Showing posts with label Research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Research. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Research Update - The Multitasking Brain.

Hello there!
So you must be probably Studying (I assume and if not,you better be!)with your Cellphone besides you,
And you hear the Pinggg!!!
Aha.. GOTHAM needs you!! You shift your focus from the task of studying to the task of on your cellphone,and simultaneously thinking about how good you are at multitasking!
 Well don't pat your Backs yettt.
Although “multitasking” is a popular buzzword, research shows that only 2% of the population actually multitasks efficiently.
Most of us just shift back and forth between different tasks, a process that requires our brains to refocus time and time again — and reduces overall productivity by a whopping 40%.

 Told ya! No need to pat your backs,for decreasing your efficiency. So the next time your Read ,you only Read.

New Tel Aviv University research identifies a brain mechanism that enables more efficient multitasking. 

The key to this is “reactivating the learned memory,” a process that allows a person to more efficiently learn or engage in two tasks in close conjunction.

How does this work???

Starts with - Training the brain.

“When we learn a new task, we have great 
difficulty performing it and learning something else at the same time.

This is due to interference between the two tasks, which compete for the same brain resources.

The research demonstrates that - By pairing the brief reactivation of the original memory with the exposure to a new memory, long-term immunity to future interference was created.

For example- researchers first taught student volunteers to perform a sequence of motor finger movements with Right hand. 
After acquiring this learned motor memory, the memory was reactivated on a different day, during which the participants were required to briefly do some task with their Left hand — with an addition of brief exposure to the same learned motor task being performed by the Right hand.
By utilizing the memory reactivation paradigm, the subjects were able to perform the two tasks without interference.

So well we now have an overview of how the brains circuits are intimately connected and how they can still constantly evolve.

Hope this was helpful.

With this I finish the blog and my cup of tea!!
So much for Multitasking! 

Let's Learn Together.
-Medha 😊

Monday, June 19, 2017

Baclofen for treatment of alcohol dependence


Recent evidence suggest that the gamma-aminobutyric acid-B receptor agonist baclofen is a promising agent for the treatment of alcoholism.


Baclofen produces an effortless decrease or suppression of alcohol craving. It decreases alcohol consumption including in those with poor motivation. The drug causes few side effects and does not add to the intoxication effect of alcohol.

It benefits patients with alcohol dependence (even those who are still in precontemplation stage of motivation!)

Research has shown that baclofen reduces withdrawal symptoms of alcohol and is safe in those with liver impairment.

Although further studies that compare long-term alcohol-related outcome of baclofen with established drugs such as naltrexone and disulfiram are needed.

Interesting, isn't it?


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Research update: Statins may increase risk of Parkinsons' disease

Hey Awesomites

A new research by neuroscientists has updated our knowledge about the association between high cholesterol levels in people and prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases such as the Parkinson's.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Wifi-allergy !

Now,being teenager we all know how much we are addicted to word "Wi-fi" or let's say  "Free Wi-fi".But today I came to know about a weird disorder "Wifi-allergy" .

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is popularly known as "Wifi-allergy".
Adverse reaction to electromagnetic field is seen even if a victim is exposed to EM field below threshold level .
There are no scientific basis for Wi-fi allergy .

No scientific signs and symptoms are specified,but non-specific symptoms such as headache,fatigue,stress,sleep distractions,skin prickling,burning sensation,rashes pain,and acne in muscles,ringing in the ear,tinnitus,unexpected earache,memory loss,inability to concentrate,nausea,insomnia,fluctuation in heart rate,deteriorating vision,weakness and spasm of muscles,
bladder problems can develop.

Many of these symptoms overlaps with other syndromes such as Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance(IEI)


No relation is found between exposure of electromagnetic field and symptoms.Studies shows it is a psychological disorder rather than a physiological .Many scientists claims that it is actually a nacebo effect.


Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is not an accepted diagnosis.No case definition /clinical practice guidelines are performed.No specific tests are performed.A French scientist Dr Belpomme has developed a technique using a computer and a Pulsed Eco-doppler which envelops diagnosis of electrical sensitivity.


There are no specific protocols for treatment of this psychological disorder.The basic treatment involes less use of devices which emits electromagnetic fields.

Stay awesome and cool:)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Autism and ADHD : The clinical intersection


Autism and Attention - Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may co - occur in upto 80% of children and they share about 50 - 75% of their genetic factors and pathologic features, thus resulting in some clinical intersection.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Why some people hate cheese!

Hello everybody!

So today let's learn a bit about how our brain circuits work.

Some people hate cheese. Like seriously?
How can you miss the warm fussy feeling you get while eating warm molten cheese in a Fondue!

Well some people might not feel any bit of it and rather feel disgusted when presented with cheese.( I feel bad for them )

Anyway let's see how these things work.

Why aversive to cheese per say? 

Cheese is the food that most frequently triggers aversion. 

 Among those with an aversion to cheese, 20% say they are intolerant to lactose. In 50% of cases, at least one of their family members does not like cheese either. These stats suggested that there is a genetic origin to this aversion, which might be related to lactose intolerance.

To find out what happens in the brain,  people who like cheese and who do not were selected and participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. 

They observed that the ventral pallidum which is activated in people who are hungry was totally inactive in people who had an aversion to cheese but was active for all other food types. Also the Globus Pallidus and Substantia Nigra part ( the reward circuit) was more active in people who had aversion to cheese than in those who do. 

So in conclusion, the areas of reward centres of our brain the Globus Pallidus and Substantia Nigra have two types of neurons with complementary activity , one relating to the rewarding aspect of food and other to it's aversive nature.

So now we have a breif idea as to how the brains are wired differently and how we all our special in our own ways!

Let's learn Together!


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Research update : Genetic locus of Anorexia nervosa revealed

Hey Awesomites

A Research landmark study led by UN school of medicine has found the first genetic locus for the perplexing illness, anorexia nervosa. Previously it was known that this eating disorder runs in families with genetic and environmental factors both playing their role and there is ten - fold risk in first -degree relatives, but no particular association with a genetic locus was provided.

Thought to be associated with psychiatric disorders like neuroticism and schizophrenia, it has also been positively correlated with underlying metabolic abnormalities including body - mass index (BMI) and insulin - glucose metabolism. Genome - wide association studies ( GWAS ) have revealed a significant locus for anorexia nervosa on chromosome 12, in a region previously shown to be associated with type -1 diabetes mellitus and autoimmune disorders. This means that this eating disorder shares common roots with metabolic and psychiatric traits !!

These results may help in reconceptualizing the underlying aetiology and pathogenesis of such a lethal disorder and also coming up with new treatment interventions to cure the disease.

Thats all
- Jaskunwar Singh

Friday, March 17, 2017

Facts and Fallacies: Vitamin D link to cancer

Hey Awesomites

Vitamin D has been shown beneficial for a variety of disorders and diseases. Recent studies now suggest that those deficient in vitamin D are at a  higher risk of developing cancer compared to those with adequate levels.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Fact of the day: Multi- vitamin supplements beneficial for schizophrenics


Recent studies suggest that high- doses of vitamin B help in reducing the symptoms of schizophrenic patients and those with other neuropsychological disorders, when added to the normal treatment in early stages. (Source)

- Jaskunwar Singh

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Hello awesomites !It's been long time that I haven't written anything due to exam pressure =). Let's start with today's simple topic.

What is scoliosis?

-It's a disorder in which spine has sideways curve like "C" or "S" .It may increases or remain same.Patient usually suffers from breathing problems ,constipation due to tightened organs.
-Factors causing scoliosis are mainly genetic though environmental factors may cause scoliosis.
-Diagnosis is mainly by Plain X-ray.


-Current methods requires surgery to adjust growth rods every 6 months .This may require 8 to 10 procedures in total.

What is MAGEC rods ?

-MAGnetic Expansion Control rods are used as non-invasive adjustments.
Surgeons can lengthen the rods using a Handle-held external magnet.It takes 15 minutes and is performed every 3-6 months .It is also cost effective.Once a surgeon implants the device it's easy to use by remote.
MAGEC is used in children's (normally under 10 age) with severe spine deformity .

Stay awesome:)


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fact of the day: Handedness arises from genes in the spinal cord

Handedness is an asymmetry arising due to left-right differences in the development of nervous system. Evidences suggest that a human embryo of eight weeks is able to move its right arm more than the left arm.

Well, if you know something about neurologic development in-utero, you must know that at eight weeks signals are not transmitted from the brain yet. Instead the signals travel from the spinal cord.

The left side of the cord matures faster than the right cord. This means the genes that control growth and development are activated faster on the left cord than the right one. In the hindbrain, it is the other way around.

That's all
- Jaskunwar Singh

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

Nasal spray that prevents suicide.

0Hello readers! Being in medical field we are quite acquainted with the word "Stress out" .Todays article is just about a simple nasal spray that can prove to be a boon to entire human kind.(I think specially our field ! :p)

Everything in a brain is carried out by special substances called as "Hormones" .Even the simplest change in mood is concerned with hormonal changes.For example in first trimester of pregnency a rapid rise in estrogen and progesterone can cause mood swings in woman.Similary when there is depletion of hormones or its metabolites or less production of hormone this can leads to depression ,low -emotional state ,anxiety etc.Suicide can be triggered by serious illness ,can also be triggered by low self-esteem or emotional pain .
Scientists are developing a nasal spray that can prevent suicides! .This nasal spray consists of Thyrotropin releasing hormone(TRH) also known as thyroliberin . Thyrotropin is actually hormone released by hypothalamus ,it actually stimulate release of thyrotropin and prolactin from anterior pituitary.Recent findings have found out that TRH  also shows  anti-depressant and anti-suicidal effects.Thus preventing suicidal behaviour and depression.Researchers want to figure out ,a way to deliver it to a brain when it is given through nose  .Brain is protected by Blood brain barrier (BBB),which is acting has a hinderence to pass TSH to brain.
Clinically it is related  in spinocerebellar degeneration and disturbance of  consciousness in humans.Pharmacological form is known as protirelin.

I hope scientists find it soon how to cross  BBB  :p
Exams are near and I am already freaking out :p
Keep smiling :)
Have a day with high level of TSH in brain :)


Can virus kill cancer cells ?

Hello awesomites !Today's topic is short ,simple and easy to understand.

Cancer is basically a disease where there is abnormal growth of cells in body and sometimes it is also malignant that is ,it can spread from one organ/site to another.These newly formed cells can disturb normal cycle of other cells .When a  cell suffers DNA damage from cancer,a virus or radiation a group of protein complex MRN is sent to repair DNA.MRN is protein complex ,it consists of Mre11,
Rad50 and Nbs1 .In eukaryotes initial processing of double strand DNA breaks prior to repair by homologus recombination or by non-homologus joining.
When a DNA virus is present in the cell,MRN instead focuses on removing it.
If both DNA damage & a DNA virus are present in a single cell .The MRN complex is unable to manage both threats at once and ends up ignoring the virus .
These new findings imply that scientist might be able to form a virus that targets and  kills only cancer cells.

Keep smiling:)
Good day:)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Artificial skin

Hello awesomites !!! Today's topic is something that really has created revolution in the entire human race - "Artificial skin"

Skin is the largest organ of our body. It consists of three parts Epidermis, dermis and fatty layer. Epidermis serves as the protective layer of the skin, it prevents the entry of the pathogen into body with the help of sebaceous and sweat glands along with long chain fatty acids, and dermis consists of all the nerves, artery and veins that supply skin. Fatty layer maintain the body temperature.
A damage to the skin through burns causes loss of large number of plasma and it provides free entry to pathogens into body. Artificial skin was discovered by Loannis yannas & his colleague surgeon Dr John burke.

Artificial skin was discovered to replace bandages, which cannot seal large damage areas. Patients with extensive burns often die as bandages cannot heal their wounds completely. Even if patient survives some scars are left behind on skin. Artificial skin consists of collagen polymers. Collagen is protein found in skin. Artificial skin helps patient to grow skin without forming any scars. It has been commercially prepared under name as IntegraTM.

It is also used in plastic surgery and also in chronic skin wounds.
Ahh!    That's it :)
            Keep smiling :)
            Have a nice day!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Replacement to open heart surgery

Hello awesomites today I am gonna tell you something that is really -really interesting and fascinating !.
We all know how crucial is open heart surgery in some conditions, here is one of the alternative methods of open heart surgery.(For some conditions)

Alternative method :-
For the 1st time a new catheter technology was used in place of open heart surgery.
Cardioband is a low impact method to fix leaky mitral or tricuspid valve in heart. The catheter technology offers a minimal invasive alternative to heal a leaky valve. It enables the tightening of a leaky annulus in the heart. During this procedure, the band is placed around the open valves using catheter. It is served with anchors & tightened using a wire until the valve is fully closed. Until now , only treatment of leaky tricuspid was open heart surgery.

Now patient  previously thought to be inoperable will have chance to be treated.
University Zurich hospital successfully performed first tricuspid surgery using cardioband .
Have a happy day
Keep smiling:)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Migraine- Research updates

Hey Awesomites

Now that we are clear on the basics, here's another post on recent updates and studies on the concepts of causation and treatment strategies of migraine.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Neurodevelopmental maturity and adulthood

Hey Awesomites!

When do you really attain adulthood?
18. That's when you are legally declared an adult. Right? Oh so you already got the answer. Hey no wait.. we are medical professionals and students of science. So talking in a legal way doesn't always seem right, because from a scientific perspective, adulthood is still an unsolved mystery. Let me tell you about it here..

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Mental distractions

Hey Awesomites!

Let me ask you a question.. how much focused you are during your study time? Well, as a medical student you try your best to focus on what is written in the book and in making your own notes. You are not aware of your surroundings anymore. Someone comes nearby and calls you or sits just beside you but still your eyes are on those words and difficult medical terms of the diseases and syndromes and the drugs used to treat them. This is called Change blindness, a perceptual phenomenon that occurs when you don't notice a major change in the environment because you are too focused on one particular thing.

Let me give you another example. A young guy is standing in a long queue at a place while some people arrive from the opposite side. He starts staring on a cute little child who was looking at him too. They share smiles, and eye contact for several minutes while the mother carrying the child moves on. The guy just stands still there and is not aware of the surroundings when other people behind shout at him because he is not moving forward or letting them go. All of a sudden he realizes where he is and so walks ahead. This transient moment is the change blindness. :D
Note: Even maintaining an eye- contact with someone, even a child in this case may prove strenuous for the brain especially during reasoning and verbal processing and so is itself a distraction (distracting the young guy from the queue and instead focusing on that child). That is why we periodically avert our eyes during conversations.

During this particular moment this guy activated his visual association area (visual cortex) while looking at that child which meant he was just paying attention to the perceptual details (the depth of eyes of that child, cuteness, innocence, love).

On the other hand, the older adults may notice changes and patterns happening around while doing a particular task as well. Reduced focus (mental distractions) in the aging brain is responsible for the abstract thinking in them that is needed for problem solving and creative work.

In other words, the healthy aging people show thinking patterns that allow them to make connections among pieces of information that are right in front of them as well as information they have have encountered in the past. For example, an older adult involved in a conversation might pick up information on current road conditions from a television nearby, whereas a younger adult might be paying a closer attention to the conversation itself. Later on, the older adult might make use of the information from the TV broadcast while planning a route home. 

The study suggests that older adults tend to have more focused attention in the morning and more of the abstract thinking later in the day. College students on the other hand tend to have their peak attention in the afternoon or evening and are less focused in mornings.

Inability to remember details of major events or just the location of objects begins in early midlife (the 40s) which does not mean the brain function is deteriorating, instead it may be the result of the changing focus of brain on the particular information during the process of memory formation and its retrieval. The experiments on this study have concluded that the middle- aged and older adults don't really show the same level of visual cortex activation as the young do when they recall the information. Instead, their medial prefrontal cortex is activated, a part of the brain that is involved in learning associations between events and the corresponding adaptive responses. The mPFC likely relies on the hippocampus to support rapid learning and memory consolidation.

Thats all
- Jaskunwar Singh

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Night terrors vs Nightmares

Hey awesomites!

People who have night terrors are often misdiagnosed, nightmares being the most common. Post traumatic stress disorder is another common misdiagnosis (in adults).
Here's the difference between night tremors and nightmares both of these are classified under a group of disorders, the Parasomnias!

Recent research suggests that getting an extra sleep for 30- 40 minutes a night reduces both nightmares and night terrors to a great extent.

Scheduled awakening therapy-
Another treatment strategy (for night terror) is "Scheduled awakening therapy". It involves waking the person from sleep 15- 30 minutes before the episodes typically occur so that the cycle is interrupted and prevent the onset of the night terror. But the child is not to be fully awaken in the middle of the night.
Thats where the idea of sleep guardian came from. The sleep guardian plans smartly and finds a right time to partially wake up the child and vibrate each night (for less than 3 minutes). This prevents the episode of night terrors and sleep is not actually totally disturbed.
This method of prevention of night terrors has shown 90% positive results within first week with 80% fewer night terrors after four weeks of use.

Thats all
- Jaskunwar Singh