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December 7, 2004 | Robert Lee Hotz, Times Staff Writer
Harnessing the electrical echoes of thought, researchers have developed a way for people to control a computer cursor simply by thinking about it. The device, which so far has been tested successfully on four people, does not require implants, surgery or any other invasive medical procedure, the researchers reported Monday. Previous efforts required electrodes wired directly into brain cells.
September 22, 2004 | By Karen Kaplan
Growing up in a stressful environment isn't conducive to becoming a well-adjusted adult. Studies have shown that people who faced constant stress during childhood have an increased risk of being depressed later. How are the two related? A study published this week by the journal Nature Neuroscience may have found a link. It reports that stress at a young age permanently alters the activity of a key gene in the brain, resulting in a lifetime of elevated levels of a hormone that contributes to depression.
April 19, 2004 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
As hospital maternity stays have grown shorter in recent years, the majority of babies have suffered no ill consequences from being released with their mothers 24 to 48 hours after delivery. However, about 5% of infants develop jaundice -- a condition that usually doesn't show up until several days after birth -- which requires hospital readmission. Now some pediatricians are urging changes in the diagnosis and treatment of jaundice in infants.
February 9, 2004 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
As far back as 1872, British naturalist Charles Darwin observed that people with brain injuries or illnesses were sometimes stricken with uncontrollable, and often inappropriate, outbursts of anger, laughter or grief. "Certain brain diseases ... have a special tendency to induce weeping," he wrote. Even in modern times, there have been no specific treatments for the mysterious problem, now called "pseudobulbar affect."
January 11, 2004 | Miles Beller, Miles Beller last wrote for the magazine about Los Angeles police commissioner and real estate developer Rick Caruso. "True to Life," Beller's novel about translation set in 1940s Italy, is due next year from CM Publishing.
''You wouldn't want me to be late for the man who saved my life, would you?" My 13-year-old son, Eli, puckishly smiled, urging my wife, Laurette, and me into the car. Six years ago on a clear night in January, a compact fellow with confident hands had sliced out a tumor and a cyst--together the size of a tennis ball--from Eli's brain. Now, on a recent Saturday evening, we were heading for dinner with Jorge Antonio Lazareff, the UCLA pediatric neurosurgeon who had operated on Eli.
May 24, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Buddhists really are happy, serene people -- at least according to their brain scans. Using new scanning techniques, neuroscientists have discovered that areas of the brain linked to good mood light up constantly in Buddhists, at times even when they are not meditating. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin at Madison studied activity in Buddhist practitioners' left prefrontal lobes -- the area of the brain linked to positive emotions, self-control and temperament.
May 13, 2003 | Rosie Mestel, Times Staff Writer
The number of autism cases has nearly doubled in California in the last four years, and the rate of increase appears to be accelerating, according to a study by the state Department of Developmental Services. The report, scheduled to be released today, found that the number of people with autism who are receiving services from the department rose from 10,360 in December 1998 to 20,377 by the end of December 2002 -- a 97% increase.
December 16, 2002 | Benedict Carey, Times Staff Writer
For generations scientists have studied the peacock feathers of human mating, the swish and swagger that advertise sexual interest, the courtship dance at bars, the public display. They've left the private experience -- what's happening in the brain when we fall for someone -- mostly to poets. We know there's an inborn human urge to mate, after all. Love is a mystery, a promise, an arrow from Cupid's bow.
September 30, 2002 | JANE E. ALLEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease when they're taken regularly long before any symptoms arise. A study appearing in the Sept. 24 issue of Neurology, a journal of the American Academy of Neurology, bolsters the thinking among many Alzheimer's doctors that aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs somehow protect brain cells against the ravages of the memory-robbing disorder.
USC President Steven B. Sample has told his faculty that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, but does not expect the condition to affect his tenure at the university or his ability to lead it. "It is an honor and a privilege for me to serve as president of this wonderful institution," Sample, 61, said in a letter to USC faculty and staff in early September. "I have no intention of letting Parkinson's stand in the way."
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