All news from Neurology

Spaceflight Changes Human Species

Careful Spectator readers may recall this writer’s review of “Endurance,” Scott Kelly’s book about his 11 months living on the International Space Station (ISS) zipping around the Earth at 17,000 miles an hour. His journey was part of the $1.5 million NASA Twins Study when medicos compared his physiological changes with his identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, who is a retired NASA astronaut.

Cornell Alumni News magazine interviewed Weill Cornell Medical School Professor Chris Mason about preliminary results of his work on the study plus some reporters’ misinterpretations plus some funny tweets from the subjects that created headlines that space travel “had transformed an astronaut into something other than human.

Shape Of Ear Affects Hearing

Researchers have discovered that filling in an external part of the ear with a small piece of silicone drastically changes people’s ability to tell whether a sound came from above or below. But given time. Ears are a peculiarly individual piece of anatomy. Those little fleshy seashells, whether they stick out or hang low, can be instantly recognizable in family portraits.

And they aren’t just for show. The study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the brain adjusts to the new shape, regaining the ability to pinpoint sounds with almost the same accuracy as before.r

Hospital Stay Serves Large Numbers Of Cardiac Patients

When Medicare in 2011 agreed to pay for a revolutionary procedure to replace leaky heart valves by snaking a synthetic replacement up through blood vessels, the goal was to offer relief to the tens of thousands of patients too frail to endure open-heart surgery, the gold standard.

To help ensure good results, federal officials limited Medicare payment only to hospitals that serve large numbers of cardiac patients. The strategy worked. In the past seven years, more than 135,000 mostly elderly patients have undergone transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR. And TAVR's in-hospital mortality rate has dropped by two-thirds, to 1.5%.

Structure In Lymph Nodes Are Identified By Photon Microscopy

Researchers have identified a new 'micro-organ' within the immune system and they say it's an important step towards understanding how to make better vaccines. They have identified where the immune system 'remembers' past infections and vaccinations and where immune cells gather to mount a rapid response against an infection the body has seen before. The study was published this week in Nature Communications.

Regulation Of Energy Rheostasis By The Melanocortin-3 Receptor

Scientists have identified the function of a protein that has been confounding metabolism researchers for more than two decades. And it may have implications both for treating obesity and for understanding weight gain during pregnancy and menopause.

The protein, called the melanocortin 3 receptor (MC3R) maintains what Roger Cone, director of the U-M Life Sciences Institute, has termed "energy rheostasis," a poorly understood phenomenon in the field of metabolism research.

A lack of MC3R has almost no effect on mice under normal conditions. But when their metabolism is challenged, mice without this protein lose more weight when fasting and gain more weight when eating a high-fat diet, compared with normal mice.

Cerebral Stroke After Surgery Leads To Blood Flow

The researcher showed that a patient suffered a cerebral stroke after his parents failed to recognize a warning sign for a disorder related to blood flow, recovering after brain surgery at AMRI Hospitals Dhakuria. They had a seizure in sleep one-and-a-half years ago, woke up and started shrieking, complained of a severe headache and was unable to recognize his parents for a while.