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Image: purple luminescent shapes on black background; Copyright: Jacqueline Morris & Jaehee Lee, University of Pennsylvania

First DNA sequence from a single mitochondria

14/12/2017

DNA sequences between mitochondria within a single cell are vastly different, found researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
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Image: man in doctor's outfit holding a sign which says

How the cat parasite exploits immune cells to reach the brain

08/12/2017

Scientists have previously shown that a parasite from cats can infect people's brain and affect our behaviour. Now, researchers at Stockholm University have discovered how the parasite takes control of our cells.
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Image: depressed person sitting on a bench; Copyright: panthermedia.net/ikurucan

Researchers find link between excessive screen time and suicide risk

05/12/2017

New research presents compelling evidence that the more time teenagers spend on smartphones and other electronic screens, the more likely they are to feel depressed and think about, or attempt, suicide.
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Image: signs showing terms related to post-traumatic stress disorder; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Jacqueline2

Research finds patients with post-traumatic stress disorder respond differently to certain sounds

04/12/2017

Scientists at the Universities of Birmingham and Amsterdam hope to have found a new neurobiological marker to help recognise patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
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Image: Drawing of the human head, where one hand erases the brain; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Andreus

To forget or to remember? Memory depends on subtle brain signals, scientists find

30/11/2017

The fragrance of hot pumpkin pie can bring back pleasant memories of holidays past, while the scent of an antiseptic hospital room may cause a shudder. The power of odors to activate memories both pleasing and aversive exists in many animals, from humans to the humble fruit fly.
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Image: diagram with six representations of the brain; Copyright: University of Granada

Brains of children with better physical fitness possess greater volume of gray matter

30/11/2017

Researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) have proven, for the first time in history, that physical fitness in children may affect their brain structure, which in turn may have an influence on their academic performance.
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Image: young man with glasses in profile, with gears and symbols drawn around his head; Copyright: panthermedia.net/olly18

Smart people have better connected brains

28/11/2017

Differences in intelligence have so far mostly been attributed to differences in specific brain regions. However, are smart people's brains also wired differently to those of less intelligent persons? A new study published by researchers from Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany) supports this assumption.
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Image: Image shows the selective response of a subplate neuron to sounds; Copyright: Patrick Kanold

UMD neuroscientists identify source of early brain activity

16/11/2017

Brain cells that support early structural development also transmit sensory information; discovery could enable early diagnosis of autism and other cognitive deficits
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Image: Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D. works with a patient receiving an infusion of cells from umbilical cord blood; Copyright: Shawn Rocco/Duke Health

Umbilical cord blood improves motor skills in some children with cerebral palsy

06/11/2017

An infusion of cells from a child's own umbilical cord blood appears to improve brain connectivity and motor function in children with spastic cerebral palsy, according to a randomized clinical trial published this week by Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
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Image: A cryotherapy capsule; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Svetlana195

Study finds cold therapy may be effective at controlling cancer treatment side effects

23/10/2017

A new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute finds that cryotherapy, specifically having chemotherapy patients wear frozen gloves and socks for 90-minute periods, is useful for preventing symptoms of neuropathy.
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Image: Clipboard with restless-legs-syndrome written over it; Copyright: panthermedia.net/Boris Zerwann

Restless legs syndrome study identifies 13 new genetic risk variants

18/10/2017

A new study into the genetics underlying restless legs syndrome has identified 13 previously-unknown genetic risk variants, while helping inform potential new treatment options for the condition.
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Image: young woman sleeping; Copyright: panthermedia.net/pressmaster

New insights into how sleep helps the brain to reorganise itself

13/10/2017

A study has given new insights into how sleep contributes to brain plasticity – the ability for our brain to change and reorganise itself – and could pave the way for new ways to help people with learning and memory disorders.
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Image: proteins that stand guard at transmembrane channels in the walls of nerve cells; Copyright: Rice University/UTHEALTH

Nerve cells' gatekeepers take many forms

11/10/2017

Rice, UTHealth researchers use light-sensitive molecules to track proteins critical to cell signaling.
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Image: Immune cells are more activated (red) in the brains of mice with the gene TREM2 (left) than in those without the gene (right); Copyright: DAVID HOLTZMAN LAB

Alzheimer's gene poses both risk and benefits

10/10/2017

Study suggests role of inflammation in brain disease is complicated.
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Image: little boy falling asleep over his laptop; Copyright: panthermedia.net/WavebreakmediaMicro

Why do we fall asleep when bored?

09/10/2017

University of Tsukuba researcher discovers why we have the tendency to fall asleep in the absence of motivating stimuli, when bored.
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Image: transparent human head, showing the brain and firing synapses; Copyright: panthermedia.net/the_lightwriter

Researchers of TU Dresden have pioneered a brain-network bio-inspired algorithm to predict new therapeutic targets of approved drugs

29/09/2017

An international team of scientists led by Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci, Junior Group Leader of the Biomedical Cybernetics lab at the BIOTEChnology Center TU Dresden, has developed a powerful computational method that can exploit the principles of brain-network self-organization.
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Image: teenage girl sleeping; Copyright: panthermedia.net/christoph_dieterle

Teens come jet lagged to school – shifting sleeping patterns at weekends

27/09/2017

A lack of sleep is associated with more absence and teens turn up jet lagged to school on Mondays, as shown in a doctoral thesis by sleep researcher Serena Bauducco, at Örebro University, Sweden.
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Image: electrode next to a cent piece; Copyright: Christian Burkert

Stimuli fading away en route to consciousness

26/09/2017

Whether or not we consciously perceive the stimuli projected onto our retina is decided in our brain. A recent study by the University of Bonn shows how some signals dissipate along the processing path to conscious perception. This process begins at rather late stages of signal processing.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Graphic: human sacrum

"Neuromonitoring during lesser pelvis surgery is still uncharted territory"

08/05/2015

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“

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.
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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.
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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.
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