Brain

Even with a highly skilled neurosurgeon, the most effective anesthesia, and all the other advances of modern medicine, most of us would cringe at the thought of undergoing cranial surgery today.

After all, who needs a hole in the head? Yet for thousands of years, trepanation--the act of scraping, cutting, or drilling an opening into the cranium--was practiced around the world, primarily to treat head trauma, but possibly to quell headaches, seizures and mental illnesses, or even to expel perceived demons.

A USC research team identified 150 proteins affecting cell activity and brain development that contribute to mental disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar condition and depression.

It's the first time these molecules, which are associated with the disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) protein linked to mental disorders, have been identified. The scientists developed new tools involving stem cells to determine chemical reactions the proteins use to influence cell functions and nerve growth in people.

A key recommendation in a new Canadian guideline on managing chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) is to screen all people born between 1945 and 1975 for the disease, a departure from previous guidelines. The guideline, which contains comprehensive recommendations for diagnosing and managing the disease in diverse patient populations, is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

A quarter of intensive care patients are readmitted to hospital shortly after returning home and some of these readmissions are avoidable, research suggests.

High levels of carer stress, difficulty understanding health and social care packages and psychological trauma all contribute to high rates of return, the findings show.

Pinpointing the reasons for unplanned readmissions is key to developing care packages that support patients at home and could save vital funds, researchers say.

Symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder -- a severe and chronic mood disorder characterized by an inability to manage strong emotions -- tend to worsen just before and during menses, according to a study in Psychological Medicine.

PHILADELPHIA (May 29, 2018) - About 70 percent of all variations in health care outcomes are explained by individuals' social conditions including housing, neighborhood conditions, and income, data show. In order to establish community cultures of health where people are empowered to live healthier lives, health care providers and community sector leaders in transportation, government, schools, and businesses must collaborate to address the social conditions that affect population health.

ANN ARBOR, MI - For smokers and former smokers, the threat of lung cancer always lurks in the shadows.

To flush it out of the darkness, some decide to get their lungs scanned by a CT machine, which can find a tumor early enough to stop it - or set off a false alarm that turns out to be nothing.

Others may avoid the scans, or don't know they should have one, even though they are the type of person who has the most to gain from screening, according to official recommendations in effect for the last five years.

Laws should not force women to risk death and injury by having a baby, according to a QUT legal academic who has says abortion can be decriminalised without society and governments making a moral judgement.

Dr Andrew McGee, a researcher in medical law and ethics with the QUT Law School, said there were two major grounds for decriminalisation - women's right to reject the health risk of pregnancy and the 'stalemate' regarding abortion's moral acceptability.

Students from some of England's worst performing secondary schools who enroll on medical degrees with lower A Level grades, on average, do at least as well as their peers from top performing schools, a new study has revealed.

The research also found that students from poorly performing schools who match the top A Level grades achieved by pupils from the best performing schools, go on to do better during a medical degree.

The authors of the research are now calling for medical school entry criteria to be relaxed for all pupils applying from low-performing schools.

Highlights:

Access to safe anaesthesia for essential surgery is a basic human right and should be available to all patients irrespective of their ability to pay.

5 billion of the world's 7 billion people do not have access to safe, timely and affordable surgery and anaesthesia when needed