background preloader

Brain damage

Facebook Twitter

VS Ramachandran: 3 clues to understanding your brain. Scientists Identify A Mechanism That Facilitates Brain Repair Following Stroke. A decade ago, Zaal Kokaia and Olle Lindvall of the Lund Stem Cell Center in Sweden revealed that neural stem cells can respond to emergency traumas, such as a stroke, and differentiate into neural cells to replace those that have been damaged or killed. They have now contributed to another study which reveals another mechanism by which the brain attempts to repair itself and regain function following a stroke. The principal investigator on the study was Jonas Frisén of Lund University, and the paper was published in Science.

Strokes, or cerebrovascular accidents, affect 795,000 people per year in the United States. They occur when there is a blockage in the blood supply to the brain, resulting in death of brain cells and a loss of motor, neural, and sensory function. After a stroke, the brain can undergo neurogenesis and begin to grow new cells to replace those that have been lost. The discovery was made when the team studied mice who experienced a stroke.

Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain - health - 10 September 2014. DON'T mind the gap. A woman has reached the age of 24 without anyone realising she was missing a large part of her brain. The case highlights just how adaptable the organ is. The discovery was made when the woman was admitted to the Chinese PLA General Hospital of Jinan Military Area Command in Shandong Province complaining of dizziness and nausea. She told doctors she'd had problems walking steadily for most of her life, and her mother reported that she hadn't walked until she was 7 and that her speech only became intelligible at the age of 6. Doctors did a CAT scan and immediately identified the source of the problem – her entire cerebellum was missing (see scan, below left).

The cerebellum – sometimes known as the "little brain" – is located underneath the two hemispheres. Although it is not unheard of to have part of your brain missing, either congenitally or from surgery, the woman joins an elite club of just nine people who are known to have lived without their entire cerebellum. VS Ramachandran: 3 clues to understanding your brain. Diagnosing a zombie: Brain and body - Tim Verstynen & Bradley Voytek. Into Thin Air: Mountain Climbing Kills Brain Cells. Three attributes of a good mountaineer are high pain threshold, bad memory, and ... I forget the third.

—Joke in a mountaineering Internet chat room IN THE LATE 1890s in a laboratory atop a 4,554-meter peak in the Monta Rosa range in the Italian Alps, physiologist Angelo Mosso made the first direct observations of the effects of high altitude on the human brain: by eye and with an apparatus he designed, Mosso peeked into the skull of a man whose brain had been partly exposed in an accident, observing changes in swelling and pulsation.

Now a similar experiment has been done with noninvasive brain imaging, and for those of us who love to climb the results are not elevating. Neurologist Nicolás Fayed and his colleagues in Zaragoza, Spain, performed MRI brain scans on 35 climbers (12 professionals and 23 amateurs) who had returned from high-altitude expeditions, including 13 who had attempted Everest. What Gives in a Climber’s Brain? Lack of oxygen can directly damage brain cells. Cellphones Cause Cancer. No, They Don't! Yes, They Do! Eggs used to be in the news all the time. One month they were good for you, the next month, bad. Morning talk shows and television commercials would trot out expert after expert to volley the conflicting health claims back and forth. But while there is a legitimate debate over the cholesterol content of egg yolks and whether that cholesterol is ultimately bad for you or not, the analogous debate getting airtime these days is not much of debate at all: whether cellphones cause brain cancer.

Every year or so, a new study claims evidence for a link between cellphone radiation and brain cancer. This week, the London Independent is reporting on a paper by Dr. Vini Khurana, a neurosurgeon trained in Australia and America. His conclusions place the public health consequences of mobile phone use on a scale greater than asbestos and smoking. Those older studies don't carry much weight in the face of the latest research on the other side of the equation. Scientists Paint Brain Tumors With Nanoparticles for More Precise Removal. Brain cancer is a classic double whammy: the extremely invasive form of cancer is both deadly and difficult to treat. Fortunately, there's a promising solution on the table: tumor painting. Because brain cancer tends to invade surrounding healthy brain tissue, it blurs the line between tumor and non-tumor tissue, and makes it difficult for surgeons to circumvent the healthy parts of the brain when they saw away at the tumor.

On top of that, current imaging techniques produce fairly imprecise representations of the tissue, which only compounds the problem. But now, researchers at the University of Washington have found that they can illuminate mouse brain tumors (and thus distinguish them from surrounding tissue in MRIs and optical imaging) by injecting fluorescent nanoparticles into the rodents' bloodstream. To reach the tumor, the nanoparticles have to traverse the blood-brain barrier, an almost impervious gate that protects the brain from infection. [Via ScienceDaily] A Squirt of Stem Cell Gel Heals Brain Injuries. Scientists have developed a gel that helps brains recover from traumatic injuries. It has the potential to treat head injuries suffered in combat, car accidents, falls, or gunshot wounds.

Developed by Dr. Ning Zhang at Clemson University in South Carolina, the gel is injected in liquid form at the site of injury and stimulates the growth of stem cells there. Brain injuries are particularly hard to repair, since injured tissues swell up and can cause additional damage to the cells. More recently, scientists have considered transplanting donor brain cells into the wound to repair damaged tissue. Dr. In a follow-up study, Dr. The new gel could treat patients at varying stages following injury, and is expected to be ready for testing in humans in about three years. Science Can Now Turn Human Urine Into Brain Cells. It turns out urine isn't just human waste. Chinese researchers have managed to reprogram kidney cells harvested from urine samples into neural cell progenitors--immature brain cells that can develop into various types of glial cells and neurons.

Reprogramming cells has been done before, of course, but not with cells gleaned from urine and not via a method this direct (more on that in a moment). The technique could prove extremely helpful to those pursuing treatments for neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The innovation here is in the source and the method. But embryonic stem cell treatments are fraught with ethical issues and non-embryonic methods are complicated--and complexity introduces a greater chance of something going wrong (in this case that means mutations and genetic defects). In their study, the researchers harvested kidney cells from the urine samples of three human donors and converted the cells directly to neural progenitors. [The Guardian] Air pollution in towns and cities ¿ages brains of over-50s by three years¿

Also linked to cardiovascular and respiratory problemsLiving with somewhere with clean air means you will retain brain power for a longer period of time By Nick Mcdermott Published: 23:04 GMT, 16 November 2012 | Updated: 23:04 GMT, 16 November 2012 The higher level of air pollution in towns and cities is ageing the brains of over-50s by up to three years, research suggests. Scientists have found that exposure to higher levels of air pollution can lead to decreased brain power in over-50s.

In a study of almost 15,000 older adults, researchers at the US-based National Institute on Aging found fine air particulate matter may be an important environmental risk factor for reduced thought power. Higher levels of air pollution in towns and cities are ageing the brains of over-50s by up to three years If inhaled, it is small enough to deposit in the lungs and possibly the brain. At risk: A study found that air pollution may be an important environmental risk factor for reduced thought power.

Inside the Brain: Unraveling the Mystery of Alzheimer's Disease [HQ] | Science News. Scientists reconstruct the most famous case study in the history of modern neuroscience | Science News. Researchers map Phineas Gage's pierced brain. Savant Syndrome: When Brain Injuries Create Geniuses | IdeaFeed | Big Think | Science News. The Brain's Bat Signal. Microglia are the brain's resident security guards, surveilling the organ for damage and then crawling to the injury site to engulf dead neurons.

Exactly how they detect problems was unclear, but researchers now show that they respond to an SOS signal from dying cells that is relayed throughout the brain. The finding may have implications for the treatment of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. The study builds on previous work in zebrafish. Developmental biologist Francesca Peri of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and colleagues created genetically engineered versions of the animals that produced microglia labelled with green fluorescent protein, a glowing compound frequently used in laboratory research. Zebrafish embryos have transparent brains, which allowed Peri and her team to track the microglia in real time under the microscope.

The researchers reported in 2008 that the embryonic zebrafish brain is patrolled by about 20 of the cells. How stem cell implants help heal traumatic brain injury | Science News. Talking to Vegetative Patients Via fMRI? | Science News.