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Aditya Kumar
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Concussion & CTE
Have you seen the movie "Concussion"?
If so you might wonder how exactly brain bounces inside the cranial vault during an impact. And what exactly is CTE?

Your brain is a soft organ that is surrounded by spinal fluid and protected by your hard skull. Normally, the fluid around your brain acts like a cushion that keeps your brain from banging into your skull. But if your head or your body is hit hard, your brain can crash into your skull and be injured.

The condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was formerly believed to exist primarily among boxers, and was referred to as dementia pugilistica. It is a progressive degenerative disease which afflicts the brain of people who have suffered repeated concussions and traumatic brain injuries, such as athletes who take part in contact sports, members of the military and others.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a condition of brain damage which persists over a period of years or decades and which is the result of traumatic impacts to the cranium.

This fake brain actually has the same consistency as the real deal. So now you know how concussions happen! 

Concussions - Read & Learn:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/concussion/basics/symptoms/con-20019272

Protecting the brain against concussion:
Watch TED Lesson:
https://www.ted.com/talks/kim_gorgens_protecting_the_brain_against_concussion?language=en

CTE - Read & Learn:
http://www.protectthebrain.org/Brain-Injury-Research/What-is-CTE-.aspx

#brain   #concussion   #health   #medicine   #neuroscience  
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What causes migraine attacks?
Migraines are the second most common headache syndrome, affecting between 12 and 14% of the population. But what generates a migraine attack?

It is difficult to test migraine patients to find out what causes the attacks, as it’s not known when one may strike. In a recent study a migraine patient underwent brain imaging for 30 days in a row, recording three untreated migraine attacks.

The scans showed that in each case the hypothalamus was significantly more active in the 24 hours preceding the migraine pain and showed phase-specific interactions with the brainstem, suggesting that the hypothalamus is the primary generator of migraine attacks.

Journal article:
http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/05/04/brain.aww097

#neuroscience   #migraine   #hypothalamus  
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New role found for the immune system: Controlling Social Interactions
In a startling discovery that raises fundamental questions about human behavior, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the immune system directly affects – and even controls – creatures’ social behavior, such as their desire to interact with others.

So could immune system problems contribute to an inability to have normal social interactions? The answer appears to be yes, and that finding could have significant implications for neurological diseases such as autism-spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.

“The brain and the adaptive immune system were thought to be isolated from each other, and any immune activity in the brain was perceived as sign of a pathology. And now, not only are we showing that they are closely interacting, but some of our behavior traits might have evolved because of our immune response to pathogens,” explained Jonathan Kipnis, chair of UVA’s Department of Neuroscience.

“It’s crazy, but maybe we are just multicellular battlefields for two ancient forces: pathogens and the immune system. Part of our personality may actually be dictated by the immune system.”

Source & further reading:
https://news.virginia.edu/content/shocking-new-role-found-immune-system-controlling-social-interactions

Gif: Normal brain activity, left, and a hyper-connected brain.
Credit: Anita Impagliazzo, UVA Health System

#neuroscience   #immunesystem   #research  
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