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How do brains process touch?

Human brain works in mysterious ways in unfathomable levels. A few of brain’s such activities include phantom limb pain, which is experienced by a person whose limbs were amputated and tactile hallucinations which make people feel a pain instilled on them when there are no such external stimuli. When a person feels a touch on his left hand when he was originally touched on his left leg, scientists call it a phantom sensation. This reaction of brain has left scientists in utter puzzlement. Studies were conducted to know the reason behind this. "We show that phantom sensations depend on three characteristics. The most important is the identity of the limb — whether we're dealing with a hand or a foot. This is why a touch on one hand is often perceived on the other hand," explains lead author Stephanie Badde. The other two factors contributing are;

  • - the side of the body — a person might think they sense touch in their right hand when, in fact, the touch occurred on their right foot

  • - the normal anatomical position of the limb (right or left)

Scientists say that these findings could drive us to the finding of how phantom pain is perceived by brain.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Role of “bad cholesterol” in triggering early-onset Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease which affects memory as well as other relevant memory functions. While most people suffer from Alzheimer’s in their late years, rare conditions suffer from early-onset Alzheimer’s which occurs before the age of 65. The reasons responsible for early-onset Alzheimer’s are not yet fully comprehended by the scientists, yet they have significant doubts in the role of “bad cholesterol” in it. The only determined factor is genetic, namely the expression of a variant of the gene APOE, called APOE E4, which also has an association with higher levels of circulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Earlier researches have shown that LDL cholesterol has adverse effects on health as its rise in level could lead to accumulation in arteries thus obstructing blood flow, which in turn leads to cardiovascular issues, hence known as bad cholesterol. A new study has revealed the connection of high (LDL) cholesterol with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Lead author Dr. Thomas Wingo says that their next agenda is to establish whether there is a causal link between cholesterol levels in the blood and Alzheimer's disease risk and that the current analysis has been vague about this. “One interpretation of our current data is that LDL cholesterol does play a causal role. If that is the case, we might need to revise targets for LDC cholesterol to help reduce Alzheimer's risk.", saya Dr. Thomas Wingo.

(Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com)