Health Bits: The pain in your brain

2013-08-10 10:03

City Press health reporter Zinhle Mapumulo’s pick of new health and lifestyle research

» It’s in your brain

Throbbing pain may pound like a heartbeat, but University of Florida scientists have discovered the sensation is all in your head, or more precisely, in your brain waves.

Researchers examined the pulsations associated with throbbing pain while monitoring heart rate and found the two were not linked.

They simultaneously recorded the patient’s sensation of the throbbing pain and her arterial pulse and found they differed from each another, indicating the pulsing of blood from the heartbeat was unrelated to the throbbing quality of pain.

However, through the use of an electroencephalogram, they found the throbbing quality was correlated with a type of brain activity known as alpha waves.

» Genetic mutation behind schizophrenia

A team of researchers have uncovered evidence that a specific genetic mutation could contribute to disorders of brain development, including schizophrenia.

The scientists studied changes in the TOP3B gene and found an increased risk of schizophrenia as well as impairment in intellectual function.

The findings were published in the online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

» Lymph nodes hold the key to accurate breast cancer prognosis

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden analysed lymph nodes of 500 women in the early stages of breast cancer who underwent surgery to remove the tumour and discovered that examining the lymph nodes could provide a more accurate breast cancer prognosis than examining the tumour.

In about a third of the women there were traces of the tumour in the lymph nodes and some had different subtypes of tumours than those found in the breast tissue. This meant their chances of developing cancer again were high.

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