brain

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Medulloblastoma

New insights into deadly brain tumours in children

The causes of 40 percent of all cases of certain medulloblastoma – dangerous brain tumors affecting children – are hereditary. These are the findings of a recent genetic analysis carried out by scientists from the Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and numerous colleagues around the world, which have just been published in the scientific…

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Enhancing cancer imaging

New contrast agent for early diagnosis of brain metastases

A group of researchers led by Leif Schröder from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) have found a way to detect metastases in certain types of cancer in the brain at an early stage, using only minimal amounts of contrast agent. To this end, the team uses a synthetic molecule that helps to detect the formation of new blood vessels, producing much more sophisticated…

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Smart algorithm

Automated analysis of whole brain vasculature

Diseases of the brain are often associated with typical vascular changes. Now, scientists at LMU University Hospital Munich, Helmholtz Research Centre for Environmental Health and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have come up with a technique for visualising the structures of all the brain's blood vessels – right down to the finest capillaries – including any pathological changes. So…

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Assessment of brain tumour treatment response

Developing AI algorithms for earlier glioblastoma detection

Novel advanced imaging biomarkers are being developed in a series of studies at several UK centres that may lead to the earlier assessment of treatment response to glioblastoma (GBM) and a better survival rate. Through a number of clinical trials – and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to retrospective data sets – the aim is to highlight approaches that will enable clinicians to…

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Glioblastoma

New imaging technique to study 3D printed brain tumors

Glioblastomas are complex, fast-growing malignant brain tumors that are made up of various types of cells. Even with aggressive treatment — which often includes surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy — glioblastomas are difficult to treat, leading to an average survival of 11-15 months. In research published in Science Advances, Xavier Intes, a professor of biomedical engineering at Rensselaer,…

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Behind the PICS

Causes for cognitive impairment after intensive care explored

People who have been treated in intensive care commonly suffer from residual cognitive impairment, but the reason for this is unknown. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet now link cognitive impairment with lasting inflammation and a potential treatment target. The results are presented in the scientific journal Intensive Care Medicine. Every year, some 40,000 people are treated in intensive care…

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X-Nuclei MRI

Oxygen provides insights into tumour metabolism

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) usually measures the magnetic moment of the hydrogen atomic nuclei arising from the spin. However, scientists at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) are investigating the spin of other nuclei for imaging: ‘X-nuclei imaging has a large potential for MRI imaging as the x-nuclei play an important part in many physiological processes,’ according to doctor and…

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Blood test & AI power

Early brain tumour detection – within minutes

A simple blood test coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) analysis could help spot the signs of a brain tumour sooner in patients. Brain tumour diagnosis is difficult: patients often see their family doctor (GP) several times before referral for a scan. However, research presented at the 2019 National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference in Glasgow last November suggests the…

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Medulloblastoma

Brain cancer mechanism might give insights into many tumour types

A surprising discovery about a rare form of childhood brain cancer suggests a new treatment approach for that cancer – and potentially many others. Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the supposedly simple cancer, called medulloblastoma, forms an unexpectedly intricate network to drive its growth. Some tumor cells actually turn into another type of…

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Look out!

Eye movement test confirms brain-ageing effects

University of Liverpool researchers have used a newly developed eye movement test to improve the understanding of how parts of the brain work. Healthy, older adults are widely reported to experience cognitive decline, including impairments in inhibitory control (the ability to stop ourselves thinking or doing things). However, because ageing effects on inhibitory control are highly variable…

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Finding treatment for Parkinson's disease

Synthetic neurons could take brain research to the next level

The body can recover from many things, but the damage caused by Parkinson’s disease isn’t one of them. No cure exists for Parkinson’s, which 1 million people in the U.S. are expected to be living with by 2020. But an outright cure isn’t the primary objective of research by Chongli Yuan, a Purdue University chemical engineering professor and leader of Purdue’s section of a…

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MRI & machine learning

A look into the genome of brain tumors

Researchers at Osaka University have developed a computer method that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and machine learning to rapidly forecast genetic mutations in glioma tumors, which occur in the brain or spine. The work may help glioma patients to receive more suitable treatment faster, giving better outcomes. The research was recently published in Scientific Reports. Cancer treatment…

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Dementia diagnostics

Lack of sleep might throw off Alzheimer’s test

A preliminary study has found that when young, healthy men were deprived of just one night of sleep, they had higher levels of tau, a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease, in their blood than when they had a full, uninterrupted night of rest. The study is published in the January 8, 2020, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Tau is a protein found in…

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Big data vs. neuroblastoma

Smart algorithm finds possible treatment for childhood cancer

Using a computer algorithm, scientists at Uppsala University have identified a promising new treatment for neuroblastoma. This form of cancer in children, which occurs in specialised nerve cells in the sympathetic nervous system, may be life-threatening. In the long term the discovery, described in the latest issue of the scientific journal Nature Communications, may result in a new form of…

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Stimulated Raman histology

Imaging system and AI algorithm accurately identify brain tumors

A novel method of combining advanced optical imaging with an artificial intelligence algorithm produces accurate, real-time intraoperative diagnosis of brain tumors, a new study finds. Published in Nature Medicine, the study examined the diagnostic accuracy of brain tumor image classification through machine learning, compared with the accuracy of pathologist interpretation of conventional…

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PET precision brain imaging

‘Tau’ protein far more predictive for Alzheimer's damage than amyloid

Brain imaging of pathological tau-protein “tangles” reliably predicts the location of future brain atrophy in Alzheimer’s patients a year or more in advance, according to a new study by scientists at the UC San Francisco Memory and Aging Center. In contrast, the location of amyloid “plaques,” which have been the focus of Alzheimer’s research and drug development for decades, was found…

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Biomarker for personalised treatment

Non-invasive technique to assess brain tumours in children

Ground-breaking research by the University of Birmingham has discovered a new technique to assess the aggressiveness of childhood brain tumours. Funded by Children with Cancer UK, Action Medical Research and The Brain Tumour Charity, the study is the first of its kind and will allow clinicians to give more personalised treatments for childhood brain cancers, which currently account for one third…

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Molecular map

Striatum: where our brain makes decisions

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have come one step closer toward understanding how the part of our brain that is central for decision-making and the development of addiction is organized on a molecular level. In mouse models and with methods used for mapping cell types and brain tissue, the researchers were able to visualize the organization of different opioid-islands in striatum. Their…

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Brain inflammation

AI could develop personalised psychosis therapies

A new multicentre study will investigate the link between brain inflammation and psychosis, and use artificial intelligence techniques to identify patients that might benefit most from novel treatments. The study, funded by UKRI Medical Research Council, is led by the Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge. Researchers will examine how and if activated inflammatory cells may act differently in…

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Chronobiology in colour

Will blue light ruin your sleep? Not necessarily

Contrary to common belief, blue light may not be as disruptive to our sleep patterns as originally thought – according to University of Manchester scientists. According to the team, using dim, cooler, lights in the evening and bright warmer lights in the day may be more beneficial to our health. Twilight is both dimmer and bluer than daylight, they say, and the body clock uses both of those…

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Machine learning for the mind

Astrophysics and AI team up for early dementia diagnosis

Crucial early diagnosis of dementia in general practice could improve thanks to a computer model designed in a collaboration between Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and astrophysicists at the University of Sussex. Currently, only two-thirds of people with dementia in the UK receive a formal diagnosis, and many receive it late in the disease process, meaning that a large number are…

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Lethal brain infection

How current treatment for fungal meningitis fuels drug resistance

A common first-line treatment approach for cryptococcal meningitis in low-income countries is being compromised by the emergence of drug resistance, new University of Liverpool research warns. Published in the journal mBio, the findings highlight the need to develop new drugs and treatment regimens for the lethal brain infection, which kills around 180,000 people each year. Cryptococcal…

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Molecular diversity

New insights into abnormal proteins in Parkinson’s disease and MSA

Parkinson’s and multisystem atrophy (MSA) – both of them neurodegenerative diseases – are associated with the accumulation of alpha-synuclein proteins in the brain. Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (MPI-BPC) have investigated the molecular makeup of these protein deposits finding structural…

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Malignant infantile brain tumours

​Epilepsy drug inhibits brain tumour development

Medication prescribed for a certain type of epilepsy may offer a new method for treating malignant infantile brain tumours. A specific mTOR inhibitor has the ability to cross the blood–brain barrier to both reach and attack the tumour at source. This has been demonstrated by researchers from Uppsala University, in collaboration with US and UK colleagues, whose research has now been published in…

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