NEWs + STud­ies 2021

In times of cri­sis and pan­demics, ef­fi­cient com­mu­ni­ca­tion must suc­ceed in bring­ing about suf­fi­cient changes in people’s be­hav­ior. An im­por­tant fac­tor here is the fear of in­fec­tion: it can mo­ti­vate pro­tec­tive re­ac­tions as well as trig­ger pan­ic behavior.

Cra­nial nerve throm­bo­sis is a rare con­di­tion in which nerve cells be­come oc­clud­ed as a re­sult of a blood clot caused, for ex­am­ple, by el­e­vat­ed blood pres­sure. This dis­ease par­tic­u­lar­ly af­fects younger peo­ple be­tween the ages of 25 and 45.

Many pa­tients with SARS-CoV­‑2 dis­ease suf­fer from (some­times) se­vere neu­ro­log­i­cal con­comi­tants that are pro­longed or even ir­re­versible. The virus can cause dam­age in the brain, but that alone is not it.

he neu­ropathol­o­gy of Alzheimer’s dis­ease (AD) is char­ac­ter­ized by hy­per­phos­pho­ry­lat­ed tau neu­rofib­ril­lary tan­gles (NFTs) and amy­loid-be­ta (Aβ) plaques. Aβ plaques are hy­poth­e­sized to fol­low a de­vel­op­ment se­quence start­ing with dif­fuse plaques, which evolve in­to more com­pact plaques and fi­nal­ly ma­ture in­to the clas­sic cored plaque type.

Since the out­break of the Coro­na pan­dem­ic, we can hard­ly es­cape bad news on so­cial me­dia. But why are we so at­tract­ed to them of all things? And what can help us cope with it?

The gait pat­terns of old­er in­di­vid­u­als can cue cog­ni­tive prob­lems and even help di­ag­nose dif­fer­ent types of neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases. For ex­am­ple, Alzheimer’s dis­ease could pos­si­bly be iden­ti­fied at an ear­ly stage based on the gait. The way old­er peo­ple walk can be used to en­able ear­ly di­ag­no­sis of dif­fer­ent types of neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive diseases.

For many, cof­fee is an elixir of life, with­out which they would hard­ly be able to start the day in the morn­ing. But its caf­feine not on­ly seems to wake peo­ple up, it al­so caus­es mea­sur­able changes in the struc­ture of the brain — at least tem­porar­i­ly. We can now show that reg­u­lar caf­feine con­sump­tion caus­es the gray mat­ter in the brain to shrink temporarily.

For al­most a year now, cul­ture has been par­a­lyzed due to the Coro­na pan­dem­ic — apart from a few in­ter­rup­tions and open-air episodes. That’s not on­ly bor­ing, it’s al­so bad for the brain.

We or­der an­oth­er pair of boots, al­though there are al­ready five sim­i­lar pairs in the clos­et. We wait in line for ex­pen­sive cof­fee in pa­per cups. We let our­selves be se­duced by sup­posed bar­gains to make pur­chas­es that we lat­er regret.


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