Keyword: neurology

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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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Research

Link between obesity, the brain, and genetics

Clinicians should consider how the way we think can make us vulnerable to obesity, and how obesity is genetically intertwined with brain structure and mental performance, according to new research. The study, led by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), was an examination of MRI and cognitive test data from 1,200 individuals, supplied as part of the Human…

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Neurology

New potential biotherapy against Alzheimer's disease

Researchers at the University of Florida have discovered that a modified version of an important immune cell protein could be used to treat Alzheimer's disease. The study reveals that soluble versions of a protein called TLR5 can reduce the buildup of amyloid plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's disease model mice and prevent the toxic peptide that forms these plaques from killing neurons.

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Brain tumors

Researchers find missing immune cells that could fight glioblastoma

Glioblastoma brain tumors can have an unusual effect on the body's immune system, often causing a dramatic drop in the number of circulating T-cells that help drive the body's defenses. Where the T-cells go has been unclear, even as immunotherapies are increasingly employed to stimulate the body's natural ability to fight invasive tumors. Now researchers have tracked the missing T-cells in…

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Morbus Charcot-Marie-Tooth

CMT: Unlikely ally against deadly neuropathy

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is the most common hereditary neuropathy and affects more than two million people worldwide. In Germany, at least 30.000 people suffer from CMT which belongs to the class of rare disease. In a close collaboration, researchers at the Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Medicine and the University Medical Center of Göttingen now hope to use lecithin, a harmless…

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Dementia

Drinking will put your brain at risk (but then again, abstinence might, too)

People who abstain from alcohol or consume more than 14 units a week during middle age (midlife) are at increased risk of developing dementia, finds a study in The BMJ today. However, the underlying mechanisms are likely to be different in the two groups. As people live longer, the number living with dementia is expected to triple by 2050. So understanding the impact of alcohol consumption on…

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Brain cancer

Typical mutation in cancer cells stifles immune response

The exchange of a single amino acid building block in a metabolic enzyme can lead to cancer. In addition, it can impair the immune system. It thus blocks the body’s immune response in the battle against the mutant molecule and also impedes immunotherapy against brain cancer. This finding opens new insights into cancer development and progression and it also suggests that rethinking antitumor…

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Neurology

Waves move across the human brain to support memory

Biomedical engineers at Columbia Engineering have discovered a new fundamental feature of brain oscillations: they actually move rhythmically across the brain, reflecting patterns of neuronal activity that propagate across the cortex. The coordination of neural activity across widespread brain networks is essential for human cognition. Researchers have long assumed that oscillations in the brain,…

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Talent, magic, or a bit of both?

The science behind Michael Jackson’s dance moves

When was the last time you watched a Michael Jackson music video? If your answer is “never” or “not for quite a while,” you are really missing a treat. According to Rolling Stone, “No single artist … shaped, innovated or defined the medium of ‘music video’ more than Michael Jackson.” Back in the 1980s and early 1990s, MTV had only one format—music videos—and that genre…

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Gait analysis

What your walk says about your health

The way you walk can reveal current and future health problems. New research from Halmstad University suggests the use of wearable sensors for analysing your movement. This can potentially result in early detection of for example Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis and other neuro-physiological disorders. Many of our body systems, such as the cardio-vascular system and the…

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