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  • June 20, 2013
  • 01:04 AM

Undiagnosed Concussions Are Associated with Loss of Consciousness

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Take Home Message: Over 30% of athletes reported a previously undiagnosed concussion and these athletes may be at risk for more severe symptoms after a future impact.

Many athletes fail to report their concussion signs and symptoms (Kauet, 2003 Labotz,2005; McCrea,2004; Williamson, 2006), which predisposes them to sustaining a second blow when the brain is still recovering from the first impact. However, we still don’t know how common undiagnosed concussions may be. Identifying under-re........ Read more »

Meehan WP 3rd, Mannix RC, Oʼbrien MJ, & Collins MW. (2013) The Prevalence of Undiagnosed Concussions in Athletes. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. PMID: 23727697  

  • June 17, 2013
  • 10:01 AM

Reversing the loss of brain connections in Alzheimer’s disease

by Bruce Lieberman in Beaker

The first experimental drug to boost brain synapses lost in Alzheimer’s disease has been developed by researchers at Sanford-Burnham. The drug, called NitroMemantine, combines two FDA-approved medicines to stop the destructive cascade of changes in the brain that destroys the connections between neurons, leading to memory loss and cognitive decline.... Read more »

Talantova, M., Sanz-Blasco, S., Zhang, X., Xia, P., Akhtar, M., Okamoto, S., Dziewczapolski, G., Nakamura, T., Cao, G., Pratt, A.... (2013) A  induces astrocytic glutamate release, extrasynaptic NMDA receptor activation, and synaptic loss. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1306832110  

  • June 10, 2013
  • 01:04 AM

Room for Improvement: Laws Regarding Traumatic Brain Injuries in Youth Sports

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Take Home Message: In the United States, traumatic brain injury laws reflect a uniform, but not scientifically proven consensus about return to play time, who makes the return to play decisions, and the best delivery method to distribute educational information. None of the laws target injury prevention.

Forty-four states and Washington DC passed legislation to reduce the overall impact of traumatic brain injuries. However, there are no studies comparing the content of the laws with the curre........ Read more »

  • June 4, 2013
  • 12:01 PM

Melatonin for Insomnia: Research Summary

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Molecular Model of MelatoninInsomnia is a common problem in the general population and is linked to greater health care utilization and increased mortality risk.Primary sleep disorder including primary insomnia are conditions that are not explained by a medical, substance use or mental disorder.  Treatment options for primary sleep disorders include psychological interventions and medications.  Melatonin is a commonly used drug that is available over the counter in the United States.Th........ Read more »

  • May 28, 2013
  • 06:31 AM

Neural stem cells repair spinal cord injuries in rats

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

Each and every year, about 12,000 people sustain an Acute Spinal Cord injury (SCI), in the U.S. alone. SCI is a common cause of permanent disability, with symptoms varying from simple muscle weakness to total loss of voluntary muscle movement in the chest, arms, and/or legs. At the moment, there is no way to repair a damaged spinal cord, however researchers are continuously seeking new methods to induce spinal cord regeneration. Yesterday, a collaborative team of researchers, led by scientists a........ Read more »

  • May 28, 2013
  • 01:04 AM

Is a Rule Change Necessary to Decrease Concussions in the NHL?

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Take Home Message: The predominate mechanisms of concussions in the NHL are player to opponent contact. This is usually directed to the lateral aspect of the head by the shoulder, elbow, or glove. Players that sustain a concussion typically do not have the puck and often a penalty was not called on the play.

Across all levels of play and age groups within ice hockey, concussions are one of the most common injuries that athletes suffer. Little is known about the exact mechanisms of how concuss........ Read more »

  • May 25, 2013
  • 12:40 PM

Get the Science Right: Autism vs Vaccines Flares On

by Andrew Porterfield in United Academics

The reaction was swift, both times. In 1998, British scientist Andrew Wakefield published a paper in Lancet, showing that vaccines could result in autism. Alarmed parents looked at vaccines with suspicion—many kept their children from being vaccinated, which may have helped spark a measles outbreak or two. Then, in 2010, Lancet retracted the paper, and Wakefield eventually had his medical license revoked. But the controversy continues... Read more »

  • May 20, 2013
  • 02:23 PM

Epilepsy Service Organization in Countries with Limited Resources

by Vivek Misra in Uberbrain Research Frontier

tumblr: bellapaige88On average, 9.5/1000 population has epilepsy in Low and Middle Income Countries (LAMIC). A research which has resulted in the global campaign against epilepsy has shown, the gap between treatment need and the treatment provision worldwide is approximately 70% [1]. This large ‘treatment gap’, i.e., lack of appropriate treatment for a large number of patients with epilepsy, due to a number of causes including inability to identify cases, inability to deliver adequate treatm........ Read more »

  • May 20, 2013
  • 12:55 PM

Epidemiology of Childhood Brain Disorders: ADHD and Autism

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has published a comprehensive summary of the epidemiology of childhood brain disorders in the most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.This report produced some sensationalized headlines that up to 20% of children suffer from a mental disorder.  However, I was more interested in looking at the prevalence estimates for some of the individual disorders from the report.The report collates data collected from a variety of surveys and data sets inclu........ Read more »

Perou R, Bitsko RH, Blumberg SJ, Pastor P, Ghandour RM, Gfroerer JC, Hedden SL, Crosby AE, Visser SN, Schieve LA.... (2013) Mental health surveillance among children - United States, 2005-2011. Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Surveillance summaries (Washington, D.C. : 2002), 62(2), 1-35. PMID: 23677130  

  • May 17, 2013
  • 01:04 AM

Fitness Level and Baseline Concussion Symptoms

by Stephen Stache in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Take Home Message: Fitness level may influence baseline concussion symptom reporting with fitter individuals reporting fewer concussion symptoms. Athletes also appear to report more concussion symptoms when reporting after exercise.

Baseline testing in concussion management, including graded symptom assessment, has become commonplace in multiple sports on almost every level of competition. Different assessment tools (e.g., Sideline Concussion Assessment Tool [SCAT3], Immediate Post-Concussi........ Read more »

Mrazik, M., Naidu, D., Lebrun, C., Game, A., & Matthews-White, J. (2013) Does an Individual's Fitness Level Affect Baseline Concussion Symptoms?. Journal of Athletic Training, 2147483647. DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-48.3.19  

  • May 13, 2013
  • 01:53 PM

Serotonin is crucial for exercise-induced neurogenesis

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

It's a well known fact that exercise induces stem cells in the hippocampus, a important brain area, to become neurons, a process known as neurogenesis  However, up until now little was known about the deeper mechanisms involved in this process. Now, a new study on mice by researchers at the Max Delbrück Centre (MDC), Berlin-Buch reveals that serotonin plays a direct role in exercise-induced neurogenesis.Read More... Read more »

Klempin, F., Beis, D., Mosienko, V., Kempermann, G., Bader, M., & Alenina, N. (2013) Serotonin Is Required for Exercise-Induced Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(19), 8270-8275. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5855-12.2013  

  • May 13, 2013
  • 01:04 AM

High-Tech Tools Do Not Always Create a Better Test

by Jane McDevitt in Sports Medicine Research (SMR): In the Lab & In the Field

Take Home Message: The balance error scoring system (BESS) test is more effective in assessing high school age students’ concussions compared to the Balance Accelerometer Measure (BAM) assessment. The tandem leg stances on firm and foam surface of the BESS test are the most sensitive and specific positions for the detection of a concussion.

Assessing balance after a concussion provides useful information not only for diagnosis and prognosis but also during the athlete’s return to ........ Read more »

  • May 10, 2013
  • 03:41 AM

Mitochondrial Disease – A Neurological Perspective

by Vivek Misra in Uberbrain Research Frontier

Defects of mitochondrial function have been identified in several neurodegenerative diseases. These include abnormalities induced by mutations of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) those caused by mutation of nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins, and in some cases, exposure to mitochondrial toxins.MtDNA mutation are associated with a variety of progressive encephalomyopathies inn which there is evidence of neurodegeneration. These include  Kearns-Sayre syndrome myopathy, encephalopathy, lac........ Read more »

  • May 9, 2013
  • 10:57 AM

Taking memory research to Parliament

by Kamar Ameen-Ali in NC3Rs Blog

NC3Rs-funded PhD student Kamar Ameen-Ali, Department of Psychology, Durham University, takes us on a trip to the House of Commons SET for BRITAIN event, where she presented her research recently to MPs and VIPs.... Read more »

  • May 7, 2013
  • 01:19 PM

"Insight" in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

by Vivek Misra in Uberbrain Research Frontier

photo:  jagaro.netLack of awareness of illness, poor insight or ‘denial’ are regarded as fundamental problems in neurology and psychiatry. The ‘object’ of the awareness differs in different conditions. For example a stroke patient may deny their hemiplegia (anosognosia) – a deficit which is visible and objective; a person with Alzheimer’s disease may be unaware of memory problems – which though measurable, are not readily apparent to the observer. Finally, a schizophrenic........ Read more »

Pijnenborg GH, van Donkersgoed RJ, David AS, & Aleman A. (2013) Changes in insight during treatment for psychotic disorders: a meta-analysis. Schizophrenia research, 144(1-3), 109-17. PMID: 23305612  

  • May 6, 2013
  • 10:55 AM

Researchers generate cortical interneurons from human embryonic stem cells

by beredim in Stem Cells Freak

In a recent study, researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Sloan-Kettering Institute have presented a new method to derive cortical interneurons from human embruonic stem cells. The study has implications in the treatment of  several neurodevelopmental disorders, like autism.Read More... Read more »

Asif M. Maroof, Sotirios Keros, Jennifer A. Tyson, Shui-Wang Ying, Yosif M. Ganat, Florian T. Merkle, Becky Liu, Adam Goulburn, Edouard G. Stanley, Andrew G. Elefanty.... (2013) Turning Human Stem Cells Into Brain Cells Sheds Light On Neural Development. Cell Stem Cell. info:/

  • May 2, 2013
  • 04:24 PM

The woman who couldn't find her way

by zstansfi in Neuroautomaton

In 2009, researchers from the University of British Columbia reported on a case of developmental topographical disorientation. The woman, referred to only as patient 1 (Pt1), is the first reported individual to demonstrate this profound and lifelong impairment in navigation. Throughout her school years, Pt1 was forced to follow her sisters or parents to school and friends to extracurricular activities. As an adult, she relies upon specific, stereotyped instructions to travel from work to home, u........ Read more »

Iaria G, Bogod N, Fox CJ, & Barton JJ. (2009) Developmental topographical disorientation: case one. Neuropsychologia, 47(1), 30-40. PMID: 18793658  

  • May 1, 2013
  • 12:54 PM

Advances In Parkinson's Disease Treatment: Part II

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Globus Pallidus Region of Brain Targeted in DBS in YellowIn a previous post, I summarized some of the highlights of a recent review of Parkinson's disease management by the German neurologists Pedrosa and Timmerman.The first post can be located here and was limited to the drug treatment of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease.In part II, I want to focus on deep brain stimulation and the treatment of non-motor symptoms.The authors of the review note the following key points regarding deep br........ Read more »

Pedrosa, D., & Timmermann, . (2013) Review: management of Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 321. DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S32302  

  • May 1, 2013
  • 09:10 AM

Venomous Plants – A Hairy Situation

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

There are many thousands of poison plants, but not too many are venomous. The nettles and the dendrocnidaes have hollow spines that deliver neurotoxins when they stab you. Recent research has shown that nettle toxin is beneficial in liver regeneration. It stimulates cell proliferation and reduces apoptosis. In an opposite effect, the dendrocnidae toxin called moroidin is a mitotic spindle inhibitor. It may prove useful as an anticancer drug.... Read more »

Hammond-Tooke, G., Taylor, P., Punchihewa, S., & Beasley, M. (2007) Urtica ferox neuropathy. Muscle , 35(6), 804-807. DOI: 10.1002/mus.20730  

  • April 30, 2013
  • 12:31 PM

Treatment Advances in Parkinson's Disease: Part I

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

3D Molecular Model of L-DopaDrug treatment of Parkinson's disease is a complex clinical problem.  This complexity relates to several factors including incomplete response, multiple symptom domains and adverse effects of commonly used drugs.David Pedrosa and Lars Timmerman from the Department of Neurology at University Hospital Cologne in Germany have recently published an excellent review of Parkinson's disease management.The review is packed with comprehensive tables with specific drug inf........ Read more »

Pedrosa, D., & Timmermann, . (2013) Review: management of Parkinson's disease. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 321. DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S32302  

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