ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
CANCER
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
CAREGIVING
Mild Flu Season Coming to a Close
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Fatty Acid in Olive Oil Wards Off Hunger
Fruits, Vegetables, Teas May Cut Smokers' Cancer Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
Fish in U.S. Rivers Tainted With Common Medications
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
What you need to know about swine flu.
Week of Historic Senate Hearings on Integrative Medicine May Open New Doors
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
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Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity

New tools that use different colors of light to silence brain activity could lead to new treatments for disorders such as epilepsy, chronic pain, Parkinson's disease and brain injury, neuroscientists say.

These so-called "super-silencers" provide precise control over the timing of the shutdown of overactive brain circuits, something that's impossible with existing drugs or other conventional treatments, according to the research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The research is published in the Jan. 7 issue of the journal Nature.

"Silencing different sets of neurons with different colors of light allows us to understand how they work together to implement brain functions," study senior author Ed Boyden, a professor in the MIT Media Lab and an associate member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, said in a news release.

"Using these new tools, we can look at two neural pathways and study how they compute together. These tools will help us understand how to control neural circuits, leading to new understandings and treatments for brain disorders -- some of the biggest unmet medical needs in the world," Boyden added.

He and his colleagues developed the super-silencers using two genes -- Arch and Mac -- found in different organisms such as bacteria and fungi. The genes encode for light-activated proteins that help organisms make energy. The activity of neurons engineered to express Arch and Mac can be inhibited by shining light on them. The light activates the proteins, resulting in lower voltage in the neurons, which prevents them from firing effectively, Boyden explained.

Yellow light silences Arch and blue light silences Mac.

"In this way, the brain can be programmed with different colors of light to identify and possibly correct the corrupted neural computations that lead to disease," study co-author Brian Chow, a postdoctoral associate in Boyden's lab, said in the news release.


SOURCES: MIT, news release, Jan. 6, 2010 Published on: January 06, 2010