AANN Neuroscience News
June. 23, 2011

Turning to software to help treat brain injuries
The New York Times
Some 400,000 current and former American soldiers suffer from traumatic brain injuries, which can cause memory loss, lack of concentration, depression, anxiety attacks and other problems. Some neuroscientists now see great potential in techniques of manipulating the brain's "neuroplasticity," its propensity to rearrange its neuronal structure in response to behavior and stimuli. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense awarded a $2 million grant to Brain Plasticity Inc. to study the effectiveness of Posit Science software in restoring memory and attention in victims of traumatic brain injury.More

Supportive care needs after an acute stroke: A descriptive inquiry of caregivers' perspective
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing
This mixed-methods study explored the use of the Supportive Care Needs Framework as an overall guide to identify the wide spectrum of needs of the family caregivers of patients with stroke. Within this framework, a needs assessment survey developed for a different complex medical population was modified and administered to 10 caregivers of patients recently diagnosed with stroke to identify the specific needs of this population.More

Nurses are in demand
Journal Watchdog
There's a push around the country to increase the number of nurses with advanced degrees and two Spartanburg, S.C., colleges have a part in that. Converse College will be partnering with Vanderbilt University to give students the opportunity to earn a master's degree in nursing that could lead to careers as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse executives. And the Mary Black School of Nursing at the University of South Carolina Upstate is working on a direct entry program that would allow people with baccalaureate degrees in other fields to pursue a master's degree in nursing.More

A peek inside the brain: What do neuroscientists think about?
The Huffington Post
"What makes us human?" "How does the cortex work?" "What is the thalamus interested in paying attention to?" These were the answers received when three prominent neuroscientists were asked what question they would like answered. More

5 big developments in neuroscience to watch
Forbes (Opinion)
Neuroscience is in many ways a discipline still in its infancy, making it ripe for claims that veer closer to science fiction than science. In this post, the author has taken a cut at describing five real-deal developments in neuroscience that are going to heat up in the years to come, along with implications pro and con.More

Genes strong factor in early-onset Alzheimer's
Hernando Today
Though the symptoms of Alzheimer's usually begin to appear in people that are in their late 60s, there are an estimated two hundred thousand people under the age of 65 who have reportedly been afflicted with the disease. This is known as "early-onset Alzheimer's." Studies show that there are even cases where patients are in their 30s and 40s, but this is extremely rare. The genetic path of inheritance is much greater in situations involving early-onset Alzheimer's. Those that have a parent or grandparent who developed the disease at a younger age have a higher risk of developing it themselves.More

Slow growth of childhood brain tumors explained
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center via HealthCanal
Johns Hopkins researchers have found a likely explanation for the slow growth of the most common childhood brain tumor, pilocytic astrocytoma. Using tests on a new cell-based model of the tumor, they concluded that the initial process of tumor formation switches on a growth-braking, tumor-suppressor gene, in a process similar to that seen in skin moles.More

University of California, Riverside neuroscientists' discovery could bring relief to epilepsy sufferers
Biology & Nature via e! Science News
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have made a discovery in the lab that could help drug manufacturers develop new antiepileptic drugs and explore novel strategies for treating seizures associated with epilepsy – a disease affecting about two million Americans. More

Virtual tool may help Parkinson's victims walk
The Times of India
Researchers may have hit upon a new way of helping Parkinson's victims who face difficulty in walking. They are hoping to use a simulated virtual reality environment to help patients suffering from the phenomenon known as "freezing of gait." More

World-first local trial to cool brains
The Herald Sun
Stroke patients will have their brains and blood cooled in a world-first human trial led by Melbourne, Australia, researchers to halt the steady death of brain cells. This new hypothermia technique aims to slow metabolism in the brain and extend the time stroke patients can be given the tissue Plasminogen activator drug.More

Validity of baseline concussion tests questioned
USA Today
Baseline concussion testing provides a baseline score of an athlete's cognitive abilities, such as reaction time, working memory and attention span. Athletes who suffer a concussion retake the test, and if there is a large decrease in the score, they are typically banned from play until their score improves. But the tests, which are mandatory for hundreds of thousands of amateur and professional athletes in the United States, have a high "false negative" rate.More