Keyword: neurology

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Under pressure

Physician burnout cases are rising

Longer hours, more demanding working practices, complex cases and increased administration are taking their toll on physicians as growing numbers, across a range of specialties, report signs of burnout. All this despite technological advances such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to aid diagnosis, read and interpret images, improve workflow and enhance decision-making. Recognised…

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Choline

Essential nutrient holds promise against Alzheimer’s

In a new study, researchers at the Biodesign Institute explore a safe and simple treatment for one of the most devastating and perplexing afflictions: Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Lead authors Ramon Velazquez and Salvatore Oddo, along with their colleagues in the Arizona State University (ASU)-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center (NDRC), investigate the effects of choline, an important…

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Wireless WAND

Can 'pacemaker for the brain' help to treat neurological disorders?

A new neurostimulator developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, can listen to and stimulate electric current in the brain at the same time, potentially delivering fine-tuned treatments to patients with diseases like epilepsy and Parkinson's. The device, named the WAND, works like a "pacemaker for the brain," monitoring the brain's electrical activity and…

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Stem cell research

Brain confetti - why our sense of smell declines when we get old

As mammals age, their sense of smell deteriorates. In a study published in the journal ‘Cell Reports’, an interdisciplinary research team at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University Medical Centre Mainz investigated why this is the case. For their study, the researchers tracked the development of stem cells in the brains of mice using what are known as confetti reporters. They then…

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Brain health after surgery

Post-operative cognitive decline: mostly a myth, says study

Patients who undergo heart surgery do not experience major memory changes—either better or worse—when compared with those who have a much less invasive, catheter-based procedure, according to a study published online in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. “It was comforting to see that the differences in cognitive decline between the two heart procedures are small, even though one involves…

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Minds connected

Parents’ brains ‘sync up’ with their infant’s when they play together

When infants are playing with objects, their early attempts to pay attention to things are accompanied by bursts of high-frequency activity in their brain. But what happens when parents play together with them? New research, published in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, by Dr Sam Wass of the University of East London in collaboration with Dr Victoria Leong (Cambridge University and Nanyang…

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Treating post-stroke depression with magnetic fields

Obstetricians and midwives often warn new mothers about postpartum depression. They might mention what symptoms women should look out for—such as crying spells or extreme irritability—and where they can turn for help. But people who have strokes may not learn that they, too, are at risk for depression. Post-stroke depression stems from the cardiovascular changes in the brain that lead to a…

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Neurology

Focused ultrasound: CE Mark for Exablate Neuro

Siemens Healthineers and Insightec announce the CE clearance of Exablate Neuro compatible with Magnetom Skyra, Prisma and Prisma Fit scanners from Siemens Healthineers. Exablate Neuro uses focused ultrasound for treatments deep within the brain with no surgical incisions. MR imaging provides a complete anatomical survey of the treatment area, patient-specific planning and real-time outcome…

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Promising diagnostic tool

Tracing tau tangles against Alzheimer’s

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have identified in live human brains new radioactive “tracer” molecules that bind to and “light up” tau tangles, a protein associated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Two studies will be published back-to-back in the December issue of Journal of Nuclear Medicine—one as featured…

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Neuropathy

How to protect your feet from diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that can cause a host of accompanying problems, for example nerve dysfunction that can lead to diabetic feet. John Giurini, DPM, Chief of Podiatric Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, talks about where these complications come from and what can be done to deal with them.

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Photonic endoscopy

Fibre probe explores the depth of our brain

This could be a major step towards a better understanding of the functions of deeply hidden brain compartments, such as the formation of memories, as well as related dysfunctions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers from the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena and the University of Edinburgh have succeeded in using a hair-thin fibre endoscope to gain insights…

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Digital PET imaging

Digital Photon Counting improves diagnostic accuracy

Built as the first commercially available scanner to deliver truly digital PET, the Vereos PET/CT, from Philips, offers revolutionary Digital Photon Counting technology. The science behind this scanner evolution is ‘quite complicated’, agrees Piotr Maniawski, Director of Clinical Science Nuclear Medicine at Philips Healthcare, yet the improved performance is significant, particularly when…

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Promising predictions

Will MRI be able to predict dementia?

One day, MRI brain scans may help predict whether older people will develop dementia, new research suggests. In a small study, MRI brain scans predicted with 89 percent accuracy who would go on to develop dementia within three years, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of California San Francisco. The findings, presented at the…

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Neurosurgical operating theatre

Neurosurgery taught via Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) technology is aiding trainee surgeons to practise complex procedures in a simulated setting, rather than learning skills on real patients. VR is also helping to demystify neurosurgery in that it enables medical students and patients to ‘enter’ and experience a neurosurgical operating theatre. Alex Alamri, a trainee neurosurgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust in London, UK,…

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Neuro-research

Brain-computer interfaces: Getting a Grasp on how we think

A world where machines can be controlled by thought alone – such is the promise of so-called brain-computer interfaces (BCI). BCIs are both hardware and software communication systems that read brain and nerve signals, convert those into electrical signals and translate human thoughts into machine commands. Developers of BCIs rely on artificial intelligence, neural network models and big data…

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Neuroscience

"Neuropixels" neural probe to map brain activity

Imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, released and is making available its state-of-the-art high-density neural probe, Neuropixels, to the global neuroscience research community. With almost a thousand electrodes, and 384 recording channels on a single shank, the Neuropixels probe provides an unprecedented resolution for mapping brain…

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Glucose metabolism

Sugar and stress: how are they connected?

Chronic stress is a well-known risk factor for the development of psychiatric illnesses including depression disorders. The brain requires a great deal of glucose, and stress is known to alter glucose metabolism. However, if stress-associated mental impairments are linked to affected glucose metabolism remains to be seen. Researchers at the Department for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Mainz…

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Mysterious blackout

What happens when we lose consciousness during anaesthesia?

The first successful surgery under anaesthesia occurred in the 1840s. Since then—more than 170 years later—people have been developing theories about what might be going on in the brain while a person is unconscious. And many mysteries remain. Despite thousands of surgeries taking place each day in the United States, researchers still don’t understand exactly which specific areas of the…

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World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Robot helps with early screening for Alzheimer’s patients

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports as many as five million Americans had the disease in 2013. They estimate that by 2050, nearly 14 million will have it. Age is the best known risk factor and memory loss is at the forefront of symptoms. Researchers of the Michigan Technological University investigate how technology can…

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Research

Zika virus proteins inhibit brain development

In healthy individuals, the Zika virus causes flu-like symptoms. If a pregnant woman becomes infected, the unborn child can suffer from severe brain abnormalities as a result of mechanisms that have not yet been explained. A study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPI-B) shows that Zika virus proteins bind to cellular proteins that are…

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