Neuroscience

Tooth-brushing may trigger seizures in certain people with epilepsy, and researchers say lesions in a specific part of the brain may be a cause in some people, according to an article published in the March 6, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The article reviewed the cases of three adults with epilepsy who experienced seizures while brushing their teeth. Two of the adults reported some of their seizures occurred when they brushed certain areas of their mouth. The seizures varied from jerking and twitching of the face to salivating vigorously. One patient was unable to let go of the toothbrush during the seizure.

The seizures were confirmed by video monitoring.

"The Sopranos" have some competition -- brown-headed cowbirds.

Cowbirds have long been known to lay eggs in the nests of other birds, which then raise the cowbirds’ young as their own.

Sneaky, perhaps, but not Scarface.

Now, however, a University of Florida study finds that cowbirds actually ransack and destroy the nests of warblers that don’t buy into the ruse and raise their young.

Jeff Hoover, an avian ecologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, is the lead author on the first study to document experimental evidence of this peeper payback -- retaliation to encourage acceptance of parasitic eggs.

Findings will be published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences March 5.

"It’s the female cowbirds who are running the mafia racket at ou

As we have seen, penis size matters to female mice and sword size matters to female swordfish but brain size in humans barely gets noticed at all. It's what you do with it that counts.

The ability to hit a baseball or play a piano well is part practice and part innate talent. One side of the equation required for skilled performances has its roots in the architecture of the brain genetically determined before birth, say scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

A Binghamton University researcher has established a new framework to help determine whether individuals might be at risk for schizophrenia.

In a study published in this month's Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Mark F. Lenzenweger, a professor of clinical science, neuroscience and cognitive psychology at Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY), is the first to have found that abnormalities in eye movements and attention can be used to divide people into two groups in relation to schizophrenia-related risk.

"Schizophrenia affects one in every 100 people," said Lenzenweger, who considers it the costliest form of mental illness known to humankind.

Patients who have gone blind are a step closer to perhaps one day regaining some of their sight.

Researchers at the USC Doheny Eye Institute announced today the next step in their efforts to advance technology that hopefully will help patients with retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration regain some vision using an implanted artificial retina.

The announcement by Mark Humayun, professor of ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and associate director of research at the Doheny Retina Institute, came at a press conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco.


Dr.

Patients with Parkinson's disease who are younger when they develop the condition, have a personality trait known as novelty-seeking or whose personal or family history includes alcohol abuse may be more likely to develop pathological gambling as a side effect of medications used to treat their condition, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Behaviors associated with impulse control—including compulsive shopping, hypersexuality, binge eating and pathological gambling—have been associated with dopamine agonists, medications used to treat Parkinson's disease.

Several neurological and psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, alcoholism, and Parkinson’s disease, are associated with changes in the brain that affect the nerves that communicate with each other through the naturally-produced chemical dopamine. One protein that is crucial for dopamine-mediated neuronal communication in animals is DARPP-32. However, very little is known about the function of this protein in humans.

In a study appearing online on February 8 in advance of publication in the March print issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Daniel Weinberger and colleagues from the National Institutes of Health show that the gene that encodes DARPP-32 exhibits genetic variation.

"Time" is the most popular noun in the English language, yet how would we tell time if we didn't have access to the plethora of watches, clocks and cell phones at our disposal?

For decades, scientists have believed that the brain possesses an internal clock that allows it to keep track of time. Now a UCLA study in the Feb. 1 edition of Neuron proposes a new model in which a series of physical changes to the brain's cells helps the organ to monitor the passage of time.


The changing colors reflect how a brain cell network evolves over time in response to stimuli. (Credit: Buonomano Lab)

Science is Stalling.

Part I- Limitations of Journals Today.

An  automated system of measuring decentration of anterior segment structures from  geometric central  axis 

Tariq M Aslam*,  Abha Gupta*, Chris Rose**, .

 

*          Manchester Eye Hospital