MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Archives of neurology news blog


Go Back to the main neurology news blog

Subscribe To Health Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Archives Of Neurology News Blog From Medicineworld.Org


August 7, 2006, 11:58 PM CT

Best Memorization Strategies

Best Memorization Strategies
Exploring exactly why some individuals' memory skills are better than others has led researchers at Washington University in St. Louis to study the brain basis of learning strategies that healthy young adults select to help them memorize a series of objects. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers uncovered brain regions specifically correlated with the diverse strategies that subjects adopt.

Brenda Kirchhoff, research associate in psychology in the University's School of Arts and Sciences, conducted this study in the then-Washington University lab of Randy L. Buckner, now a professor of psychology at Harvard University and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Their findings have been published in the July 20, 2006, issue of Neuron. (Kirchhoff is the article's first author and Buckner is senior author.).

"Randy and I were interested in exploring individual differences in memory - why some people are better at learning new information than others," said Kirchhoff. "Our main goal was to determine the learning strategies that people use and their relationship to memory performance. Secondly, we wanted to know if individual differences in learning strategies were associated with individual differences in brain activity".........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


August 2, 2006, 11:43 PM CT

Easy Route From Nose To Brain

Easy Route From Nose To Brain
In a continuing effort to find out if the tiniest airborne particles pose a health risk, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers showed that when rats breathe in nano-sized materials they follow a rapid and efficient pathway from the nasal cavity to several regions of the brain, as per a research studyin the recent issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Scientists also saw changes in gene expression that could signal inflammation and a cellular stress response, but they do not know yet if a buildup of ultrafine particles causes brain damage, said lead author Alison Elder, Ph.D., research assistant professor of Environmental Medicine.

The study tested manganese oxide ultrafine particles at a concentration typically inhaled by factory welders. The manganese oxide particles were the same size as manufactured nanoparticles, which are controversial and being diligently investigated because they are the key ingredient in a growing industry -- despite concerns about their safety.

Nanotechnology is a new wave of science that deals with particles engineered from a number of materials such as carbon, zinc and gold, which are less than 100 nanometers in diameter. The manipulation of these materials into bundles or rods helps in the manufacturing of smaller-than-ever electronics, optical and medical equipment. The sub-microscopic particles are also used in consumer products such as toothpaste, lotions and some sunscreens.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


August 2, 2006, 9:23 PM CT

Basis For Perceptual Learning

Basis For Perceptual Learning
The artist's trained eye can detect distinctions others can't; musicians pick up subtle changes in tone lost on the nonmusical. Brain scientists call these abilities perceptual learning.

Following up on an accidental finding, MIT scientists at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and his colleagues have uncovered a mechanism for this phenomenon. The study will appear in the Aug. 3 issue of Neuron.

The original idea was to look at how visual deprivation affects the brain. But before mice in the experiment were deprived of vision, scientists recorded baseline measurements by showing them a striped pattern on a video screen.

Unexpectedly, the scientists observed that eventhough no change showed up during the viewing session, as few as 12 hours later the mice were more visually "tuned" to the pattern they had seen. Over several sessions, the mice's brain responses to the stripes increased, with the biggest responses occurring to stripes the mice saw more often. The scientists dubbed this change "stimulus selective response potentiation" or SRP.

"The properties of SRP are strikingly similar to those described for some forms of human perceptual learning," said Mark Bear, Picower Professor of Neuroscience and co-author of the study. As a result, "understanding this type of perceptual learning is important because it can reveal mechanisms of implicit memory formation and might be exploited to promote rehabilitation after brain damage. Detailed knowledge of how practice changes brain chemistry is likely to suggest new pharmacological and behavioral therapies to facilitate these changes.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


August 1, 2006, 7:07 AM CT

Study Frames Depression Treatment Puzzle

Study Frames Depression Treatment Puzzle
Reported in the August 2006 edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry, the study used electroencephalogram (EEG) measurements to demonstrate an association between eventual clinical outcome and regional changes in brain activity during a placebo lead-in phase previous to antidepressant therapy.

The findings suggest that factors such as patient beliefs and expectations, doctor-patient relationships, or therapy history help complete the therapy picture.

In this study, all subjects received blinded therapy with placebo for one week previous to receiving antidepressant medication. A "placebo lead-in" phase is usually used to familiarize patients with study procedures and to minimize the effect of any pre-existing therapy for depression. The placebo lead-in includes patient care, participation and therapy with placebo; the clinical impact is largely unknown.

This study is the first to assess the relationship between brain changes during the placebo lead-in phase and later clinical outcome of antidepressant therapy.

"Treatment results appear to be predicted, in part, by changes in brain activity found during placebo lead-in--previous to the actual use of antidepressant medication," said lead author Aimee M. Hunter, a research associate at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


July 31, 2006, 10:32 PM CT

An Eye-opening Look At Anesthesia

An Eye-opening Look At Anesthesia Dr. Emery N. Brown Photo courtesy / Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology
Raise your hand if you are more afraid of the prospect of general anesthesia than of surgery itself. If you raised your hand, you are not alone, as per the newest faculty member at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST).

Dr. Emery N. Brown, who explores what happens to the brain during anesthesia, began a dual appointment as professor of health sciences and technology and professor of computational neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) at MIT in October 2005.

"Anesthesia has taken on a mythical quality; it's not perceived as a neuro-physiological phenomenon," he said.

He describes the motivation behind his current research focus: "For a number of years, I was practicing anesthesiology, learning clinical skills in order to take care of patients, not thinking about how anesthesia affects patients. Then 10 years ago, when HST alum Dr. Greg Koski was the head of human studies at MGH, he said, 'It would be interesting to see an image, to see what happens when someone is under anesthesia.'" Brown was hooked.

"We say we induce anesthesia and then 'wake up' the patient," Brown said. "But in French the patient is reanime, or brought back to life. We haven't yet begun to think precisely about what we do, however. Anesthesia is not like sleep. It's not the same process".........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


July 29, 2006, 8:49 PM CT

Genetic Model For Parkinson's Disease

Genetic Model For Parkinson's Disease
In the mouse model generated by the research team, a gene called TFAM is automatically deleted from the genome in dopamine nerve cells only. Without TFAM, mitochondria cannot function normally. The so called respiratory chain is compromised and energy production decreases severely in the dopamine cells.

The new mice are born healthy from healthy but genetically modified parents and will develop spontaneous disease. Prior studies in the field have been based on scientists delivering neurotoxic substances to kill the dopamine neurons. In the new mice, however, mice develop disease slowly in adulthood, like humans with Parkinson's disease, which may facilitate research aimed at finding novel medical therapys and other therapies.

"We see that the dopamine producing nerve cells in the brain stem slowly degenerate", says Dr. Nils-Gran Larsson. "In the microscope we can see.

that the mitochondria are swollen and that aggregates of a protein, probably alpha-synuclein starts to accumulate in the nerve cell bodies. Inclusions of alpha-synuclein-rich so called Lewy bodies is typical for the human disease".

The causes of Parkinson's disease have long remained a mystery. Genes and environment are both implicated, but recently there has been an increased focus on the roles of genetic factors. It has been observed that mutations in many genes can lead directly to disease, while other mutations may be susceptibility factors, so that carriers have an increased risk of becoming ill. A common denominator for some of the implicated genes is their suggested role for the normal functioning of mitochondria.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


July 29, 2006, 8:13 PM CT

meditation and cognitive impairment

meditation and cognitive impairment
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine are examining the effectiveness of meditation on early cognitive impairment. Once this new study is completed, the results could help answer lingering questions over whether or not stress-reducing techniques and mind exercises can lessen or even prevent cognitive decline. This is the first study at Penn's new "Center for Spirituality and the Mind," which evolved from work initiated in Penn's Department of Radiology to embrace and encourage scientists from the fields of medicine, pastoral care, religious studies, social work, nursing, and bioethics to expand our knowledge of how spirituality may affect the human brain.

"We'll be looking at patients with mild cognitive impairment or symptoms of early Alzheimer's disease," explains Andrew Newberg, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology, Psychiatry, and Religious Studies, who also directs the Center's investigations and is Principal Investigator of this pilot study. "We'll combine their meditation with brain imaging over a period of time to see if meditation improves cognitive function and is linked to actual change in the brain's activity levels. Specifically, we'll be looking for decreased activity in specific areas of the brain".

The dementia process causes a decreased function of neurons in the brain and can result in problems with memory, visual-spatial tasks, and handling emotional issues. As it worsens in a patient, it can also eventually lead to the need for round-the-clock care.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


July 28, 2006, 9:35 PM CT

Brain In Action

Brain In Action
For the first time, researchers have been able to watch neurons within the brain of a living animal change in response to experience.

Thanks to a new imaging system, scientists at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have gotten an unprecedented look into how genes shape the brain in response to the environment. Their work is published in the July 28 issue of Cell.

"This work represents a technological breakthrough," said first author Kuan Hong Wang, a research scientist at the Picower Institute who will launch his own laboratory at the National Institute of Mental Health in the fall. "This is the first study that demonstrates the ability to directly visualize the molecular activity of individual neurons in the brain of live animals at a single-cell resolution, and to observe the changes in the activity in the same neurons in response to the changes of the environment on a daily basis for a week."

This advance, coupled with other brain disease models, could "offer unparalleled advantages in understanding pathological processes in real time, leading to potential new drugs and therapys for a host of neurological diseases and mental disorders," said Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa, a co-author of the study.

An unexpected finding.

Tonegawa, director of the Picower Institute and the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience at MIT, Wang and his colleagues observed that visual experience induces a protein that works as a molecular "filter" to enhance the overall selectivity of the brain's responses to visual stimuli.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


July 26, 2006, 5:42 PM CT

Regular Multivitamin Use Near Time Of Conception

Regular Multivitamin Use Near Time Of Conception
Pittsburgh, July 26 Women who are considering becoming pregnant may significantly reduce their risk of developing a common life-threatening complication called preeclampsia by taking a multivitamin supplement regularly three months before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy. This finding is being reported in a University of Pittsburgh study available online now through an "advance access" feature of the American Journal of Epidemiology. The paper is scheduled for publication in the Sept. 1 print issue of the journal.

Overall, women who used multivitamins regularly showed a 45 percent reduction in preeclampsia risk, as per the study. However, results were even more remarkable for women who were not overweight previous to pregnancy.

"Our data show that women who are not overweight before pregnancy and who used multivitamins at least once a week before conception and in the first three months of pregnancy reduced their risk of preeclampsia by a striking 72 percent in comparison to those who didn't take a multivitamin during this time period," said Lisa Bodnar, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH). "At this time, multivitamin use makes little apparent difference in preeclampsia rates for women who are overweight before pregnancy. Even so, the results suggest that regular multivitamin use in the pre-pregnancy period may help to prevent preeclampsia".........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


July 26, 2006, 4:54 PM CT

how much the eye tells the brain

how much the eye tells the brain
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine estimate that the human retina can transmit visual input at about the same rate as an Ethernet connection, one of the most common local area network systems used today. They present their findings in the recent issue of Current Biology. This line of scientific questioning points to ways in which neural systems compare to artificial ones, and can ultimately inform the design of artificial visual systems.

Much research on the basic science of vision asks what types of information the brain receives; this study instead asked how much. Using an intact retina from a guinea pig, the scientists recorded spikes of electrical impulses from ganglion cells using a miniature multi-electrode array. The researchers calculate that the human retina can transmit data at roughly 10 million bits per second. By comparison, an Ethernet can transmit information between computers at speeds of 10 to 100 million bits per second.

The retina is actually a piece of the brain that has grown into the eye and processes neural signals when it detects light. Ganglion cells carry information from the retina to the higher brain centers; other nerve cells within the retina perform the first stages of analysis of the visual world. The axons of the retinal ganglion cells, with the support of other types of cells, form the optic nerve and carry these signals to the brain.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source



Older Blog Entries   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16  

Did you know?
The drug Ativan is better than Valium or Dilantin for controlling severe epileptic seizures, according to a new review of studies.Ativan, or lorazepam, and Valium, or diazepam, are both benzodiazepines, the currently preferred class of drugs for treating severe epileptic seizures. Dilantin, or phenytoin, is an anticonvulsant long used for the treatment of epileptic seizures.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of neurology news blog

Acute bacterial meningitis| Alzheimer's disease| Carpal tunnel syndrome| Cerebral aneurysms| Cerebral palsy| Chronic fatigue syndrome| Cluster headache| Dementia| Epilepsy seizure disorders| Febrile seizures| Guillain barre syndrome| Head injury| Hydrocephalus| Neurology| Insomnia| Low backache| Mental retardation| Migraine headaches| Multiple sclerosis| Myasthenia gravis| Neurological manifestations of aids| Parkinsonism parkinson's disease| Personality disorders| Sleep disorders insomnia| Syncope| Trigeminal neuralgia| Vertigo|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.