Live 2018

Engaging in musical activities such as singing and playing instruments in one-on-one therapy can improve autistic children’s social communication skills, improve their family’s quality of life, as well as increased brain connectivity in key networks, according to researchers at Université de Montréal and McGill University.
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Live 2018

Unlike old dogs, old adults can indeed learn new tricks thanks to a protein molecule called netrin. Netrin is known to help set up the healthy nervous system in an infant’s developing brain by directing brain cells to make appropriate connections with other brain cells. New research conducted by scientists at The Neuro has found that netrin in the adult brain can make neural connections stronger, which is crucial not only for learning new tricks but also for maintaining a good memory.
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Live 2018

A single negative human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test – a newly introduced test which can detect cases of 14 high risk HPV strains to a high degree of accuracy – at the age of 55 suggests that women will be at low risk of cervical cancer, and there is little benefit of continued screening with this type of test. However, for the more commonly used, and cheaper, cytology screening (also called pap or smear test), regular screening up to age 75 may still prevent some cancers, even though the benefits decline with age. The findings come from a new modelling study, published in The Lancet Oncology journal.
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Live 2018

“People living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased risk for influenza infection and influenza-related illness,” as Dr. Inès Colmegna, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine told attendees at the American College of Rheumatology annual scientific meeting in Chicago last month. Consequently, she argued, “there is a high priority to develop new approaches to decrease this risk.”
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Live 2018

McGill scientists, as part of an international collaboration, have singled out the TIM-3 molecule as the next potential target for immunotherapy treatments in patients with cancer and other diseases.
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Live 2018

People who have better spatial memory are also better at identifying odors, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications. The study builds on a recent theory that the main reason that a sense of smell evolved was to aid in navigation, since most animals rely primarily on smell to find food and avoid predators. The McGill research team, led by Véronique Bohbot from McGill’s Department of Psychiatry and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, hypothesized that if this were indeed the case, there would be a strong link between navigation and olfaction.
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Live 2018

A fibre-optic probe developed in collaboration with researchers at The Neuro can reduce the risk of the brain cancer returning after surgery. The hand-held, pen-like instrument, known as a Raman spectroscopy probe, is able to differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells by measuring the way each reflects light. It can distinguish healthy tissue from cancerous tissue during surgery with close to 100 per cent accuracy.
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Live 2018

In the wake of cannabis legalization, a team of scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University have delivered encouraging news for chronic pain sufferers by pinpointing the effective dose of marijuana plant extract cannabidiol (CBD) for safe pain relief without the typical “high” or euphoria produced by the THC. The findings of their study have been published in the journal PAIN.
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Live 2018

Etienne de Villers-Sidani, MDCM’00, has developed an eye-tracking software technology that would enable patients who can’t talk because of paralysis, or intubation in intensive care, to communicate using simple eye movements. “Communication is so important to quality of care and quality of life for these patients, and it’s very frustrating when they can’t communicate what they need and want.” says de Villers-Sidani, an associate professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.
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Live 2018

New research suggests that higher-level brain functions have a major role in losing weight. In a study among 24 participants at a weight-loss clinic, those who achieved greatest success in terms of weight loss demonstrated more activity in the brain regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex associated with self-control. The results of the study were published in Cell Metabolism on October 18.
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