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Head Imaging News

Givers Really Are Happier Than Takers

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 15, 2017 – Generosity really is its own reward, with the brain seemingly hardwired for happiness in response to giving, new research suggests. Scientists in Switzerland used brain scans to track activity in brain regions associated with socializing, decision-making and happiness. They found that even small acts of generosity – or just promising to be charitable – triggered brain changes that make people happier. "The findings mean that spending money on others rather than on oneself could be an alternative road to happiness," said study author Philippe Tobler. He's a neuro-economist at the University of Zurich's laboratory for social and neural systems research. As for why this might be, Tobler pointed to an age-old concept: What goes around comes around. "Helping others could increase group cohesion, and others may help the original helper in return," he said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Head Imaging

Yoga May Boost Aging Brains

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9, 2017 – Older women who practice yoga may have greater "thickness" in areas of the brain involved in memory and attention, a small study suggests. Researchers found that even compared with other healthy, active women their age, yoga practitioners typically had greater cortical thickness in the brain's left prefrontal cortex. That could be good news because, as the researchers pointed out, cognitive impairment from aging is usually associated with less volume in cortical areas of the brain associated with attention tasks, and decreases in memory. But experts said it's not clear what conclusions can be drawn from the study's findings. The findings are based on one-time brain scans of fewer than 50 women – and they do not prove that yoga, itself, altered anyone's brain structure, according to senior researcher Elisa Kozasa. The brain differences might have existed ... Read more

Related support groups: Menopausal Disorders, Head Imaging

Study Tests Sound Waves to Monitor Pressure Inside the Skull

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 8, 2017 – A noninvasive method of monitoring pressure inside the skull – using sound waves – shows promise, researchers report. Brain disease or a head injury can cause brain tissue to swell, as well as an increase in the volume of fluid that surrounds and protects the brain. This can cause pressure within the skull to rise, and serious complications and even death can result. Continuous monitoring lets doctors know if and when they must take steps to lower the pressure. Currently, to monitor intracranial pressure, a hole is drilled into the skull and sensor-equipped catheters are inserted. This procedure carries risks such as bleeding, infection and damage to brain tissue, but no noninvasive ways to monitor pressure are available, the study authors said. German researchers tested an experimental noninvasive method on 14 patients and got encouraging results, according ... Read more

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

Can Scans Predict Some Autism Cases?

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 8, 2017 – People with a particular genetic cause of autism show structural abnormalities in the brain that are readily detected with noninvasive imaging, according to a new study. Using MRI brain scans, researchers found clear brain structure abnormalities in people with autism caused, in part, by defects in chromosome 16. Those MRI findings were, in turn, related to particular impairments, such as problems with communication and social skills. It all suggests that brain imaging could one day be used to spot young children most in need of therapy for an autism spectrum disorder, the study authors said. It's estimated that one in 68 U.S. children is "on the spectrum," and symptoms usually appear early in life. The study included 158 people who carried either of two defects in chromosome 16 that raise the risk of autism. The flaws are found in a small piece of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Head Imaging

Can Video Game Playing Cost You Gray Matter?

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 7 2017 – A new study suggests – but doesn't prove – that certain players of action video games may lose gray matter in a part of the brain that's linked to mental illness. On the other hand, the Canadian study suggests, other players may actually benefit from the games. And a psychologist not involved with the study said there's no evidence that video games are harmful to the brain. The results indicate that the reported benefits of playing shooting-style video games – such as improved attention and short-term memory – "might come at a cost" in terms of lost brain matter in some players, said the study's lead author, Gregory West. He is an assistant professor with the department of psychology at the University of Montreal. The difference may be the style of playing, the researchers noted. The new study aimed to better understand the brain effects of so-called ... Read more

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

Traveling With Dementia: Tips for Family Caregivers

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – Traveling with a loved one who has dementia requires special preparation. The Alzheimer's Foundation of America has some advice. "Traveling is a fun and enjoyable way to reenergize your body and mind. It can be beneficial to people living with dementia and their family caregivers under the proper circumstances," said Charles Fuschillo Jr., foundation president and CEO. "Before going on a trip, there are important steps family caregivers should take to ensure that their loved ones will be safe, comfortable and able to make the journey," he added in a foundation news release. First you should talk with the person's doctor to find out if travel is recommended or safe. In the early stages of dementia, travel may still be enjoyable. But it can become overwhelming as dementia progresses, the foundation said. When deciding how and where to travel, make choices that ... Read more

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

Combined MRI Might Help Predict Brain Damage in Boxers

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – Brain injuries among pro football players are in the headlines, but pro fighters often suffer damaging head injuries, too. Now, research with boxers and mixed martial arts professionals suggests that combination MRI technology can help pinpoint which injuries might lead to brain damage. In the boxing ring, as on the football field, recurring blows to the head can cause mild traumatic brain injury. Over time, this can lead to progressive brain disorders like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and create problems with mood and movement. A study published this week found that 110 of 111 brains of deceased National Football League players whose brains were autopsied showed signs of CTE. Currently, the disease can only be diagnosed with an autopsy, but scientists are seeking to improve detection. Previous studies have focused on the brain cells in gray matter ... Read more

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

Know the Signs of Concussion

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – Concussions have been in the news a lot because of health problems experienced by football players, but you don't have to be a professional athlete to suffer this injury. Youngsters are at risk, even if they don't play contact sports. A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury – or mTBI – caused by a blow or jolt to the head or body that causes the brain to shake, according to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Since it doesn't take a visible head-on collision to get a concussion, it's important to know the signs of injury. Symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, balance and vision issues, sensitivity to light or sound, sleep troubles, difficulty thinking, and even emotional issues. Crying for no reason can be a sign as well. Symptoms including a seizure, weakness in the limbs, slurred speech and confusion necessitate a call to 911. Symptoms ... Read more

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

Noninvasive Brain Test May Pinpoint Type of Dementia

Posted 26 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 26, 2017 – Distinguishing Alzheimer's disease from another common form of dementia may get easier using a new, noninvasive technique, researchers say. While Alzheimer's is the best-known form of dementia, another form of brain deterioration, called frontotemporal dementia (FTD), accounts for 10 percent to 15 percent of dementia cases. However, the researchers noted that FTD is often initially misdiagnosed as a psychiatric disorder, Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. "Recently, there has been a major advance in testing for these conditions. However, they [the tests] are invasive and expensive," noted Dr. Paul Wright, a neurologist who reviewed the new study. He directs neurology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. The new research was led by Dr. Barbara Borroni, of the University of Brescia, in Italy. Her team tested a technology called ... Read more

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

In Mice, Brain Cells Discovered That Might Control Aging

Posted 26 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 26, 2017 – Scientists working with mice believe they've identified brain cells that control aging. The discovery could lead to new ways to treat age-related diseases in people and extend lives, according to researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Their laboratory experiments suggest that adult neural stem cells in the brain's hypothalamus regulate the speed of aging in the body. The hypothalamus plays a role in important processes, such as growth, development, reproduction and metabolism. It was already known that the adult neural stem cells identified in this study are responsible for forming new brain neurons – cells. "Our research shows that the number of hypothalamic neural stem cells naturally declines over the life of the animal, and this decline accelerates aging," said study senior author Dr. Dongsheng Cai. "But we also found ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Nearly All Autopsied NFL Players Show Trauma-Linked Brain Disease

Posted 25 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 25, 2017 – Ninety-nine percent of former NFL players who donated their brain to science turned out to have the devastating disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), according to a new report. Researchers found evidence of the degenerative brain disease in 110 out of 111 deceased National Football League players, said study co-author Dr. Daniel Daneshvar. He is a researcher with the Boston University School of Medicine's CTE Center. "A remarkable proportion of the athletes who played at the highest level develop neurodegenerative disease," Daneshvar said. "This is incredibly concerning, because of the sheer numbers" of men who have ever played the game professionally. Evidence of CTE also was found in 91 percent of brains donated by college football players, 88 percent of those from Canadian Football League players, and 21 percent of brains donated by high school ... Read more

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

Scans May Show Consciousness in 'Comatose' Patients

Posted 20 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – Sophisticated brain scans might be able to detect consciousness in brain injury patients who appear unconscious in the intensive care unit, a new study says. "Early detection of consciousness and brain function in the intensive care unit could allow families to make more informed decisions about the care of loved ones," said study co-lead author Dr. Brian Edlow. He's with Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Neurotechnology and Neurorecovery. "Also, since early recovery of consciousness is associated with better long-term outcomes, these tests could help patients gain access to rehabilitative care once they are discharged from an ICU," Edlow said in a hospital news release. The study included 16 severe brain injury patients in the ICU. The researchers concluded that functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) may reveal ... Read more

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

Oxygen Therapy Revives Brain of Toddler Who Nearly Drowned

Posted 20 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – In one of the first such confirmed cases, an Arkansas toddler who suffered severe brain injury after nearly drowning has had that brain damage reversed, using a new treatment. The treatment is known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). It exposes a patient to pure oxygen within the confines of a carefully controlled pressurized chamber. During the therapy, the body gets three times the normal amount of oxygen, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The saga began with every parent's nightmare. Just one day shy of her 2nd birthday, Eden Carlson nearly drowned in the family pool. The little girl was found floating face down, unresponsive. Alive, but just barely. The initial prognosis, noted Dr. Paul Harch, wasn't good. The little girl's heart had stopped beating. "It took 100 minutes of CPR at both the house and the emergency room to get a return of ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxygen, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Boxers, MMA Fighters May Face Long-Term Harm to Brain: Study

Posted 13 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – There's been a great deal of attention paid lately to the potential lasting damage of head blows suffered by professional football players. But what about other sports where repeated trauma to the head is also common? Do those sports lead to any long-term brain damage? Possibly, suggests a new study that found boxers and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters have higher levels of certain brain proteins that reflect brain injury compared to retired fighters and non-fighters. The research is preliminary, but if it bears out, the analysis might be a way to predict which fighters are at the greatest risk of long-term complications, said study author Dr. Charles Bernick. He's the associate director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. "We can identify proteins in the blood that may reflect ongoing brain injury," he said. In the study, ... Read more

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

Rogue Genes May Cause Some ALS Cases

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 – Gene mutations may cause up to 17 percent of cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in patients with no family history of the disease, a new study finds. ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurological disease that typically leads to complete paralysis and death. There is no cure. It is called familial ALS when there is a clear family history of ALS, and sporadic ALS when there is no known family history. Up to 90 percent of ALS patients say they have no family history of the disease, according to the study. "You can't tell familial ALS from sporadic ALS by the symptoms or how the disease develops, but it is also complicated to determine whether a person has inherited the genes for the disease," said Dr. Summer Gibson, of the University of Utah School of Medicine. "In some families, people may die of other causes before ALS ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

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