Keyword: neurology

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Promising preclinical study results

Epilepsy: Gene therapy shows long-term suppression of seizures

Teams of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Medical University of Innsbruck have developed a new therapeutic concept for the treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy. It represents a gene therapy capable of suppressing seizures at their site of origin on demand. Having been shown to be effective in an animal model, the new method will now be optimized for clinical use.…

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Inherited neuromuscular disease HSP

Genetic cause for hereditary spastic paraplegia identified

Scientists at St George’s, University of London, in collaboration with researchers from Germany, the USA, Tunisia and Iran have identified a new gene associated with the neuromuscular disorder, hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). The study, published in Nature Communications, also highlights a potential mechanism for the disease, which is already being targeted in drug trials for Alzheimer’s…

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Rehabilitation

Hope for patients in vegetative and minimally conscious states

Non-invasive brain stimulation is to be trialed for the first time alongside advanced brain imaging techniques in patients who are minimally conscious or in a vegetative state. The study builds on promising results from the Centre for Human Brain Health at the University of Birmingham which suggested that non-invasive brain stimulation can improve the success of rehabilitation for non-responsive…

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Dangerous fever

Febrile convulsions: an early indicator for epilepsy in children?

Children who suffer repeated febrile convulsions have an increased risk of developing epilepsy and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression later in life. This is shown by a comprehensive register-based study from Aarhus University. The risk of febrile convulsions increases with the child’s fever, and approximately four per cent of Danish children suffer from febrile…

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Neurology

Overcoming the blood-brain-barrier: Delivering therapeutics to brain

For the first time, scientists have found a way that can effectively transport medication into the brain - which could lead to improved treatments for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. In a study, scientists from Newcastle University have led an international team in a major breakthrough in unlocking the secrets of how medications can infiltrate the brain.

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Interneurons

Epilepsy: When the function of "brake cells" is disrupted

In some forms of epilepsy, the function of certain "brake cells" in the brain is presumed to be disrupted. This may be one of the reasons why the electrical malfunction is able to spread from the point of origin across large parts of the brain. A current study by the University of Bonn, in which researchers from Lisbon were also involved, points in this direction. The results are…

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Brewing up brain benefits

Drinking tea improves brain health

A recent study led by Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Department of Psychological Medicine revealed that regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions – and this is associated with healthy cognitive function – compared to non-tea drinkers. The research team made this discovery after examining…

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Stopping the seizures

Epilepsy surgery: the earlier the better, study shows

A person with drug resistant epilepsy who gets an early surgical intervention has a better chance of becoming seizure free. This is shown in a systematic review and meta-analysis in which Sahlgrenska Academy researchers, in collaboration with the Swedish Council for Assessment of Health Technology and Social Services (SBU), analysed results from a range of previous studies. They concluded that…

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Macular degeneration as a biomarker

Eye scan shows diseases at an early stage

More and more people aged 50 and over are suffering from age-related vision disorders. According to the World Health Organization, in four out of five cases they could be avoided if they were diagnosed at an early stage. A European team of scientists, including the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena, has now researched a new method that will enable doctors to better…

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Nanotechnology

Tiny diamonds in the brain

The recording of images of the human brain and its therapy in neurodegenerative diseases is still a major challenge in current medical research. The blood-brain barrier, a filter system of the body between the blood system and the central nervous system, constrains the supply of drugs or contrast media that would allow therapy and image acquisition. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for…

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Improved motion range

Brace yourselves: Robotic neck support for ALS patients

A novel neck brace, which supports the neck during its natural motion, was designed by Columbia engineers. This is the first device shown to dramatically assist patients suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in holding their heads and actively supporting them during range of motion. This advance would result in improved quality of life for patients, not only in improving eye contact…

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Neurology

Key proteins for the repair of nerve fibers

Neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) shut down their ability to grow when they no longer need it; this is commonly accepted knowledge. This occurs normally after they have found their target cells and established synapses. However, recent findings show that old nerve cells have the potential to regrow and to repair damage similar to young neurons. The underlying mechanisms for this…

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Double danger

MS patients at a greater risk of cancer, new study suggests

New results of a 65-year follow-up study of nearly 7,000 Norwegian patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) suggest that patients may have a greater overall risk of developing cancer than the general population, with an especially high risk of cancer in respiratory organs, urinary organs and the central nervous system. Presented at the 5th European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Congress in Oslo,…

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Psychiatry

Leonardo da Vinci: pure genius or ADHD?

Professor Marco Catani suggests the best explanation for Leonardo da Vinci's inability to finish his works is that the great artist may have had Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. Leonardo da Vinci produced some of the world’s most iconic art, but historical accounts of his work practices and behaviour show that he struggled to complete projects. Drawing on these accounts, Professor…

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Up in smoke

Early exposure to nicotine predisposes brain to addiction

Neonatal exposure to nicotine alters the reward circuity in the brains of newborn mice, increasing their preference for the drug in later adulthood, report researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine in a study published in Biological Psychiatry. A UC San Diego School of Medicine team of scientists, headed by senior author Davide Dulcis, PhD, associate professor in the…

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Neurology

On-going malignant astrocytoma vaccine tests

A new vaccination for malignant astrocytoma brings such patients hope. However, research is still in its infancy. We spoke with Professor Michael Platten, Medical Director of the Neurological Clinic at Medical University Mannheim, about the present state of research and the serious opportunities this presents. During the interview, he also revealed how cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry…

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CMT, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

Study links key protein to Charcot-Marie-Tooth and other nerve diseases

A new study provides critical insight into a little-known, yet relatively common, inherited neurological condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). The findings point to a pathway to possible treatments for this disease and better understanding of other neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, that affect millions. The study focused on two related proteins, MFN2 and…

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Neurodegeneration

Study sheds new light on microglia

Inside the body, disease and injury can leave behind quite the mess — a scattering of cellular debris, like bits of broken glass, rubber and steel left behind in a car accident. Inside the central nervous system (CNS), a region that includes the brain and spinal cord, it is the job of certain cells, called microglia, to clean up that cellular debris. Microglia have counterparts called…

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Mineral menace

Multiple Sclerosis: Do zinc and iron play a role?

Some studies have suggested that minerals such as zinc and iron may play a role in how multiple sclerosis (MS) progresses, once people have been diagnosed with it. But little was known about whether zinc, iron and other minerals play a role in the development of the disease. A new study shows no link between dietary intake of several minerals and whether people later develop MS. The study is…

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Obsessive compulsive disorder

Targeted deep brain stimulation reduces OCD symptoms

The debilitating behaviours and all-consuming thoughts which affect people with severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), could be significantly improved with targeted deep brain stimulation, according to the findings of a new study. OCD is characterised by unwanted intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive stereotyped behaviours (compulsions- sometimes called rituals) and often means…

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