Neuroscience

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Category archives for Neuroscience

Whole-Body Neuronal MRI

There is a short open-access article about whole-body neuronal MRI, in the most recent NEJM.  The authors describe a technique of visualizing peripheral nerves.  Normally, these are not seen very well on MRI.  This limits the usefulness of MR imaging for nerves outside of the central nervous system.  The two images on the left are…

What Is Behavior?

Natalie Angier has another interesting article in the NYT.  In the article, she discusses the meaning of the word behavior.  Apparently, this all came from the realization that even standard works on the subject did not contain a “point-by-point definition.”  The realization came to Dan Levitis, a grad student in zoology at Berkeley.  Levitis happens…

Update on Nav1.7

PhysioProf commented about this back in 2006 after Alex Palazzo ‘s post, A silent mutation affects pain perception? That post discussed mutations that affect pain perception.  Now, there is a bit more information available about potential commercial developments stemming from this line of genetic research.   Firewalker’s Faulty Gene May Shake Up Market for Painkillers…

This is one of those “interesting, wonder if it’ll ever pan out” studies.  So far it has been presented at a meeting, but not published.   The study was summarized in an article on Medpage Today (free registration): APSS: Depression and Insomnia May Be Genetically Linked

More Ado About Area 25

Some may recall Brodmann Area 25 (a part of the brain also known as the subgenual area or area subgenualis).  It was mentioned by Orli Van Mourik (Much Ado About Area 25) in 2006, and by me in 2008 (Update on Deep Brain Stimulation).  David Dobbs profiled one of the key researchers, Helen Mayberg, (Neurologist…

(comic from kxcd) This post will discuss some findings about the factors that are correlated to clinical response to clozapine (Clozaril® , FazaClo® ).   Clozapine is a drug used to treat psychosis.  It usually is used for persons with schizophrenia; sometimes it is used for persons with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or psychosis associated…

This needs to be replicated before any conclusions can be drawn, but it is encouraging.  21 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, in whom conventional treatment failed, were given a stem cell treatment.  17 patients improved; 16 had no relapse at all; none got worse.  They were studied over a period of two to four years. …

On 14 January, 2008, the US FDA approved milnacipran for use in treatment of fibromyalgia.  It is ( or soon will be) available in tablets of 12.5, 25, 50, and 100mg.  It has been marketed as an antidepressant in Europe for years, but has not been available in the USA until now. Milnacipran is  a…

Antidepressant Effect of Vitamin D???

There is a thought-provoking editorial in the openly-accessible Journal of Psychiatry of Neuroscience (JPN): Has the time come for clinical trials on the antidepressant effect of vitamin D?  (45 KB PDF).  In it, the editor of the the Journal, Simon N. Young, PhD, argues that there is enough evidence to justify increased research efforts. He…

Splitting the Schizophrenias

When I was in training, the chairperson (John Greden) of the department never spoke about schizophrenia.  Instead, he always used the phrase, “the schizophrenias.”  He believed that there were different disease states that all produced similar clinical presentations.  But because of the rudimentary state of our knowledge, we were unable to make clear, meaningful distictions…