Portuguese researchers discover substructures in the brain that are relevant for surgical procedures

A team led by Portuguese researchers discovered brain substructures with different connectivity profiles which affect the motor and non-motor aspects of the human body. These findings can help medical teams to improve the targets of their Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) procedures in patients with dystonia and Parkinson’s disease. The results have just been published in one of the most prestigious journals in the field of Neuroscience, Neuroimage.

Long-term gains with early epilepsy surgery

There are important, long-term gains from hastening the processes around surgical interventions against epilepsy – before the disease has had too much negative impact on brain functions and patients’ lives. These are some of the findings of a thesis for which more than 500 patients were studied and followed up.

Unknown soldiers: UVA discovers powerful defenders of the brain

UVA researchers discover an influential type of immune cell in the membranes around the brain;
These cells kick off powerful immune responses to disease or injury;
Their presence around the brain comes as a surprise;
The cells may play a vital role connecting the brain with our gut microbiota, which is essential for good health;
The cells have a major effect on recovery from spinal cord injury, UVA shows;
By targeting the cells, doctors may be able to develop new treatments for many neurological conditions, including migraines.

Researchers reveal how neurodegenerative diseases spread through the brain

Synapses, the place where brain cells contact one another, play a pivotal role in the transmission of toxic proteins. This allows neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s to spread through the brain. This the main conclusion of new research led by professor Patrik Verstreken (VIB-KU Leuven), in collaboration with Janssen Research & Development (Johnson & Johnson). If the spreading of these toxic proteins could be prevented, the progression of neurodegenerative diseases might be slowed down substantially. The research paper is published in the leading trade journal Cell Reports.