Articles -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

MEDICA Newsletter

Social Media

Image: Dr. Bo Cao standing next to a handrail with one hand on it; Copyright: Ross Neitz

Machine learning helps to treat schizophrenia

17/07/2018

Could the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders one day be aided through the help of machine learning? New research from the University of Alberta is bringing us closer to that future through a study published in Molecular Psychiatry.
Read more
Image: abstract computer simulation of the signalling pathways of a human brain; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Andrew Ostrovsky

Launch of the neuroinformatics platform The Virtual Brain

16/07/2018

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) are pleased to announce that 'The Virtual Brain' neuroinformatics platform has joined the EU's Flagship 'Human Brain Project'. With financial support from the EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, Charité's researchers are now integrating their open-source platform into the 'Human Brain Project'.
Read more
Image: three images of a brain; Copyright: Yasser Iturria Medina

Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness

13/07/2018

Personalized medicine - delivering therapies specially tailored to a patient's unique physiology - has been a goal of researchers and doctors for a long time. New research provides a way of delivering personalized treatments to patients with neurological disease.
Read more
Image: three brain scans of two different brains; Copyright: Lutz Jäncke, UZH

MRI reveals: Every person has a unique brain anatomy

12/07/2018

Like with fingerprints, no two people have the same brain anatomy, a study by researchers of the University of Zurich has shown. This uniqueness is the result of a combination of genetic factors and individual life experiences.
Read more
Image: left: test person with a kind of breathing mask on a training device, right: test person with electrode cap at the computer; Copyright: McGill University

Visualized: exercises creates optimal brain state

11/07/2018

If you want to learn to walk a tightrope, it's a good idea to go for a short run after each practice session. That’s because a recent study in NeuroImage demonstrates that exercise performed immediately after practicing a new motor skill improves its long-term retention.
Read more
Image: four images of how the software works and identify potential spine locations; Copyright: Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

New software for rapid, automated identification of dendritic spines

10/07/2018

Is it possible for microscopes to learn a bit about the brain? Even be taught by neuroscientists to reliably recognize parts of brain cells - all on their own? Though it may seem like something straight out of The Jetsons, a neuroscientist and software engineer in the lab of MPFI's Scientific Director is developing new software with the goal of vastly improving the daily life of a microscope user.
Read more
Image: young man sleeping, his head resting on the table; Copyright: panthermedia.net/MichalLudwiczak

UA study links sleep loss with nighttime snacking

20/06/2018

The study found poor sleep quality was associated with nighttime snacking and a high likelihood of craving junk food. The study also found that junk food cravings were associated with increased risk of obesity, diabetes and other health problems.
Read more
Image: young woman in front of a laptop, looking tired; Copyright: panthermedia.net/SIphotography

Why do some sleep-deprived people experience worse cognitive functioning than others?

19/06/2018

Penn study reveals that microRNAs predict differences in cognitive impairment in memory and attention after sleep deprivation.
Read more
Image: left: mouse waiting for a reward for a short time; right: mouse waiting for a long time ; Copyright: OIST

Wait for it: Serotonin and confidence at the root of patience

18/06/2018

Serotonin keeps mice hanging on if they are sure of getting rewards, but not sure when.
Read more
Image: middle-aged woman drinking alcohol; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Kzenon

How does alcohol influence the development of Alzheimer's disease?

11/06/2018

Research from the University of Illinois at Chicago has found that some of the genes affected by alcohol and inflammation are also implicated in processes that clear amyloid beta - the protein that forms globs of plaques in the brain and which contributes to neuronal damage and the cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Read more
Image: skeletal myoblast cells in rats; Copyright: Yuge Lab

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

30/05/2018

Microgravity conditions affect DNA methylation of muscle cells, slowing their differentiation.
Read more
Image: Yune Lee; Copyright: The Ohio State University

Subtle hearing loss while young changes brain function, study finds

29/05/2018

Early damage could open door to dementia, lead author says.
Read more
Image: Image from a confocal microscope showing so-called pin-wheel structure of the lateral wall of the lateral ventricle; Copyright: Helmholtz Zentrum München

Everything flows: cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division

22/05/2018

Stem cells in the brain can divide and mature into neurons participating in various brain functions, including memory. In a paper published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München have shown how this works. They found that ion channels play a key role in mediating force signals to the neural stem cells to activate them.
Read more
Image: PET scan showing clumping proteins in rat hearts (top). The enlarged heart (right) is one with heart failure. Other PET scans showing blood flow; Copyright: Circulation Research, May 11, 2018

Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?

18/05/2018

Protein clumping may contribute to heart failure development and could be used as a diagnostic tool for testing therapies or disease progression.
Read more
Image: smiling young woman - Laura Volpicelli-Daley; Copyright: UAB

Untangling brain neuron dysfunction in Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies

17/05/2018

A neuron model of Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementias shows defects that could suggest treatments to halt or reverse cognitive impairments before the neurons die.
Read more
Image: an elderly couple, the woman showing a puzzled expression; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Creatista

Brain cholesterol associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease

15/05/2018

Researchers have shown how cholesterol – a molecule normally linked with cardiovascular diseases – may also play an important role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Read more
Image: binding of nNOS to the protein NOS1AP; Copyright: University of Turku

New approach for treating neuropathic pain

08/05/2018

Neuropathic pain is the chronic, pathological pain that continues even when the cause of pain is removed. Causes include damage to nerve cells and medicines used to treat cancer. A collaboration between research groups from USA and Finland has discovered a novel therapeutic that appears to interrupt the signaling cascades in the body required for multiple forms of neuropathic pain.
Read more
Image: elderly woman reading to a younger woman; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ridofranz

Higher aerobic fitness levels are associated with better word production skills in healthy older adults

01/05/2018

Healthy older people who exercise regularly are less inclined to struggle to find words to express themselves, research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered.
Read more
Image: abstract human head with illuminated brain; Copyright: panthermedia.net/agsandrew

Penn Medicine-led study reveals potential for more precise diagnosis and treatment of TBI

01/05/2018

New study presented at American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting.
Read more
Image: ocean view; Copyright: Sarah Bird/Michigan Tech

Meditation could help anxiety and cardiovascular health

27/04/2018

It sounds like a late-night commercial: In just one hour you can reduce your anxiety levels and some heart health risk factors. But a recent study with 14 participants shows preliminary data that even a single session of meditation can have cardiovascular and psychological benefits for adults with mild to moderate anxiety.
Read more
Image: Florescent cells in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex brain regions, with inset; Copyright: Andrew Moberly, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Fight, flight, or freeze

26/04/2018

"Take a deep breath" is the mantra of every anxiety-reducing advice list ever written. And for good reason. There's increasing physiological evidence connecting breathing patterns with the brain regions that control mood and emotion.
Read more
Image: fish counter; Copyright: Chalmers University of Technology

Eating more fish could prevent Parkinson's disease

25/04/2018

A new study from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, shines more light on the link between consumption of fish and better long-term neurological health. Parvalbumin, a protein found in great quantities in several different fish species, has been shown to help prevent the formation of certain protein structures closely associated with Parkinson's disease.
Read more
Image: Abnormally activated astrocytes were accumulated in the lesion of ALS mouse without TRIF signaling; Copyright: Koji Yamanaka

Innate immune adaptor TRIF confers neuroprotection in ALS mice by eliminating abnormal glial cells

20/04/2018

Researchers led by Nagoya University revealed that deficiency of the innate immune adaptor TRIF significantly shortened survival time of ALS mice.
Read more
Image: Young female radiologist is looking at pictures of the head and takes some notes; Copyright: panthermedia.net/mark@rocketclips.com

Radiology: machine learning to support medical diagnostics

08/03/2018

Automation makes work life easier in many ways but is it also a solution for analyzing medical images? Is a computer actually reliable enough to assist in the medical decision making process? Researchers in Landshut examine how machine learning algorithms can work more reliably and support radiologists.
Read more
Image: Zebrafish brain, fluorescence image (left) and 3D image (right); Copyright: private

"A 3D movie of the brain in action"

08/12/2016

Watching millions of neurons in the brain interacting with each other – for a long time this was possible only to a limited extent. The current techniques can visualize only superficial layers or the imaging they use is too slow. But now, Prof Daniel Razansky and his team have found a new method to visualize the brain activity – by using optoacoustics.
Read more
Image: Eileen Stark prepares Dominik Wetzel for a measurement; Copyright: WHZ/Helge Gerischer

Paraplegia: moving muscles using electrical impulses

22/11/2016

It happens about 1,800 times per year: after a sporting or traffic-related accident, a person’s spinal cord is injured to where nerve tracts are severed and he/she becomes paralyzed. Researchers now want to develop software that measures the brain signals of paralyzed patients and sends out electrical impulses via a system to stimulate muscles, causing them to move again.
Read more
Image: Closed eyes of a patient. Electrodes are attached above the eyebrows; Copyright: savir-center.com

Electrical Stimulation: Using Electrical Pulses to Combat Blindness

22/07/2016

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.
Read more
Photo: laboratory mouse eating something

Multiple Sclerosis: does the colon affect the immune system?

01/12/2015

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.
Read more

ECG measurements: "Our chest strap moistens itself"

01/07/2015

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.
Read more

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“

01/12/2014

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.
Read more

Persistent vegetative state: brain stimulation with laser beams

01/09/2014

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.
Read more

Diagnosing Parkinson's: the skin is revealing

01/07/2014

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.
Read more