Inflammation Plays a Role in Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn have shown that inflammatory mechanisms from the brain’s immune system drive the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The research provides new insights into the pathogenetic mechanisms that may hold the potential for preventing Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms show up. Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition that eventually leads to dementia. The disease is associated with the aggregation of small proteins called “Amyloid-beta” (Abeta), known as “plaques,” that accumulate in the brain and are believed to harm neurons. Prior studies have shown deposits of Abeta trigger inflammatory mechanisms by the brain’s immune system. Researchers believe that deposition and spreading of Abeta likely precede any clinical symptoms by decades. Even so researchers do not fully understand the processes responsible and thus believe by doing so that effective treatments to target Alzheimer’s … Read more

Health Benefits of Gaming

After having wisdom teeth surgery many people may just want to lie on the couch and possibly watch TV. However, as you begin to feel better perhaps you think about playing some video games until you make a full recovery. Billions of people across the world currently play video games. However, very few of these gamers will expect to gain any real benefits and in fact may think there are more negative effects. Even so, scientists are increasingly showing that gaming can actually be good for your health in a variety of ways, and that video games can have a multitude of physical and cognitive benefits. Gaming has been used in healthcare to treat a variety of disorders. For example, researchers showed that, in those that had recently undergone trauma or had been through a surgical procedure, gaming could help … Read more

Exploring opioid deaths in chronic pain patients

Research has found that over half of patients who died from an opioid overdose had been diagnosed with chronic pain and many had psychiatric disorders. The study was conducted by researchers at Columbia University. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the number of opioid-related deaths has quadrupled in recent years, from 8,048 in 1999, to 33,091 in 2015, and the researchers were interested in learning more about what lead those patients to take opioids. The researchers analyzed clinical diagnoses and filled medication prescriptions for 13,089 adults in the Medicaid program who died of an opioid overdose from data collected between 2001 and 2007. During the last year of life, more than half of these adults (61.5%) had been diagnosed with chronic pain and many had also been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. This included 59.3% who were diagnosed with … Read more

Opioid pain relievers to reduce overdose risk

Researchers at the The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in Florida have developed opioid pain relievers that do not slow or stop breathing which is the cause of overdose. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses when opiates like heroin, oxycontin, and fentanyl slow and later stop a person’s breathing. The research shows that a range of compounds can deliver pain-blocking potency without affecting respiration. The study builds on two decades of research, where the researchres have long explored whether the painkilling pathway, the G protein pathway, could be unlinked from the breathing suppression pathway, the beta-arrestin pathway. The researchers had their doubts about being able to separate out the pathways and also wanted to know how much separation was needed to see analgesia without respiratory suppression. For the study, the researchers worked to develop … Read more

Why is Pain in the Face and Head Worse than the Rest of the Body?

Researchers have found why pain from the head and face can be more disruptive, and emotionally draining than pain in other parts of the body. The researchers found that sensory neurons from the head and face are wired directly into the brain’s principal emotional signaling hubs, while sensory neurons from elsewhere in the body are connected only indirectly to this hub. People consistently rate pain of the head and face as more disruptive and emotionally draining than pain in other parts of the body. The results may help lead toward more effective treatments for pain mediated by the craniofacial nerve, including chronic headaches and neuropathic face pain. Usually doctors focus on treating the sensation of pain, but this work demonstrates that doctors need to also treat the emotional aspects of pain. Pain signals from the head and face compared to those … Read more