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Low carb, high fat diets may reduce seizures in tough-to-treat epilepsy

Low carb, high fat diets may reduce seizures in tough-to-treat epilepsy

Diets high in fat and low in carbohydrates, such as the ketogenic or modified Atkins diet, may reduce seizures in adults with tough-to-treat epilepsy, according to a review of the research published in the October 29, 2014, online issue of Neurology ®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Epilepsy is a nervous system disorder in which the nerve cells in the brain work abnormally, causing seizures. About 50 million people have epilepsy worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Continue reading

In autoimmune diseases affecting millions, researchers pinpoint genetic risks, cellular culprits

In autoimmune diseases affecting millions, researchers pinpoint genetic risks, cellular culprits

Scores of autoimmune diseases afflicting one in 12 Americans — ranging from type 1 diabetes, to multiple sclerosis (MS), to rheumatoid arthritis, to asthma — mysteriously cause the immune system to harm tissues within our own bodies. Now, a new study pinpoints the complex genetic origins for many of these diseases, a discovery that may lead to better diagnosis and ultimately to improved treatments Continue reading

Traumatic brain injury associated with increased dementia risk in older adults

Traumatic brain injury associated with increased dementia risk in older adults

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) appears to be associated with an increased risk of dementia in adults 55 years and older, according to a study published online by JAMA Neurology . Controversy exists about whether there is a link between a single TBI and the risk of developing dementia because of conflicting study results Continue reading

Dietary cocoa flavanols reverse age-related memory decline in mice

Dietary cocoa flavanols reverse age-related memory decline in mice

Dietary cocoa flavanols — naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa — reversed age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, according to a study led by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) scientists. The study, published today in the advance online issue of Nature Neuroscience , provides the first direct evidence that one component of age-related memory decline in humans is caused by changes in a specific region of the brain and that this form of memory decline can be improved by a dietary intervention Continue reading

Smoking interferes with neurocognitive recovery during abstinence from alcohol

Smoking interferes with neurocognitive recovery during abstinence from alcohol

Numerous studies have shown that individuals with an alcohol use disorder perform worse than those without one on multiple neurocognitive domains of function following detoxification from alcohol, although the level of impairment can vary widely among individuals. A new study of the degree of neurocognitive recovery in treatment-seeking alcohol dependent individuals (ALC) — with varied degrees of smoking status — during the first eight months of sustained abstinence from alcohol has found that smoking status influenced the rate and level of recovery Continue reading

Smoking interferes with neurocognitive recovery during abstinence from alcohol

Smoking interferes with neurocognitive recovery during abstinence from alcohol

Numerous studies have shown that individuals with an alcohol use disorder perform worse than those without one on multiple neurocognitive domains of function following detoxification from alcohol, although the level of impairment can vary widely among individuals. A new study of the degree of neurocognitive recovery in treatment-seeking alcohol dependent individuals (ALC) — with varied degrees of smoking status — during the first eight months of sustained abstinence from alcohol has found that smoking status influenced the rate and level of recovery Continue reading

Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Blue light can both set the mood and set in motion important biological responses. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences have teased apart the separate biological responses of the human eye to blue light, revealing an unexpected contest for control. Their work addresses the properties of melanopsin, a light-sensitive protein in the eye that establishes the rhythm of our day-night cycle and the familiar constriction of the pupil to bright light. Continue reading

Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Untangling the biological effects of blue light

Blue light can both set the mood and set in motion important biological responses. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences have teased apart the separate biological responses of the human eye to blue light, revealing an unexpected contest for control. Continue reading

Chemical derived from broccoli sprouts shows promise in treating autism

Chemical derived from broccoli sprouts shows promise in treating autism

Results of a small clinical trial suggest that a chemical derived from broccoli sprouts — and best known for claims that it can help prevent certain cancers — may ease classic behavioral symptoms in those with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The study, a joint effort by scientists at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, involved 40 teenage boys and young men, ages 13 to 27, with moderate to severe autism. In a report published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the week of Oct Continue reading

Chemical derived from broccoli sprouts shows promise in treating autism

Chemical derived from broccoli sprouts shows promise in treating autism

Results of a small clinical trial suggest that a chemical derived from broccoli sprouts — and best known for claims that it can help prevent certain cancers — may ease classic behavioral symptoms in those with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The study, a joint effort by scientists at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, involved 40 teenage boys and young men, ages 13 to 27, with moderate to severe autism. In a report published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the week of Oct Continue reading