Football helmets may do little to prevent concussions
Concussions in football have been a topic of wide discussion for years. Now researchers are saying that football helmets do little to protect players from head injuries.
A team from the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology and the Florida State University College of Medicine conducted a standard drop test analyzing the durability and safety of 10 common football helmets upon impact. Sensors were installed inside the head of a crash dummy to test the linear and rotational responses to 12-mile-per-hour impacts with and without helmets.
On average, football helmets reduced the risk of traumatic brain injury by only 20 percent. The helmet with the best protection against concussion (but the worst protection against closed head injury) was the Adams a2000 and the helmet with the worst concussion protection was the Schutt Air Advantage.
One researcher noted the most popular helmets happened to be the ones with the worst protection. However, the researchers found that helmets are useful in some ways, such as protecting the head against skull fractures (by 60 to 70 percent) and bruising (by 70 to 80 percent) from linear impacts.
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Sourced from: medicalnewstoday.com, Football helmets ‘may do little to protect against concussion’
Cancer "monorails" may help kill brain tumors
Scientists at Georgia Tech say they have developed a new way to treat brain cancer, one that involves tricking tumor cells to move along a microfiber “track” to a location where doctors can target them more effectively.
According to a study published in Nature Materials, the researchers constructed “monorails” thinner than a piece of human hair that mimic the pathways cancer cells normally latch on to as they spread through the brain. But the artificial pathways can instead direct the cancer cells to a location where they can be attacked by doctors.
Testing showed that brain tumors shrunk by 93 percent in animals that received these synthetic microfibers compared to tumors that went untreated. While this process offers a new potential treatment for brain cancer, more testing is required on animals before it is attempted on humans.
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Sourced from: bbc.co.uk, Cancer: ‘Tumour monorail’ can lead cancers to their doom
Scientists find clues for why people remember dreams
The ability to remember dreams may be related to the level of activity in specific areas of the brain, according to a new study.
Scientists from France recruited 21 high dream recallers—defined as those who recalled dreams about five times a week—and 20 low dream recallers—those who recalled dreams about two times a month. The participants’ brain activity was monitored during both sleep and wakefulness by PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography). The researchers found that the high dream recallers demonstrated more activity during both sleep and wakefulness in two areas of the brain—the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and the medial prefrontal cortex.
The new study suggests that dream memorization is not only linked to brain activity during sleep, but to brain activity during wakefulness as well. The findings, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, add to previous factors linked to high dream memorization, including having a brain that reacts more to sounds and waking up in the middle of the night.
While the results conclude that brain activity affects dream memorization, the researchers acknowledged that it is possible that varying levels of dream production may also have played a role in the study’s outcome.
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Neuroscientists find clue to how we remember dreams