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Neurologic Disorder News

Brain Cells in Mice May Reveal Clues to Your Sighs

Posted 8 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 – Scientists working with mice say that they've pinpointed brain cells that control sighing. In lab experiments, the researchers found that two tiny clusters of neurons in the brain stem trigger sighs. "Sighing appears to be regulated by the fewest number of neurons we have seen linked to a fundamental human behavior," said study researcher Jack Feldman, a professor of neurobiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. "One of the holy grails in neuroscience is figuring out how the brain controls behavior. Our finding gives us insights into mechanisms that may underlie much more complex behaviors," Feldman, a member of the UCLA Brain Research Institute, said in a university news release. The findings provide new insight into the network of brain stem cells responsible for breathing rhythm, added researcher Mark Krasnow, a professor of biochemistry at ... Read more

Related support groups: Neurologic Disorder

Brains of Compulsive Video Gamers May Be 'Wired' Differently

Posted 9 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 8, 2016 – The brains of compulsive video game players may be "wired" differently, new research suggests. A study of nearly 200 South Korean boys conducted by University of Utah scientists linked chronic video game playing with differences in connections between certain regions of the brain. The researchers noted, however, that not all of these changes are negative. Obsessive video game-playing is sometimes called Internet gaming disorder. Those affected play the games so much they often miss meals and lose sleep, according to background information with the study. Brain scans were performed on 106 boys ages 10 to 19 who sought treatment for the disorder, which is a serious problem in South Korea, the researchers said. Their MRIs were compared to the scans of 80 other boys without the disorder. The researchers wanted to see which regions of the brains were activated ... Read more

Related support groups: Neurologic Disorder

3-D Video Games May Boost Brainpower, Study Finds

Posted 8 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 – Playing 3-D video games can improve your ability to form memories and may benefit your brain as you age, researchers report. "It's often suggested that an active, engaged lifestyle can be a real factor in stemming cognitive [mental] aging. While we can't all travel the world on vacation, we can do many other things to keep us cognitively engaged and active. Video games may be a nice, viable route," study co-author Craig Stark, from the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, Irvine, said in a university news release. The researchers tracked non-gamer college students who played either a 2-D or 3-D video game 30 minutes a day for two weeks. Before and after the two-week period, the students were given a memory test designed to engage the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with complex learning and memory. ... Read more

Related support groups: Neurologic Disorder, Mild Cognitive Impairment

Brain Gains for Older Adults Who Start Exercising

Posted 30 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 30, 2015 – Beginning an exercise program may help protect older adults' brains or even reverse early mental decline, a small study suggests. Researchers placed 34 inactive people, aged 61 to 88, on an exercise regimen. It included moderate-intensity walking on a treadmill four times a week for 12 weeks. On average, heart/lung health improved about 8 percent over that time, the researchers found. Brain scans also showed an increase in the thickness of the participants' cortex, the outer layer of the brain that typically shrinks with Alzheimer's disease. Those with the greatest improvements in physical fitness had the most growth in the cortex, the University of Maryland researchers found. The thickening of the cortex occurred in both healthy people and those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), an early stage of Alzheimer's disease, the study showed. The study was ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Neurologic Disorder, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia

Rare Nervous System Disorder Can Put Pregnancy at Risk: Study

Posted 18 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 – An uncommon central nervous system disorder may increase pregnant women's risk for miscarriage or a serious pregnancy-related condition known as pre-eclampsia, a new study reveals. The rare autoimmune disorder, called neuromyelitis optica, is often mistaken for multiple sclerosis. It affects the nerves to the eyes and the spinal cord, and sometimes the brain, the researchers explained. In the new study, Dr. Maria Isabel Leite from the University of Oxford in England, and colleagues looked at the medical records of 60 pregnant women with neuromyelitis optica who'd had at least one previous pregnancy. Forty of the women were analyzed for miscarriage and 57 for pre-eclampsia, which is marked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine during pregnancy that can threaten the life of the mother and baby. Of the 40 women analyzed for miscarriage, there were 85 ... Read more

Related support groups: Neurologic Disorder, Toxemia of pregnancy, HELLP Syndrome

Gene Therapy in Dogs Offers Glimmer of Hope for Fatal Childhood Disorder

Posted 11 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11, 2015 – Scientists working with animals say they've made an advance in efforts to develop gene therapy that one day might treat a fatal neurodegenerative disease in children. Batten disease is a fatal, inherited disorder caused by a mutation in the TPP1 gene, which impairs brain cells' ability to recycle cellular waste. The abnormal buildup of this waste affects walking, talking, thinking and sight. Symptoms and seizures typically begin in early childhood, then the disease progresses. Many children with Batten disease die by age 10, according to the researchers. In this study, the researchers placed a working version of the TPP1 gene into dogs with a naturally occurring disease that mimics Batten disease. The treatment did not cure the dogs, but did delay the onset of symptoms and extended their lives. "One treatment of gene therapy gave these dogs a remarkable ... Read more

Related support groups: Neurologic Disorder, Diagnosis and Investigation

Big Brain Doesn't Mean Big Smarts

Posted 16 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 16, 2015 – Having a big brain doesn't guarantee you'll have an outsized IQ, a new analysis indicates. Researchers who examined 148 studies that included more than 8,000 people found only a weak association between brain size and IQ. "The presently observed association means that brain volume plays only a minor role in explaining IQ test performance in humans. Although a certain association is observable, brain volume appears to be of only little practical relevance," said review author Jakob Pietschnig, of the Institute of Applied Psychology at the University of Vienna in Austria. "Rather, brain structure and integrity appear to be more important as a biological foundation of IQ," he explained in a university news release. The researchers noted that men tend to have larger brains than women, but there are no differences in overall IQ levels between the genders. Their ... Read more

Related support groups: Neurologic Disorder, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Hospitalization Rates Jump Near 'Fracking' Sites: Study

Posted 15 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2015 – People who live near "fracking" sites may be at increased risk for hospitalization for heart problems, neurological disorders and other conditions, new research suggests. Hydraulic fracturing – widely referred to as fracking – is a form of oil and gas drilling that has increased dramatically in the United States over the past decade, raising concerns about water and air pollution. Pennsylvania is a hotspot for fracked wells, the researchers said. In this study, hospitalization rates in three northeastern counties in Pennsylvania were tallied. Two of the counties – Bradford and Susquehanna – had a significant increase in fracked wells between 2007 and 2011. No fracking was allowed in the third county – Wayne – due to its proximity to the Delaware River watershed. The researchers looked at the top 25 specific medical categories for more than 198,000 ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Neurologic Disorder, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

Digital Compass Attached to Brain Helps Blind Rats 'See'

Posted 2 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 2, 2015 – New research in rats suggests a special compass might one day help blind people navigate their physical environments. Using a head-mounted device, Japanese scientists attached a microstimulator and a digital compass to the brains of blind rats, and those rats were then able to move through mazes nearly as well as rats with normal vision. The compass automatically detected the rat's head direction and generated electrical pulses that indicated which direction – such as north or south – the rat was facing. The blind rats were then trained to seek food in a T-shaped maze or a more complicated maze. With practice, the rats learned to use the device to solve the mazes, and their performance rivaled that of rats with normal vision. The findings suggest that a similar system could help orient blind people, the University of Tokyo researchers said. In the case of ... Read more

Related support groups: Eye Conditions, Neurologic Disorder

Fit Body at 40 May Keep Brain Bright at 60

Posted 4 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 – People who are fit in their 40s seem to retain more brain volume two decades later and also perform better on decision-making tests, new research suggests. The analysis of more than 1,200 participants who were tracked for more than 20 years showed that those with lower fitness levels at midlife had smaller brain volumes in their 60s – a sign of accelerated brain aging. "I think many people will be surprised to learn that their fitness levels at midlife may impact brain health as they move into older adulthood," said study author Nicole Spartano, a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University School of Medicine. "We were not surprised by these findings because there is growing evidence that many behaviors and risk factors in middle age may have consequences to brain health in later life." Spartano was scheduled to present her research March 4 at an American Heart ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Neurologic Disorder

Migraine May Raise Risk for Bell's Palsy, Study Suggests

Posted 18 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, 2014 – People who experience migraine headaches may be at heightened risk for the form of facial paralysis known as Bell's palsy, a new study finds. According to background information in the study, between 11 and 40 people per 100,000 develop Bell's palsy each year. Most of them recover completely. Reporting in the Dec. 17 online edition of Neurology, Taiwanese researchers followed two groups of almost 137,000 adults – one group of migraine sufferers and another group without migraines – for an average of three years. During that time, 671 of the people in the migraine group developed Bell's palsy, compared with 365 of the those in the non-migraine group. Even after the researchers accounted for other factors, such as sex, high blood pressure and diabetes, the study found that people with migraines were twice as likely to develop Bell's palsy than those without ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Neurologic Disorder

New Prosthetic Hands Restore Sense of Touch to Amputees

Posted 8 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 8, 2014 – People take the sense of touch for granted – until it isn't there, says Igor Spetic, who lost that ability four years ago. For months after an accident at work cost him his right hand from the wrist down, the Madison, Ohio, resident was plagued by phantom pain. It was "like having a clenched fist put into a vice and crushed, 24/7, even though I had no fist," said Spetic. But about 18 months after his injury, Spetic, now 48, enrolled in an experimental prosthesis program. "Through the electrodes they've connected between my nerves and the prosthetic, I found out that they still work – my nerves in my arm." In the laboratory, Spetic can now feel textures, pressure and other sensations in his prosthetic hand, even on the index finger and thumb, he said. Plus that, on a daily basis, "about 95 percent of my phantom pain is now gone," he added. "It's a benefit ... Read more

Related support groups: Neurologic Disorder

Babies' Brains Prep for Speech Long Before First Words Come Out

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 14, 2014 – Infants' brains start laying the groundwork for the physical requirements of speech long before they utter their first words, a new study finds. Researchers looked at 7- to 12-month-old infants and found that speech from people around them stimulates areas of the brain that coordinate and plan the motor movements necessary for speech. "Most babies babble by 7 months, but don't utter their first words until after their first birthdays," study author Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, in Seattle, said in a university news release. "Finding activation in motor areas of the brain when infants are simply listening is significant, because it means the baby brain is engaged in trying to talk back right from the start and suggests that 7-month-olds' brains are already trying to figure out how to ... Read more

Related support groups: Neurologic Disorder

'Transparent' Mouse Brain Could Shed Light on Human Brain Health

Posted 10 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 10 – Scientists who developed a way to make a mouse brain transparent say the process could revolutionize the way the human brain is studied. A transparent brain can be examined whole, without the need to slice or section it. The three-dimensional complexity of molecular structures and wiring are intact and can be assessed and probed with visible light and chemicals, according to the Stanford University researchers. The chemical process for making the brain transparent – called CLARITY – is done after it is removed from the animal. The process involves replacing the brain's lipids (fatty molecules) with a hydrogel, according to a study published online April 10 in the journal Nature. The research described in the study was performed primarily on a mouse brain, but the investigators have used the same process on zebrafish and on preserved human brain samples, and ... Read more

Related support groups: Neurologic Disorder

Neurology Group Lists Procedures That May Be Unneeded

Posted 8 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 8 – Five tests, procedures and treatments that neurologists and their patients should question are outlined in a list released by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign. "With one in six people affected by a brain disease, such as headache, multiple sclerosis and stroke, our goal is to have patients discuss our Choosing Wisely recommendations regarding medical procedures, therapies, and tests with their neurologists," AAN president Dr. Bruce Sigsbee said in an academy news release. The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation-led Choosing Wisely campaign involves about 35 medical specialty groups and is intended to encourage patients and doctors to discuss appropriate care while avoiding unnecessary tests and treatments. The AAN is one of 17 medical societies that recently released advice lists. Here are the AAN's five ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Headache, Oxycodone, Migraine, Hydrocodone, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Multiple Sclerosis, Dilaudid, Ischemic Stroke, Opana ER, Nucynta

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