Brain

A drug used to increase blood production in both medical treatments and athletic doping scandals seems also to improve memory in those using it. New research published in the open access journal BMC Biology shows that the memory enhancing effects of erythropoietin (EPO) are not related to its effects on blood production but due to direct influences on neurons in the brain. The findings may prove useful in the treatment of diseases affecting brain function, such as schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Vitamin B12, a nutrient found in meat, fish and milk, may protect against brain volume loss in older people, according to a study published in the September 9, 2008, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

For the study, 107 people between the ages of 61 and 87 underwent brain scans, memory testing and physical exams. Researchers also collected blood samples to check vitamin B12 levels. Brain scans and memory tests were also performed again five years later.

Toronto, CANADA – People who make a full recovery from head injury often report "mental fatigue" and feeling "not quite the same" – even though they scored well on standard cognitive tests.

Now brain imaging experts with Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute in Toronto have found a distinct "brain signature" in patients who have recovered from head injuries that shows their brains may have to work harder than the brains of healthy people to perform at the same level.

Patients who require therapy to lower their blood pressure following a stroke do not appear to be at a higher risk for bleeding or other adverse outcomes after receiving anti-clotting therapy, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Pain appears to be more common in individuals with Parkinson's disease than in those without, suggesting that pain is associated with the condition, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Pediatric golf injuries are rare but can be devastating to the eye and vision system, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A new study suggests that entertainment news shows such as The Daily Show or The Colbert Report may not be as influential in teaching voters about political issues and candidates as was previously thought.

Previous studies have reported up to 48 percent of all adults and 60 percent of young voters used fake news shows as a source of campaign news in the 2004 presidential election. But researchers from Ohio State University have found reasons to discount how effective these shows are in informing the general public.

The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) has reported results from its first comprehensive study which focused on the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma.

The findings are reported in the Sept. 4, 2008, advance edition of Nature.

The TCGA team, comprised of more than 100 investigators from seven cancer centers and research institutions throughout the country, analyzed 601 genes in tumor samples from 91 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — All three people who received gene therapy at the University of Florida to treat a rare, incurable form of blindness have regained some of their vision, according to a paper published online today in Human Gene Therapy.

The probability of someone cheating during the course of a relationship varies between 40 and 76 percent. "It's very high," says Geneviève Beaulieu-Pelletier, PhD student at the Université de Montréal's Department of Psychology.

"These numbers indicate that even if we get married with the best of intentions things don't always turn out the way we plan. What interests me about infidelity is why people are willing to conduct themselves in ways that could be very damaging to them and to their relationship."

A nose that's too big, hair that's too curly or a beauty mark in the wrong place – who hasn't focused on a small detail of their appearance while staring at a mirror?

But when these imperfections take over our thoughts, or exist only in our heads, it's a sign that such obsessing is a disorder, according to Université de Montréal psychiatry professor Kieron O'Connor.

While compulsive gambling is only beginning to be addressed by mental health professionals, they must now face a new affliction: Internet addiction.

"The problem isn't widespread but we know of serious cases in which teenagers don't leave the house, don't have interpersonal relationships, and have been isolated in front of their computer screen for the past two or three years, and only speak in the language of the characters they play with in network video games," says Louise Nadeau, a professor at the Université de Montréal's Department of Psychology.

Thinking about adopting a perky little puppy as a friend for your fluffy cat, but worried that they'll fight -- well, like cats and dogs?

Children born prematurely are four times more likely to have emotional problems or behavioural disorders, according to research led by the University of Warwick.

A team led by the University's Department of Psychology and Warwick Medical School examined the behaviour of 200 six-year-old children who had been born below 26 weeks gestation, known as 'extremely pre-term'.

Why do many Canadians get the winter blues? In the first study of its kind in the living human brain, Dr. Jeffrey Meyer and colleagues at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have discovered greater levels of serotonin transporter in the brain in winter than in summer. These findings have important implications for understanding seasonal mood change in healthy people, vulnerability to seasonal affective disorders and the relationship of light exposure to mood.