Following my list of resources for fresh neuroscientists, I figured I'd share something for those interested in exploring neuroscience but not quite ready to pick up a textbook, namely neurocomic. Neurocomic is a Wellcome Trust supported project that aims to explain neuroscience ideas to a lay audience using comics. The brainchild of neuroscientists Hana Ros (UCL) … Continue reading Neurocomic
There is a new paper out in Scientific Reports, titled "Investigating the neural correlates of smoking: Feasibility and results of combining electronic cigarettes with fMRI". This is a study that have managed to combine actual smoking with functional MRI (fMRI). Most studies looking at brain processing of smoking run into trouble with MRI. This is … Continue reading Smoking in the scanner?
Pulmonary rehabilitation is one of the most effective treatments for breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), yet its effect is variable. While up to 60% of patients who complete a course of treatment see an improvement, that leaves 40% that do not. Understanding why it works for some and not for others can help … Continue reading Pulmonary rehab: changing the signal
Magnetic resonance imaging is sensitive to motion. Just like with other images, movement may cause blurring and distortion ('artefacts'). To counteract this, motion correction methods are often used. These include devices that track motion as well as software that can correct some of the artefacts after the images have been collected. We have just published … Continue reading MRI and motion correction
MRI is complex, but the basic events in the scanner are quite straight-forward. Below is a short, simple guide to what happens during an MRI scan without too much physics to complicate matters. It explains the actual events in the scanner and a simplified overview of the parameters we can use to change the images we … Continue reading What happens during an MRI?
We've recently published a paper on how opioids can modulate breathlessness. (The whole manuscript is open access here). Low-dose opioids can be used for treating chronic breathlessness, but we don't know exactly how they work. Opioid receptors exist across the brain. These are part of the internal opioid system (endogenous opioid system) for natural pain relief. When … Continue reading Breathlessness and opioids
Breathlessness can be many things. For example, it can be the shortness of breath after exercise - short-lived and laced with endorphins - or it can be the frightening gasping for breath experienced by patients with a range of diseases from cardiac failure and cancer to respiratory disease. From a physiological point of view, these may look quite … Continue reading Breathlessness & the Brain
We've recently published a paper titled "Electroencephalographic Response to Sodium Nitrite May Predict Delayed Cerebral Ischemia After Severe Subarachnoid Hemorrhage" on how electroencephalography (EEG for short) can be used to figure out which patients with a certain type of stroke (subarachnoid hemorrhage) will develop a complication after the initial brain bleed and which will not. … Continue reading Predicting trouble: EEG, NO and stroke
Revisiting brain regions, courtesy of Pinky and the Brain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snO68aJTOpM (Incidentally, I named my first neuroscience review paper "Dyspnoea and the Brain" partly in honour of this comic, fully expecting the title to be dismissed by colleagues and journal alike. It wasn't. Nobody has spotted the connection yet, sadly.)
As easy as breathing? It may seem like it, but breathing is actually no easy process. It involves the precise integration of several systems, including, of course, the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems (gas exchange and transport, respectively). However, it also requires the direct involvement of the central nervous system: the brain. The drive to breathe … Continue reading Breathing on the brain