Medical News, Research and Advancements

Anxiety Significantly Reduced With Manipulation of a Single Brain Molecule

Rhesus monkeys at the University of California – Davis are showing promise to cure anxiety after scientists isolated and boosted a single brain molecule. Researchers Andrew Fox, of UC Davis, and Tade Souaiaia, of SUNY, lead a study to determine if manipulation of the amygdala could mitigate behaviors that relate to anxiety and depression. The amygdala is the portion of the brain that controls memories and the emotions associated with them.

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Brain Implant Device Controlled by Smartphone App

Yes, there’s an app for that! Korean and American scientists have invented a device capable of controlling neural circuits and distributing light and drug therapies to defined areas of the brain that is completely manipulated by a smartphone app. Neuroscientists now have a tool to trigger any specific combination or sequence of light and drug delivery into an implanted target animal without being present in the laboratory.

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New Hereditary Mutation Identified to Increase Pancreatic Cancer Risk

While studying a cancer-prone family, scientists have identified an inherited gene mutation that considerably enhances the risk of pancreatic and other cancers. The previously unknown mutation was defined in Nature Genetics by researchers at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. The discovery could lead to the routine testing of those with a family history of pancreatic cancers to uncover the mutation known as RABL3. If the mutation is identified, pancreatic cancers may be diagnosed earlier and in a stage that is much more treatable.

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New Immunodeficiency Disease Identified

The investigation of an infant suffering from a combination of debilitating conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, lung disease, eczema, and food allergies, has brought to light a new immunodeficiency disease. Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus say the disease is caused by a genetic mutation and it presents rare insights into cell biology. The Journal of Experimental Medicine published their findings last week.

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FDA Orders Black Box Warning for Popular Insomnia Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration has required the strictest warning label available to the three most prescribed insomnia drugs. This action serves to attract attention to side effects with potentially life-threatening consequences. Driving and cooking are among examples of behaviors causing injury and death in patients. The FDA was prompted to take action after reports of these activities being carried out while patients are sleeping or not entirely awake resulting in serious consequences.

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FDA Sends Stern Warning to Stem Cell Industry

Over the last several years the stem cell industry has broadened and shifted into areas of medicine that no one could have imagined a decade ago. In many instances, lives have been saved by cutting-edge technology and new innovations in the capabilities of stem cells to treat diseases that were historically deemed incurable. However, there is a drawback. Many of these practices have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and have led to irreversible damage in some patients.

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Fidget Spinner Psychology: It’s Just a Toy!

If you have a child with behavioral disorders, I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the fidget spinner. It is being hailed as the new go-to treatment for children with attention disorders. Some believe this little device that spins in your hand as you hold it has some influence on the brain that can help an individual to remain focused on a task that may otherwise be difficult. They are also claimed to relieve stress and anxiety.

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Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Have you ever had a bacterial infection and needed a second round of antibiotics? Has your doctor ever changed your antibiotic a few days after prescribing one that didn’t seem to be clearing your infection? Maybe you or a loved one has battled an infection that is resistant to antibiotics. The truth is, antibiotics are losing their effectiveness and some bacteria are able to grow and change in ways that make them ineffective.

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