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

Brain diseases manifest in the retina of the eye

05/10/2016

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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Image: Sleeping girl; Copyright: panthermedia.net / svetamart

Developing brain regions in children hardest hit by sleep deprivation

04/10/2016

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

19/09/2016

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

16/09/2016

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

14/09/2016

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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