Category Archives: News in brief

Measuring gray matter to predict recovery from coma

Predicting recovery from coma following cardiac arrest remains a question to which physicians do not have an exact response. When – and if – a critical care patient will recover consciousness is evaluated essentially by means of recurrent clinical examinations and the recording of brain activity. Researchers at Inserm (Inserm Unit 1214 Toulouse NeuroImaging Center) led by Stein Silva, have recently developed a method that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to predict such recovery. The results were published this month in Critical Care Medicine.

A patient has been living with an artificial larynx for the 18 months

In 2013, researchers from Inserm and physicians from the Strasbourg University Hospitals announced their success in developing an artificial larynx. Since the first time they began implanting this prosthesis five years ago in patients whose own larynx had been removed for health reasons, they have optimized both the implant and their surgical technique. Today, they are presenting the case of a patient who has had the implant for 18 months, a feat that has enabled him to regain his voice and sense of smell, breathe through his nose and mouth, and not have to use his tracheostomy tube.

Zika virus infects the human retina

Deux équipes de l’Inserm viennent de démontrer que le virus Zika peut infecter l’’épithélium pigmentaire de la rétine humaine et serait ainsi potentiellement capable de provoquer des atteintes rétinienne. Cette étude est publiée dans Journal of Virology.

Smell, those neurons with a nose

Thanks to the receptors in our nose, we can identify thousands of smells. But there are still many grey areas regarding the mechanisms at work in sending information to the brain.

13/11 attacks: young people deeply marked

One year after the 13 November attacks, the survey “Conditions de vie et Aspirations” (Living Conditions and Aspirations) by CRÉDOC (Research Centre for the Study and Monitoring of Living Standards), part of the 13 Novembre programme initiated by Inserm, CNRS and héSam Université, reports on the strong impact of the attacks on the French population, particularly the young.

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ERC Starting Grants 2016: Inserm leader in life sciences

With 5 Inserm researchers awarded grants under the Starting Grants 2016 call for proposals from the European Research Council (ERC) in life sciences, and 4 grants awarded to researchers working in its joint research units, Inserm is confirmed as the leading biomedical research institution in Europe. In the life sciences, France is in second place, just behind Germany.

Seniors: a study to evaluate the effects of meditation on their well-being and mental health

Between now and 2050, the number of people aged over 60 years is set to double according to estimates by the World Health Organisation, thus going from 65 million to 2 billion. Seniors may then represent 22% of the world population in 2050.[1] In this context, prevention and encouraging people to “age well” constitutes a primary challenge for our societies.

Narcolepsy-cataplexy, a sleep disorder, may have an autoimmune origin

Narcolepsy-cataplexy is a rare and serious sleep disorder characterised by excessive daytime drowsiness and sudden loss of muscle tone. It is due to the loss of a population of neurons, known as the orexinergic neurons, located in the lateral hypothalamus. These neurons secrete a neurotransmitter, orexin, which stimulates the appetite and waking state. The aetiology of the disorder remains poorly known, although the genetic and environmental factors associated with narcolepsy, together with serological data, all point to a probable autoimmune origin.

Biological Engineering: Marine Vessels

Researchers are aiming to produce flexible and malleable substitute materials to replace defective small blood vessels. The team led by Didier Letourneur, in Inserm Unit 1148, took inspiration from the composition of algae when designing polysaccharide-based vessels.

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