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Functional brain imaging reliably predicts which vegetative patients have potential to recover consciousness

Functional brain imaging reliably predicts which vegetative patients have potential to recover consciousness

A functional brain imaging technique known as positron emission tomography (PET) is a promising tool for determining which severely brain damaged individuals in vegetative states have the potential to recover consciousness, according to new research published in The Lancet . It is the first time that researchers have tested the diagnostic accuracy of functional brain imaging techniques in clinical practice Continue reading

Functional brain imaging reliably predicts which vegetative patients have potential to recover consciousness

Functional brain imaging reliably predicts which vegetative patients have potential to recover consciousness

A functional brain imaging technique known as positron emission tomography (PET) is a promising tool for determining which severely brain damaged individuals in vegetative states have the potential to recover consciousness, according to new research published in The Lancet . It is the first time that researchers have tested the diagnostic accuracy of functional brain imaging techniques in clinical practice. “Our findings suggest that PET imaging can reveal cognitive processes that aren’t visible through traditional bedside tests, and could substantially complement standard behavioural assessments to identify unresponsive or “vegetative” patients who have the potential for long-term recovery,” says study leader Professor Steven Laureys from the University of Liége in Belgium Continue reading

Antibiotics improve growth in children in developing countries

Antibiotics improve growth in children in developing countries

Antibiotics improve growth in children at risk of undernourishment in low and middle income countries, according to researchers at McGill University who have just conducted a research literature review on the subject. Their results, published in the British Medical Journal , suggest that the youngest children from the most vulnerable populations benefit most and show significant improvements toward expected growth for their age and sex, particularly for weight Continue reading

Fiber-optic microscope will help physicians detect cancer, diseases at early stages

Fiber-optic microscope will help physicians detect cancer, diseases at early stages

An engineering researcher at the University of Arkansas has developed an inexpensive, endoscopic microscope capable of producing high-resolution, sub-cellular images of tissue in real time. The fiber-optic device, which is portable, re-usable and easily packaged with conventional endoscopes, will help clinicians detect and diagnose early-stage disease, primarily cancer. Continue reading

We’re over the hill at 24, study says

We’re over the hill at 24, study says

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but if you’re over 24 years of age you’ve already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study. SFU’s Joe Thompson, a psychology doctoral student, associate professor Mark Blair, Thompson’s thesis supervisor, and Andrew Henrey, a statistics and actuarial science doctoral student, deliver the news in a just-published PLOS ONE Journal paper Continue reading

Mechanism, possible treatment, for immune suppression in liver disease uncovered

Mechanism, possible treatment, for immune suppression in liver disease uncovered

The mechanism which underlies the susceptibility of liver disease patients to life-threatening infection has been uncovered by Wellcome Trust-funded medical scientists, who have also suggested a possible treatment to reverse immune suppression in these patients. Liver disease, or cirrhosis, is currently the fifth leading cause of death in the UK. Cirrhosis patients are more than five times more likely to pick up infections in hospital than patients with other chronic conditions, due to reduced immunity which is a well-recognized feature of the disease Continue reading

Lifelong premature ejaculation can be treated by pelvic floor exercises

Lifelong premature ejaculation can be treated by pelvic floor exercises

A trial presented at the European Congress of Urology in Stockholm reports for the first time that pelvic floor exercises can be effective in treating premature ejaculation in men who have had lifelong problems. Premature Ejaculation (PE) affects a significant minority of men at some point in their lives. Continue reading

Fecal transplant? Gut microbiota may play a role in development of alcoholic liver disease

Fecal transplant? Gut microbiota may play a role in development of alcoholic liver disease

Exciting new data presented today at the International Liver Congress™ 2014 shows that the gut microbiota has a potential role in the development of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Though an early stage animal model, the French study highlights the possibility of preventing ALD with fecal microbiota transplantation — the engrafting of new microbiota, usually through administering human fecal material from a healthy donor into the colon of a recipient. In the study, two groups of germ-free mice received gut microbiota transplants from human representatives; one set from a patient with severe alcoholic hepatitis, the other from a patient with a history of alcohol abuse but without alcoholic hepatitis. Continue reading

Brain cell discovery could open doors to targeted cancer therapies

Brain cell discovery could open doors to targeted cancer therapies

Fresh insights into the processes that control brain cell production could pave the way for treatments for brain cancer and other brain-related disorders. Scientists have gained new understanding of the role played by a key molecule that controls how and when nerve and brain cells are formed — a process that allows the brain to develop and keeps it healthy Continue reading

Development of new cell models that report circadian clock function

Development of new cell models that report circadian clock function

Researchers at the University of Memphis and University of Pennsylvania report the development of robust new liver and fat cell models that report circadian clock function. These models are amenable to high throughput drug screening and could be used to find promising small molecules to resynchronize or help body clocks function normally. The consequences of modern life, eating and staying up later, shift work, cell phone addiction, and travel across time zones, all disturb internal clocks. Continue reading