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Neurological

Scientists have used Deep Brain Stimulation to successfully treat patients suffering from ...

Deep Brain Stimulation, in which a pacemaker-like device activates select regions of the brain via implanted electrodes, has been used to help people suffering from a variety of neurological problems. Just in the past few years, studies have explored its use for treating anorexia, Alzheimer’s, and memory disorders. Now, perhaps not surprisingly, scientists from Germany’s Bonn University Hospital have found that it also appears to do wonders for acute depression.  Read More

A nerve cell, with the myelin sheath shown in brown (Image: Shutterstock)

Myelin is a fatty tissue that covers the fibers between nerve cells – it’s not unlike the insulation on electrical wiring. When that tissue is compromised, the cells have difficulty communicating, and neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis can be the result. If the myelin of MS sufferers could be regrown, then it’s possible that the disease could be cured. Recently, a team of scientists successfully regenerated myelin in mice, using human skin cells that were reprogrammed into brain cells.  Read More

Fear, even irrational fear, can be a paralyzing influence on our life (Photo: Shutterstock...

An old saying tells us not to dwell on an unpleasant event. A new clinical study suggests the saying has both psychological and neurological support for its validity. Along with his advisors, Thomas Ågren – a doctoral candidate in psychology at Uppsala University in Sweden – has shown that it is possible to erase newly formed emotional memories from the human brain.  Read More

The prototype cooling vest and zeolite chamber

Lowering the body’s core temperature has been shown to decrease the likelihood of neurological damage in the event of oxygen deprivation. In a process known as “therapeutic hypothermia,” hospital medical staff will routinely administer chilled water blankets or insert cold drip catheters, in order to protect patients who have just experienced a cardiac arrest or stroke. What can be done, however, when someone has a heart attack far from a hospital? Well, in the near future, bystanders may be able to suit them up with a cooling vest – possibly saving them from permanent brain injury.  Read More

The SpikerBox is a scientific educational device, that lets you listen to the neural activ...

Neurons, the nerve cells that send and receive electrical signals within the body, are one of those things that most of us probably don’t give a lot of thought to. Educational entrepreneurs Timothy Marzullo and Gregory Gage, however, think about them a lot. They think about them so much, in fact, that they’ve designed a gadget that lets anyone listen to the neural electrical activity of bugs, and conduct a series of interesting experiments. It’s called the SpikerBox, and oh yeah – in order to use it, you have to take the leg off of a cockroach.  Read More

Ball and stick model of dextromethorphan - gray are carbon atoms, white are hydrogen, blue...

Sir James W. Black, M.D., F.R.S., the recipient of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Medicine once said, "The easiest way to find a drug is to start with one." Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc. obviously subscribe to Black's view as they have recently announced an exclusive license agreement that gives Avanir worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Concert's deuterium-modified dextromethorphan (d-DXM) for the potential treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.  Read More

A cerebral blood clot being aspirated from the body after capture by the Solitaire (Image:...

A new approach to stroke treatment initially developed by Dr. Jeffrey Saver's group at the UCLA Stroke Center combines the ability to restore circulation and remove clots using only a single device ... and it's showing significant promise in trials. In a study comparing the Covidien Solitaire FR Revascularization Device with the FDA-approved Merci Retriever, the device successfully and safely treated roughly 60 percent of stroke patients, compared to roughly 30 percent when the Merci Retriever was used.  Read More

A new compound, J147, could be the first drug capable of halting the progression of Alzhei...

Anyone who has watched as Alzheimer’s disease robs a friend or family member of their memories and faculties before ultimately claiming their life knows just what a truly horrible disease it is. According to the World Health Organization, it is the fourth leading cause of death in high-income countries and, due to an aging worldwide population, it is predicted to affect one in 85 people worldwide by 2050 – unless a treatment can be found. Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have high hopes for a new drug they have developed that has improved memory and prevented brain damage in mice and is a promising candidate for the first drug capable of halting the progression of Alzheimer’s in humans.  Read More

The ROBOCAST Project is developing a robotic system for assisting with keyhole neurosurger...

In keyhole neurosurgery, a small “burr hole” is drilled in the patient’s skull, and their brain is then accessed through that hole. The procedure is much less invasive than many other types of brain surgery, and can be used for things such as exploratory endoscopy, biopsies, blood and fluid sampling, cryogenic and electrolytic ablation (tissue removal), and deep brain stimulation. It is used to treat conditions including tumors, hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain), Parkinson's disease, Tourette syndrome, and epilepsy. For a neurosurgeon, however, it can sometimes be extremely exacting work – a slip of even a fraction of a millimeter can cause permanent brain damage. That’s why the European Union’s ROBOCAST (ROBOt and sensors integration for Computer Assisted Surgery and Therapy) Project is developing a robotic system to help out.  Read More

Researchers simulate schizophrenia in a computer (Image: Yellowcon)

One of the theories regarding the cause of schizophrenia suggests that, due to an excessive release of dopamine, the brain remembers too many irrelevant things. Schizophrenics are then overwhelmed by the vast amounts of facts, thoughts and memories all crammed together in their heads, and start processing them into conclusions that aren't based in reality. It's called the hyperlearning hypothesis, and researchers at the University of Texas in Austin recently tried to see if they could simulate it – in a computer.  Read More

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