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Friday, June 19, 2015

Brain Research: New model to study HIV latency in brain cells ♦ Emotional brains 'physically different' from rational ones ♦ New imaging technique could make brain tumor removal safer

Brain injury patterns linked to post-concussion depression, anxiety Post-concussion psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety and irritability can be extremely disabling for those among the nearly 3.8 million people in the United States who suffer concussions every year. Now, a new MRI study has found distinct injury patterns in the brains of people with concussion-related depression and anxiety
Emotional brains 'physically different' from rational ones Researchers have found physical differences in the brains of people who respond emotionally to others' feelings, compared to those who respond more rationally.
New model to study HIV latency in brain cells Over 35 million people worldwide are currently infected by HIV. Antiviral therapies can keep the virus from multiplying. However, no drug can cure infection so far, because various cell types continue to carry the virus in a latent, i.e. quiescent, state. Scientists have now established a model for latent HIV infection of brain cells. The researchers used this model to identify various compounds that affect latency of the virus in the brain.
Brain receptor found to significantly affect cocaine addiction By manipulating the activity of Activin receptors in the brain, researchers report that they were able to increase or decrease cocaine-taking and relapse behavior in animal models. The study focused on receptors in regions of the brain involved in pleasure and reward.
New imaging technique could make brain tumor removal safer, more effective, study suggests Brain surgery is famously difficult for good reason: When removing a tumor, for example, neurosurgeons walk a tightrope as they try to take out as much of the cancer as possible while keeping crucial brain tissue intact — and visually distinguishing the two is often impossible. Now researchers report they have developed an imaging technology that could provide surgeons with a color-coded map of a patient’s brain showing which areas are and are not cancer.

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