August 29, 2013 |
Valerie Harper, diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in January and given three to six months to live, has defied the odds and as of June was close to remission, the actress and her doctor revealed Thursday morning on the " Today " show. The 74-year-old "Rhoda" star, who went public with her diagnosis in March, has combined chemotherapy with Eastern options including acupuncture and Chinese tea. Harper has the rare condition leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, which occurs when cancer spreads to the fluid-filled membranes that surround the brain.
August 29, 2013 |
What makes Facebook a rewarding experience instead of a bummer? It may be that monitoring “likes” and feedback stimulates the same part of your brain that fires up in response to imagery of food, sex and rewards in general, a new study suggests. Researchers found that brain scans taken while someone received positive feedback could be used to predict that user's intensity of Facebook use. The results suggest that people may be driven to use Facebook by a desire to monitor their reputation, said neurologist Dar Meshi of the Free University of Berlin, lead author of the study published Thursday in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
August 28, 2013 |
That head-splitting migraine attack that knocks you off your feet may also put you at risk of permanent changes in the brain, an analysis of 19 medical studies found. The potential for increased abnormalities in the signal-carrying white matter of the brain appears strongest among those who suffer headache warning symptoms, such as flashes of light, blind spots and tingling, according to the analysis published online Wednesday in the journal Neurology. Those “migraine with aura” sufferers were about 1.7 times as likely to have such anomalies than were the non-migraine population, the analysis found.
August 28, 2013 |
Scientists have figured out how to grow human stem cells into "cerebral organoids" - blobs of tissue that mimic the anatomy of the developing brain. The advance, reported online Wednesday by the journal Nature, won't allow scientists to grow disembodied brains in laboratory vats, said study leader Juergen Knoblich, a stem cell researcher at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna. But it does offer researchers an unprecedented view of human brain anatomy, he said.
August 20, 2013 |
If you can't quite get that nine-note treble opening to " Fur Elise," just sleep on it. The brain will rehearse, reorganize and nail the sequential motor tasks that help you play piano or type on a keyboard. How that consolidation of memory happens has remained largely a mystery, despite telling evidence that the brain's motor cortex appears to be quite busy during sleep. Now, a team led by Brown University neuroscientists believes it has found the source of the sleeping piano lesson, and it's not where many expected it to be. Neuroscience has been fixated since its founding on why the brain “needs” that peculiar mix of dormancy and random activity known as sleep.
August 12, 2013 |
For the last two years, perhaps the most mystery-shrouded project at Pixar Animation has been the next film by "Monster's Inc. " and "Up" director Pete Docter, a story set inside the brain of a young girl. At the D23 Expo in Anaheim over the weekend, Docter and his producer, Jonas Rivera, revealed more about the quirky, ambitious movie during Disney's animation panel, introducing its cast, showing test footage and finally giving the long-untitled project a name - "Inside Out. " "Inside Out" follows an outgoing 11-year-old girl named Riley whose family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco just as she's hitting the turbulent emotional waters of adolescence.
August 9, 2013 |
Do women who are on the autism spectrum have brains that are more “masculine”? A team of researchers at Cambridge University's Autism Research Center has found striking similarities between the structural anomalies found in the brains of women with autism spectrum disorder and neurobiological characteristics known to be different between males and females in general. The results, published online Thursday in the review Brain , partially confirm aspects of an “extreme male brain” theory of autism put forth by Cambridge neuroscientist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues.
August 7, 2013 |
Older chocoholics may have a new excuse to indulge their cravings: The dark stuff not only soothes the soul, but might also sharpen the mind. In a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, researchers reported that chocolate may help improve brain health and thinking skills in the elderly . The Boston-based team found that older people who initially performed poorly on a memory and reasoning test and also had reduced blood flow...
August 5, 2013 |
People with brain damage that has left them mute and motionless may be able to communicate with a system that measures the size of their pupils, a new study has found. Individuals suffering from "locked-in syndrome" have lost motor control but remain aware and alert. The rare condition usually results when damage occurs to the brainstem, which controls motor function. Stroke, traumatic brain injury and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) can cause locked-in syndrome.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2013 |
Months after Chuck Spires came home from Iraq, he began having dizzy spells and radical mood swings and had lost all interest in sex. Army doctors diagnosed him with multiple brain injuries - he had endured several head-rattling bomb blasts - along with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. But it was another symptom, the sudden gain of 50 pounds, that led to deeper investigation. Tests revealed damage to Spires' pituitary gland. It was a rare finding in the military, but that may be because few doctors have been looking for it. Emerging evidence suggests that pituitary problems may be going undiagnosed in victims of blast-related brain injuries, the defining wounds of the recent wars.