immune system?

01/12/2015

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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Photo: Magnet draws zigzag lines

Magnetogenetics: how neural stem cells grow in a certain direction

01/12/2015

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

01/12/2015

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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Persistent vegetative state: brain stimulation with laser beams

01/09/2014

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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Pediatric anesthesia: "I would object to a specialty medical training"

01/09/2014

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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Diagnosing Parkinson's: the skin is revealing

01/07/2014

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"

22/04/2014

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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