You are viewing AANS Neurosurgeon Volume 25, Number 3, 2016. View our current issue, Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 25, Number 3, 2016

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Cerebrospinal Fluid Shows Promise as Autism Biomarker

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Researchers from the UC Davis MIND Institute, University of North Carolina (UNC) and other institutions have found that altered distribution of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in high-risk infants can predict whether they will develop autism spectrum …

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How Can We Predict Whose MS Will Worsen?

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In older people with multiple sclerosis (MS), having fatigue and limited leg function is more often seen in people with MS progression than in those without, according to a preliminary study. “Study participants with those …

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Molecule Stops Fatal Pediatric Brain Tumor

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Children under 10 years old are primary affectedNorthwestern Medicine scientists have found a molecule that stops the growth of an aggressive pediatric brain tumor. The tumor is always fatal and primarily strikes children under 10 …

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Brain Plasticity: How Adult-born Neurons Get Wired-in

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New cells compete to 'win' synapse connections away from old cells, promoting network plasticity One goal in neurobiology is to understand how the flow of electrical signals through brain circuits gives rise to perception, action, thought, …

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Drug Compound Halts Alzheimer's-related Damage in Mice

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Appears to revers some neurological harmUnder ordinary circumstances, the protein tau contributes to the normal, healthy functioning of brain neurons. In some people, though, it collects into toxic tangles that damage brain cells. Such tangles …

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In Alzheimer's, Excess Tau Protein Damages Brain's GPS

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Finding may explain why many Alzheimer's disease patients wanderColumbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have discovered that the spatial disorientation that leads to wandering in many Alzheimer's disease patients is caused by the accumulation of …

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Common Epilepsies Share Genetic Overlap With Rare Types

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Precision medicine-based therapy may apply to wider range of epilepsies An international study led by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and NewYork-Presbyterian researchers has found that several genes previously implicated only in rare, severe forms of …

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Scientists: Observing Fear in Others May Change Brain

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Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists say observing trauma has implications"Negative emotional experience leaves a trace in the brain, which makes us more vulnerable," said Alexei Morozov, an assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion …

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Scientists Discover Concussion Biomarker

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Discovery takes guesswork out of concussion diagnosis and managementThe secret to reliably diagnosing concussions lies in the brain's ability to process sound, according to a new study by researchers from Northwestern University's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory. …

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Brain Generates Replacement Cells After Stroke

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UCLA researchers have shown that the brain can be impaired - and brain function can be recovered - after a stroke in animals. The discovery could have important implications for treating mind-robbing condition known as …

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Study Details Molecular Roots of Alzheimer's

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Cellular 'housekeeping' molecule's structure linked to neurodegeneration Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have detailed the structured of a molecule that has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease. Knowing the shape of the …

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How Kids' Brains Respond to a Late Night Up

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Any parent can tell you about the consequences of their child not getting enough sleep. But there is far less known about the details of how sleep deprivation affects children's brains and what this means …

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Healthy Living Equals Better Brain Function

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It should be obvious that those with greater self-control live a healthier lifestyle. After all, it takes self-control to exercise before work, or forego fried food for kale. But new research suggests living a healthier …

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ALS Study Reveals Role of RNA-binding Proteins

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Finding provides new therapeutic targetAlthough only 10 percent of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases are hereditary, a significant number of them are caused by mutations that affect proteins that bind RNA, a type of genetic …

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Exercise May Help Ward Off Memory Decline

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Exercise may be associated with a small benefit for elderly people who already have memory and thinking problems. The research involved people with vascular cognitive impairment, which is the second most common cause of dementia …

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Barrow Finds Correlations in TBI and Concussions

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Physicians and researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute have identified a link between domestic violence and traumatic brain injury. The findings could have important implications in the treatment of domestic violence survivors, both in medical and …

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New Technology Reveals Fetal Brain Activity

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Method makes imaging of moving subjects possibleNIBIB-funded researchers at the University of Washington have pioneered an approach to image functional activity in the brains of individual fetuses, allowing a better look at how functional networks …

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MS Drug May Revers Some Physical Disability

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A drug used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), alemtuzumab, was found to reverse some of the physical disability caused by the disease. Because it can cause serious side effects, alemtuzumab is generally used in people …

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Barrow Finds Correlation in TBI and Concussions

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Physicians and researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute have identified a link between domestic violence and traumatic brain injury. The findings could have important implications in the treatment of domestic violence survivors, both in medical and …

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Brain Cell 'Executioner' Identified

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Common culprit may cause damage in stroke, brain injury, neurodegenerative diseaseDespite their different triggers, the same molecular chain of events appears to be responsible for brain cell death from strokes, injuries and even such neurodegenerative …

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Can You Zap Your Brain Back to Health?

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Electrifying brain circuits may decrease depressive symptoms and chronic pain, but a USC scientist says we first need to see what the electric current is actually doingRather that taking medication, a growing number of people …

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Scientists Find New Path in brain to Ease Depression

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Promising new target for antidepressants to help those where others have failedNorthwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a new pathway in the brain that can be manipulated to alleviate depression. The pathway offers a promising new …

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Study Finds Alzheimer’s Manifests Differently in Hispanics

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Certain symptoms associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease, including agitation and depression, affect Hispanics more frequently and severely than other ethnicities. The findings, published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience (JNCN), suggest …

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TSRI Study Illuminates How Mystery MS Drug Works

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A study by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has helped to de-mystify the molecular workings of the multiple sclerosis (MS) drug Tecfidera®. The drug is the most widely prescribed pill-based therapy for MS, …

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Can Nicotine Protect the Aging Brain?

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Texas A&M research shows how this component of cigarettes might actually be beneficial on its ownEveryone knows that tobacco products are bad for your health, and even the new e-cigarettes may have harmful toxins. However, …

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Study Finds a Key to Nerve Regeneration

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Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a switch that redirects helper cells in the peripheral nervous system into "repair" mode, a form that restores damaged axons. Axons are long fibers on neurons that …

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Memory Loss Not Enough to Diagnose Alzheimer's

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Alzheimer's disease can have symptoms other than memory lossRelying on clinical symptoms of memory loss to diagnose Alzheimer's disease may miss other forms of dementia caused by Alzheimer's that don't initially affect memory. "These individuals …

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Study Reveals Weight Loss Drug's Effect on the Brain

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Results suggest drug could particularly benefit "emotional eaters"A weight-loss drug dampened the response to food cues in regions of the brain associated with attention and emotion, leading to decreases in caloric intake, weight and body …

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New Epilepsy Drugs Work by Jamming Brain Receptor

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Details from study in rat brain cells could lead to more effective antiepileptic drugs with fewer side effectsColumbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have discovered how a new epilepsy drug works, which may lead the …

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A New Angle on Anxiety

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Clinical anxiety affects up to 30 percent of Americans who are in great need of better treatments with fewer side effects. A study from Boston Children's Hospital finds that certain neurons in the hypothalamus play …

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How Sleep Deprivation Harms Memory

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Researchers from the Universities of Groningen (Netherlands) and Pennsylvania have discovered a piece in the puzzle of how sleep deprivation negatively affects memory. For the first time, a study in mice shows that five hours …

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Exercise can Tackle Symptoms of Schizophrenia

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Aerobic exercise can significantly help people coping with the long-term mental health condition schizophrenia, according to a new study from University of Manchester researchers. Through combining data from 10 independent clinical trials with a total …

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Treatment Option for Alzheimer's Disease Possible

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A research project has shown that an experimental model of Alzheimer's disease can be successfully treated with a commonly used anti-inflammatory drug. A team led by David Brough, MD, from the University of Manchester found …

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Seasonal Allergies Could Change Your Brain

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Hay fever may do more than give you a stuffy nose and itchy eyes, seasonal allergies may change the brain. Scientists found that brains of mice exposed to allergen actually produced more neurons than controls, …

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New Cause of Immune Neuropathy Discovered

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Patients suffering from so-called immune-mediated neuropathies frequently have a long medical record. As there are no diagnostic tests available to reliably diagnose the disease, the diagnosis is frequently made belatedly and patients can be misdiagnosed. …

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Motivation to Bully is Regulated by Brain Reward Circuits

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Researchers identify nerve cell communication between specific brain regions, providing insight for the development of new therapeutic strategiesResearchers used a mouse model to identify the mechanisms by which specific brain reward regions interact to modulate …

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Unlocking the Secrets of Nerve Regeneration

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Hokkaido University researchers investigated what makes a specific nerve cell in the brain regenerate when others do notNerves that are damaged with the central nervous system of adult mammals do not regenerate. However, granule cells …

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Shedding Light on Migraine Headache Relief

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Texas A&M College of Dentistry researcher uses revolutionary technique to reduce orofacial painWith patients who suffer from migraine, many find little relief with medications and are forced to suffer through the pain and sensitivity to …

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Natural Molecule Could Improve Parkinson's

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A natural molecule shows benefit in preliminary clinical trial for Parkinson's DiseaseAccording to many, the lack of dopamine in the brain is thought to be the cause of Parkinson's disease. Current treatments for Parkinson's include …

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Regenerating Memory with Neural Stem Cells

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Researchers look for better ways to reduce memory loss in people with age-related disorders Although the human brain can be malleable in certain ways, it is still subjected to the threat of age-related illnesses, such as …

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Is Beer Good for the Brain?

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Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can have negative effects on the brain. However, drinking light or moderate amounts may not have such a negative effect. There has been a lot of disagreement on the role …

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Mapping Neural Networks to Strengthen Circadian Rhythms

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Researchers in China have analyzed the network heterogeneity of the suprachiasmatic nucleus to ultimately reverse age-related decline in circadian rhythmMost people have experienced some sort of grogginess the morning after traversing time zones. This is …

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Social Objects in the Brain

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The study suggests that we experience symbolic objects as social entitiesIn a patient's mind, objects can simply, just be objects. However, in certain situations, objects can be symbolic objects that have a specific social meaning …

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Migraine Drugs Underused

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New research shows that more migraines could be safely treated with drugs that are known to constrict blood vesselsWith only 500 headache specialists in the U.S. to over 38 million sufferers, it is clear more …

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Clinical Study Suggests the Origin of Glioblastoma Subtypes

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Implications for personalized medicine and molecularly targeted therapies"It is now well-documented that cancers that look the same under the microscope actually contain different genetic changes, or mutations, and respond differently to therapy," said Clark Chen, …

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A New Player Revealed in Nerve Growth Process

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Role of adapter protein CD2AP in neuron sprouting discovered by University of Louisville researchers could lead to therapies for Alzheimer's disease, stroke recovery and spinal cord injury A protein that has been known for its function …

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Too Much 'Noise' can Affect Brain Development

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UCI study may help to better understand developmental disordersIn an effort to improve improve our understanding of developmental disorders, scientists at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), have determined that uncontrolled fluctuations, known as 'noise' …

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Small Nerve Fibers Defy Neuropathy Conventions

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Study suggests even prediabetes may cause nerve damageConventional wisdom and knowledge indicates that nerve damage occurs at the longest ends first in patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes. However, a recent study has shown …

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Social Objects in the Brain

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The study suggests that we experience symbolic objects as social entitiesObjects can just be objects or can have some sort of social meaning assigned to them. In this study, scientists found that patients can experience …

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Birth Control May Increase Risk of Seizures

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Women with a history of epilepsy who are taking oral birth control pills may be at increased risk for more frequent seizures. "We were inspired by an earlier study which surveyed women with epilepsy and …

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Mild TBI Linked to Eye Movement Impairment

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According to researchers at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USU), mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) could potentially be linked to eye movement impairment. This discovery can lead to potentially more effective ways of …

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A Way Toward Unlocking the Teenage Brain?

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The teenage brain is full of mystery. How does one commemorate a friend's face with either eyes and commit it to memory? How does that work? UO scientists are on their way to understanding how …

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Aging and Alzheimer's: Turning Back the Clock

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Cell's protein factory may hold key to stalling cognitive declineIt has been predicted that more than 100 million people will be affected by Alzheimer's disease by the year 2050 unless new treatments are discovered. Currently, …

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Long-Term Stress Erodes Memory

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This is the first study of its kind to link short-term memory and prolonged stress, such as that sustained by bullying victims, soldiers and those with demanding boss. Continued stress can erode memory, and the …

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Blueprint of Body’s Heat Sensor Discovered

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In a study published in the journal Nature Structural Biology and Molecular Biology, researchers describe the structure of a protein linked to pain and heat reception in the brain. An ion channel in the cell …

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Why Women’s Stroke Risk Changes Post Menopause

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According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology — Endocrinology and Metabolism, women's stroke risk may come down to a compound the body produces from estrogen, known as 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME). The findings from …

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Potential New Therapeutic Target for ALS

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A research team led by researchers from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center recently discovered a protein called Pur-alpha that is a component of stress granules in cells and may protect against the toxic degeneration …

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Aerobic Exercise Benefits Parkinson’s Patients

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Ongoing aerobic exercise may slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease, according to a report recently published in the journal JAMA Neurology. Aerobic exercise liberates trophic factors, which are small proteins in the brain that behave …

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Depression Risk Linked to Neuroplasticity

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Building on a 30-year, three-generation study of depressed individuals, their children and offspring, a study published in the journal Psychiatry Research provided a better understanding of the familial risk for depression and the role neuroplasticity …

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Window of Stroke Recovery Can Re-Open in Mice

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Using mice whose front paws were still partly disabled after an initial induced stroke, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported that by inducing a second stroke nearby in their brains, researchers were …

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Poverty Linked to Brain Connectivity Changes, Depression

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By analyzing the brain connectivity of 105 children, ages seven to 10, researchers from Washington University St. Louis found that key structures in the brain were connected differently in underprivileged children compared to kids who were being raised …

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Wireless, Dissolvable Brain Sensors Developed

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Brain sensors that can monitor intracranial pressure/temperature, and can then be absorbed by the body were recently developed by scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and engineers from the University of Illinois …

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How do Glioblastoma Cells Survive and Invade?

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The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) has identified a protein called SGEF that promotes the survival of glioblastoma (GBM) tumor cells and helps the cancer invade brain tissue. Researchers identified SGEF as a target for …

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Cell Taxonomy Identified in Mouse Visual Cortex

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In order to completely understand brain function, researchers need to understand the cellular building blocks of the brain, including the diversity of cell types. In a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, researchers from …

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In Vitro Model of Cockayne Syndrome Created

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The first, stem-cell derived in vitro cellular model of Cockayne syndrome (CS) was recently created by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. The findings, published …

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Odor Biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease

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In a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other collaborating institutions, researchers reported a uniquely identifiable odor signature from mouse-model studies of Alzheimer’s disease. According to researchers, the odor signature appears in …

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New EEG System Can be Used for Real-life Applications

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Bioengineers and cognitive scientists recently developed the first portable, 64-channel wearable brain activity monitoring system that’s comparable to state-of-the-art equipment found in research laboratories. The system is a better fit for real-world applications because it …

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Study Offers Potential New ALS Treatments

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In a study recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine announced their evidence-based description of the neuronal protein clumps thought …

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Hypnosis May Provide New Option for Awake Craniotomy

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A new "hypnosedation" technique discussed in a study published in the journal Neurosurgery explores hypnosis as a way to reduce the psychological trauma associated with awake craniotomy procedures. During the study, researchers evaluated their hypnosis …

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3D Footage Links Neurons with Motion and Behavior

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Researchers from Princeton University reported a technique in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that allowed them to record 3D footage of neural activity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a worm species …

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Study Sheds Light on Evolution of the Brain

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In a paper published in the journal Nature, written by researchers from Princeton University and Bell Labs, a study conducted on the evolution of the brain revealed how the brains of humans and other mammals are …

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Vitamin D Supplements May Benefit MS Sufferers

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According to a pilot study conducted by Johns Hopkins physicians, taking a high dose of vitamin D3 is safe for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and may help regulate the body’s hyperactive immune response. Although …

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Neurons Anticipate Body's Response to Food and Water

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Using leading-edge technology, neuroscientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) gained new insight into the brain circuitry that regulates water and food intake. In a new study, the team of researchers monitored the activity …

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Smart Fat Cells Cross the Blood-brain Barrier

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An MRI contrast agent that can pass through the blood-brain barrier will allow doctors to detect deadly gliomas earlier, according to researchers from Penn State College of Medicine. Contrast agents used to outline gliomas on …

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The Brain’s GPS Depends on Visual Landmarks

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In a recent study published in the journal Cell, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that space-mapping neurons have a strong dependence on what is being looked at when triangulating location — …

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How Music and Language Shape the Brain

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A Northwestern University professor recently delivered a lecture regarding a new biological approach to measure an individual’s sound processing ability. "Making sense of sound is one of the most computationally complex tasks we ask our brains …

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Brain Cell Death is Possible MS Trigger

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According to research published by researchers from the University of Chicago and Northwestern Medicine, multiple sclerosis (MS) may be triggered by the death of brain cells that make myelin. The death of these cells initiates …

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Little or No “July Effect” in Neurosurgery

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The “July effect” is the theory that more medical and surgical errors, and, consequently, greater levels of morbidity and mortality occur during July, the month during which fourth year medical students become interns and residents …

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How is a Developing Brain Assembled?

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A new, open-source software, described by researchers from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and the Center for Information Technology may help track the embryonic development and movement of neuronal cells throughout the …

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Researchers Find Internal Grammar in the Brain

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Research published in a recent issue of Nature Neuroscience supports Noam Chomsky’s theory from 1957 that humans have an internal grammar mechanism that underlies our processing of language and allows us to make sense of …

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Playing 3D Video Games May Boost Memory Formation

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According to neurobiologists from the University of California, Irvine, playing three-dimensional video games can boost the formation of memories and improve hand-eye coordination and reaction times. For their research, researchers recruited non-gamer college students to …

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Exploring New Paths for MS Treatment

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Research from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is trailblazing a potential new pathway for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The research, published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, examines a novel …

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Physicians and Burnout: It's Getting Worse

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Burnout among U.S. physicians is getting worse. An update from a three-year study evaluating burnout and work-life balance shows that American physicians are worse off today than they were three years earlier. These dimensions remained …

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Why Online Doctor Ratings are Good Medicine

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A growing number of health consumers are consulting online physician-rating sites when choosing doctors even if the value of those sites - whether they're reliable sources for information, or capable of driving improvements in health …

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New Metabolic PET Tracer Developed

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Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine recently devised a new way to allow for brain tumor tissue to stand out more during PET scans. In order to do so, researchers capitalized on the …

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Three-Minute Test Effectively Diagnoses Lewy Body Dementia

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Although Lewy Body disease (LBD) is the second-most-common degenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease, it is poorly recognized. However, a neuroscientist from Florida Atlantic University recently developed the “Lewy Body Composite Risk Score” (LBCRS) to quickly …

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Eye Drops Deliver Gene Therapy for Brain Disorders

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A research team recently developed a simplified approach for delivering and monitoring gene therapy for brain disorders. The group, from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), used eye drops to deliver the …

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Can Work Stress be Linked to Stroke?

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According to a meta-analysis published in the journal Neurology, having a high-stress job may be linked to a higher risk of stroke. The analysis looked at all of the available research on job strain and …

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Researchers Show How DNA Repair Proteins

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Researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies recently discovered critical details regarding how DNA repair proteins. The study, according to researchers, reveals fundamental mechanisms that distinguish DNA breaks at cellular and viral genomes to …

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Scientists See Motor Neurons 'Walking' in Real Time

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New technology developed by scientists from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies shows how spinal cord cells make connections with motor neurons, providing more insight into spinal cord injuries and neurodegenerative diseases, such as amytrophic …

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Scientists Use Sound Waves to Control Brain Cells

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A new way to selectively activate brain, heart, muscle and other cells using ultrasonic waves has been developed by scientists from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The technique, published in the journal Nature Communications, …

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Researchers Learn How to Grow Old Brain Cells

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Scientists from Salk Institute for Biological Studies recently developed a new technique to grow aged brain cells from human skin. During the study, fibroblasts (cells in connective tissue) from elderly participant donors were directly converted into …

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Childhood Brain Tumors Affect Working Memory

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Adult survivors of childhood brain tumors have lower working memory performance compared with healthy adults, according to research published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. The findings specifically showed that adult survivors of …

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Critical Care Nurses Can Promote Palliative Care

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According to an article recently published in the journal Critical Care Nurse, barriers to palliative care consultations prevent many patients and their families from discussing it with their team of health-care providers. The article, “Overcoming …

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Resveratrol Impacts Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarker

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In a study recently published in the journal Neurology, researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center found that a particular biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease stabilized when participants took a purified form of resveratrol, a naturally occurring …

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Expert Panel Advises Brain Health Screening

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A panel of world experts on aging who recently convened at Saint Louis University recommended that everyone, age 70 and older, have their memory and reasoning ability evaluated annually by a doctor or health care provider. …

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A New Biomarker for Migraine?

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According to a recent study published in the journal Neurology, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine may have discovered a new biomarker in the blood for episodic migraine. During the study, 52 …

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Unexplored Therapeutic Targets for ALS

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A new study presented at the 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology and Therapeutics, researchers from Johns Hopkins University identified an unexplored avenue of treatment for ALS. Endothelin (ET)-1, a small protein produced by …

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Levels of Dementia May be Stabilizing in Europe

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The number of people worldwide living with dementia is estimated to increase from 47.5 million to 75.6 million by 2030. However, researchers from the University of Cambridge recently collected data from five large epidemiological studies …

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Study Shows Potential for New Glioblastoma Treatment

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A completely new treatment for glioblastoma, which combines a common chemotherapy agent with T cells, may enter clinical trials following highly successful mouse-model studies. Researchers with the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of …

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Calendar/Courses

2017 National Neuroscience Review
March 31-April 1, 2017; National Harbor, Md.

Brain & Brain PET 2017
April 1-4, 2017; Berlin, Germany

Neurosurgical Society of America Annual Meeting 2017
April 2-5, 2017; Jacksonville, Fla.