Image: Three small electrodes in a close-up; Copyright: Georgia Tech/Robert Butera

Buzzing the vagus nerve to fight inflammatory disease

20/01/2017

Kilohertz frequency electrical block of afferent vagus nerve pathways allows targeted stimulation to reduce inflammation in vivo.
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Image: A grey background with two magnifying glasses and some coloured spots; Copyright: Eric Jonas, CC-BY.

Classic video game system used to improve understanding of the brain

13/01/2017

The complexity of neural networks makes them difficult to analyze, but manmade computing systems should be simpler to understand.
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Image: 3D image of a brain, one part is highlighted red; Copyright: panthermedia.net/vampy1

Protein associated with Parkinson's travels from brain to gut

06/01/2017

Researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) have found that "alpha-synuclein", a protein involved in a series of neurological disorders including Parkinson's disease, is capable of travelling from brain to stomach and that it does so following a specific pathway. Donato Di Monte and co-workers report on this in the journal "Acta Neuropathologica".
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Image: Man sitting at a gambling table, with a drink in his hand, looking sad; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Wavebreakmedia ltd

Gambling addiction triggers the same brain areas as drug and alcohol cravings

04/01/2017

Gambling addiction activates the same brain pathways as drug and alcohol cravings, suggests new research. The study, by international scientists including researchers from Imperial College London, suggests targeting these brain pathways may lead to future treatments for the condition.
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Image: Computer-generated image of a human brain on a magnet; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Satori

Magnetic stimulation: more precise, reliable activation of neural circuitry

21/12/2016

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers have developed what appears to be a significant improvement in the technology behind brain implants used to activate neural circuits responsible for vision, hearing or movement.
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Image: A man sitting on a bench, with his head down; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Andriy Popov

Sometimes just watching hurts - and the signs of pain are seen in the brain

30/11/2016

Some people claim to experience pain just watching something painful to happen. This is true especially of people suffering from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a disabling chronic pain disorder in a limb. In CPRS patients, both own movements and just observing other persons' movements may aggravate the pain.
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Image: A silhouette of a human head. In the head is a brain shown. A speech bubble points to the open mouth; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Benoit Charton

Stuttering related to brain circuits that control speech production

28/11/2016

Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) have conducted the first study of its kind, using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to look at brain regions in both adults and children who stutter.
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Image: Man is running alogn the beach at dusk; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Olaf Karwisch

How long projecting neurons couple the movement of our limbs

22/11/2016

We humans walk with our feet. This is true, but not entirely. Walking, as part of locomotion, is a coordinated whole-body movement that involves both the arms and legs. Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research have identified different subpopulations of neurons in the spinal cord with long projections.
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Image: A stretchy optical fiber with yellow, blue and green regions; Copyright: MIT

Stretchy optical fibers for implanting in the body

15/11/2016

Researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School have developed a biocompatible and highly stretchable optical fiber made from hydrogel — an elastic, rubbery material composed mostly of water. The fiber, which is as bendable as a rope of licorice, may one day be implanted in the body to deliver therapeutic pulses of light or light up at the first sign of disease.
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Photo: older couple making smoothie; Copyright: panthermedia.net / Dmitriy Shironosov

Exercise and healthy diets associated with better cognitive functioning

09/11/2016

Findings published this week in the Journal of Public Health reveal that both younger and older Canadian adults who engage in regular physical activity, consume more fruits and vegetables and are normal weight or overweight have overall better cognitive functioning.
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Image: DNA strand on the left, viruses on the right; Copyright: panthermedia.net/cuteimage

Grant for nerve tumour research

31/10/2016

Research investigating how DNA from a virus millions of years old may affect the development of nerve tumours, has been awarded funding.
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Image: Autumn tree on a meadow with leaves in the shape of a head, which back is already leafless; Copyright: panthermedia.net/lightsource

Structure of toxic tau aggregates determines type of dementia

31/10/2016

The distinct structures of toxic protein aggregates that form in degenerating brains determine which type of dementia will occur, which regions of brain will be affected, and how quickly the disease will spread, according to a study from the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute.
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"Stroke clearly is a brain disease"

28/10/2016

International experts are concerned about WHO moves in classification process. "The medical rationale for stroke being a disease of the brain is overwhelming." This is the key message of an urgent appeal launched by leading neurology experts in The Lancet.
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