NeuroHealth: Our brains, spines, nerves & minds are all connected. Now you can connect to the latest info from the University of Michigan’s neuro & mental health specialists, and neuroscientists, all in one place.
Blood-brain barriers protect the brain from trauma and illness and yet are a major problem in developing drugs to target neurological disorders
Most people aren’t aware that blood-brain barriers have an affect on how brains react to stroke and other assaults on the brain. We spoke with Dr. Richard Keep, Director, Crosby Neurosurgical Laboratories, to find out more.
What are blood-brain and blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barriers?
They are specialized interfaces between the bloodstream and the brain situated at the blood vessels of the brain (the blood-brain barrier or BBB) and at a specialized tissue called the choroid plexus that secretes the CSF that bathes the brain (the blood-CSF barrier).
What is the function of those barriers?
The brain needs a well-controlled environment to function properly and these barrier tissues help provide that by controlling the entry of molecules from blood to brain, by transporting important nutrients (such as glucose) into the brain, and by transporting waste products and potential neurotoxic agents from the brain. They also control the entry of white blood cells into the brain (regulate inflammation). Continue reading →
Portion of CT scan of a brain that has experienced acute ischemic stroke
A Spanish research team has recently found that giving uric acid (UA) with intravenous thrombolytic therapy (tPA) to patients with acute ischemic stroke could help improve outcomes, particularly in women. Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. William J. Meurer talked with us about the study and its implications for stroke treatment and research.
Do the results of the Spanish study mean that hospitals will start supplementing clot-busting tPA with uric acid (UA) when they treat ischemic stroke patients?
No. The main trial didn’t find UA to work when given to everyone. The Spanish researchers have generated an interesting hypothesis by observing that it worked in women. There is not strong enough evidence yet to change practice, but it’s an interesting area for future research.
The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that about 18% of American women and 6% of men suffer from migraine. University of Michigan’s Dr. Wade M. Cooper talks about migraine triggers, solutions and advances in treatments.
Migraines are those incredibly painful headaches that can last hours or even days, usually 4 to 72 hours. They may cause severe throbbing in the head as well as sensitivity to light, sounds or smells. Often, the person wants to curl up in a dark room and stay there until the pain and symptoms go away. Continue reading →
In our Collegiate Sleep Disorders Clinic, I have seen first hand the importance of identifying and resolving sleep issues. Sleep can have a major impact on grades. Poor sleep or a sleep disorder can mean the difference between dropping out of college or a successful semester. Improving sleep might help a student have the GPA that allows them to go to medical school or graduate school. Continue reading →
More than a million Michiganders will head out to a pool or Great Lake this long Labor Day weekend, soaking up the 80-degree temperatures for perhaps the last time before the pool toys get packed away in favor of packing up the backpacks.
Whether it’s a body of water your family swims in every summer, or you’re trying out a new Mitten State destination, it’s important to keep your safety vigilance in and around the water.
Dr. Shawn Hervey-Jumper, a neurosurgeon at the University of Michigan Health System, focuses on just two words to convey the most important water safety tip: feet first. It’s not worth the risk to dive in if you have any doubts.
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