Anti-inflammatory Drugs Linked With Increased Risk Of Chronic Pain

Use of steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs for pain relief could raise the chances of developing chronic pain, new research from McGill University and colleagues in Italy suggests. The findings bring questions for conventional practices used to treat pain, of which chronic low back pain is the most commonly reported chronic pain condition. For many decades it’s been standard medical practice to treat pain with anti-inflammatory drugs. But we found that this short-term fix could lead to longer-term problems,

A Bigger Striatum Is More Likely Among Psychopaths

The striatum, a region of the forebrain, was on average 10% larger in psychopathic individuals compared to a control group of individuals that had low or no psychopathic traits, in a new study1. Previous studies have pointed to an overly active striatum in psychopaths but have not conclusively determined the impact of its size on behaviors. Our study’s results help advance our knowledge about what underlies antisocial behavior such as psychopathy.

Stress Resilience Correlates With Regional Myelin Changes In The Brain

Acute stress is associated with increased myelination of axons in areas of the brain associated with memory and emotions, recent research shows. The study1, from scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and UC San Francisco (UCSF), represents a potential explanation for why some people are quick to recover from, and others vulnerable to traumatic stress, and for the varied symptoms - avoidance behavior, anxiety and fear, for example - triggered by the memory of such stress.

Astrocyte Electrical Activity Changes How Neurons Function

A previously unknown function of astrocytes brings a new approach for neuroscience researchers that could ultimately lead to treatments for disorders like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and traumatic brain injury, scientists report. Astrocytes are glial cells in the brain that communicate with neuronal synapses, cleaning up glutamate and potassium from the extracellular space after neuron activity. The electrical activity of astrocytes changes how neurons function. We have discovered a new way that two of the most important cells in the brain talk to each other.

Epileptic Seizures Reinforced By Activity-dependent Myelination

Epilepsy seizures increase insulation of nerve fibers involved in seizing, leading the brain to have seizures more efficiently, a new study1 from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found. I was surprised by what we saw. Initially, I thought that because this is a disease process, we would see deficient myelination somehow. What we’re seeing is myelination in a pattern that favors seizure progression, said lead author Juliet Knowles, MD, Ph.

Verbal Memory In Blind People Is Better Than Sighted People’s

Blind people have a better ability to remember speech compared to sighted people, but visual ability makes no difference in how well a person remembers sound effects, according to a new study1 by Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Irvine. It’s interesting that people who are blind only showed an advantage with verbal memory. Blind people may use language like a mental tool to remember information, said senior author Marina Bedny, an associate professor of psychology and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins whose work regularly compares blind and sighted individuals’ brains.

Ending A Toxic Friendship

Ending a relationship with someone you love is a complicated process. But often what’s more difficult to navigate is breaking up a friendship. After all, humans are hardwired for empathy and friendship. When you consider the amount of history both of you share, you might feel tempted to keep on in a toxic relationship. That may mean putting up with a lot of drama, unhealthy events, and unnecessary competition. You may decide it’s a minor price to pay for fear of finding out how your friend will react.

The Claustrum May Be Linked To Perception Of Pain

A poorly understood area of the brain called the claustrum could play an important role in how we experience pain, a new review paper shows. Researchers looked at studies of patients having lesions in the claustrum - such cases are rare, and feature cognitive impairments and seizures. A lack of clinical focus on the claustrum may mean there are many more cases yet to be uncovered. Retrograde labeling of the mouse claustrum from multiple neocortical locations shown in different colors.