Brain inflammation can lead to the increased thinking of suicidality

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Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have increased brain levels of a marker of microglial activation, a sign of inflammation, according to a new study. Scientists have found that the increase in the inflammatory marker was present specifically in patients with MDD who were experiencing suicidal thoughts, pinning the role of inflammation to suicidality rather than a diagnosis of MDD itself.

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New disposable, wearable patch found to effectively detect sleep apnea

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Results of a definitive clinical trial show that a new, disposable diagnostic patch effectively detects obstructive sleep apnea across all severity levels.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Brain Lesions: To Biopsy or Not To Biopsy. A Single Institution Experience

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Objectives: Patients presenting with intracranial lesions represent a diagnostic dilemma. Imaging and laboratory tests lack the specificity needed for decision-making. We aimed to detect what intervention and findings made the study patients eligible for brain biopsy, for observation or for treatment. Methods: From January 2010 to December 2012, electronic medical records of 312 adult patients were selected from the hospital database using key words aimed to identify brain lesions, in two-affiliated tertiary-care, county-based hospitals in Houston, Texas.Decision to biopsy, to observe or to treat brain lesions was the main outcome variable. Clinical, laboratory and imaging information were correlated with the main variable to determine which factors made the need for biopsy more likely. Results:Forty biopsied patients and 272 non-biopsied patients were included. Motor deficit, confusion or coma, single brain lesion, larger than 3 cm, with midline shift and complete ring enhancement made brain biopsy more likely, whereas bilateral brain or cerebellar lesion, presence of subcortical lesions with homogeneous enhancement, and history of cancer with potential for brain metastases made the biopsy less likely. Laboratory tests evaluated were inadequate surrogates of brain histology, whereas abnormalities on chest X ray or CT of the chest, abdomen or pelvis made the probability of brain biopsy lower. The above predictors for biopsy were not present among our HIV positive patients. Conclusions: The path from lesion finding to the decision to observe, to treat or to biopsy was heterogeneous. Prospective validation and generalization to other institutions are needed to strengthen our observations.

Addiction: A Runaway Phenomenon of Our Time?

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Is addiction a runaway phenomenon of the 21st century? The answer depends on the definitions we use. Addiction is a common term referring to behaviors of a compulsive, consuming nature that an individual has difficulty relinquishing despite its adverse consequences to oneself and others. However, in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual- IV-TR, addiction is not a diagnostic category. Substance abuse and dependency are classified under Substance Abuse Disorders while other compulsive behaviors, such pathological gambling and kleptomania, are currently classified as Impulse Control Disorders

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Running Over the Same Old Ground: What’s Missing in Cocaine Clinical Pharmacotherapy Trials?

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In over two decades of cocaine treatment research, countless pharmacotherapies have been tested, without a single medication approved for the treatment of cocaine dependence. A short and entirely incomplete list of tested medications includes: olanzapine, valproate, coenzyme Q10, L-carnitine, cabergoline, reserpine, tiagabine, amantadine, propranolol, selegiline, modafinil, sertraline, disulfiram, baclofen, and citicoline. Setting aside the very real possibility that none of the medications tested to date is actually efficacious for treating cocaine dependence, there are three main issues that appear to have potentially hindered accurate findings in such studies.

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War and Terrorism

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Terrorism is an act that threatens or carries out violence with the intention to disrupt, kill or coerce against a body or nation in order to impose will. This means that a lot of groups use this method to get what they want. Wars and terrorist activities emotionally hurt individuals. This includes exposure to war and its activities and terrorism acts like bombing, shooting. To avoid this situation one must be in a peaceful location. Terrorism challenges the natural need of human beings to see the world as predictable, orderly, and controllable. This creates longer lasting mental health effects than natural disasters or accidents.


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Neuronal Network and its Interconnectivity in Neuroscience

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Our brain has 100 billion neurons with trillions of synaptic connections between them which interact to form a coherent representation of the outside world. The simplest definition of a neural network, more properly referred to as an ?artificial? neural network, is provided by Dr. Robert Hecht-Nielsen. He defines a neural network as a computing system made up of a number of simple, highly interconnected processing elements, which process information by their dynamic state response to external inputs. There are many neuron wallpapers in the world of neuroscience that gives us a realistic image of the neurons and the network connectivity, but it is interesting when we see such an image in the nature. We present a photograph taken from a thorn bush in a hill near Shiraz, Iran, that at the first glance shares a striking resemblance with a neuronal network and its interconnectivity of the human brain.

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