Monthly Archives: June 2013

Study points to role of nervous system in arthritis

Dr. Alfredo Ribeiro-da-Silva

Dr. Alfredo Ribeiro-da-Silva

Reducing levels of nerve-growth factor may be a key to developing better pain treatments

Arthritis is a debilitating disorder affecting one in 10 Canadians, with pain caused by inflammation and damage to joints. Yet the condition is poorly managed in most patients, since adequate treatments are lacking – and the therapies that do exist to ease arthritis pain often cause serious side effects, particularly when used long-term. Any hope for developing more-effective treatments for arthritis relies on understanding the processes driving this condition.

New imaging technique holds promise for speeding MS research

Dr. Alexander Rauscher

Dr. Alexander Rauscher

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that detects the telltale signs of multiple sclerosis in finer detail than ever before – providing a more powerful tool for evaluating new treatments.

The technique analyzes the frequency of electro-magnetic waves collected by an MRI scanner, instead of the size of those waves. Although analyzing the number of waves per second had long been considered a more sensitive way of detecting changes in tissue structure, the math needed to create usable images had proved daunting.

Childhood abuse leaves marks in the brain

Dr. Jens Pruessner

Dr. Jens Pruessner

Victims of childhood maltreatment or sexual abuse often suffer from serious psychiatric disorders as well as sexual dysfunction. The underlying mechanisms mediating this association are poorly understood. A group of scientists lead by Prof. Christine Heim, Director of the Institute of Medical Psychology at Charité University Medicine Berlin, together with Prof. Jens Pruessner, Director of the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, at McGill University used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine 51 adult women who were exposed to various forms of childhood maltreatment.

New study explains cognitive ability differences among the elderly

Dr. Sherif Karama

Dr. Sherif Karama

Study compares data from hundreds of people in childhood and old age

A new study shows compelling evidence that associations between cognitive ability and cortical grey matter in old age can largely be accounted for by cognitive ability in childhood. The joint study by the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, The Neuro, McGill University and the University of Edinburgh, UK was published today, June 4 in Molecular Psychiatry.

Humans answer “yes” or “no” to Western neuroscientists via brain activity

Dr. Adrian Owen

Dr. Adrian Owen

Researchers at Western University have used neuroimaging to read human thought via brain activity when they are conveying specific “yes” or “no” answers.

Their findings were published today in The Journal of Neuroscience in a study titled, “The Brain’s Silent Messenger: Using Selective Attention to Decode Human Thought for Brain-Based Communication.”