Unusual treatment shows promise for kids with brain tumors | Pennsylvania State News

For decades, a deadly type of childhood cancer has eluded science’s best tools. Now doctors have made progress with an unusual treatment: Dripping millions of copies of a virus directly into kids’ brains to infect their tumors and spur an immune system attack.

A dozen children treated this way lived more than twice as long as similar patients have in the past, doctors reported Saturday at an American Association for Cancer Research conference and in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Although most of them eventually died of their disease, a few are alive and well several years after treatment — something virtually unheard of in this situation.

“This is the first step, a critical step,” said the study’s leader, Dr. Gregory Friedman, a childhood cancer specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“Our goal is to improve on this,” possibly by trying it when patients are first diagnosed

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How Exercise Keeps Your Brain Healthy and Protects It Against Depression and Anxiety

Summary: From helping improve cognitive health to improving symptoms of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, researchers examine the benefits of exercise on brain health.

Source: The Conversation

As with many other physicians, recommending physical activity to patients was just a doctor chore for me – until a few years ago. That was because I myself was not very active. Over the years, as I picked up boxing and became more active, I got firsthand experience of positive impacts on my mind. I also started researching the effects of dance and movement therapies on trauma and anxiety in refugee children, and I learned a lot more about the neurobiology of exercise.

I am a psychiatrist and neuroscientist researching the neurobiology of anxiety and how our interventions change the brain. I have begun to think of prescribing exercise as telling patients to take their “exercise pills.” Now knowing the

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How physical fitness benefits the brain

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved

Experts recommend that kids get at least 60 minutes of
moderate-to-vigorous exercise each day. Why? Such activities are crucial for cardiovascular health. But exercise for children is important for other reasons too. It appears to stimulate brain growth. It helps kids focus, and stick to plan. It may even make it easier for children to learn.

Where’s the evidence? 

The story begins with experiments on

Aerobics and the brain

Henriette van Pragg and her colleagues wanted to know how
regular, aerobic exercise might affect the brain. So they subjected mice to
different living arrangements:

  • Some mice were randomly assigned to live in cages that
    included running wheels. These mice were free to run whenever they liked.
  • Other mice were randomly assigned to live in cages that
    lacked running wheels. They could pace around their cages, and play with their
    fellow cage
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Brain Workshop – a Dual N-Back game

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