Keyword: brain

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Diagnostic disorder

Psychiatric diagnosis ‘scientifically worthless’, says study

A new study has concluded that psychiatric diagnoses are scientifically worthless as tools to identify discrete mental health disorders. The study, published in Psychiatry Research and led by researchers from the University of Liverpool, involved a detailed analysis of five key chapters of the latest edition of the widely used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), on ‘schizophrenia’,…

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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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Virtual reality

VR spots navigation problems in early Alzheimer’s disease

Virtual reality (VR) can identify early Alzheimer’s disease more accurately than ‘gold standard’ cognitive tests currently in use, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge. The study highlights the potential of new technologies to help diagnose and monitor conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, which affects more than 525,000 people in the UK. In 2014, Professor John…

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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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Dementia pathway

Is LATE the new Alzheimer’s?

A recently recognized brain disorder that mimics clinical features of Alzheimer’s disease has for the first time been defined with recommended diagnostic criteria and other guidelines for advancing and catalyzing future research. Scientists from several National Institutes of Health-funded institutions, in collaboration with international peers, described the newly-named pathway to dementia,…

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Post-cancer impairment

'Chemobrain': New biomarkers found

Cognitive impairment associated with cancer, also known as “chemobrain”, has gained recognition as a complication of the disease and its treatment, as it can negatively affect the daily lives of cancer patients and survivors. Chemobrain can be subtle yet persistent, with some cancer patients reporting difficulties related to memory and attention even months after completing their treatment.…

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Antisocial behaviour

How the brain of children with conduct disorder is different

Behavioural problems in young people with severe antisocial behaviour – known as conduct disorder – could be caused by differences in the brain’s wiring that link the brain’s emotional centres together, according to new research led by the University of Birmingham. Conduct disorder affects around 1 in 20 children and teenagers and is one of the most common reasons for referral to child…

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Magnetic resonance elastography

Faster than fMRI: Seeing brain activity in ‘almost real time’

The speed of the human brain is remarkable. Almost immediately upon being exposed to stimuli, neurons are activated, prompting subconscious reactions and, a fraction of a second later, thought. But the speed at which we can noninvasively follow brain function using an MRI is not as impressive. Functional MRI (fMRI), which measures changes in blood-oxygen levels, has revolutionized neuroscience by…

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Preventing toxic plaques

Key step forward in tackling neurodegenerative diseases

A protein complex has been shown to play a key role in preventing the build-up of toxic plaques in the brain linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. An international team of researchers from the Universities of Leeds, Stanford (USA) and Konstanz (Germany) have discovered that the nascent polypeptide-associated complex (NAC) helps to prevent the…

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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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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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Spatial cognition and neurodegeneration

When the compass fails

Where are we coming from? Where are we going? Where are we right now? Our sense of spatial orientation – a complex interaction of various cells in the brain – gives us answers to these questions. In November 2018, around 70 experts in Magdeburg discussed changes in this navigation system induced by age and illness at the ‘Interdisciplinary Symposium on Spatial Cognition in Aging and…

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At age 2

AI and MRIs at birth can predict cognitive development

Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine used MRI brain scans and machine learning techniques at birth to predict cognitive development at age 2 years with 95 percent accuracy. “This prediction could help identify children at risk for poor cognitive development shortly after birth with high accuracy,” said senior author John H. Gilmore, MD, Thad and Alice Eure…

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Some problems remain

Some children can 'recover' from autism

Research in the past several years has shown that children can outgrow a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), once considered a lifelong condition. In a new study, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System have found that the vast majority of such children still have difficulties that require therapeutic and educational support.

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Glioblastoma

Researchers block protein to stop brain tumors' self-repair

Researchers at the San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at University of California San Diego, with colleagues around the country, report that inhibiting activity of a specific protein in glioblastomas (GBM) boosts their sensitivity to radiation, thus improving treatment prospects for one of the most common and aggressive forms of brain cancer. The findings are published…

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Maps of the brain

7-Tesla MR enters clinical routine

Ultra-high-field magnetic resonance tomography with field strength of seven-Tesla is slowly but surely entering clinical routine. ‘Thanks to very high spatial and spectral resolution, ultra-high-field MR permits detailed views of the human anatomy and can show precisely the metabolic processes such as those in the brain,’ emphasised Professor Siegfried Trattnig, head of the Excellence Centre…

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T-2-weighted imaging

When the brain turns white

White matter on the brain is a difficult subject. Even the terminology is varied, making differential diagnosis complex. An understanding of prevalence and of the tools available to facilitate the diagnosis of individual diseases is important, Dr Gunther Fesl, radiologist at Praxis Radiologie Augsburg, explains. ‘Differential diagnosis of white matter on the brain is difficult. Even the…

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Aggressive brain tumors

Progress in the treatment of glioblastoma

Cancer researchers at the University of Bonn have reported significant progress in the treatment of glioblastoma. About one third of all patients suffer from a particular variant of this most common and aggressive brain tumor. Survival of these patients treated with the new combination therapy increased on average by nearly half compared to patients who received the standard therapy.

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