News from the Editors -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

MEDICA Newsletter

Social Media

Image: 3D model of a brain; Copyright: panthermedia.net/renjith krishnan.r

Mapping the brain at high resolution

18/01/2019

Researchers have developed a new way to image the brain with unprecedented resolution and speed. Using this approach, they can locate individual neurons, trace connections between them, and visualize organelles inside neurons, over large volumes of brain tissue.
Read more
Image: Professor explains something at a whiteboard to two young people with laptops; Copyright: Virginia Tech

Machine learning to decrease brain injury deaths

17/01/2019

To help physicians decrease the number of deaths resulting from traumatic brain injuries, Chandan Reddy of Virginia Tech will use new machine learning techniques for computational models to predict short- and long-term outcomes, categorize traumatic brain injury patients, and provide interventions tailored to a specific patient and his or her injury.
Read more
Image: 3D-printed absorber for endovascular treatment of liver cancer; Copyright: UCSF graphic

Drug sponge could minimize side effects of cancer treatment

11/01/2019

With the help of sponges inserted in the bloodstream to absorb excess drugs, doctors are hoping to prevent the dangerous side effects of toxic chemotherapy agents or even deliver higher doses to knock back tumors, like liver cancer, that don't respond to more benign treatments.
Read more
Image: Coin-sized chip in the hand of a person; Credit: Rikky Muller, UC Berkeley

Wireless pacemaker for the brain

04/01/2019

A new neurostimulator developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, can listen to and stimulate electric current in the brain at the same time, potentially delivering fine-tuned treatments to patients with diseases like epilepsy and Parkinson's.
Read more
Image: Two radiologists working with brain data at a computer screen; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Wavebreakmedia Ltd

A stronger 'brain' for brain data research

03/01/2019

The National Science Foundation BIGDATA program awarded $1,200,000 to a research team led by the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering to study the big brain data for complex brain disorders and design new algorithms that address computational challenges in multi-site collaborative data mining.
Read more
Image: The researchers tracked the development of stem cells using so-called confetti reporters.; Copyright: Helmholtz Zentrum München

Brain confetti - why our sense of smell declines in old age

20/12/2018

In mammals, generation of new neurons (neurogenesis) is mainly limited to early childhood and occurs in adulthood only in a few regions of the forebrain. One such exception is olfactory neurons, which develop from stem cells via several intermediate stages.
Read more
Image: new study about pain perception; Credit: Kurt Bauer / Technical University of Munich

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain

17/12/2018

Pain is a negative feeling that we want to get rid of as soon as possible. In order to protect our bodies, we react for example by withdrawing the hand. This action is usually understood as the consequence of the perception of pain.
Read more
Image: whole-brain activity map; Copyright: iob.ch

Whole-brain imaging of mice during behavior

11/12/2018

In a study published in Neuron, Emilie Macé from Botond Roska’s group and collaborators demonstrate how functional ultrasound imaging can yield high-resolution, brain-wide activity maps of mice for specific behaviors. The non-invasive technology has promising applications for ophthalmologic, neurologic and psychiatric diseases.
Read more
Image: doctor and brain; Copyright: panthermedia.net / rfphoto

PET scans to optimize tuberculosis meningitis treatments

10/12/2018

Tuberculosis of the brain - or tuberculosis meningitis (TBM) - is often deadly, always hard to treat, and a particular threat to young children. It may leave survivors with lifelong brain damage. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine report they have used PET scans, a rabbit model and the TB drug rifampin to advance physicians' understanding of this disease.
Read more
Image: two doctors watching at a MRI image; Copyright: panthermedia.net / londondeposit

PET tracer identified for imaging Tau in Alzheimer's disease

06/12/2018

In the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and the search for effective treatments, tau tangles in the brain have joined amyloid build-up as markers of the disease and potential therapy targets. In the December issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, the featured article of the month reports on the identification of a promising second-generation positron emission tomography (PET) tracer.
Read more
Image: illustration of the technique; Copyright: Chun Lab Yale

Scientists know where your eyes will look

05/12/2018

Using precise brain measurements, Yale researchers predicted how people's eyes move when viewing natural scenes, an advance in understanding the human visual system that can improve a host of artificial intelligence efforts, such as the development of driverless cars, said the researchers.
Read more
Image: Physician attaches electrodes to the upper back of a young woman; Copyright: panthermedia.net/microgen

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation: pain relief with electricity

03/12/2018

According to estimates, every third person in the world suffers from chronic pain. The most common discomforts include back pain, headaches, and nerve pain. For many sufferers, the pain is so severe that it impacts their job, social life or mind. The pain has its own clinical significance and must be treated – with electric current for example.
Read more
Image: Woman with electrodes in her neck; Copyright: panthermedia.net / microgen

Back to health – when electrical pulses provide healing

03/12/2018

Strengthening and healing thanks to the power of electrical pulses - is that really possible? When mobility is restricted or muscles are no longer as strong as they used to be, electrical treatment options can lead to improvement or even cure of diseases. But why are more and more people turning to these alternatives, what are the advantages and what are their limitations and drawbacks?
Read more
Image: A young boy who is wearing a medical device on his head; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ahfoto.mail.ru

Brain stimulation: treatment using electric current and magnetic fields

03/12/2018

The treatment for many neurological and mental disorders is far from being an easy feat. Drug therapies always require accurate medication adjustments, while brain surgeries have the potential for risks and complications. Non-invasive brain stimulation takes a different approach: magnetic fields and electric current change the activities in the brain - without putting the patient at risk.
Read more
Image: Brainwaves; Copyright: panthermedia.net / drnn

Imaging technology measures magnetite levels in the brain

28/11/2018

Investigators at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have used magnetoencephalography (MEG) - a technology that measures brain activity by detecting the weak magnetic fields produced by the brain's normal electrical currents - to measure levels of the iron-based mineral called magnetite in the human brain.
Read more
Image: areas of reduced fractional anisotropy - a diffusion MR imaging marker of white matter damage ; Copyright: RSNA

Researchers use MRI to predict Alzheimer's disease

22/11/2018

MRI brain scans perform better than common clinical tests at predicting which people will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to a study being presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
Read more
Image: PET images from a brain; Copyright: Radiological Society of North America

AI predicts Alzheimer's years before diagnosis

07/11/2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology improves the ability of brain imaging to predict Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.
Read more
Image: fluorescent marker in use; Copyright: Colin Watts

New fluorescent marker

05/11/2018

A chemical that highlights tumour cells has been used by surgeons to help spot and safely remove brain cancer in a trial presented at the 2018 NCRI Cancer Conference.
Read more
Image: Brain; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Wavebreakmedia Itd.

Brain infection or cancer? A new rapid test could hold the answer

02/11/2018

When patients present with neurologic symptoms such as severe headaches or seizures, the symptoms could suggest anything from infection, cancer, or an autoimmune disease of the brain or spinal cord. The differences in diagnosis can mean having mere hours to act. Researchers at Jefferson have developed a test that could rapidly parse out infections of the brain from other diseases.
Read more
Image: Brain-inspired machine learning techniques; Copyright: Virginia Tech

Brain-inspired methods to improve wireless communications

31/10/2018

Researchers are always seeking more reliable and more efficient communications, for everything from televisions and cellphones to satellites and medical devices. One technique generating buzz for its high signal quality is a combination of multiple-input multiple-output techniques with orthogonal frequency division multiplexing.
Read more
Image: Measurement of brainwave activity in a child with autism; Copyright: panthermedia.net / yacobchuk1

Brainwave activity reveals potential biomarker for autism in children

30/10/2018

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can impair communication ability, socialization, and verbal and motor skills. It generally starts in early childhood and is diagnosed through behavior observation. This means of assessment can be imprecise, which is especially problematic when early identification is vital for developmental follow up.
Read more
Image: visualized thoughts of a man ; Copyright: panthermedia.net / olly18

Brain wave device enhances memory function

23/10/2018

The entrainment of theta brain waves with a commercially available device not only enhances theta wave activity, but also boosts memory performance. That's according to new research from the Center for Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis, published recently in the journal Cognitive Neuroscience.
Read more
Image: Silhouette of a head with a hole in the middle shaped like a puzzle piece. The puzzle piece is lying next to it; Copyright: panthermedia.net/SIPhotography

WAKE-UP study a wake-up call for acute stroke care

08/08/2018

Some solutions are simple, though not necessarily obvious. The WAKE-UP study, which included 70 participating European stroke centers, has now studied a relatively simple procedure to manage the acute care of stroke patients and avoid potential long-term effects. Best of all, it is available wherever MRI is offered.
Read more
Image: Older couple is sitting next to each other, using their smartphones; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Fabrice Michaudeau

Neurology: Early detection of Parkinson’s disease with app and data?

01/08/2018

Big Data is often likened to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack: Large volumes of data contain patterns that hold the answer to a particular question. The trick is to gather meaningful data and identify patterns. The i-PROGNOSIS research project shows how smart devices and an app team up to automatically collect data without disturbing the user.
Read more
Image: Young female radiologist is looking at pictures of the head and takes some notes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/mark@rocketclips.com

Radiology: machine learning to support medical diagnostics

08/03/2018

Automation makes work life easier in many ways but is it also a solution for analyzing medical images? Is a computer actually reliable enough to assist in the medical decision making process? Researchers in Landshut examine how machine learning algorithms can work more reliably and support radiologists.
Read more
Image: one of Fiagon's electromagnetic surgical navigation systems; Copyright: Fiagon

The surgeon's co-pilot: pin-point accuracy through electromagnetic navigation systems

04/01/2018

The position and alignment of surgical tools in the patient’s body must always be kept in view during the operation process to guarantee success and safety. With fine sensors at the tip of the instruments and an electromagnetic signal, Fiagon's electromagnetic navigation systems accurately reproduce their position in the body.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more
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.
Read more

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.
Read more

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!
Read more

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.
Read more