Image: Close-up of an eye; Copyright: /Pirotehnik

Brain diseases manifest in the retina of the eye


Diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) may manifest as pathological changes in the retina of the eye. Research from the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) shows that retinal changes may be detected earlier than brain changes. Findings from mouse models suggest that eye examination could be used as a noninvasive screening tool for human brain diseases.
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Developing brain regions in children hardest hit by sleep deprivation


A team of researchers from the University of Zurich has studied the effects of acute sleep deprivation in children for the first time. They discovered that the brain in five to 12-year-olds responds differently to sleep deprivation compared to adults.
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Image: A circular diagram; Copyright: Robert Kofler/Vetmeduni Vienna

Software helps to find out why "jumping genes" are activated


Jumping genes, so-called transposons, reproduce as parasites in the genome. This selfish behavior can be an evolutionary advantage for the organism or harm it. There is still a debate about the factors controlling the activity of transposons.
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Image: Three scientists standing in a row; Copyright: RUB, Kramer

Poison in the brain


The following factors facilitate the formation of putatively toxic structures in the neuronal nuclei of Alzheimer's patients. Spherical structures in the nucleus of nerve cells, so-called nuclear spheres, are suspected to trigger Alzheimer's disease.
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Image: Black background with some red and blue lights; Copyright: A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore

Scientists develop DNA-altering technology to tackle diseases


Researchers in Singapore have developed a new protein that can alter DNA in living cells with much higher precision than current methods.
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Image: Image shows blue marked ephrins and red marked ephs forming yellow marked complexes at cell contact points; Copyright: MPI of Neurobiology/Gaitanos

Hungry cells on the move


Researchers discover a signalling pathway that enables cells to reach their destinations through repulsion.
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Medication against schizophrenia inhibits pancreatic cancer


A receptor for the dopamine neurotransmitter promotes growth and spread of pancreatic cancer -- and schizophrenia drugs, which block the function of this receptor, slowed tumor growth and metastatic spread in mice, according to researchers at McGill University and the German Cancer Research Center.
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Researchers find concept of using light to image, potentially treat PTSD


After years of studying the effects of near-infrared light on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries, a team led by a University of Texas at Arlington bioengineer has published groundbreaking research that could result in an effective, long-term treatment for brain disorders.
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Image: Image shows diagnostic form, on which Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is written and tablets packs and stethoscope are lying; Copyright:

First project on Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease


BioPontis Alliance for Rare Diseases, a unique international nonprofit organization, and VIB, an excellence-based Life Science Research Institute in Belgium, announced a strategic partnership in rare diseases. The first program is aimed at developing a treatment for one type of Charcot Marie Tooth disease (CMT), a rare, progressive and invalidating neuropathy.
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VR simplifies diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders


Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University and Siberian State Medical University are developing an early diagnosis system for neurodegenerative disorders. The diagnosis system is based on virtual reality (VR) – a person is immersed in a virtual environment to carry out some functional tests. Researchers vary the parameters of the virtual environment and record changes in the person’s movements.
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Image: Two pictures of a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease; Copyright: Salk Institute

Elevating brain protein allays symptoms of Alzheimer's


Boosting levels of a specific protein in the brain alleviates hallmark features of Alzheimer's disease in a mouse model of the disorder, according to new research published online in "Scientific Reports".
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Image: Migrating pioneer neurons under the phase contrast microscope, selectively stained by a fluorescence dye; Copyright: TiHo

Novel test method to replace animal testing


Testing the impact of chemo toxicity on the human development without having to resort to animal testing: To get closer to this goal, the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation (TiHo) and the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) are developing a new in-situ test method to examine the hazardous potential of chemical substances.
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Brain study confirms gene mutation link to psychiatric disorders


Brain scans have revealed how a genetic mutation linked to major psychiatric disorders affects the structure, function and chemistry of the brain.
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Sugar addiction: Discovery of a brain sugar switch


Researchers at Technical University of Munich discovered that our brain actively takes sugar from the blood. Prior to this, researchers around the world had assumed that this was a purely passive process.
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Image: A copmputer monitor shows the brain activity of a monkey using a brain-machine interface.; Copyright: Shawn Rocco/Duke Health

Brain-machine interfaces: Paraplegics regain feelings and movements


Eight people who have spent years paralyzed from spinal cord injuries have regained partial sensation and muscle control in their lower limbs after training with brain-controlled robotics.
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Image: two scans of brains; Copyright: Lisa Ronan

Brains of overweight people "ten years older" than lean counterparts at middle-age


From middle-age, the brains of obese individuals display differences in white matter similar to those in lean individuals ten years their senior, according to new research led by the University of Cambridge. White matter is the tissue that connects areas of the brain and allows for information to be communicated between regions.
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Image: An image of a brain, with different coulors; Copyright: INS UMR1106 INSERM/AMU

A virtual brain helps decrypt epilepsy


Researchers at CNRS, INSERM, Aix-Marseille University and AP-HM have just created a virtual brain that can reconstitute the brain of a person affected by epilepsy for the first time. From this work we understand better how the disease works and can also better prepare for surgery. These results are published in Neuroimage.
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Electrical Stimulation: Using Electrical Pulses to Combat Blindness


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.
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Multiple Sclerosis: does the colon affect the immune system?


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.
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ECG measurements: "Our chest strap moistens itself"


When measuring myocardial activity, it is important for the skin to always stay moist under the electrodes of the ECG. Only then can data be consistently transferred. Athletes have an easier time with this: they are used to sweating. This is a lot harder for older patients.
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Graphic: human sacrum

"Neuromonitoring during lesser pelvis surgery is still uncharted territory"


The bowel is surrounded by a dense plexus of nervous tissue that presents problems for surgeons. On the one hand, it is difficult to distinguish from the surrounding tissue; while on the other hand, sometimes portions of it need to be removed when parts of the colon are removed. Yet injuring these nerves can result in permanent damage.
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Making Your Own End-of-Life Decisions: “All options of palliative care, pain management and continued life need to have been explained to the patient“


How does a physician handle a patient, who wants to die and what rights do I actually have as a patient? Legal practitioners do not automatically answer these and other questions. We talked about this subject with MD-PhD Ralf Jox from the Institute of Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany.
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Persistent vegetative state: brain stimulation with laser beams


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.
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Diagnosing Parkinson's: the skin is revealing


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.
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