Can Dental Stem Cell Technology Make Root Canals Obsolete?

Stem cell technology is promising in many respects and nowhere is that more evident than in the field of dentistry where painful root canals could become a thing of the past if promising advances in treating tooth decay pan out. Continue reading

Biomagnetism and Bio-Electromagnetism: The Foundation of Life

Throughout the past 30 years, scientists have been   extensively researching organisms that have the ability to produce the   ferromagnetic mineral magnetite. Magnetite is a black mineral form of iron oxide that crystallizes in the cubic  or isometric system, namely all crystals which have their crystallographic axes of equal length at 90 degrees   to each other. It is a mixed Iron (II) Iron (III)  oxide, Fe3O4, and is Continue reading

Natural Strategies to Beat Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the myelin sheath on the nerve endings gets inflamed and damaged. This leads to scarring of the neurological tissue in the brain and spinal cord. While the medical model has very little support, many individuals have found ways to beat multiple sclerosis with natural lifestyle strategies.

MS is a condition Continue reading

Sodium Buildup in Brain Linked to Disability in Multiple Sclerosis

A buildup of sodium in the brain detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be a biomarker for the degeneration of nerve cells that occurs in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

The study found that patients with early-stage MS showed Continue reading

The Truth about Salt

The never-ending advice to cut back on salt fails to give the whole story on this misunderstood substance. In fact, if you don’t get enough of the right kind of salt, you may be sowing the seeds of your own health destruction. Continue reading

The Hidden Key to Optimal Brain Performance

Story at-a-glance Continue reading

Your Immune System Can Kill

Sometimes the disease itself doesn’t kill; the killer is the victim’s own immune system.

A growing amount of research shows that this can happen with certain infections, such as those that cause Lyme disease, syphilis, mycoplasmal pneumonia, and especially viral infections of the nervous system. Death and severe neurological damage come from an attack by our own body’s immune system and not from the damage done by the invading microorganism.

Activation of the body’s immune system triggers the release of glutamate which slowly kills brain cells by a process called excitotoxicity.

A recent study examined a viral infection of the central nervous system of mice which produced severe damage to the hippocampus area of the brain and to the spinal cord, and resulted in death in all of the mice in a little over a week. In some of the mice, researchers used an AMPA type glutamate receptor blocker, which prevented death in most of the animals and also prevented spinal cord damage.

Ironically, at the time the animals were protected from the damage by the glutamate receptor blocker, Continue reading

Vanderbilt Researchers, International Team, Uncover Genes Linked to Multiple Sclerosis

Research doubles number of genes associated with the disease

An international team of scientists has identified 29 new genetic variants linked to multiple sclerosis, providing key insights into the biology of an important and very debilitating neurological disease.

Multiple sclerosis (MS), one of the most common neurological conditions among young adults, affects around 2.5 million individuals worldwide. It is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, and can cause severe symptoms such as paralysis or loss of vision.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Center for Human Genetics Research (CHGR) played an important role Continue reading

Minimizing Pain from Shingles

Post-herpetic neuralgia (pain caused by shingles episodes) is one of the worst pains one can experience. Newer research has shown that the chronic pain is secondary to immunoexcitotoxicity within the area of the spinal cord supplied by the involved nerve.

In one study, the antibiotic minocycline had great success because it reduces microglia activation — the source of the immunoexcitotoxicity. St. John’s wort, which also reduces glutamate excitotoxicity, is helpful, too, as is L-theonine.

Other useful treatments include curcumin, quercetin (500 mg of each mixed with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and taken three times a day), hesperidin, magnesium, vitamin K,  Continue reading

What is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a disease in which certain nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord slowly die. These nerve cells are called motor neurons, and they control the muscles that allow you to move the parts of your body. ALS is also called Lou Gehrig’s disease.

People with ALS gradually become more disabled. How quickly the disease gets worse is different for everyone. Some people live with ALS for several years. But over time, ALS makes it hard to walk, speak, eat, swallow, and breathe. These problems can lead to injury, illness, and eventually death.

It can be very scary to learn that you have ALS. Talking with your doctor, getting counseling, or joining a support group may help you deal with your feelings. Your family members may also need support or counseling as your disease gets worse.                                                                                       Continue reading

Migraine Sufferers More Vulnerable to Hangover

JEFFERSON – Migraine sufferers may be more vulnerable to an alcohol-induced headache after a night of drinking, according to researchers.

Until now, studying the mechanism behind migraine and other forms of recurrent headaches has not been possible in an animal model, says Michael Oshinsky, assistant Neurology professor at Jefferson Medical College (JMC).

Oshinsky developed a rat model in which headaches are induced by repeatedly stimulating, over weeks to months, the brain’s dura mater with an inflammatory mixture. Dura mater is the outermost, toughest, and most fibrous of the three membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

Oshinsky and Christina Maxwell, doctoral student in the neuroscience programme, used their model to study the effects of alcohol on rats who suffer recurrent migraines, compared to rats free of headaches.

Such headaches are associated with hypersensitivity to light, sound and touch on the head and face. Researchers, using four groups of rats, measured their sensitivity to touch around the eye. They monitored the change in pain threshold of the face resulting from the repeated dural stimulation.

“Our results suggest that dehydration or impurities in alcohol are not responsible for hangover headache,” Oshinsky said.

“Since these rats were sufficiently hydrated and the alcohol they received contained no impurities, the alcohol itself or a metabolite must be causing the hangover-like headache. These data confirm the clinical observation that people with migraine are more susceptible to alcohol-induced headaches.”

Oshinsky and his lab are now also studying the mechanism for the induction of headache, and also the metabolites of alcohol that cause hangover, said a JMC release.

The study was presented at Neuroscience 2009, the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, in Chicago.

Natural and Herbal Remedies for Chemotherapy Side Effects

BEVERLY HILLS- Looking for herbal remedies to combat chemotherapy side effects? Confused about which natural remedies work best? Worried about the safety of natural herbal remedies for treating chemotherapy side effects? Here are some safe natural alternatives for treating the side effects of

Ginger (for Nausea)

According to MSNBC News, a new study has accredited ginger capsules with providing significant nausea relief to chemotherapy patients. Patients in the study took ginger capsules for several days prior to therapy. Ginger is a common herbal remedy for stomach pain.

Ginseng (for Energy)

Side effects of chemotherapy treatments can leave the patient depleted. Toxins in chemotherapy medication take a heavy toll on the body. Ginseng as an herbal remedy can bring back vitality. In addition to providing energy, ginseng is felt to reduce stress and anxiety.

Peppermint (for Nausea)

Peppermint is a natural stomach soothing herbal remedy. Try a couple drops of peppermint extract in a glass of water to ease stomach discomfort after chemotherapy. This herbal remedy is easier than most for children undergoing chemotherapy.

Burdock (Blood Purifier)

This herbal remedy drives chemotherapy toxins from the body. Chemotherapy fills the body with toxins to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately these toxins have a negative effect on the rest of the human body as well. Burdock causes profuse sweating to drive toxins out of the body.

Sweating (to Release Toxins)

Many toxins are only released from the body through sweat glands. Exercise is essential for this natural remedy. Another good way to induce sweating is with a sauna. If a sauna is not available, try eating hot peppers or running a hot shower while behind closed bathroom doors.

Aloe (Soothe Stomach and Intestines)

Aloe Vera is a natural remedy for sunburns, cuts and scrapes. One of the side effects of chemotherapy is damage to the stomach and intestines. Aloe Vera juice can be purchased from the health food store as a natural drink. This home remedy heals the stomach and intestines of chemotherapy patients.

Omega 3 (Strengthen Immune System)

No natural remedy article is complete without the mention of Omega 3. This amino acid supplement comes in convenient capsule form. It will strengthen an immune system weakened by the side effects of chemotherapy.

Antioxidants (Strengthen Immune System)

Chemotherapy kills cancer cells. Unfortunately it also kills everything else. This is why Omega 3 and antioxidants are so important as natural remedies for chemotherapy side effects. Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables fight free radicals and strengthen the immune system.

Novel Treatment Helps Paralyzed Rats Walk Again After Spinal-Cord Injury

Virtual stimuli and anxiety

LOS ANGELES – Experimenting on rats, a team of researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) have found that a combination of drugs, electrical stimulation and regular exercise can enable paralyzed animals to walk, and even run again while supporting their full weight on a treadmill.

The researchers say that their findings suggest that the regeneration of severed nerve fibres is not required for paraplegic rats to learn to walk again.

According to them, their findings may hold implications for human rehabilitation after spinal cord injuries.

“The spinal cord contains nerve circuits that can generate rhythmic activity without input from the brain to drive the hind leg muscles in a way that resembles walking called ’stepping,’” Nature magazine quoted principal investigator Reggie Edgerton, a professor of neurobiology and physiological sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, as saying.

“Previous studies have tried to tap into this circuitry to help victims of spinal cord injury. While other researchers have elicited similar leg movements in people with complete spinal injuries, they have not achieved full weight-bearing and sustained stepping as we have in our study,” he added.

During the study, the researchers tested rats with complete spinal injuries that left no voluntary movement in their hind legs.

They set the paralyzed rats on a moving treadmill belt, then administered drugs that act on the neurotransmitter serotonin, and applied low levels of electrical currents to the spinal cord below the point of injury.

They observed that the combination of stimulation and sensation derived from the rats’ limbs moving on a treadmill belt triggered the spinal rhythm-generating circuitry, and prompted walking motion in the rats’ paralyzed hind legs.

The team says that daily treadmill training over several weeks eventually enabled the rats to regain full weight-bearing walking, including backwards, sideways and at running speed.

However, the injury still interrupted the brain’s connection to the spinal cord-based rhythmic walking circuitry, leaving the rats unable to walk of their own accord.

Neuro-prosthetic devices may bridge human spinal cord injuries to some extent, but so activating the spinal cord rhythmic circuitry as the UCLA team did may help in rehabilitation after spinal cord injuries.

A research article describing the study has been published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.