Neurology

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iPSC research

'Brain cell grafts' hold promise for reversing Parkinson’s symptoms

Grafting neurons grown from monkeys’ own cells into their brains relieved the debilitating movement and depression symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, researchers at the University of…

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Gender and medical career

Neurosurgeon, wife and mother of three: breaking social bias against women

Running a neurosurgery department when you’re a woman is rare enough, but if on top of that you’re a mother of three, you’re an exception. You’re also living proof that it is possible to…

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Brain tumour analysis

Glioblastoma '3D maps' help find new therapies

Researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona obtained a highly accurate recreation of human glioblastoma’s features using a novel 3D microscopy analysis. The study, published in the…

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Restoring proprioception after amputation

New surgery improves 'phantom limb' sensation, prosthesis control

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have invented a new type of amputation surgery that can help amputees to better control their residual muscles and sense where their…

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Microbiome research

'Organs-on-a-chip' system sheds light on interactions between gut and brain

In many ways, our brain and our digestive tract are deeply connected. Feeling nervous may lead to physical pain in the stomach, while hunger signals from the gut make us feel irritable. Recent…

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Aneurysm operations

4D simulation increases safety in brain surgery

Aneurysm operations in the brain rank among the most delicate procedures in neurosurgery. The highest demands are placed on surgeons when choosing the type of intervention, planning the route and…

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Alternative to traditional surgery

Focused ultrasound shows promise for Parkinson’s treatment

A scalpel-free alternative to brain surgery has the potential to benefit people with Parkinson’s disease symptoms that are much more severe on one side of the body, new research suggests. More testing is needed, but the approach, which uses a technology called focused ultrasound, could offer a new option for patients whose symptoms are poorly controlled by medications and those who cannot or do…

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Cloudy, with a chance of seizures

Creating a 'weather forecast' for epilepsy

Patterns of brain activity can be used to forecast seizure risk in epilepsy patients several days in advance, according to a new analysis of data obtained from clinically approved brain implants by neuroscientists at UC San Francisco, the University of Bern and the University of Geneva.

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Philips and InSightec partnership

Expanding access to MR-guided focused ultrasound for incisionless neurosurgery

Royal Philips and InSightec, a global healthcare company focused on the therapeutic power of acoustic energy, announced a collaboration to expand access to MR-guided focused ultrasound for incisionless neurosurgery. By developing compatibility between Philips’ advanced MR systems and the Exablate Neuro platform from InSightec, the two companies will support expanded access to MR-guided focused…

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Childhood cancer

Molecular super-enhancers determine progression of neuroblastomas

Childhood neuroblastomas display extreme differences in the way they develop: they can shrink spontaneously or spread aggressively to healthy tissue. It is molecular super-enhancers that activate the regulatory circuits that steer the tumor down one path or the other. These are the findings of research conducted by scientists from the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), the German…

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Exploring new principles for therapeutic agents

New class of inhibitors to protect against neurodegeneration

Neurobiologists at Heidelberg University have discovered how a special receptor at neuronal junctions that normally activates a protective genetic programme can lead to nerve cell death when located outside synapses. Their fundamental findings on neurodegenerative processes simultaneously led the researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences (IZN) to a completely new principle for…

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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.

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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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