Aphantasia May Make Dreaming, Remembering, And Imagining Harder

Picture the sun setting over the ocean. It’s large above the horizon, spreading an orange-pink glow across the sky. Seagulls are flying overhead and your toes are in the sand. Many people will have been able to picture the sunset clearly and vividly — almost like seeing the real thing. For others, the image would have been vague and fleeting, but still there. If your mind was completely blank and you couldn’t visualise anything at all, then you might be one of the 2-5 percent of people who have aphantasia, a condition that involves a lack of all mental visual imagery.

Smokers Good At Math Are More Likely To Want To Quit

Smokers who scored higher on a test of math ability were more likely than others to say they want to quit smoking, according to new research. The reason: They had a better memory for numbers related to smoking risk, which led to perceiving a greater risk from smoking and then a greater intention to quit. “People who had better math skills remembered more of the scary numbers about smoking risks that we gave them, and that made a difference.

Nerve-blocking Antibody Relieves Chronic Low Back Pain

Tanezumab, a monoclonal antibody that inhibits nerve activity, may provide relief to people with chronic low back pain, new research indicates. Chronic low back pain is one of the leading reasons why people seek medical care and the number one cause of disability worldwide. “This demonstration of efficacy is a major breakthrough in the global search to develop non-opioid treatments for chronic pain. There were also improvements in function linked to the reduction in pain severity,” says John Markman, director of the Translational Pain Research Program in neurosurgery department at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and lead author of the study[1].

What Is Nilotinib?

Nilotinib (brand name Tasigna) is an oral medication used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) which has the Philadelphia chromosome. It may be used both in initial cases of chronic phase CML as well as in accelerated and chronic phase CML that has not responded to imatinib. Nilotinib is a Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitor and works by interfering with signalling within the cancer cell. It was approved for medical use in the United States in 2007.


Dasatinib (brand name Sprycel) is a a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor medication used to treat certain cases of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Specifically it is used to treat cases that are Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+). Dasatinib was approved for medical use in the United States and in the European Union in 2006. The main targets of dasatinib are BCR/Abl (the “Philadelphia chromosome”), Src, c-Kit, ephrin receptors, and several other tyrosine kinases1.

Are We All OCD Now, With Obsessive Hand-Washing And Technology Addiction?

One of the hallmarks of obsessive-compulsive disorder is contamination fears and excessive hand-washing. Years ago, a patient with severe OCD came to my office wearing gloves and a mask and refused to sit on any of the “contaminated” chairs. Now, these same behaviors are accepted and even encouraged to keep everyone healthy. This new normal in the face of a deadly pandemic has permeated our culture and will continue to influence it.

The Places You Go (Or Don't) Can Change Your Personality

The places where we spend time seem to influence our personalities, new research reports[1]. The findings suggest that the places we choose to frequent can affect not only our thinking, feelings, or behavior in the moment, but may actually change our personalities over time. If complying with shelter-in-place orders has made you feel more disorganized or less kind than usual, it may be because that’s what happens when you spend more time at home instead of public spaces, according to a new study.

Brain Organoids With The Potential To Predict Drug Permeability

The human brain is bathed in a supportive fluid called the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that provides nutrients and is required for proper brain function. The composition of human CSF and how it is made are poorly understood due to a lack of experimental access. Madeline Lancaster’s group in the Medical Research Council of England’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology Cell Biology Division has now developed a new brain organoid that produces CSF and has the potential to predict whether drugs can access the brain[1].