#neurology

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Overheard at AAIC 2020

Exciting Alzheimer's findings: ’flu vaccines and P-tau217

More than 32,000 people from over 160 countries registered for The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC 2020) in July. This largest and most influential international conference on dementia science had to be held virtually this year, when important highlights were aired. The ability to identify individuals at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), or at early…

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Zika and chikungunya

Mosquito-borne viruses could cause stroke

A deadly combination of two mosquito-borne viruses may be a trigger for stroke, new research published in the The Lancet Neurology has found. University of Liverpool researchers and Brazilian collaborators have been investigating the link between neurological disease and infection with the viruses Zika and chikungunya. These viruses, which mostly circulate in the tropics, cause large outbreaks of…

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Origins of the disease(s) explained

Parkinson's: not one, but two diseases?

Although the name may suggest otherwise, Parkinson's disease is not one but two diseases, starting either in the brain or in the intestines. Which explains why patients with Parkinson’s describe widely differing symptoms, and points towards personalised medicine as the way forward for people with Parkinson's disease. This is the conclusion of a study which has just been published in the leading…

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The network remembers

Brain-inspired memory abilities to make AI less 'forgetful'

Artificial intelligence (AI) experts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Baylor College of Medicine report that they have successfully addressed what they call a “major, long-standing obstacle to increasing AI capabilities” by drawing inspiration from a human brain memory mechanism known as “replay.” First author and postdoctoral researcher Gido van de Ven and principal…

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Neuronal disorder

Tracking the onset of ataxias

“Spinocerebellar ataxias” are diseases of the nervous system associated with a loss of motor coordination. A European research alliance headed by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn has now registered whether and how symptoms of ataxia developed over the years in around 250 persons at risk, who initially did not show symptoms. This is the first…

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Neuroradiology

Alzheimer’s research: A lost century

Lack of understanding around Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has significantly slowed advances in the treatment of this incurable condition. Imaging has proved to be reliable in differentiating between AD and other forms of dementia, and its contribution will continue to help develop profiling, an increasingly interesting approach for the development of new and more efficient drugs, according to Sven…

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Neuro-oncology

Challenges in brain tumour segmentation

Neuroradiologist Dr Sofie Van Cauter described the challenges to brain tumour image segmentation during the European Society of Medical Imaging Informatics (EuSoMII) annual meeting in Valencia. She also outlined how, when clinically validated, AI could help tackle such problems. The WHO classification of brain tumours has come a long way since first introduced in 1979. The 2016 classification was…

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Relief for amputees

'Virtual hand' training reduces phantom limb pain

Phantom-limb pain is as mysterious as the name implies. The vast majority of amputees experience “phantom-limb” sensations that make them feel their missing limb is still part of their body. The cause is still unknown, and 50% to 80% of the cases, the sensations are painful. With no established treatments or medication, phantom-limb pain can have a large impact on the quality of life and…

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Neurology research

Calcium channel subunits play a major role in autistic disorders

The ability of the human brain to process and store information is determined to a large extent by the connectivity between nerve cells. Chemical synapses are very important in this context as they constitute the interface for the transmission of information between individual nerve cells. Abnormalities in the formation of synapses cause many neurological disorders such as autism. Neurobiologists…

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Prevention research

These 10 risk factors must be tackled to prevent Alzheimer's

There are at least 10 risk factors that appear to have a significant impact on a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease that could be targeted with preventative steps, new research suggests. Focusing on these factors, which include cognitive activity, high body mass index in late life, depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure, could provide clinicians with an evidence…

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From the MS Experts Summit

An update on MR imaging in Multiple Sclerosis

This year’s ”MS Experts Summit” sees 18 clinicians and researchers convene online for seven sessions during this summer. Under the motto “People with MS: 360º evidence-based daily management” international speakers with expertise in various domains of multiple sclerosis (MS) exchange their latest advances in managing patients suffering from this disease. In his talk “MRI imaging in…

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Immune system overreaction

Sepsis can cause long-term damage in the brain

Infections can trigger a particularly strong immune reaction of the body (termed sepsis). In such a sepsis the immune system reacts so strongly that not only the pathogens but also tissues and organs are damaged. In a study with mice, researchers from the Technische Universität Braunschweig were able to show that sepsis can have long-term effects on the brain and learning behaviour even after…

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Lesion differentiation

AI successfully identifies different types of brain injuries

Researchers have developed an AI algorithm that can detect and identify different types of brain injuries. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London, have clinically validated and tested the AI on large sets of CT scans and found that it was successfully able to detect, segment, quantify and differentiate different types of brain lesions. Their results,…

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First biomarker for regenerative medicine

MRI predicts efficacy of stem cell therapy for brain injury

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Loma Linda University Health have demonstrated the promise of applying magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to predict the efficacy of using human neural stem cells to treat a brain injury—a first-ever “biomarker” for regenerative medicine that could help personalize stem cell treatments for neurological disorders and improve…

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Neuro-infection

Can COVID-19 infect the brain?

As COVID-19 spreads throughout the country, much attention has been paid to the devastating effects of the virus on the lungs. But doctors are learning how the virus may affect other organs, including the brain. Some patients with COVID-19 have had neurological symptoms, which may include an increased risk of stroke. Other symptoms may include headache, loss of the senses of smell and taste,…

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Coronavirus disease symptom

Exploring why COVID-19 makes people lose their sense of smell

Doctors have reported that partial or total loss of the sense of smell is often an early symptom of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Chemical Neuroscience have shown that in mice, two proteins required for SARS-CoV-2 entry are produced by cells of the nasal cavity that contribute to odor detection. Moreover, larger amounts of the…

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Physical contact research

Two people, one MRI: The science of cuddling

Researchers at Aalto University and Turku PET Centre have developed a new method for simultaneous imaging brain activity from two people, allowing them to study social interaction. In a recent study, the researchers scanned brain activity from 10 couples. Each couple spent 45 minutes inside the MRI scanner in physical contact with each other. The objective of the study was to examine how social…

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A look at oligodendrocytes

Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the University of North Carolina have mapped out the cell types behind various brain disorders. The findings are published in Nature Genetics and offer a roadmap for the development of new therapies to target neurological and psychiatric disorders.

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Smart algorithm

Automated analysis of whole brain vasculature

Diseases of the brain are often associated with typical vascular changes. Now, scientists at LMU University Hospital Munich, Helmholtz Research Centre for Environmental Health and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have come up with a technique for visualising the structures of all the brain's blood vessels – right down to the finest capillaries – including any pathological changes. So…

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Assessment of brain tumour treatment response

Developing AI algorithms for earlier glioblastoma detection

Novel advanced imaging biomarkers are being developed in a series of studies at several UK centres that may lead to the earlier assessment of treatment response to glioblastoma (GBM) and a better survival rate. Through a number of clinical trials – and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to retrospective data sets – the aim is to highlight approaches that will enable clinicians to…

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Finding treatment for Parkinson's disease

Synthetic neurons could take brain research to the next level

The body can recover from many things, but the damage caused by Parkinson’s disease isn’t one of them. No cure exists for Parkinson’s, which 1 million people in the U.S. are expected to be living with by 2020. But an outright cure isn’t the primary objective of research by Chongli Yuan, a Purdue University chemical engineering professor and leader of Purdue’s section of a…

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Dementia diagnostics

Lack of sleep might throw off Alzheimer’s test

A preliminary study has found that when young, healthy men were deprived of just one night of sleep, they had higher levels of tau, a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease, in their blood than when they had a full, uninterrupted night of rest. The study is published in the January 8, 2020, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Tau is a protein found in…

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