Brain scans can ‘see’ and measure pain

By: Marilynn Marchione

In a provocative new study, scientists reported that they were able to “see” pain on brain scans and, for the first time, measure its intensity and tell whether a drug was relieving it. Though the research is in its early stages, it opens the door to many possibilities.Scans might be used someday to tell when pain is hurting a baby, someone with dementia, or a paralyzed person... READ MORE

Vision loss may lead to hallucinations

By: Lighthouse International

People with Charles Bonnet syndrome (CBS) can vouch for the cliché that things aren’t always as they seem. This syndrome, named for the 18th century philosopher who first described it, is characterized by the periodic occurrence of hallucinatory visions.People with CBS may see anything from abstract patterns to birds to babies to white sandy beaches. Sometimes the hallucinations are... READ MORE

A healthy long life? It’s all in our heads

By: Douglas Heaven

Hypothalamus may hold keys to aging wellA mechanism that controls aging, counting down to inevitable death, has been identified in the hypothalamus — a part of the brain that controls most of the basic functions of life.By manipulating this mechanism, researchers have both shortened and lengthened the lifespan of mice. The discovery reveals several new drug targets that, if not quite... READ MORE

Forgetfulness can have multiple causes

By: Dr. Daniel Pendrick

Worried that you’re getting more forgetful as you age? Ironically, worry itself can trigger memory slips.It might take a conversation with your doctor to pinpoint the cause of your memory lapses — especially if the change is sudden or uncharacteristic.“If it’s worse than it was a few months ago, or somebody is asking you about it, that would definitely be something... READ MORE

Breast cancer radiation may harm hearts

By: Marilynn Marchion

Women treated with radiation for breast cancer are more likely to develop heart problems later, even with the lower doses used today, new research suggests. The risk comes from any amount of radiation, starts five years after treatment, and lasts for decades, doctors in the UK found.Patients shouldn’t panic — radiation has improved cancer survival, and that is the top priority,... READ MORE

New tools fix hearts without major surgery

By: Marilynn Marchione

Have a heart problem? If it’s fixable, there’s a good chance it can be done without surgery, using tiny tools and devices that are pushed through tubes into blood vessels.Heart care is in the midst of a transformation. Many problems that once required sawing through the breastbone and opening up the chest for open heart surgery now can be treated with a nip, twist or patch... READ MORE