brain

Direct Electrical Stimulation of Brain Found to Ease MS Spasticity

Electrical stimulation of the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp may ease some measures of spasticity for people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), according to results from a small clinical trial. Using this novel route of brain stimulation was shown to impact muscle contractions in patients with spasticity…

Finding Comfort in Unlikely Places: TV Medical Dramas

I have a weird secret. I’m sure it’s not the norm for someone with a chronic illness to enjoy this as much as I do, but it always occupies my free time: I love medical dramas. They leave me enthralled with their technical and medical jargon, and their portrayal of…

Brain Changes in Relapsing MS Found to Follow Pattern

Changes in the amount of grey matter in specific regions of the brain appear to occur early in relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), while structural changes in white matter happen late in disease progression. These were among the findings of a recent study that tracked the sequence of events in…

MS Patients Have More Aluminum Content in Their Brains Than Those Without Neurodegenerative Conditions, Study Finds

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological diseases have a significantly higher aluminum content in their brains than those with no known neurological impairment and no identifiable neurodegenerative disease, a recent study found. The research further supports a role of aluminum in the development of these brain conditions,…

Weill Neurohub Unites 3 Academic Centers with DOE Scientists to Advance Tools, Treatments for MS and Other Ills

Three academic research institutions launched the Weill Neurohub initiative, an effort to speed the discovery and development of therapies for neurological diseases that include multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and for psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. The initiative unites three West Coast…

MS Society, Parkinson’s UK Grant $3.6 Million to Digital Brain Bank

The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's Tissue Bank at Imperial College London, the largest brain and tissue bank in Europe, will receive £1.5 million (about $1.82 million) from the U.K. MS Society. This fund will support the development of a digital brain bank powered by a virtual reality platform, which will provide new tools for researchers around the world with the ultimate goal of stopping multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological diseases. These new technologies will be used to create high-definition pictures of brain tissue donated by people with MS after their death. “When the tissue bank first opened in 1998 there were practically no treatments for those affected. Things are very different now and it’s a privilege to work with an organization like the MS Society, which does everything it can to ensure the work of the scientific community reflects the needs of people living with MS," Richard Nicholas, PhD, scientific director of the tissue bank, said in a press release. “This investment will ensure all researchers have access to high quality brain and spinal cord tissue from people with MS, and marks an important development in the U.K. research landscape. We’re excited to see where it takes us,” Nicholas added. The new-era tissue bank will grant researchers access to tissue images that can be studied extensively and indefinitely, and also will offer the opportunity to explore the brain’s structures in a 3-D interactive section. Together with Parkinson's UK, these two leading neurological charities will contribute a total of £3 million (about $3.6 million) over a period of five years. "The MS Society Tissue Bank has been vital in improving our understanding of MS and finding treatments for some people with the condition. But our top priority now is finding treatments to slow or stop MS for everyone,” said Sorrel Bickley, PhD, head of biomedical research at MS Society. This new virtual database gives researchers the opportunity to develop innovative projects in which they can combine virtual tissue data with genetic analysis in an easy and more efficient way, and help define how genetic landscape can affect MS and Parkinson’s progression. “We can see a future where nobody needs to worry about MS getting worse, but for that to happen we urgently need to find treatments that repair myelin — the protective layer that surrounds our nerves, which is damaged in MS, and protect the nerves from damage. This funding will allow researchers to operate as effectively as possible, and ultimately help us stop MS faster,” Bickley said.

What the Scan Said (and What It Didn’t)

A couple weeks ago, I went to my neurologist’s office early for my annual MRI. It’s never a pleasant experience. Even after 14 years, it’s still as unsettling as it was the first time. It’s not the tightness of the space that gets me or the sensations and sounds.