Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Emotional Fitness: Increase your self-esteem

There are many things you can do to help you feel good about yourself. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.
1. Organize your desk. Whereas Einstein did say that a clean desk was the sign of a sick mind, organizing yours will reduce the chances of you having a minor meltdown when you have to find that piece of paper in a hurry and will also give you a sense of accomplishment.
2. Learn a new computer program. The pride you will get from mastering or just understanding the basics of a computer is very empowering. Learning something new builds brain cells, increases feelings of positivity and helps to stave off Alzheimer's.
3. Fix something around the house. Saving a few bucks by doing it yourself has become the norm for many of us. Funny thing is, every time I put out a little energy on the house and am successful at the task, I actually feel better about myself. Try it.
4. Organize your photos. Whether on the computer or in albums, reviewing your history (or herstory) is a great way of seeing where you've been and how you've evolved over the years.
5. Keep a gratitude journal. The process is elegant in its simplicity: write down five things that you feel grateful about. If you do this on a daily basis, it will change the way you think and feel. The best time is just before bed, when the gratitude will flow into your subconscious as you sleep.
6. The world is your ally. Einstein also said: "We all need to see the universe as friendly." Making friends with life allows you to play with it as well as be a player in it.
7. Accentuate the positive. Of the gazillion thoughts we have each day, research has determined that 80 percent of them are negative. When you are able to learn to identify these downer moments and replace them with positive images, it's really empowering and makes your days nicer.
8. Build a support structure. Support groups were around well before psychotherapy. If you don't have friends, family or co-workers who support you emotionally, join a group or form one of your own.
9. Feel the love. Perhaps nothing makes you feel better about yourself than being loved by someone you admire. You don't have to be in a romantic relationship; what I'm talking about is unconditional love, which can come from anyone.
10. Get into good physical condition. Being fit is very important to your confidence, as well as your physical well-being. Exercise is your easiest, most accessible, and cheapest form of antidepressant.
So consider these steps, but don't try to do them all at once. Spend a few days working on one that resonates with you, and then try another.

Health Care Law May Help Families With Autism Costs

The health insurance overhaul passed this spring came as a relief to parents of autistic children, many of whom spend thousands of dollars out of pocket for treatments that no one else will cover.
The new federal regulations will prohibit spending caps, prevent insurers from excluding pre-existing conditions and behavioral health care, and extend dependent care to age 26. The rules are potentially good news for families struggling with costly treatments that can blur the line between medical and educational expenses and don't end with childhood.
Plano mother MariAnn Gattelaro has spent years fighting with insurance companies for coverage of her 7-year-old autistic son, Sam. She says nobody wants to take responsibility for $20,000 in treatments.
"The insurance companies are telling us that therapy is educational," she said. "And the school district is telling us that it's medical."
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological illness that impairs the brain's ability to develop normal cognitive, social and communication skills. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services reported that 11 out of every 1,000 children in Texas have the disorder.
Many questions remain about autism, said Tom Currey, president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
"It's one of those conditions that's like an open checkbook," he said.
Gattelaro is well-aware of the costs. She, her husband and two other sons have been covered through COBRA since her husband switched jobs. She said the family spends about $5,000 a month on treatments for Sam, only about $1,000 of which is covered.
Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association, said autism is a medical condition and insurance companies should cover treatments such as applied behavior analysis, or ABA, which involves tutors who try to change behavioral patterns.
"Autism is a medical diagnosis," she said. "Denying the medical treatment is discriminatory."
When it takes full effect, the new law should help settle the matter, along with questions about spending caps and pre-existing conditions.
"For too long, children with pre-existing conditions have been locked out of the insurance market, and too many parents have spent sleepless nights wondering how their children will get the care they need," White House spokesman Nick Papas said. "The Affordable Care Act will provide relief to these children and their families."
But that relief may not arrive quickly or take the form some are expecting, said Jannie Herchuk, a partner at the Deloitte international accounting and consulting firm, which advises large insurers, hospitals, physician groups and biotech companies.
"This was highly touted as being something that would be new protections," she said. "And it is. But there's misconceptions here."
Children with a pre-existing condition will be able to get health insurance in September, and those who have been uninsured for at least six months can get insurance through a state-run, federally funded high-risk pool beginning July 1, the White House has said.
Autistic adults are more likely to see big benefits in four years, Herchuk said. But some relief will kick in this year for patients such as Ben Burns.
At 21, Burns is starting to age out of his current coverage under Medicaid and his mother's insurance, said his father, Dan Burns. Recent attempts to find the severely autistic Dallas man a job have been unsuccessful, and the school bus stopped coming last spring.
"That was like falling off a cliff," Dan Burns said. "Suddenly, we were faced with the unfamiliar world of autistic adults."
The new bill will allow him to stay on his mother's insurance until age 26. His family also hopes to benefit from the expansion of Medicaid and removal of payment caps.
While the Gattelaro and Burns families are able to afford thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for treatment, low-income and uninsured residents must rely on state-run clinics such as LifePath Systems in Collin County.
Chief operations officer Mary Fredericks said many of the clinic's clients either can't afford insurance or have jobs that don't offer it. She said she's hopeful her clients will see greater access to coverage because of the new law.
"This is going to be a great benefit," she said.
How much relief the new legislation will provide is up for debate. Right now, there aren't a lot of guidelines for such a large and complex bill, Herchuk said.
"The challenge is that there's going to be lots of interpretation needed, and different parties may interpret the rules differently," she said.
Burns said he is still looking into the specifics, but he is hopeful. Gattelaro is more skeptical.
"Because of my experience with insurance companies, they will find loopholes in the hopes that you're just going to give up," she said.
While some provisions of the new health care law will take effect this year, others won't kick in for four years.
-Prohibits discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions. --Provides access to health care coverage for patients with a pre-existing condition through high-risk pools.
--Bans insurance companies from dropping people after they become sick.
--Extends insurance coverage for young adults still covered by their parents' insurance until age 26.
--Bans lifetime limits on coverage.
--Restricts use of annual caps.
--Requires new private plans to cover preventive service at no cost.
--Sets up state-based insurance exchanges for uninsured and self-employed people.
--Makes individuals and families who make between 100 percent and 400 percent of federal poverty levels eligible for subsidies.
--Expands Medicaid eligibility to anyone with an income around 133 percent of the poverty level -- $14,404 for an individual and $29,327 for a family of four in 2009.
--Expands Medicaid for childless adults.
--Prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition.
--Requires employers with more than 50 workers to offer health insurance.

Mayo Clinic Finds Stereotactic Radiosurgery is Safe and Effective for Selected Children with Arteriovenous Malformations

ROCHESTER, Minn. - (Business Wire) A new Mayo Clinic study has found that Gamma Knife™ stereotactic radiosurgery is a safe and effective option for selected children with arteriovenous malformations. This study was presented at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting in Philadelphia last week.

An intracranial arteriovenous malformation is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels in the brain. Normally, oxygen-rich blood enters the brain through arteries, which branch into smaller arterioles and subsequently to capillaries, the smallest blood vessels. Oxygen is removed from blood in the capillaries and used by the brain, and then blood passes into small venules and into larger veins that drain the blood from the brain to the heart and lungs. In an arteriovenous malformation, the blood passes directly from arteries to veins via the abnormal vessels, and the brain is not allowed to absorb oxygen from the blood, which can result in stroke-like symptoms, seizures or other symptoms. Arteriovenous malformations appear to be congenital (present at birth). About 0.14 percent of the population has an arteriovenous malformation.

“Blood flow through an arteriovenous malformation puts pressure on the abnormal vessels within the malformation which can rupture and cause bleeding within the brain,” says Bruce Pollock, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon and study author. “Using stereotactic radiosurgery, focused radiation is directed to the arteriovenous malformation causing the vessels to slowly block off over several years and the majority of patients are protected from the risk of intracranial bleeding.”

Dr. Pollock and a team of Mayo Clinic researchers collected data from 48 patients, ages 18 or under, who had Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery for an arteriovenous malformation between 1990 and 2007 and had more than 12 months of follow-up data. Twenty-seven patients (57 percent) had a previous brain hemorrhage, and 15 of the arteriovenous malformations were in deep locations. The team found that 52 percent (25 patients) had obliteration of the malformation after their initial radiosurgery. Repeat radiosurgery was performed in 12 patients, five of whom had obliteration, for a total obliteration rate of 63 percent. Three patients had radiation-related deficits after initial or repeat radiosurgery, but no patients had arteriovenous malformation bleeding, neuro-cognitive decline or radiation-induced tumor after radiosurgery.

“Our 20-year experience with arteriovenous malformation radiosurgery has shown that the risks commonly associated with radiation exposure in children or adolescents are extremely low,” says Dr. Pollock. “We believe that Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery is a safe treatment option for many children with arteriovenous malformations.”

The Mayo Clinic research team also included Michael Link, M.D., and Paula Schomberg, M.D.

To request an appointment at Mayo Clinic, please call 480-422-1490 for the Arizona campus, 904-494-6484 for the Florida campus, or 507-216-4573 for the Minnesota campus.

About Mayo Clinic
For more than 100 years, millions of people from all walks of life have found answers at Mayo Clinic. These patients tell us they leave Mayo Clinic with peace of mind knowing they received care from the world's leading experts. Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. At Mayo Clinic, a team of specialists is assembled to take the time to listen, understand and care for patients' health issues and concerns. These teams draw from more than 3,700 physicians and scientists and 50,100 allied staff that work at Mayo Clinic’s campuses in Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona; and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year. To best serve patients, Mayo Clinic works with many insurance companies, does not require a physician referral in most cases and is an in-network provider for millions of people. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your general health information.

Newport Elected to American Philosophical Society

Renowned language researcher Elissa Newport, chair of the University of Rochester's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, has been elected a member of the American Philosophical Society.
The Philosophical Society is a highly selective body of leading intellectuals and artists in all disciplines from physical sciences to the humanities. Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, the organization is older than the country itself. Thirty new members are elected each year and they remain members for life.
An expert in the field of language acquisition, Newport has done pioneering work on how humans and other animals learn to communicate. She is currently focusing on the mechanisms by which children learn languages, both in the field and in the laboratory. Along with colleagues, she is developing a theoretical approach to language acquisition called statistical learning, which postulates that humans learn language by detecting statistical information about patterns in sound sequences. Their evidence shows that, in addition to absorbing and reproducing language patterns from the language they are taught, young children are capable of remedying inconsistencies and inventing new structures in those languages.
Newport is the George Eastman Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester, and has been the chair of that department for 12 years. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Psychological Society, and the Cognitive Science Society (of which she is on the governing board). She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences, where she just became the chair of the psychology section.
Newport received her doctorate in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and was a Sloan Fellow in Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Penn and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has been on the faculty at the University of California at San Diego, the University of Illinois, and, since 1988, the University of Rochester.

Brain Hammer review of THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES (2007)

The desperate search for a prolific serial killer leads police to a grisly discovery in upstate New York. A freshly abandoned home soon reveals a treasure trove of macabre horrors. The police are unable to find the killer, or any of his fingerprints. What they find instead is hundreds of hours worth of videotapes that document his appalling crimes in chilling detail. State and Federal law enforcement then sift through the many hours of grisly footage looking for clues. The Poughkeepsie Tapes, as they later come to be known, have a chilling effect on anyone who dares watch them and eventually become an effective training aid for aspiring FBI profilers. This film is a “documentary” about the killer, and it gives the viewer an up close and personal look into his twisted mind, and the savage horrors he unleashed upon his victims.
This is hands down, one of the very best horror films that I have seen in ages. There have been several horror films in the last few years that have used the classic Cannibal Holocaust “lost footage” method of storytelling, but co-writer and director John Erick Dowdle’s The Poughkeepsie Tapes stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s also one of the best serial killer movies in recent memory, fake or otherwise. I was really impressed with how brutal and unforgiving this film is. It pulls no punches with the brutal subject matter, and it has more then a few genuinely creepy and un-nerving moments. The final interview with of the killer’s victims is absolutely chilling.

My only real complaint about this film is the fact that the writers go a bit too far in making the serial killer an untouchable super genius. There is a major plot point involving the framing of a former police officer that is a big stretch. The killer’s uncanny ability to trick seasoned FBI profilers into believing he’s twenty different people is also highly unlikely. If they had toned that somewhat ridiculous aspect of the story down a bit the film would have been perfect in my opinion.
That leads me to to my biggest complaint of all – the fact that this film has never been released! I originally saw the trailer for The Poughkeepsie Tapes in the theater before a screening of The Mist. That’s how long ago it was. After that, I have some vague recollections of seeing tv spots for the film. Apparently the film was shelved because the test screenings were a disaster. The audience slammed the film for being “impossible to watch” because of the high volume of hand held camera work and the grainy, washed out image quality. There were also many reports of the audience laughing at the film, which is never a good thing when the film isn’t intended as a comedy. As a result, the release was delayed…and delayed…and delayed.
Then the Dowdle brothers signed on to make Quarantine. Big mistake! I have grown to hate Quarantine because Sony killed off two fantastic films in order to pave way for it’s release. First, they put an American release of [REC] on the shelf. Then they did the same thing to The Poughkeepsie Tapes. Why? Because they were justifiably scared that people would like [REC] better than Quarantine. They were apparently equally scared that people would hate The Poughkeepsie Tapes. Any bad word of mouth at all would be a threat to Quarantine’s already very limited chances for success. So they killed two good movies to help out Quarantine, and guess what? It was still a bomb.
Now flash forward a few years later, and The Poughkeepsie Tapes is still lost in a vault somewhere. Not only do the stupid and greedy bastards at MGM refuse to release it themselves, even on dvd mind you, they also refuse to sell the rights for distribution. My best guess here is that they snapped up a cheap little camcorder horror movie they thought they could cash in with, and then got scared off by the threat of bad reviews and poor box office. At this point, they should just cut their losses and release it on dvd. Especially now that the film is making the rounds on the net.
Bottom line, you will have to go and find this one for yourself. Watch it online for free. Download it and make copies for your friends. It’s incredibly frustrating to me that a horror film as good as The Poughkeepsie Tapes is not available in stores, and complete and utter shit like Cabin Fever 2 can be easily found at Wal Mart for under $10. The only upside of this shitty situation is taking a bit of comfort in knowing that none of your hard earned money goes into the pockets of the imbeciles that are trying to keep the film from being seen.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes is 100% Brain Hammer approved and is well worth the effort it takes to track down a copy. Hopefully “the powers that be” will eventually wi$e up and make it easier for you.

Wires in the brain might help OCD

We've all heard the expression, "You're wired!" But suddenly, it is taking on a different meaning.
Deep brain stimulation — where two skull wires are put into the brain — soon might function like a mental pacemaker, lifting chronic depression and other disorders.
This highly controversial neurosurgical treatment has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for Parkinson's, essential tremor and dystonia.
Now the surgery, which involves implanting a neurostimulator device in the patient's chest and electrodes in the brain, has been authorized for obsessive compulsive disease.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found 100 patients treated with deep brain stimulation functioned better than those treated simply with medication.
"We actually believe it slows down the natural course of the disease, although that is under investigation," says Dr. Christopher Duma, medical director of the brain tumor program at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, where he has perfected techniques for general brain surgery and Gamma Knife radiosurgery cduma.com
Question: Are you wiring the same parts of the brain as you do to treat Parkinson's?
Answer: Now the wire is put in a different area of the brain, the area that controls our moods and thoughts and compulsivity. It can always be removed, varied or modified. We are not damaging anybody's brain.
Question: Is every OCD patient a candidate?
Answer: This is so very new, the only way it is safe and properly done as a surgeon is in conjunction with a psychiatrist or group of psychiatrists to decide which patients are candidates.
There is a Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Score that gives us an idea of how bad the patient's symptoms are. The highest score is 30.
We are looking for patients with scores of 25 or more for our initial surgeries. Patients coming from psychiatrists with such scores see this surgery as a last-ditch effort for any normal life. Post-surgical tests show the average score went down 40 percent after surgery, which is why the FDA approved the procedure.
Question: Have you done the surgery at Hoag yet?
Answer: Right now I am accruing patients.
Question: And what type of deep brain stimulation could be used in the future for other conditions?
Answer: Right now the company that makes the stimulator is working on one for obesity. It would affect the satiety area of the brain and make a person feel full.
Other potential treatments include anger management problems.
Question: This sounds very futuristic.
Answer: It is part of a brave new world of treatment. The brain is still a black box.

New probe promises to reveal brain's mysteries

New probe promises to reveal brain's mysteries (PhysOrg.com) -- Dozens of potential applications await a new neurological probing platform developed by European scientists. The new system offers the promise of new cures for neurological disease and a better understanding of how our brain works.

Parkinson’s, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia are just some of the brain conditions that could benefit from a new brain probing platform developed by European researchers.
The NeuroProbes platform is a modular, three-dimensional probing system that can sense and stimulate individual brain cells both electrically and chemically, and it opens the door to dozens of new research programmes, and even promises to refine work currently underway.
The platform will not only play a role in understanding brain disorders and disease, it will also provide a host of new ways to study normal brain behaviour and explain why and how we do everyday tasks the way we do.
Curing disease, creating new paradigms
The potential applications of the research are vast; from curing disease to creating new paradigms for understanding the massive parallel processing that takes place within the brain when we perform ordinary, day-to-day tasks.
One of the key roles for the new platform will be pre-operative diagnostics prior to brain surgery for a variety of conditions. “It is known that similar probes have been used for decades to discover the focus of an epileptic seizure, for example,” explains Herc Neves, scientist at Belgium’s IMEC and coordinator of the NeuroProbes project.
“You have a patient that is about to be operated on, and you want to remove as little tissue as possible. By pinpointing where the seizure is generated, you remove only that tissue. It means safer, less invasive surgery.”
Many neurosurgeons will use the probes in this manner, but one of the most important applications will be fundamental brain research, typically using animal models. A typical neurology processes uses probes and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test certain behaviours in animals. Then researchers use that information and fMRI to deduce behaviour in humans.

Dozens of applications
NeuroProbes modular platform could have dozens of application. Take mirror neurons, research pioneered by Professor Giacomo Rizzolatti from University of Parma, a partner in the NeuroProbes consortium. Mirror neurons fire when a person acts consciously, such as grasping an object, or if the subject watches somebody else perform the action. The same neurons fire when you dream about the action.
“It has enormous implications for learning, and it is exactly the type of research that [the project’s] probes were designed to facilitate,” explains Neves. “That, in turn, has implications for people with cognitive disabilities. So, for example, we could understand a lot more about autism if we could understand these mirror neurons better.”
This is only one little aspect of what we don't know yet about the human brain, stresses Neves, but it is where NeuroProbes’ work really begins to shine.
Probing the brain’s interplay
Behavioural disorders like schizophrenia and OCD are other examples. They are related to the prefrontal cortex, and there is a possible interplay between different sub-areas, or sectors of the pre-frontal cortex. Right now, neurologists do not know how these different areas are related to each other. It is something that you cannot study with fMRI.
“But, experimentally, you can [study this] by using NeuroProbes to chemically switch off one area and look at how it affects the others. You temporarily switch them off chemically, but when the effect of the drug wears [off] the brain has the same function as before,” reveals Neves.
Of course, once a particular mechanism is understood, NeuroProbes can be used in surgical operations to deal with the problem. For example, it can guide a surgeon to the focus of epileptic seizures in a particular patient in order to render it inactive. So there is a lot of exchange between research and medicine.
Electrical sensing can be used to track a single cell actively or a group of cells. “We know quite well what areas of the brain are implicated in this or that activity. We even know what relatively small regions of the brain are involved in learning and cognitive tasks, for example. But the bridge between that regional activity and activity at the cellular level is still incomplete. That's where it is important to have this kind of probing platform,” Neves declares
Cochlear implant
Cochlear implants was another internal interest among NeuroProbes’ consortium members. These implants are among the most successful ever produced, working extremely well in thousands of cases, enormously improving the quality of life for those who use them.
But they only work where all the neural structures are intact. In many cases, those structures are not intact, and while researchers understand very well what is happening in the ear, that knowledge becomes much more uncertain as the nerve approaches the cortex, and things become more complicated.
Neves believes that the NeuroProbes platform could shed enormous light on the hearing process closer to the cortex, perhaps making it possible to directly stimulate the auditory cortex, for those cases where the patient’s nerve is damaged. Visual prosthesis, as well, could benefit from the high-resolution data provided by NeuroProbes.
Chemical sensing and actuation, too, offer very promising research avenues, and a team in Cambridge is using the chemical probes to explore the mechanism of drug addiction. NeuroProbes chemical sensing probes work with both choline and glutamate, two of the most important and active chemicals in the brain, so the scope of potential work is enormous.
The NeuroProbes concept has proven quite popular, generating some excitement among researchers and industrial players. “Almost every meeting we go to, we are approached by neuroscientists asking us where they can get their hands on these probes. They tell us they need the probes yesterday!”
A start-up company is planned to fabricate these probes and keep up with the huge demand among neurology researchers worldwide.
“There is enough demand to keep several companies going, and we have specific structures in place, at IMEC and among many of our partners, to create spin-off companies for our research. IMEC will certainly be providing support and we are always interested in talking to potential investors.”
The team has also applied for further funding under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for research. That project would take the research much further by looking at deeper brain regions. But the work already completed by the researchers will continue to have an impact for many years to come, revealing the secret life of the brain.

Premature babies oversensitive to pain

BEIJING, A new study published in the journal NeuroImage has found that premature babies become oversensitive to pain due to the intensive-care treatments that they receive after birth, media reported Tuesday.

The research was conducted by measuring the brain activity of babies with an electroencephalogram (EEG) while they underwent routine heel lancing to draw blood samples.
Stronger brain activity was seen for premature infants who had been in hospital for at least 40 days, compared to healthy babies of the same age.
According to the study, the increased sensitivity could persist in the long term, making the infants more sensitive to pain throughout life.
Rebeccah Slater, who led the research, said: "Our study shows that being born prematurely and undergoing intensive care affects pain processing in the infant brain.
"These observations may underlie the differences in pain sensitivity reported in older ex-preterm children.
"Our ability to measures brain responses to painful events will lead to a better and more informed approach to the administration of analgesia, and enable us to define optimal ways of providing pain relief in this vulnerable population."
It is suggested by the researchers that pain-relief should be given to premature babies under intensive care to prevent the treatments they receive increasing their sensitivity to pain.

'House M.D.': A section of the brain just for hope?

NUP_139208_0029This season, it appears the "House" writers have realized that breaking away from their usual maybe-it's-lupus formula makes the show much more compelling. Monday night's episode, "Baggage," was presented as a session with House's therapist, Dr. Nolan.

House has slowly been circling the drain toward the man he was at the beginning of the season. Though he hasn't turned back to his Vicodin addiction, he has been self-medicating with alcohol to stave off the pain in his leg (and in his heart ... aww). He's become increasingly manipulative and abusive, and though he's not as devious as he once was, there's very little evidence that he's healing.

We take a walk through House's mind as he describes his latest case to Nolan. I know this might shock you, but House's behavior in diagnosing the patient actually reveals his true feelings about ... who else? Wilson and Cuddy. As much as the different formulas have helped to break up the monotony of the season, there are only so many times we can discover that House is unhealthily dependent on Wilson and still hung up on his feelings for Cuddy.

We get it.
The episode begins with Wilson asking House to move out of their apartment. Excuse me a moment while I scream "Noooo!" from the rooftops. House's and Wilson's cohabitation has been a bright spot of the season. Sure, they're obsessed with each other to a worrying degree, but that doesn't mean it's not fun to watch two grown men navigate their lives like college roommates.

House returns to the scene of his greatest crimes: his own apartment. Except, it's not the musty, dusty, unused place he expects to walk into. Instead, his old friend from the institution is there: Alvie! On the run from immigration officers (even though he's Puerto Rican and thus a U.S. citizen), Alvie is squatting at House's place. He's been selling House's stuff piece by piece to pay for ... bright yellow paint. Because if anyone wants his apartment painted sunshine-yellow, it's House.

One of the things sold off is the first edition of a valuable medical text. Though Alvie pawns it for $25, it's actually worth thousands of dollars. House and Alvie manage to get the book back -- through not-quite-legit means -- and, of course, Nolan does some head-shrinking. As it turns out, the book is written by an Earnest T. Cuddy M.D. , a certain someone's great-grandfather. House has been saving it to give her for a special occasion. Unfortunately, that occasion may be her housewarming. And no, that's not innuendo for sex-with-House -- she's moving in with her gnat of a private-eye boyfriend.

It's a powerful moment when House blurts out that everyone in his life seems to be moving forward except him. Even after he gets Alvie off the hook with immigration officials, Alvie leaves town to live with his cousin -- when House was obviously expecting him to stick around. Cuddy and Lucas are moving in together, and with Sam, Wilson has finally found a relationship that might stick.

"To hell with this," House tells Nolan. "When I first came to you, I told you that I wanted to be happy, and I followed your advice. Instead, I'm just miserable. How is this working for me? For a year, I've done everything you've asked, and everybody else is happy. I run my treadmill. You just sit there and watch. You're a faith healer. You take advantage of people who want to believe. There's nothing in your bag of tricks."

Something's got to give. I've got a feeling that next week's season finale is going to be quite the upset.

How to handle tangled blood vessels in brain?

An MRI exam for a head injury in 2003 was how Gary Johnson discovered he had tangled blood vessels in his brain that could cause serious, potentially fatal, internal bleeding.
Johnson, 56, of Elkhart, Ind., has a condition called arteriovenous malformation, or AVM. It's an abnormal connection of the arteries and veins that interrupts normal blood flow between them.
Most of the estimated 300,000 Americans who have the condition, which is usually present from birth, never experience symptoms. But every year about 2 to 4 percent of AVMs rupture, researchers estimate.
Because the risk of a life-threatening rupture is small, there's debate over whether it's better for patients to undergo surgery to remove the tangle before it becomes unstable or take a more conservative wait-and-see approach.
A large clinical trial being conducted at medical centers around the world, including two Chicago-area hospitals, aims to answer that question.
The study will randomly assign 800 people with an arteriovenous malformation that hasn't bled to receive preventive treatment to fix the problem or careful monitoring. Patients will be followed for at least five years to see which approach yields better results -- taking into account the likelihood of death or stroke, rates of complications and the cost.
The research is especially relevant now that more of these malformations are being discovered ''accidentally'' because of expanded use of brain imaging, said Dr. Michael Chen, a neurointerventionalist at Rush University Medical Center who is recruiting patients for the study. Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood is another of the research sites.
''We're trying to figure out what's the best approach for how to risk-stratify patients, in terms of which ones should undergo the risk of treatments,'' Chen said. ''We do not really know how likely it is that an unruptured AVM will bleed, or if it ever will.''
Malformations are treated three ways: surgery to remove them, radiation therapy or the use of a glue-like substance to block blood flow to the abnormal vessels.
But these treatments can injure brain tissue and cause a stroke, Chen said.
The multicenter study, being funded by the National Institutes of Health, will be the first randomized trial to examine whether taking a hands-off approach to the condition is as good, if not better, than aggressive treatment.
Johnson, a participant in the study, was assigned to the group that will get regular checkups but no preventive treatment. He acknowledged that some in his situation would feel as if they had a ticking time bomb in their head, but he said it doesn't bother him to leave his condition untreated.
''When I first learned about it, I was very concerned,'' he said. ''But the more knowledge I gained, the less I worried.''
Johnson said he hopes his participation in the study will give others with his condition similar peace of mind.

Differences in brain's language circuits linked to dyslexia

Washington, May 11 (ANI): Despite getting an appropriate education and demonstrating intellectual ability in other areas, kids children with dyslexia often struggle with reading, writing, and spelling. Now, scientists have found the reason behind it.

They have found that these children's difficulties with written language may be linked to structural differences within an important information highway in the brain known to play a role in oral language.

Vanderbilt University researchers Sheryl Rimrodt and Laurie Cutting and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University and Kennedy Krieger Institute used an emerging MRI technique, called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), to discover evidence linking dyslexia to structural differences in an important bundle of white matter in the left-hemisphere language network.

White matter is made up of fibers that can be thought of as the wiring that allows communication between brain cells; the left-hemisphere language network is made up of bundles of these fibres and contains branches that extend from the back of the brain (including vision cells) to the front parts that are responsible for articulation and speech.

"When you are reading, you are essentially saying things out loud in your head. If you have decreased integrity of white matter in this area, the front and back part of your brain are not talking to one another. This would affect reading, because you need both to act as a cohesive unit," said Cutting.

Rimrodt and Cutting used the DTI technique to map the course of an important white matter bundle in this network and discovered that it ran through a frontal brain region known to be less well organised in the dyslexic brain.

They also found that fibers in that frontal part of the tract were oriented differently in dyslexia.

Rimrodt sai:, "To find a convergence of MRI evidence that goes beyond identifying a region of the brain that differs in dyslexia to linking that to an identifiable structure and beginning to explore physical characteristics of the region is very exciting. It brings us a little bit closer to understanding how dyslexia happens."

The findings are published in the June 2010 issue of Elsevier's Cortex.

Witness brain scan won't reveal whether the face fits

Having trouble picking out the guilty party? A brain scan won't help.
Jesse Rissman and his team at Stanford University in California have found that monitoring brain activity of witnesses reveals no more than what they say they remember.
The study comes amid controversy over whether to admit functional MRI scans as evidence in US courts.
Last week, an attorney in New York City attempted to use a brain scan to demonstrate the truthfulness of a witness in an employment case, but failed on a separate legal technicality. And this week, a judge in a federal case in Tennessee was due to decide whether to admit fMRI evidence in a fraud case; if successful, this would be the first time a court anywhere in the world accepted this type of scan.
The Stanford team asked 16 volunteers to view 200 mugshots.
An hour later, they were again shown pictures of faces, some of which they had seen before and others that were new. The researchers recorded fMRI scans of the volunteers' brains as they reported which faces they recognised.
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Surgeons carried out an operation to remove the bullet but decided to leave it in place.

An X-ray image of a bullet lodged in a man's brain has been released as police try to find out how he was wounded.

Peter Hesford, 61, collapsed while gardening at his home in the Chorlton area of Manchester, England, but he has no memory of what happened to him.
Greater Manchester Police reported Hesford's wife, Marie, had found him on the ground on April 19 – where he was conscious but unable to speak.
"Initially, it was thought he had suffered a stroke," a police spokesperson said.
When Hesford got to the hospital, doctors discovered he had an object lodged in his head and they alerted police.
Ballistics experts who examined an X-ray concluded that the object had entered his head through his eye.
At first, they could not be sure that it was a bullet — but a CT scan has since confirmed he was shot.
"The bullet is still in Hesford's head,” the police spokesperson said. “There has been an attempt to remove it surgically but (doctors) were not able to because of its position."
Hesford remains in stable condition.