Neurology News

Intensive speech therapy improves everyday communication in chronic stroke patients, finds study

14 Mar 2017

Intensive speech and language therapy can significantly help stroke patients who have been struggling to communicate for six months or more, according to newly published research. The multicentre RCT study – carried out in Germany and published in The Lancet - has for the first time directly demonstrated the superiority of intensive speech therapy to no treatment or treatment at low intensity in chronic post-stroke aphasia.

Updated Epilepsy Classification May Lead to Advances in Diagnosis, Treatment, and Research

9 Mar 2017

It has been nearly three decades since experts published a classification system related to epilepsy. Now, the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) provides an update to systems that includes many types of seizures not captured in the older version, allowing clinicians and patients to make more informed decisions concerning treatment. 

Cerebrospinal fluid shows promise as autism biomarker

6 Mar 2017

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 disorder (ASD). The study appears today in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Brain Imaging Can Help Distinguish Between Depression and Cognitive Disorders Like Alzheimer’s

21 Feb 2017

A brain imaging technique called single photon emission computed tomography, or SPECT, can help clinicians differentiate between depression and a cognitive disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research. The study, “ Classification of Depression, Cognitive Disorders, and Co-Morbid Depression and Cognitive Disorders with Perfusion SPECT Neuroimaging,” was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

International study suggests Nodding syndrome caused by response to parasitic protein

15 Feb 2017

NIH-funded study also identifies potential new mechanism for some forms of epilepsy. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have uncovered new clues to the link between Nodding syndrome, a devastating form of pediatric epilepsy found in specific areas of east Africa, and a parasitic worm that can cause river blindness. The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, suggests that the mysterious neurological disease may be caused by an autoimmune response to the parasitic proteins.

Blood Test May Help Differentiate Parkinson’s from Similar Diseases

8 Feb 2017

A simple blood test may be as accurate as a spinal fluid test when trying to determine whether symptoms are caused by Parkinson’s disease or another atypical parkinsonism disorder, according to a new study published in the February 8, 2017, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.  

Mitochondrial Energy Processes in Huntington’s May Be Normal After All

2 Feb 2017

Mitochondrial abnormalities may not contribute to the degeneration of neurons in the striatum in patients with Huntington’s disease, according to a study that provides evidence contradicting several earlier findings. The study, “Oxidative metabolism and Ca2+ handling in striatal mitochondria from YAC128 mice, a model of Huntington’s disease,” was published in the journal Neurochemistry International.

Brain-computer interface allows completely locked-in people to communicate

31 Jan 2017

A brain-computer interface that can decipher the thoughts of people who are unable to communicate could revolutionize the lives of those living with complete locked-in syndrome according to a new paper published in PLOS Biology.

Sizing up spaces by ear

25 Jan 2017

Humans can be trained to use echolocation to estimate the sizes of enclosed spaces. LMU researchers now show that the learning process involves close coordination between sensory and motor cortex. Wiegrebe and his colleagues have developed a technique based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which makes it possible to monitor the process of echolocation by means of self-generated tongue clicks. 

Guidelines Comparing Assessment Techniques Prior To Epilepsy Surgery Published

20 Jan 2017

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has published new guidelines on mapping of the brain prior to epilepsy surgery, following a systematic review of available evidence.

How noisy hospitals make dementia WORSE

18 Jan 2017

Noisy hospitals can accelerate the course of dementia in elderly patients, experts have found. The confusion of busy waiting rooms or seeing different doctors and nurses can send patients into a rapid decline, according to a major study.

Age-related GABA Decline Is Associated With Poor Cognition

17 Jan 2017

Diminishing levels of GABA, the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, may play a role in cognitive decline as we age, according to a study published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. The study, led by Ronald Cohen of University of Florida’s Center for Cognitive Aging and McKnight Brain Institute, shows an association between higher GABA concentrations in the frontal lobe, a brain region important for complex cognitive functioning, and superior performance on a cognitive test in healthy older adults. 

Neuroscience Highly Cited Collection

11 Jan 2017

Explore a selection of Elsevier's most highly cited articles in Neuroscience in 2016.

Brain activity is too complicated for humans to decipher. Machines can decode it for us

29 Dec 2016

Over the past several years, Jack Gallant’s neuroscience lab has produced a string of papers that sound absurd. In 2011, the lab showed it was possible to recreate movie clips just from observing the brain activity of people watching movies.  Similarly, in 2015, Gallant’s team of scientists predicted which famous paintings people were picturing in their minds by observing the activity of their brains. This year, the team announced in the journal Nature that they had created an “atlas” of where 10,000-plus individual words reside in the brain — just by having study participants listen to podcasts. This has been possible by using machine learning tools to mine huge troves of brain data and find the patterns of brain activity that predict our perception.

FDA approves first drug for spinal muscular atrophy

23 Dec 2016

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Spinraza (nusinersen), the first drug approved to treat children and adults with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare and often fatal genetic disease affecting muscle strength and movement. Spinraza is an injection administered into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord.

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