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Head Imaging News

'Stress Ball' in Your Brain May Be Key to Heart Risks

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 – Doctors have long known that a stressed life does no favors for the heart, and new research may help unravel why that's so. A Harvard team says heightened activity in a key part of the brain may explain why stress boosts people's odds for heart disease and stroke. The finding "raises the possibility that reducing stress could produce benefits that extend beyond an improved sense of psychological well-being," said study lead author Dr. Ahmed Tawakol, who co-directs the cardiac imaging program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. One neurologist agreed that the research could have real value for patients. "This study provides information that can help us better understand the mechanisms in which the body and the brain affect each other," said Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein. He is president of the Brain & Behavior Foundation in New York City. "A better ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Myocardial Infarction, Peripheral Arterial Disease, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Intermittent Claudication, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Body Imaging, Post MI Syndrome, Head Imaging

Can Brain Scans Help Doctors Navigate Epilepsy Surgery?

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 – MRI scans might help doctors protect critical areas of the brain before surgery to treat epilepsy, new guidelines suggest. Scientists found the scans may be a safer and less invasive alternative to another more commonly used procedure, according to the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). When medication doesn't effectively control epilepsy, surgery may be recommended. Doctors can remove the part of the brain that triggers seizures or use certain procedures to control seizure activity. Before surgery, however, the brain must be "mapped" to ensure the regions responsible for language and memory aren't damaged during the procedure, the study authors explained. This can be done in one of the following ways, the AAN says: Functional MRI (fMRI): This brain imaging procedure measures blood flow, to detect brain activity. The Wada test: This invasive procedure, ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, Neurosurgery, Head Imaging

Scans Hint at Running's Brain Benefits, Even When Young

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 9, 2017 – Young cross-country runners seem to have better connections between regions of their brains than their peers who aren't athletic, a small study suggests. "One of the key questions that these results raise is whether what we're seeing in young adults – in terms of the connectivity differences – imparts some benefit later in life," said study co-designer Gene Alexander. He is a psychology professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson. "The areas of the brain where we saw more connectivity in runners are also the areas that are impacted as we age, so it really raises the question of whether being active as a young adult could be potentially beneficial and perhaps afford some resilience against the effects of aging and disease," Alexander said in a university news release. However, it's not clear whether exercise is the direct cause of the improved connectivity. ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Study Links Stuttering to Less Blood Flow in Brain

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 6, 2017 – Reduced blood flow in a part of the brain that's linked to speech may put people at risk for stuttering, a small study suggests. There are also signs that the lower the blood flow in regions of the brain tied to speech and language, the more severe the stuttering, the researchers added. "When other portions of the brain circuit related to speech were also affected according to our blood flow measurements, we saw more severe stuttering in both children and adults," said study first author Dr. Jay Desai. He is a clinical neurologist at Children's Hospital, Los Angeles. For the study, the investigators used MRI scans to look at the blood flow in the brains of 26 participants with stuttering and 36 participants without the speech disorder. The researchers found evidence among those who stuttered of reduced blood flow to the Broca's area of the brain, which sits in ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

More Signs Mediterranean Diet May Boost Your Brain

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4, 2017 – The heart-healthy Mediterranean diet may also help preserve brain health of older adults, new research suggests. Researchers in Scotland examined the brain volume of hundreds of older adults over three years. The investigators found that people who more closely followed the eating habits common in Mediterranean countries – lots of fruits, vegetables, olive oil and beans – retained more brain volume compared to those who did not. "Research is accumulating to show protective effects of the Mediterranean diet on normal cognitive [mental] decline, dementia and Alzheimer's disease," said study leader Michelle Luciano. The new study suggests the possible mechanism is in preserving brain volume, said Luciano, of the University of Edinburgh. The Mediterranean diet is an eating style that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, olive oil instead of butter, beans and cereal ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Hypertension, Weight Loss, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, Head Imaging

'Groundbreaking' Research Offers Clues to Cause of Dyslexia

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21, 2016 – People with the reading disability dyslexia may have brain differences that are surprisingly wide-ranging, a new study suggests. Using specialized brain imaging, scientists found that adults and children with dyslexia showed less ability to "adapt" to sensory information compared to people without the disorder. And the differences were seen not only in the brain's response to written words, which would be expected. People with dyslexia also showed less adaptability in response to pictures of faces and objects. That suggests they have "deficits" that are more general, across the whole brain, said study lead author Tyler Perrachione. He's an assistant professor of speech, hearing and language sciences at Boston University. The findings, published in the Dec. 21 issue of the journal Neuron, offer clues to the root causes of dyslexia. Other studies have found ... Read more

Related support groups: Visual Defect/Disturbance, Head Imaging

'Epilepsy Gene Network' Identified in Brain

Posted 14 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 – Scientists say they have identified a gene network in the brain that's associated with epilepsy. Although the research is in the early stages, the investigators hope their discovery can revive interest in finding new epilepsy treatments. "Identifying groups of genes that work together, and then targeting these networks of genes, may lead to more effective treatments," said study senior author Michael Johnson. He's a professor of medicine at Imperial College London in England. "Our proof-of-concept study suggests this network biology approach could help us identify new medications for epilepsy, and the methods can also be applied to other diseases," Johnson said in a college news release. The newly discovered "epilepsy network" includes 320 genes believed to be involved in how brain cells communicate with one another. When the network malfunctions, it triggers ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Seizure Prophylaxis, West Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, Status Epilepticus, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Head Imaging

Breast Cancer Cells May Change When They Spread to Brain: Study

Posted 7 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2016 – When breast cancer spreads to the brain, important molecular changes may occur in the cancer, a small study found. The discovery of these changes could lead to improved diagnosis and treatment, the researchers said. About 20 percent of breast cancers are a type known as HER2-positive, which typically respond to targeted therapies. However, HER2-negative breast cancer that has spread to the brain doesn't respond to the same therapies. In this study, researchers analyzed tumors from 20 patients in the United States and Ireland. They found that primary breast cancer identified as HER2-negative switched to HER2-positive when it spread to the brain. The findings show that treatments should target not only the original breast cancer, but also brain tumors, said study author Adrian Lee, director of the Institute for Precision Medicine, part of the University of ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Estradiol, Premarin, Ethinyl Estradiol, Estrace, Arimidex, Femara, Vagifem, Estrace Vaginal Cream, Vivelle, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Climara, Letrozole, Estring, Vivelle-Dot, Premarin Vaginal, Estradiol Patch, Aromasin, Herceptin

Electrical Brain Stimulation Not a Memory Booster: Study

Posted 7 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2016 – Deep brain stimulation does not improve memory, and may actually harm it, a new study contends. In deep brain stimulation, electrodes are implanted into the brain and an electrical current is passed through them to stimulate nearby neurons, or brain cells. This study included epilepsy patients who already had the electrodes implanted to map their seizures. The Columbia University researchers stimulated areas of the brain known to be involved in making memories, but none of the 49 volunteers showed improvements in memory. In fact, their memory declined 5 to 20 percent after stimulation. The finding, published Dec. 7 in the journal Neuron, contradicts previous research suggesting that deep brain stimulation improves memory, the researchers behind the new study said. That 2012 study only involved seven participants. However, the authors of this latest study said ... Read more

Related support groups: Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Scientists Discover More Clues to Stuttering

Posted 5 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 5, 2016 – A blend of brain circuits are altered in people who stutter, new research indicates. Using an imaging technique that looks at brain cell metabolism, scientists learned that changes in areas involved in speech, attention and emotion are all linked to stuttering. Stuttering is characterized by involuntarily repeating certain sounds, syllables or words when speaking. The imaging method used for the study is known as proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). "It is a fundamental measure of the density of [nerve] tissue in these circuits that seem to not have developed properly," said study author Dr. Bradley Peterson. He's director of the Institute for the Developing Mind at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "Moreover, the [extent] of the abnormalities seems to relate to the severity of stuttering as well," he added. "This provides an important road map to ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Brain Harm May Last Long After College Football Players' Final Game

Posted 2 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 – Brain tissue thinning is still evident in former college football players several years after they stop playing, a new study finds. University of Cincinnati researchers conducted MRI scans of 11 former college players and found they had significantly less cortical thickness in parts of the frontal and temporal cortex of the brain, compared with former track-and-field athletes. "The former football players showed, on average, lower cortical thickness across prefrontal and temporal brain regions – areas of the brain involved in sustained attention, memory and executive abilities – cognitive domains critical to long-term professional and social function," said co-principal investigator Dr. Cal Adler. He is vice chair for clinical research in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the university. In many areas of the brain, there was a link ... Read more

Related support groups: Head Injury, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Imaging, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

Researchers Explore Way to Detect Brain Injury in NFL Players

Posted 28 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 28, 2016 – Researchers say they've discovered a new way to detect and track brain injury related to repeated concussions in National Football League (NFL) players. Brain imaging scans in 14 current or former NFL players revealed elevated levels of a protein related to the body's immune response for brain injury, said lead researcher Dr. Jennifer Coughlin. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The NFL players, who had gone an average of seven years since their last self-reported concussion, showed high levels of the protein in eight of 12 brain regions examined, Coughlin said. If this new test is proven to work, it could provide a cornerstone for tracking the effects of repeated concussions on the human brain, Coughlin and her colleagues concluded. "We anticipate this technology is going to be useful ... Read more

Related support groups: Head Injury, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Imaging, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

Some Elderly With Alzheimer's Brain Plaques Stay Sharp

Posted 14 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2016 – In a discovery that challenges conventional thinking, researchers report that several people over the age of 90 had excellent memory even though their brains showed signs that they had Alzheimer's disease. The meaning of the findings isn't entirely clear. The elderly people, whose brains were studied after their deaths, may have been in the early stages of Alzheimer's, although the researchers said they doubt this. It's also possible that something about these people – or their brains – could have kept dementia symptoms in check. "The implication is that factors protect some elderly people" from the brain-clogging proteins that are thought to cause Alzheimer's, said study author Changiz Geula. He is a research professor of cognitive neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "Investigation of these factors is crucial if we are ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

PTSD May Affect Boys, Girls Differently, Brain Scans Show

Posted 11 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 11, 2016 – Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects the brains of girls and boys in different ways, a new study suggests. Researchers used MRI scans to examine the brains of 59 children, aged 9 to 17. The participants included 30 kids with PTSD and 29 without the disorder (the "control" group). Girls and boys in the control group had no differences in brain structure, the researchers said. But among those with PTSD, girls and boys showed differences in one part of the insula – an area of the brain involved in emotion and empathy. This brain area was larger in boys with PTSD than in other boys, and was smaller in girls with PTSD than in the control group girls, according to researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California. The findings, published online Nov. 11 in the journal Depression and Anxiety, are believed to be the first of their kind, ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Head Imaging

Brain Scans May Improve Dementia Diagnosis, Treatment

Posted 8 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 8, 2016 – Tens of millions of people worldwide suffer from memory loss and mental impairment due to dementia. While there's no cure, medication may temporarily improve some symptoms. Proper treatment, however, depends on identifying the type of dementia and early detection. A new study shows that MRI brain scans can help doctors tell which people with certain thinking and memory problems might go on to develop dementia with Lewy bodies rather than Alzheimer's disease. The researchers found that scans from people who eventually developed Lewy body dementia showed a lack of shrinkage in a portion of the brain related to memory, known as the hippocampus. "Identifying people with mild cognitive impairment at risk for dementia with Lewy bodies is critical for early interventions with the potential treatments emerging in the field," said study author Dr. Kejal Kantarci. She's a ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Head Imaging, Dementia with Depressive Features, Lewy Body Dementia, Alcoholic Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

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