Archive for the ‘Neurology’ Category

How your brain tells you that you have to rest?

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Imagine an afternoon of work and / or study. Take a moment where your brain says enough, it is impossible to concentrate and not worth trying, because it will be a waste of time anyway. No papers focus or computer, or even approaching it we did not notice anything at all. Does it sound this situation? This is what happens when your brain tells you have to rest and that the work we have left and it will finish later.

Just this situation that I just described is that studied in research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which explains that our brain’s decision to “take a break” depends on a particular stimulus signal, where our muscles are crying rest or our brain refuses, literally, to pay attention to what we are doing at the time. It’s his way of asking us to rest and take some air and then continue our work.

hour break

This signal is preset in our brain. To carry out multiple factors are involved, such as the amount of effort we are undertaking, or the reward we get for that effort. The larger and smaller reward the effort we are making, the more likely we are to continue our work without our precious brain complains. Makes sense, right? It appears that the brain is constantly calibrating the “breaking point” to get our attention and ask for a break. (more…)

4 benefits of handwriting

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

During most of the last decade, most people, especially the young, have spent many hours a day typing, sliding the screens, and looking at a monitor of one kind or another. Whether it’s a phone or a computer, hand write increasingly less necessary and because of this many of these people cannot write that, qualitatively speaking.

It is better for learning

One of the most effective ways to study and retain new information is to rewrite your handwritten notes. That is because handwriting on paper stimulates a part of the brain called the reticulated Activation Center, or RAS.

hand writing

According to Lifehacker, “The RAS acts as a filter for everything your brain needs to process, giving more importance to the things that you’re actively by focusing at the time – something that the physical act of writing foregrounds”. (more…)

Language learning can begin in the womb

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

According to researchers at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington, babies may begin to learn their mother tongue, even before seeing the faces of their mothers as infants react differently to the vowel sounds native and foreign, suggesting that learning begins in the womb.

Babies tested for 7-75 hours after birth tried variants spoken of a vowel sound in their native language as similar things, proof that these sounds newborns considered as members of a common category, says psychologist Christine Moon and colleagues. However, newborns considered different versions of a vowel sound of a foreign language as different and unknown, the scientists report in the next Acta Paediatrica.

womb learning

Fetuses can hear outside sounds from about 10 weeks before delivery. Until now, scientific evidence suggested that prenatal learning was limited to the melody, the rhythm and the sound of voices. In addition, previous research established that, at 6 months of age, infants grouped vowel sounds of their native languages in categories, but not foreign vowel sounds. (more…)

Physical exercise made us smarter

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

According to a new scientific view of human evolution, the sport can not only serve to maintain tone our bodies, but our brain. This new approach suggests that we are smart, in part, thanks to millions of years ago we walked, tracking branches, hunted and touring more than any other mammal distances and as a result, the general idea is that our brains increased in size and made more Thanks to smart exercise and exercising still need for our brain to function optimally.

Today, humans have a brain that is about three times larger than would be expected given the size of our bodies compared to other mammals. There are several theories to explain this fact, we and you count the importance of protein DUF1220, but there are other hypotheses.


For example, some evolutionary scientists say as key events such as the consumption of meat and / or our needs for social interaction (we must remember that our ancestors had to plan and execute group hunting, requiring complex thought patterns), for what they consider brain evolution was driven by the need to think and develop a digestive system “less expensive” by introducing in food of animal flesh. (more…)

Lupines, Healthy Snacks

Saturday, February 19th, 2011


The lupines are one of the lesser known beans. It provides a wealth of unsaturated fat, that is, optimal functioning of the heart and arteries. Cultivated in the Mediterranean area, serves as food for humans and animals. Its intense bitterness masks significant benefits to fight against cholesterol. Its qualities make a healthy snack lupins.

Lupins contain protein and good amounts of vitamins B and E, plus zinc, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. Lupins can cook to prepare dishes or soups and salads so appetizing at this time of year. But usually taken as an aperitif with olives, onions or pickles. Its derivatives are also used for making flour, oil or coffee substitutes. (more…)

The deterioration of articular cartilage

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Articular cartilage deterioration, called a spur, is caused by abnormal bone growth that occurs as a result of friction between two bones that eventually damage the cartilage called.

The damage that occurs in cartilage is due to the load during a period of time, as a consequence of obesity or a fracture. The bone spur can affect the knees, feet, hips, vertebrae and joints that have a continuous motion.

This type of spur interferes with the proper functioning of the joint as close as you press the tissues are the tendons and ligaments. The constant pressure causes pain, swelling, muscle spasm and often the loss of mobility and a creep.

Usually the pain is more intense in the early hours of the morning and after a rest period.

It is important to lead a very healthy diet always trying to maintain a healthy weight because excess weight increases the pressure on the joints and exacerbates the problem by making it more painful.

The consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and foods rich in calcium and magnesium, increasing fish intake (rich in Omega 3) in the diet including flaxseed. (more…)

Intracranial hypertension

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Residual pressure inside the skull, standard = 10 to 14 mmHg.
In the brain there are 3 compartments (parenchyma, fluid, Vascular), the total volume remains constant and is equal to the sum of the volume of the 3 compartments. The volume is inextensible, the compartments must compensate to maintain values in sustainable standards.

  • The parenchymal compartment: Change is slow (dehydration or overhydration = edema), or appearance of a mass: tumor, hematoma
  • The fluid compartment: The CSF is produced by the choroid plexus and absorbed in the upper longitudinal sinus. If alteration of this balance, there is a variation of the intra cranial pressure (ICP)
  • (more…)


Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Epilepsy is a common disease. Its overall prevalence is estimated to be 0.5% of the population, with a maximum risk during childhood, since 50% of epilepsies in fact occur before the age of 10. The etiology of epilepsy remains unexplained in more than 50% of cases.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder manifested by paroxysms related activity hypersynchronous and abnormal neuronal population. Note:

  • There is not no without clinical epilepsy: paroxysmal abnormalities in the EEG without clinical not enough to define epilepsy.
  • The paroxysmal nature and its clinical translation are necessarily rough.
  • It is stereotypical for each patient depending on the neuronal localization
  • The clinical and EEG allow the formulation of a hypothesis when the neuronal localization
  • The chronological sequence of symptoms may change during disease

The difference between partial and generalized epilepsy is the concept of neuronal discharge localized or generalized. There are also secondary epilepsy due to a lesion or dysfunction in general.
III – generalized seizures.
A – tonic-clonic generalized
This crisis is manifested by a sudden loss of consciousness without prodrome, with a fall. In its complete form it has a tonic phase of 10 to 20 seconds, during which there is a contraction of all muscles, with a phase flexion and extension of four limbs and trunk, contraction of the masseter. Clonic phase follows an approximately 30 seconds, characterized by sudden twitching of members in bending with clone facial and jaw.
Apnea associated with the phase of tonic contraction causes cyanosis accompanied by autonomic signs (mydriasis, piloerection, hypertension, tachycardia) and secretory phenomena (salivation and tracheo-bronchial congestion). It was also during this phase of tonic-clonic crisis that may occur biting language conventionally side. (more…)

Semiology of Neurology

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

I – The neurological examination
Motor Examination
Evaluation of muscle strength

  • Find a motor deficit: failure to maintain the Member ‘in air’
  • Barre maneuver: the patient in the prone position, knees bent, and must keep the legs vertical to the upper limbs: horizontal arms, elbows outstretched wrists dorsiflexed maximum, we talk about deficits when the hand is widening.

Assessment of muscle tone
Search for hypo or hypertonia: passive movement of limbs and neck with someone relaxed
Assessment of voluntary movements
Tests of finger-nose, heel-knee puppets exceeded the goal, incoordination (cerebellar syndrome), slowed movement or stiff (piriformis syndrome)
Reflexes (ROT)
Search areflexia or exaggerated muscle contraction: relaxed person, members released the doctor struck with the reflex hammer and the tendon in question observed muscle contraction
Cutaneous plantar reflex (Babinski sign)
When scraping the plant externally using a blunt, there is flexion of the toes, if there is a slow and stately extension of the big toe, speaking of the pyramidal motor path (more…)

The spinal cord

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

The spinal cord is an extension of the medulla oblongata. It has two main functions:

  • Route the afferent and efferent between the CNS and the rest of the body
  • Treatment of partial information by spinal reflexes.

Embryonic Development:
It develops from the caudal portion of embryonic neural tube. Distinguish a few weeks, two separate parts in the gray matter: the basal plate and alar plate, separated by a furrow, eventually becoming the central canal. As it grows, the blades extend and produce the gray mass of adult marrow. The white outer marrow is formed from neural axons.
The bone extends from the foramen magnum to the first or second lumbar vertebra. Hence, a filament fiber, fossil embryogenesis, from the meninges, extends to the coccyx, the terminal filum.
31 pairs of spinal nerves exit the spinal cord and innervate the body. She has two bulges, one from which the cervical nerves of upper limbs, forming the brachial plexus, the other from which the lumbar nerves of the lower limbs forming the lumbosacral plexus.
It has a slightly flattened and has two grooves, the median anterior and posterior midline.
Composition of the spinal cord:
Like the brain, spinal consists essentially of “white” and substance “gray”:
The white matter contains the myelinated neurons extensions: It completely surrounds the gray matter which way, is framed into three parts, called posterior, lateral and anterior. These cables, made up of groups of neurons called a type beams carry impulses to a specific destination (beams spinal ascending and descending)
The gray matter contains the bodies of neurons and the neuroglia: It has roughly the shape of an H, the side deck is appointing gray commissure, dug a thin channel called the central canal, extension of the 4th ventricle. The ‘pipes’ of H divide into pairs of posterior and anterior horns. Note that exists in some regions, particularly the chest, lateral horns. (more…)

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