Friday, November 24, 2006

Press Release: Press Releases Are Prestidigitation

The Neurocritic has fallen a little behind the times and is getting caught up on all the latest sensationalistic neuronews. It seems that Tuesday, November 21, 2006 was a conspicuously breathy day for press releases listed at (which, by the way, now charges for access to links that you can easily find through Google News):

Exercise shown to reverse brain deterioration brought on by aging

Molly McElroy, News Bureau, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Released 11/20/06

CHAMPAIGN, Ill — The wait for an anti-aging treatment is over, according to cognitive neuroscientists and kinesiologists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Wow! All you researchers in gerontology and cellular senescence can retire now! Just what is behind this miracle cure?
While not as effortless as popping a pill, the treatment – in the form of moderate exercise – may be a simple and effective way to reverse age-related brain deterioration.

In a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, psychology and neuroscience professor Arthur F. Kramer and his collaborators show that moderate exercise increases brain volume in older adults.

Moving right along,
Myelin to Blame for Many Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Contact: Mark Wheeler, UCLA News
Date: November 20, 2006

What makes the human brain unique? Of the many explanations that can be offered, one that doesn't come readily to mind is — myelin.

Conventional wisdom holds that myelin, the sheet of fat that coats a neuron's axon — a long fiber that conducts the neuron's electrical impulses — is akin to the wrapping around an electrical wire, protecting and fostering efficient signaling. But the research of UCLA neurology professor George Bartzokis, M.D., has already shown that myelin problems are implicated in diseases that afflict both young and old — from schizophrenia to Alzheimer's.
Myelin! Damn you, myelin!

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At November 27, 2006 1:00 AM, Blogger Sandra said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At November 27, 2006 1:02 AM, Blogger Sandra said...

Hmm, fallen behind - have you been bedridden?

At November 27, 2006 3:04 AM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

No, just deadlines and work and Thanksgiving engagements. Thanks for asking.


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