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Head Imaging News

Brain May Be Organized by Functions, Not Body Parts

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 – Scientists have long believed that different parts of the brain control different parts of the body. But new research suggests the human mind may instead be organized by specific functions. "It's kind of mind-blowing for me to think we could have been getting this wrong for so long," said one of the researchers, Tamar Makin of University College London in England. Makin and her colleagues wondered what happens in the brains of people who've never had a certain body part. So they investigated brain activity among 17 people born with one hand. They found that the region normally associated with hand movements compensates by becoming active when other body parts, such as an arm, foot or mouth, are moving. "Scientifically, I think one way to put our results in context is to say, what if the hand area is not the hand area per se, but just the part of the brain in ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Seniors' Brain Changes Could Make Them Vulnerable to Scams

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 13, 2017 – A pair of key differences in the brain may help distinguish which seniors are at risk of falling prey to financial scams, a small new study suggests. The first-of-its-kind study found a biological basis – rather than poor decision-making skills – underlying financial exploitation in the elderly. These findings might lead to a way to predict which seniors are susceptible to scams, the researchers said. Such scams affect about 5 percent of older adults after age 60, said study author Nathan Spreng. He's director of Cornell University's Laboratory of Brain and Cognition. "We suspect these are brain changes that occurred prior to [seniors] being exploited that rendered them vulnerable to exploitation... It could have been something that emerged as they were aging," Spreng said. "We think it's probably more of an age-related change to the brain," he added. "We ... Read more

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

Deep Brain Stimulation May Ease Tourette 'Tics'

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 11, 2017 – Some young people with severe cases of Tourette syndrome may benefit from having electrodes implanted in the brain, a small study suggests. The procedure, known as deep brain stimulation (DBS), has long been used to treat certain cases of Parkinson's disease and other brain-based disorders. But DBS is still considered experimental in the context of Tourette syndrome – a disorder that causes people to habitually make involuntary sounds or movements, commonly known as "tics." The new findings, published online April 7 in the Journal of Neurosurgery, add to evidence that DBS can help ease severe tics. The "hope" is that there will eventually be enough evidence for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said Dr. Alon Mogilner, the senior researcher on the study. In the United States, it's estimated that Tourette syndrome affects 0.6 percent of ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Tourette's Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Head Imaging

A Healthy Middle-Aged Heart May Protect Your Brain Later

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 11, 2017 – Healthy aging of the brain relies on the health of your heart and blood vessels when you're younger, a new study reports. People with risk factors for heart disease and stroke in middle age are more likely to have elevated levels of amyloid, a sticky protein known to clump together and form plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, the researchers said. MRI scans revealed larger deposits of amyloid in the brains of seniors who smoked, had high blood pressure, were obese, diabetic or had elevated cholesterol levels when they were middle-aged, said lead researcher Dr. Rebecca Gottesman. She's an assistant professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. All of these risk factors can affect the health of a person's blood vessels, otherwise known as vascular health, leading to hardening of the arteries and ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Hypertriglyceridemia, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diabetes Mellitus, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Ischemic Heart Disease, Head Imaging

More Younger Americans Are Suffering Strokes: Study

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 10, 2017 – Strokes are typically associated with the elderly, but new research suggests that strokes are increasingly happening to Americans under 65. The study looked at a sample of data from some U.S. stroke hospitalizations. From 2003 to 2004 in this sample, more than 141,000 people from 18 to 65 were admitted to hospitals for stroke. By 2011 to 2012, that number had risen to more than 171,000, researchers found. "Our results stress the importance of prevention of stroke risk factors in younger adults," said lead author Dr. Mary George. She's a senior medical officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's division of heart disease and stroke prevention. "Young adults, ages 18 to 54, are experiencing a small but sustained increase in stroke and in the prevalence of traditional stroke risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Diagnosis and Investigation, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Head Imaging

What's the 'SuperAgers' Mental Secret?

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 4, 2017 – At 89, Donald Tenbrunsel is a bit of a phenomenon. He surfs the internet with ease, happily converses on a broad range of timely topics, volunteers and reads regularly. Known as a "SuperAger," Tenbrunsel was part of a study that helped researchers discover what factors might set these super-sharp seniors apart from their peers. The secret? Brain scans showed they experience brain aging twice as slowly as average folks their age. "This suggests the SuperAgers are on a different trajectory of aging," said senior researcher Emily Rogalski. She is director of neuroimaging for Northwestern University's Cognitive Neurology & Alzheimer's Disease Center. "They're losing their brain volume at a much slower rate than average agers." For the study, Rogalski and her colleagues measured brain aging by examining the thickness of each person's cortex – the outer layer of ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Why Some Kids Take Longer to Recover From Brain Injury

Posted 15 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 – Brain scans may reveal which children will take longer to recover from a traumatic brain injury, according to a new small study. Damage to white matter in the brain – seen with brain imaging – appears to be associated with slower recovery, researchers found. "Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of disability in children, but it's very difficult to predict long-term outcome and which kids might need more aggressive treatment," said study author Emily Dennis. "While the severity of the injury certainly plays a role in this, there's still a lot of uncertainty – you frequently have two patients with similar injuries who have different recoveries," said Dennis, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The study included 21 children, aged 8 to 18. They had been hit by a car, hurt in a car crash, or had fallen from ... Read more

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

Higher Spending by Docs May Not Buy Better Health

Posted 13 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 13, 2017 – Just because your doctor orders more – or more high-priced – tests and procedures when you're in the hospital doesn't mean that you get better care, a new study suggests. Medicare patients treated by higher-spending physicians are just as likely to be re-admitted or die within 30 days of being admitted to the hospital as patients treated by doctors who order fewer or less-expensive tests and treatments, the study revealed. "Spending more doesn't always mean you get better health," senior study author Dr. Anupam Jena, of Harvard Medical School, said in a statement. Health care spending in the United States varies widely from one region to the next, and even across hospitals within the same community, studies have shown. However, this new analysis is believed to be the first to assess spending differences between physicians within the same hospital, and patient ... Read more

Related support groups: Hip Replacement, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging, Head Imaging

Study: Gene Test Needed Before Using Alzheimer's Drug 'Off-Label'

Posted 8 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 – A drug used to treat Alzheimer's disease should not be prescribed to people with milder mental impairment without first giving them a genetic test, a new study urges. The drug is donepezil (brand name: Aricept). Donepezil could speed mental decline in someone with mild cognitive impairment who has a specific genetic variation, according to Sophie Sokolow, an associate professor at the UCLA School of Nursing. She and her colleagues found that patients with the K-variant of the butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) gene who took donepezil deteriorated faster than those who took a placebo. Donepezil is approved in the United States to treat Alzheimer's disease but not mild cognitive impairment – the stage between normal age-related decline and dementia. However, doctors often prescribe it "off-label" for patients with mild cognitive impairment, the study authors said. For ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Aricept, Donepezil, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Namzaric, Donepezil/memantine, Dementia with Depressive Features, Head Imaging, Aricept ODT

Annual Death Toll From Alzheimer's Nearly Doubles in 15 Years

Posted 7 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 – Alzheimer's disease claims nearly twice as many American lives annually as it did just 15 years ago, a new report shows. "And that's frankly alarming," said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer's Association, which produced the report. "Now, a lot of people will think it's because we're living longer," he added. "And there is some truth to that. But there's also an assumption that we should just expect to get Alzheimer's disease as we get older. And that's not true. "Most people do not get Alzheimer's, even if they live into their 80s or 90s. It's not normal. It's not something that we should accept. We've definitely got to do something about it," Fargo said. The report also found that more than 5 million American seniors aged 65 and older now live with the memory-robbing disease. That represents approximately 10 percent of ... Read more

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

NHL Veterans Pledge Their Brains to Research

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 23, 2017 – Several former National Hockey League players have joined the growing number of pro athletes who have pledged their brains to research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – a devastating brain disease that has been linked to repetitive head trauma. The Concussion Legacy Foundation announced that four former professional hockey players plan to donate their brains to the organization. They include Stanley Cup Champion Shawn McEachern, who played in the NHL for 14 years, scoring 256 goals in his career. "This is something I really want to do to help the sport long-term," McEachern said in a news release from the foundation. "I would tell my friends the same thing, that this is something we can all do to raise awareness and help the sport. I have three kids that play hockey, I coach a prep school team and I'm a former player, so I know how important this ... Read more

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

Bleeding Strokes Take Heavy Toll on Brain

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Survivors of the most deadly type of stroke face a higher risk for developing depression and dementia, new research suggests. Often called "bleeding strokes," hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel ruptures and leaks blood into the brain. Conversely, the more common ischemic stroke happens after a blood vessel is blocked in the brain. "Our study changes the way we look at depression after a hemorrhagic stroke," said study author Dr. Alessandro Biffi, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "Depression is not just an isolated phenomenon following a hemorrhagic stroke," said Biffi, who is also director of the hospital's Aging and Brain Health Research Group. "It may identify those who are likely to develop dementia, and this is important when these patients are evaluated, particularly in outpatient care settings," he said. Biffi and ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Insulin Resistance, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertensive Emergency, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Head Imaging

Race May Play Role in Recurrent Stroke

Posted 23 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 – Strokes bring with them a heightened possibility of another attack, and new research suggests black patients may be at especially high risk for recurrence. The risk of recurrent stroke was up to 50 percent higher in black seniors who'd survived a stroke compared to their white peers, according to a report to be presented Wednesday at the International Stroke Conference in Houston. The finding "suggests that neurologists need to pay extra attention to older black Americans with regard to preventing future strokes," said Dr. Andrew Rogove, who reviewed the study. He directs stroke care at Southside Hospital, in Bay Shore, N.Y. In the study, researchers led by Karen Albright, of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, looked at the odds of recurrence for ischemic strokes, which result from a blocked blood vessel. According to the American Stroke Association, ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Ischemic Stroke, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Bayer Aspirin, Arthritis Pain Formula, Soma Compound, Norgesic, Excedrin Extra Strength, Norgesic Forte, Percodan, Anacin

Repeat Head Hits May Not Put NFL Players at Risk of Motor Problems

Posted 20 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Feb. 19, 2017 – Repeated hits to the head may not doom NFL players to suffer movement disorders after they retire, new research suggests. "We found that while the motor functions of former NFL players were not as good as other men their age, they were still within normal range and not related to repeated head injury," said study author Dr. Samuel Frank, of Harvard Medical School in Boston. Repeated head injuries have been linked to a devastating brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the researchers noted in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. Numerous NFL players have been diagnosed with CTE after their deaths. Performing an autopsy is the only way to definitively diagnose the condition. In January, a $1 billion concussion lawsuit settlement for former NFL players was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, despite legal challenges from ... 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

Imaging Study Confirms Brain Differences in People With ADHD

Posted 16 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2017 – Researchers who pinpointed brain differences in people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) say their findings show the condition should be considered a brain disorder. The international study – the largest of its kind – included more than 1,700 people with ADHD and more than 1,500 without the disorder. Participants were between the ages of 4 and 63. "We hope that this will help to reduce stigma that ADHD is 'just a label' for difficult children or caused by poor parenting. This is definitely not the case, and we hope that this work will contribute to a better understanding of the disorder," said study author Martine Hoogman. ADHD is characterized by inattention, overactivity and impulsivity that can interfere with learning and relationships. Brain scans revealed that five brain regions in those with ADHD were smaller than in those without ... Read more

Related support groups: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Head Imaging, Executive Function Disorder

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