Neuroscience: Crammed with Connections — Complex Brain (3 Minute Video)

Discussion in 'Research News' started by erik, Sep 9, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Neuroscience: crammed with connections
      For all the advances in neuroscience over the past century, the brain is still the most enigmatic machinery on Earth - Aeon

      Why finding a treatment for T is so difficult.
      Neuroscience: Crammed with connections
       
      • Informative Informative x 2
    2. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      The brain is enigmatic, but the mind is even more so. I can't help but wonder what goes on in the subconscious mind that affects the hyperactivity of the neurons in our brains, as well as the function of the thalamus which to my understanding is also related to tinnitus.

      Imaging reveals how brain fails to tune out phantom sounds of tinnitus

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100623123338.htm
       
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      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
    4. markoana

      markoana Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2.2013
      T. can not be cured ever, because of so many potential causes that are different from person to person...But consequence can be treated. Just, or "just" stopping that connection (in channels) between brain and inner ear that makes stupid phantom noise.

      Why it is so hard to be done..whyyy :(
       
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    5. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      They can't even cure the common cold and we know what causes that...to put things into perspective
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. Rina
      Energetic

      Rina Member

      Location:
      florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Really don't know
      At least the common cold is temporary!!! Not
      Like T......
       
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    7. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      "BI Answers: Why don't we have a cure for the common cold?
      Modern science has eradicated smallpox, extended life expectancy, and made huge gains in battling some of the world's deadliest diseases. So why can't we knock out the humble cold?

      The short answer is twofold. First, what we think of as a cold is actually caused by many different viruses. Even the most common among those, rhinovirus, has more than a hundred different strains. "Curing" a cold would actually mean eradicating a long list of respiratory viruses that happen to cause similar symptoms. Those symptoms, incidentally, are mostly just your immune system kicking into high gear to fight off an infection, something that can manifest as inflammation in the throat and congestion in the nose.

      Second, while sniffling and coughing is no fun, a cold is pretty low down on the list of ailments that need curing. It can be a concern for infants, the elderly, or those with pre-existing respiratory conditions, but "for the majority of us, a common cold is more annoyance than threat," says Ian Mackay, a virologist at the University of Queensland.

      Still, in 2002, researchers calculated that the annual cost of lost productivity because of colds is $25 billion. The National Institutes of Health estimates that people in the United States experience about one billion colds every year. What if we could make those all go away? We talked to a number of experts to get the full story on why we haven't cured the common cold — and whether we ever will.

      Why isn't there a cold vaccine?
      Each year, multiple strains of the flu are circulating. If we can vaccinate against the most common strains of the flu, it seems as if we should be able to do the same thing for colds. But it doesn't quite work that way.

      There are only about three strains of flu each season, while "there are usually 20-30 different types of rhinovirus circulating each season in one geographic area," explains Yury A. Bochkov, an associate scientist in the department of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Only about 10% of those will show up again the next year. That means, Bochkov says, that public health officials "cannot predict the spectrum of rhinovirus types for an upcoming cold season."

      Plus, even if you could, Thomas Smith of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston says, "somehow stuff 100 different strains into one shot," that would take care of only the most common cold-causing virus.

      More than 200 viruses can cause what a sick person would recognize as a cold, including "some strains of influenza virus, adenoviruses, coronaviruses, enteroviruses, [and] respiratory syncytial virus," Bochkov says. A rhinovirus vaccine would do nothing to protect against those.

      sore.jpg Flickr / ShellySThroat drops just don't cut it.



      Why isn't there a cold cure, or even a highly effective treatment?
      The main reason, Mackay says, is that the common cold is usually "a short-lived and relatively mild illness."

      But trying to develop drugs to treat rhinovirus also has some particular challenges. Smith, who worked on such research in his lab at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, tells us that some of the approaches they were testing "really did work," at least in the lab. Still, "while these compounds were pretty good at hitting a number of different strains at once, there were still a few outlier strains."

      That's the tricky thing about rhinoviruses, Bochkov says: "It is difficult to find an antiviral equally efficient against 160 rhinoviruses."

      Furthermore, colds are not usually life-threatening, so the Food and Drug Administration would have a very low threshold for the kind of side effects that would be considered worth it. "It really had to be nearly as safe as water for approval for the general public," Smith says. Few drugs are.

      The challenges did not stop there. "Only humans show symptoms of [rhinovirus] infection," Smith says, making it nearly impossible to do any testing between petri dishes and human trials. Even then, researchers would first have to find a rhinovirus that test subjects had not already been exposed to — a difficult task with so many strains circulating every year.

      If anyone is able to find an effective treatment, however, those efforts might pay off. "There would be a huge market among wealthy nations who have overcome some of the more serious infectious diseases and now have moved their attention to removing the annoyance of the common cold," Mackay says.

      rtxbk0i.jpg REUTERS/J.-Y. Sgro/UW-MadisonStructure of the human rhinovirus capsid, the shell surrounding the virus' genetic material.



      Is any progress being made?
      Numerous researchers are working on something called broad-spectrum antivirals, which would target a wide variety of viruses. While much of this research is still in very early phases, it may offer the best hope for an eventual cold cure.

      Todd Rider, formerly a senior staff scientist at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and now at Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, developed one such compound, called DRACO. It generated a lot of media buzz when it was first announced in 2011.

      DRACO, Rider tells us, "is designed to treat or prevent infections by a broad spectrum of viruses, just as existing antibiotics can treat or prevent infections by a broad spectrum of bacteria."

      The compound has so far been effective against 15 different viruses in cells and in mice. It works by entering all cells and then destroying those in which it detects a viral infection. "For the common cold in particular, DRACO was shown in human cells to be effective against all four rhinovirus strains tested," Rider says, "and to completely eliminate rhinoviruses without harming uninfected cells."

      While DRACO and other related research, like that led by Leo James at Cambridge University's Laboratory of Molecular Biology, seem very promising, much more testing is needed to see whether this approach will be effective and safe in humans. If DRACO lives up to its initial promise and continued testing goes well — neither of which is a certainty — Rider expects that it could be used in humans "within a decade or perhaps sooner."

      What can you do in the meantime?
      Wash your hands. Get plenty of sleep. Avoid sick people whenever possible. Try your luck with over-the-counter remedies.

      There's some evidence that old-fashioned tips like gargling salt water and swallowing honey can ease cold symptoms, but most oft-touted curatives — like megadoses of vitamin C — show little benefit when tested.

      Worst-case scenario, Smith notes, there's always the extreme option: "Hermits who never see fellow human beings never get the common cold."

      Interesting read ^_^
       
    8. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      From the article:
      Imaging studies further show hyperactivity not only in auditory pathways of the cortex and thalamus but also in the non-auditory, limbic brain structures that regulate a number of functions including emotion. This limbic activation has been interpreted to reflect the emotional reaction of tinnitus patients to phantom sound, but research has now shown the limbic region normally blocks sound sensations sent from the auditory region that are not real. It does this by feeding sensations of sound that are not real back to a brain area in the thalamus (the thalamic reticular nucleus) that exerts inhibition on the sensory signals and can thus subtract the errant noise.

      "This circuit serves as an active noise-cancelation mechanism -- a feedback loop that subtracts sounds that should not be there," says Rauschecker. "But in cases where the limbic regions become dysfunctional, this noise-cancelation breaks down and the tinnitus signal permeates to the auditory cortex, where it enters consciousness."

      Researchers have also found evidence that this inhibiting gating mechanism can be switched on and off, which explains why some tinnitus patients have a ringing sensation intermittently.


      Maybe it's not damage per se, but it's definitely malfunction. The question then becomes, why does it malfunction intermittently in people with cycling tinnitus? Why can tinnitus be raging one day, and only mild or moderate the next? Why do spikes erupt without apparent provocation?

      I'd really like to know the answers. For the last six months I've usually had 3 severe days followed by a mild-to-moderate day, and then the cycle begins again. Recently I had an unbelievable 5 days of very mild tinnitus and was ecstatic. I truly thought I was on my way to getting better. Unfortunately, after the fifth good day, I'm now on my eighth day of severely intrusive buzzing, hissing, tea kettle and static. Nothing has changed in my routine to account for why this is happening. :banghead:
       
    9. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Location:
      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      There are many variables to Tinnitus. I ate a bunch of salted pork-kapow! Big time T.
      The best thing I believe there is is exercise. Lots of walking, eating and sleeping. Unfortunately Tinnitus attacks our sleeping quality. Its torn me apart- the sleeping. I need meds.
      I also believe the meds are a catch -22.

      Comparing a cold to Tinnitus is pretty weird. Apples and Oranges, firecrakers and bombs...whatever. They dont even have relief with out risking your health or life. They can do it, theres just not enough money for science regarding T and H. If they have weapons that can destroy the earth 20 times over they could cure or relieve T. Its that simple! Ultimately I think stem cell will be the winner.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    10. jeanneguy

      jeanneguy Member

      Is there a thread about how people deal with acute tinnitus? My just started last month when I experienced sudden, severe hearing loss in my right eat.
       

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