First Known Opiate Biomarker Shows Fentanyl’s Effect on Brain

Fentanyl depresses breathing about 4 minutes before symptoms of distress are evident at a dose that is 1700 times lower than that needed for sedation, new research shows. This new information comes after researchers identified a unique EEG signature produced by fentanyl, the first known biomarker of an opiate’s effect on the brain. By monitoring … Read more

tDCS for Patients With Disorders of Consciousness

The study covered in this summary was published on medRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed. Key Takeaways Meta-analysis data from eight randomized controlled trials (RCT) showed that transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) treatment for patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC) was more effective at improving behavior performance compared to controls. Patients … Read more

Mechanical Touch Therapy Device Promising for Anxiety

An at-home investigational device is a promising noninvasive therapeutic approach for anxiety disorders, results from an open-label pilot trial suggest. The small study showed users of the Mechanical Affective Touch Therapy (MATT) had improved anxiety and depression symptoms, which corresponded to positive changes in alpha and theta oscillatory activity. Dr Linda Carpenter “MATT is part … Read more

Air Pollution a Seizure Trigger for Patients With Epilepsy

Elevated concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) due to air pollution increases the risk of epileptic seizures, a unique new study suggests. The link between daily outdoor CO exposure and seizure risk was particularly evident for subclinical seizures ― those in patients with abnormal electroencephalography (EEG) signals but no clinical symptoms. “Our findings suggest that people … Read more

Does Giving Moms Cash Make Babies Smarter?

In his first state of the Union address earlier this month, President Joe Biden broached a tax policy question that neuroscientists and pediatricians also see as a scientific one. Biden urged lawmakers to extend the Child Tax Credit “so no one has to raise a family in poverty.” Apart from the usual political and budgetary … Read more

Post-COVID Cognitive, EEG Changes Persist Up to 10 Months

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Patients who recover from COVID-19 show interrelated cognitive, EEG, and MRI abnormalities 2 months after hospital discharge — with some “disurbances” persisting as long as 10 months later, new research suggests. In a cohort of patients admitted to the emergency department … Read more