Tag Archives | Brains

Doctors Remove Brain Tumor With Fully Formed Teeth From Baby’s Brain

PIC: Jens Florian (CC)

PIC: Jens Florian (CC)

Doctors operating on a four-month old boy discovered that the tumor they removed had teeth. Fortunately, the boy is recovering. But yeah. Teeth. Glad the kid is going to be alright, but wow – nightmare fuel.

Via Yahoo

Doctors first suspected something might be wrong when the child’s head appeared to be growing faster than is typical for children his age. A brain scan revealed a tumor containing structures that looked very similar to teeth normally found in the lower jaw.

The child underwent brain surgery to have the tumor removed, during which doctors found that the tumor contained several fully formed teeth, according to the report.

After an analysis of tumor tissue, doctors determined the child had a craniopharyngioma, a rare brain tumor that can grow to be larger than a golf ball, but does not spread.

Researchers had always suspected that these tumors form from the same cells involved in making teeth, but until now, doctors had never seen actual teeth in these tumors, said Dr.

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Learning New Ideas Alters Brain Cells

Pic: Jens Langner (PD)

Pic: Jens Langner (PD)

Phineas Gage proved that matter could affect consciousness.  Now, Shernaz Bamji and Stefano Brigidi of the University of British Columbia have proven the reverse is also true.  Looks like the “hardwiring” in our brains isn’t so hard:

A new University of British Columbia study identifies an important molecular change that occurs in the brain when we learn and remember.

Published this month in Nature Neuroscience, the research shows that learning stimulates our brain cells in a manner that causes a small fatty acid to attach to delta-catenin, a protein in the brain. This biochemical modification is essential in producing the changes in brain cell connectivity associated with learning, the study finds.

In animal models, the scientists found almost twice the amount of modified delta-catenin in the brain after learning about new environments. While delta-catenin has previously been linked to learning, this study is the first to describe the protein’s role in the molecular mechanism behind memory formation.

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Indiana Man Arrested For Selling Stolen Brains On eBay

stolen brainsThe thing about the brains of nineteenth-century mental patients is, you can’t help but collect them all. Via CNN:

The arrest last month of a 21-year-old suspect uncovered, police say, a macabre scheme to steal the brains of dead mental patients and sell them online. The suspect was peddling some 60 brains. And yes, amazingly there were customers.

Suspect David Charles allegedly stole more than 60 jars of brain in October from a warehouse space at the Indiana Medical History Museum, the Marion County prosecutor’s office said in court papers Thursday. He is accused of breaking into the museum and taking jars of brains and tissue from autopsies performed on patients in the 1890s.

Charles was arrested December 16 after authorities organized an undercover sting at an Indiana Dairy Queen.

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‘Optogenetics’ Uses Light To Tweak Brain

criminalbrainNPR reports on a new medical tool that could pave the way toward innovative treatments for depression, seizure disorder and other conditions.

Excerpt:

When President Obama announced his BRAIN Initiative in April, he promised to give scientists “the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action.”

An early version of one of those tools already exists, scientists say. It’s a relatively new set of techniques called optogenetics that allows researchers to control the activity of brain cells using light.

“This is fantastic,” says Elizabeth Hillman, a biomedical engineer at Columbia University. “We can turn things on, turn things off, read stuff out.” In short, she says, it provides a way to observe and control what brain circuits are doing in real time in a living brain.

Eventually, optogenetics could not only help explain diseases like epilepsy and depression, but offer a way to treat them. But the technique needs some refinement before it can be used in people or in remote parts of the brain, Hillman says.

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False Memories Occur Even Among Those with Superior Memory

400px-Neuron_Hand-tuned.svgRick Nauert writes at Psych Central News:

Some people have the unique talent of being able to remember daily details of their lives from decades past.

But surprising new research finds that even among this select group of memory experts, false memories occur at about the same frequency as among those with average memory.

False memories are the recollection of an event, or the details of an event, that did not occur. UC Irvine psychologists and neurobiologists created a series of tests to determine how false information can manipulate memory formation.

In their study they learned that subjects with highly superior autobiographical memory preformed similar to a control group of subjects with average memory.

“Finding susceptibility to false memories even in people with very strong memory could be important for dissemination to people who are not memory experts.

“For example, it could help communicate how widespread our basic susceptibility to memory distortions is,” said Lawrence Patihis.

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Your Guide to Eating Brains, Balls and Eyeballs

Pic: Gunawan Kartapranata (CC)

Pic: Gunawan Kartapranata (CC)

I am un chien… Andalusia!

HuffPo:

Like “awful” with an “o,” offal refers to the nasty bits we normally consider inedible. Recently, the ever-experimental American foodie culture started digging around for organs with top restaurants featuring hearts, livers and kidneys on their menus. But we’re not here to talk about steamed gallbladders served with roasted beets and beurre blanc. That’s pussy sh*t. We boiled it down to the barf-inducing basics: brains, balls and eyes. Let’s get started.

Keep reading.

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Violent Behavior LInked to Nutritional Deficiencies: ‘Their Brains Are Starving’

criminalbrainMore scientific evidence that the problem of violence is one that must be approached from multiple perspectives.

Via MedicalNewsToday:

Deficiencies of vitamins A, D, K, B1, B3, B6, B12 and folate, and of minerals iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, chromium and manganese can all contribute to mental instability and violent behavior, according to a report published in the Spring 2013 issue of Wise Traditions, the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

The article, Violent Behavior: A Solution in Plain Sight by Sylvia Onusic, PhD, CNS, LDN, seeks reasons for the increase in violent behavior in America, especially among teenagers.

“We can blame violence on the media and on the breakdown of the home,” says Onusic, “but the fact is that a large number of Americans, living mostly on devitalized processed food, are suffering from malnutrition. In many cases, this means their brains are starving.”

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