Keyword: brain

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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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Glioblastoma

Building a better model for brain tumours

A research team led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham is launching a study to find a better model for glioblastoma, a particularly devastating type of brain tumour, to help determine the most appropriate treatment modality. The $3.6 million, five-year U01 grant award is funded by the National Cancer Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health. The UAB team will join four other…

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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

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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Cerebrovascular disease

Stroke deaths decrease all over Europe – but it's too early to cheer

New research, published in the European Heart Journal, has shown deaths from conditions that affect the blood supply to the brain, such as stroke, are declining overall in Europe but that in some countries the decline is levelling off or death rates are even increasing. Cerebrovascular disease includes strokes, mini-strokes, and narrowing, blockage or rupturing of the blood vessels supplying…

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Reinforced learning

AI masters tightrope walk of cancer treatment dosage

Using a new approach called 'reinforced learning', researchers have taught an artificial intelligence (AI) to responsibly choose the right amount of chemo- and radiotherapy for glioblastoma patients. The technique, which is insprired by behavioural psychology, has given the AI the ability to master the tightrope walk between effective tumor shrinkage and the medications' severe side effects.

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Neural development

Why our brains fold the way they do

Everyone knows what our brains look like – but why is it folded up like that? Looking at other species reveals much less folding or even none at all. Scientists in Dresden, Germany, have now taken a closer look at the ridges and grooves of human brains. They discovered what causes our brains to fold – and what happens when the folding process goes wrong.

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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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Tumor research

Growing brain cancer in a dish

Austrian researchers have accomplished an astounding feat: They created organoids that mimic the onset of brain cancer. This method not only sheds light on the complex biology of human brain tumors but could also pave the way for new medical applications.

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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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