Reuters Health / TMS & Brain Health Transcranial magnetic stimulation improves hand gesture deficits in schizophrenia November 6, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – In schizophrenia patients, single sessions of continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) over the right inferior parietal lobe (IPL) briefly but “substantially” improved gesture performance accuracy and manual dexterity, researchers say.

“Single sessions of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) last about one to three minutes and result in a temporary change in local brain function that lasts for approximately 30 minutes,” Dr. Sebastian Walther of the University of Bern in Switzerland told Reuters Health by email.

“Other TMS protocols are used to treat neuropsychiatric conditions and repeated daily administration of TMS for 2-3 weeks typically enhances the behavioral effect for a duration of several weeks or even months,” Dr. Walther said. “Thus, the single sessions tested in our study are not useful in clinical settings, but repeated administration may work out well. It could also pave the way to enhancing the training effects of group psychotherapy. The idea is to prepare the relevant brain network using TMS in order to amplify the training effects that are exerted by psychotherapy.”

 

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Shape / Dr. Ming Wang What Are Ocular Migraines and How Are They Different from Regular Migraines? November 6, 2019

If you’re a migraine sufferer, you know there are stark differences between headaches and migraines. (Location and severity of pain and accompanying symptoms are key differentiating markers, FYI.) But did you know that there are multiple types of migraines that can vary greatly based on symptoms, severity, and frequency?

“Migraines are generally divided into two overarching types: migraines with aura and migraines without aura,” says Nashville-based eye surgeon Ming Wang, M.D., Ph.D., of Wang Vision 3D Cataract & LASIK Center. Aura refers to a cluster of visual symptoms: seeing waves, stars, zig-zags, flashes of light, or even missing spots in your vision. On average, these symptoms can last anywhere from five to 60 minutes, explains Dr. Wang. “[Auras typically] appear suddenly, last for a short time, and then go away,” he adds. “They can occur with or without a headache. [Sufferers of] migraines without aura do not have any visual symptoms, only the headache.”

But one of the most alarming types of migraines might not actually “feel” like a migraine at all: When you get an ocular migraine, your eyes experience the effects more than anything else. (That’s not to say you won’t also have head pain, though. More on that below.) This can be a confusing and scary situation to be in, especially if you’ve never had an ocular migraine before. (Related: What I’ve Learned from Having Chronic Migraines)

Here, the lowdown on ocular migraines, so you can understand what you’re experiencing (and act accordingly).

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Next Avenue / Dr. Ming Wang Get Regular Eye Exams for Much More Than Your Eyes November 1, 2019

Eye Exams

What do diabetes, Graves’ eye disease, thyroid problems, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, sickle cell anemia and several other medical conditions have in common?

They can all be detected during a careful eye examination.

Obviously, during an eye exam, your eyes are being checked for vision (farsightedness, nearsightedness, etc.), glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. But other diseases that are located elsewhere in your body can be detected in your eyes, too. That’s because your eye is the only place where a doctor can have an unobstructed view of your blood vessels, nerves and connecting tissue, without any need for surgery.

The eye has the same microscopic tissue as your other major organs and is an important part of your larger nervous system. Abnormalities spotted in the eye may signal the same changes in other parts of your body.

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