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Understanding the mechanisms of placebo and nocebo effects

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Frisaldi E, Shaibani A, Benedetti F
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20340

The placebo effect represents an elegant model to understand how the brain works. It is worth knowing that there is not a single but many placebo effects, with different mechanisms across different systems, medical conditions and therapeutic interventions.

When a T cell engages a B cell: novel insights in multiple sclerosis

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Jelcic I, Sospedra M, Martin R
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20330

This short review summarises important new insights into the interaction between these two cell populations and outlines recent observations regarding how memory B cells activate brain-homing autoreactive T cells in multiple sclerosis.

Multidisciplinary care in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a 4-year longitudinal observational study

Original article
Sukockienė E, Iancu Ferfoglia R, Truffert A, Héritier Barras AC, Genton L, Viatte V, Leuchter I, Escher M, Horie N, Poncet A, Pasquina P, Adler D, Janssens JP
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20258

The cellular prion protein beyond prion diseases

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Manni G, Lewis V, Senesi M, Spagnolli G, Fallarino F, Collins SJ, Mouillet-Richard S, Biasini E
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20222

The cellular prion protein (PrPC), a cell surface glycoprotein originally identified for its central role in prion diseases, has recently been implicated in the pathogenesis of other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. This article provides an overview of what is known about the role of PrPC beyond prion disorders and discusses the potential implications of targeting this protein in different diseases.

Management of neurosurgical implant-associated infections

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Conen A, Raabe A, Schaller K, Fux CA, Vajkoczy P, Trampuz A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20208

With the technical developments in neurosurgery, increasing numbers of neurosurgical implants are used in an increasingly aged population of patients with several comorbidities. Consequently, the number of neurosurgical implant-associated infections is continuously raising.

Vulnerability to relapse under stress: insights from affective neuroscience

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Pool ER, Sander D
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20151

Decades of research in affective neuroscience have been devoted to identifying the underlying neuropsychological mechanisms that can lead to compulsive reward-seeking behaviours where the amount of effort mobilised to obtain an outcome is no longer justified by its value.

Interventional psychiatry in the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia: a qualitative review

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Swierkosz-Lenart K, Mall JF, von Gunten A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20140

Pharmaceutical options for the treatment of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are limited. This article invetigates the potential role of interventional techniques, considering the possible overlapping role of specific neurocircuits underlying BPSD.

Acute effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on resting brain function

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Müller F, Borgwardt S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20124

In recent years, there has been a revival in research on hallucinogenic drugs. One of the most interesting questions is how the typical effects of LSD are represented on a neuronal level. This question was recently addressed by three clinical trials.

Extracellular matrix: a new player in memory maintenance and psychiatric disorders

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Bach D, Brown SA, Kleim B, Tyagarajan S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20060

Significant strides have been made in developing and refining psychotherapeutic treatments. However, there is significant room to improve them, and they may benefit from innovations such as extracellular matrix modification.

Designing artificial senses: steps from physiology to clinical implementation

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Pérez Fornos A, Van de Berg R, Sommerhalder J, Guinand N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20061

The goal of this review is to highlight the multiple challenges involved in the development of sensory neuroprostheses, the current state of the technology, and to briefly discuss future clinical and research prospects.

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