Tag Archives: brain

Alien Hand Syndrome – a weird neurological problem

Alien Hand Syndrome (Credit: Namco Bandai Games)Alien Hand Syndrome is a rare; probably that’s why a strange, neurological disorder in which a person feels that one of his hands (anarchic hand) is outside of his or her control. This syndrome was first identified in the year 1909. It is also known as “Dr. Strangelove syndrome” as the fictional character Dr. Strangelove was unable to control his hand in making a Nazi salute. Continue reading Alien Hand Syndrome – a weird neurological problem

No Adverse Cognitive Effects in Kids Breastfed by Moms Using Antiepileptic Drugs

brain (Credit: Slowgogostock/Flickr)Main Point:

Breastfeeding by mothers treated with antiepileptic drug (AED) therapy was not associated with adverse effects on cognitive function in children at 6 years.

Published in:

JAMA Pediatrics

Author:

Kimford J. Meador, M.D., of Stanford University, California, and colleagues for the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (NEAD) Study Group.

Background:

Some concern has been raised that breastfeeding by mothers being treated with AED therapy may be harmful to the child because some AEDs can cause neuronal apoptosis (cell death) in immature animal brains.

How the Study Was Conducted:

The study is an ongoing investigation of neurodevelopmental effects of AEDs on cognitive outcomes in children of mothers with epilepsy treated with AEDs. Preliminary results at age 3 years found no difference in IQ for children who breastfed vs. those who did not. However, IQ at age 6 years is more predictive of school performance and adult abilities. The study assessed 181 children at 6 years for whom investigators had both breastfeeding and IQ data. Continue reading No Adverse Cognitive Effects in Kids Breastfed by Moms Using Antiepileptic Drugs

Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn

Brain (Credit: Growing brain/Flickr)Main Points:

The cognitive differences between humans and our closest living cousins, the chimpanzees, are staggeringly obvious. Although we share strong superficial physical similarities, we have been able to use our incredible mental abilities to construct civilisations and manipulate our environment to our will, allowing us to take over our planet and walk on the moon while the chimps grub around in a few remaining African forests.

Published in:

PLOS Biology

Study Further:

But a new study suggests that human muscle may be just as unique. Scientists from Shanghai’s CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, together with teams from German Max Planck Institutes, investigated the evolution of metabolites – small molecules like sugars, vitamins, amino acids and neurotransmitters that represent key elements of our physiological functions. Their study found that metabolite concentrations evolved rapidly over the course of human evolution in two tissues: in the brain and, more surprisingly, in muscle. An article describing their findings will be published on May 27th in the open-access journal PLOS Biology. Continue reading Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn