Telegraph Road Clinic News


A recent study could change our understanding of the ways in which mitochondria, or the powerhouses of the cells, influence Parkinson’s disease. The latest results fly in the face of current theories.

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative conditions in the United States, and it affects an estimated 1 millionpeople there, plus 10 million worldwide.

The disease causes a gradual impairment of motor skills, with symptoms including tremor and rigidity. Parkinson’s can also lead to dementia, depression, and anxiety.

The primary changes in the Parkinson’s disease-affected brain occur in a small region called the substantia nigra. These dopamine-producing neurons die off, and the region is infiltrated by so-called Lewy bodies, which are abnormal aggregates of protein.

Despite years of research, the mechanisms that underly Parkinson’s disease are unknown. However, recent research implies that mitochondrial dysfunction might be involved.


WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1  — Heart failure is associated with a loss of gray matter in the brain and a decline in mental processes, according to a new study.

They conducted memory and other mental performance tests on 35 heart failure patients, 56 patients with ischemic heart disease (which sometimes but not always accompanies heart failure), and 64 healthy people. MRI exams were used to assess gray matter volume in different parts of the brain.

In heart failure, the heart muscle is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body, while ischemic heart disease affects the supply of blood to the heart.

Heart failure patients had worse immediate and long-term memory and reaction speeds than healthy people. The brain scans showed that heart failure was associated with losses of gray matter in areas believed to be important for memory, reasoning and planning.


According to a 2016 study that was published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia, in the United States, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease every 66 seconds.

In total, the study authors note, about 5.4 million adults live with this condition. It is characterized by progressive memory loss and the impairment of other cognitive functions tied to conducting daily activities.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, so treatments focus on managing its symptoms. It is particularly important for people living with this condition to be able to carry out their day-to-day activities for as long as possible, in order to maintain a good quality of life.

A recent clinical trial conducted by specialists at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus tested the efficiency of implants for deep brain stimulation in helping people with Alzheimer’s to keep living independently for longer.


“Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are,” the adage goes, but what if I could predict your friendships based on your brain activity? This is exactly what scientists have done in a new study.

Popular wisdom abounds in sayings about how friendships are first formed, such as “birds of a feather flock together” and “friends are on the same wavelength.”

And, as it turns out, there is more than just a grain of truth to these age-old concepts.

A new study led by Carolyn Parkinson — who was formerly based at Dartmouth College in Hanover, MA, but who is now an assistant professor of psychology working at the University of California in Los Angeles — shows that the brains of friends respond in very similar ways to the same stimuli.

Friendship, like romance, is a scientific puzzle: why do we befriend certain people and not others? Is it because we tend to unconsciously choose people who are most similar to us, such as individuals of the same age, sex, or educational background?

Are friendships politically motivated, based on an instinctive understanding of social hierarchy? Or, as we may like to believe, are they explained by more complex, intellectual similarities?

The team’s study, published yesterday in the journal Nature Communications, argues that we tend to associate with people whose brains respond in a similar way to our own to the same preset stimuli.

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