Knowing more about our brain for longevity

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A RECIPE TO MAKE A HUMAN BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER

Researchers have defined a process that can help to create more realistic human blood-brain barriers in a dish. READ MORE…

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BURSTS OF BETA WAVES, NOT SUSTAINED RHYTHMS, FILTER SENSORY PROCESSING IN BRAIN

In both human and animal subject, bursts of beta wave activity in the brain help to filter distraction in order to process different sensations, a new study reports. READ MORE…

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BRAIN IMAGING REVEALS ADHD AS A COLLECTION OF DIFFERENT DISORDERS

A new study sheds light on ADHD, reporting teens with the disorder fit into one of three specific subgroups with distinct brain impairments and no common abnormalities between them. READ MORE…

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HIGHER ESTROGEN LEVELS LINKED TO INCREASED ALCOHOL SENSITIVITY IN BRAIN’S REWARD CENTER

Neurons in the ventral tegmental area, an area of the brain considered to be the reward center, fire more rapidly to alcohol when estrogen levels are elevated, a new study reports. The study may shed light on how alcohol addiction develops in some women. READ MORE…
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SOURCE OF EARLY BRAIN ACTIVITY IDENTIFIED

A new study reveals a mechanism that may explain the link between sound input and cognitive function in the developing brain. READ MORE…
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ROLE OF THYROID HORMONE IN BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Researchers report a thyroid hormone is critical for the earliest stages of brain development. READ MORE…
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BLAME TIRED BRAIN CELLS FOR MENTAL LAPSES AFTER POOR SLEEP

UCLA researchers report sleep deprivation prevents neurons from correctly connecting with each other, resulting in temporary cognitive lapses in visual perception and memory. READ MORE…
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HIGHER BRAIN GLUCOSE LEVELS MAY MEAN MORE SEVERE ALZHEIMER’S

A new NIH study reveals abnormalities in brain glucose metabolism could be linked to the severity of Alzheimer’s pathology. READ MORE…
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BRAIN TREATS DIALECT AS LANGUAGE

A new study reports the brain treats language and different dialects in the same way. READ MORE…
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EXPERIMENTAL BRAIN TECHNOLOGY CAN REWIND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Researchers report repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation can help to reverse some of the signs of Alzheimer’s disease. So long as patients receive the treatments, cognitive decline appears to halt and, in some cases, cognitive abilities improve. READ MORE…

WHY OUR BRAINS NEED SLEEP, AND WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T GET ENOUGH

From consolidating memories to cleaning out toxins in the brain that accumulate during waking hours, researchers explore why sleep is so important and what happens when we don’t get enough. READ MORE…

a brain

BRAIN ACTIVITY IS INHERITED: FINDINGS MAY INFORM TREATMENT FOR ADHD AND AUTISM

Machine learning study reveals that, much like genetics, brain connectivity patterns are passed down from parents to children.  READ MORE…
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HERE’S WHAT WE THINK ALZHEIMER’S DOES TO THE BRAIN

A new paper explores different findings about the development of Alzheimer’s and considers how personalized treatments may help combat this complex disease. READ MORE…
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SLEEPING THROUGH SNORING: NEURONS THAT ROUSE BRAIN TO BREATH IDENTIFIED

Researchers have identified a mechanism that helps rouse the brains of mice suffering from simulated sleep apnea. The findings could help develop new treatments for people with obstructive sleep apnea and provide new insights into SIDS. READ MORE…
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BRAIN’S ALERTNESS CIRCUITRY CONSERVED THROUGH EVOLUTION

Optogenetics research reveals brain circuits critical for alertness. READ MORE…
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BLOOD CLOTTING PROTEIN PREVENTS REPAIR IN THE BRAIN

A new study sheds light on demylination diseases like Multiple Sclerosis. Researchers discovered a blood clotting protein can leak into the central nervous system and prevent myelin production. READ MORE…
neurons

ELECTRON MICROSCOPY UNCOVERS UNEXPECTED CONNECTIONS IN FRUIT FLY BRAIN

Microscopy technology allows researchers to discover new connections in brain areas associated with memory and learning in fruit flies. READ MORE…
neuron

HOW NEWBORN NEURONS FIND THEIR PROPER PLACE IN THE ADULT BRAIN

CSHL researchers document how neuroblasts make their journey through the rostral migratory stream to their target destination in the olfactory bulb. READ MORE…
neurons

TOO MANY BRAIN CONNECTIONS MAY BE AT THE ROOT OF AUTISM

Researchers report too many connections form between neurons in the cerebellum and learning difficulties are expressed in mice who lack the RNF8 gene. READ MORE…

MIDDLE AGE INFLAMMATION LINKED TO BRAIN SHRINKAGE DECADES LATER

According to a new study, people who have inflammation biomarkers in their blood during middle age are more likely to have increased brain shrinkage as they grow older. Researchers report the brain cell loss associated with inflammation was most prevalent in areas affected in Alzheimer’s disease. READ MORE…
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HOW DO ADULT BRAIN CIRCUITS REGULATE NEW NEURON PRODUCTION?

UNC researchers have identified a brain circuit that runs from near the front of the brain to the hippocampus that helps to control neurogenesis. READ MORE…
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AUTISM TREATMENTS MAY RESTORE BRAIN CONNECTIONS

Researchers report they have identified potential treatments that could restore brain function in people on the autism spectrum who lack a gene critical for neural connections. READ MORE…

neurons

MATURITY MOLECULE HELPS ADOLESCENT BRAIN GROW UP

Mice lacking a gene called laminin alpha 5 suffer defects in synaptic maturation during teen brain development, leading to fewer synapses in adulthood. This may contribute to neuropsychological conditions, such as Schizophrenia, which can appear during later adolescence.READ MORE…

The image shows brains as the feet of musical notes.

NEUROSCIENCE OF MUSIC – HOW MUSIC ENHANCES LEARNING THROUGH NEUROPLASTICITY

Neuroscience research into the neuroscience of music shows that musicians’ brains may be primed to distinguish meaningful sensory information from noise.  READ MORE…

THOUGHT CONTROL OF PROSTHETIC LIMBS FUNDED BY DARPA

Thought control of prosthetic limbs via brain-controlled interfaces will be tested and developed with funding from DARPA. Human subjects will test neural interface systems used to control prosthetic limbs.  READ MORE…

GUT BACTERIA CAN AFFECT ONSET OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

Gut bacteria, previously considered benign, has the ability to alter the immune system of mice enough to affect the rate of Multiple Sclerosis occurance.  READ MORE…
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NEUROBIOLOGY RESEARCH FINDS GABA INTERFERES WITH MEMORY OF NEUROFIBROMATOSIS TYPE 1 PATIENTS

Neurobiology research from UCLA indicates the possibility of GABA interfering with working memory in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1, or NF1. READ MORE…

3 BLIND MICE COULD SEE? IPRGCS HELP RODS AND CONES WITH IMAGE FORMATION

Mice without rods and cones were able to use ipRGCs to detect light and possibly form low acuity images. READ MORE…

RESEARCH SHOWS SIRT1 ENHANCES SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY AND MEMORY

Researchers at MIT have discovered that Sirtuin1, a protein encoded by the SIRT1 gene, promotes synaptic plasticity and boosts memory. READ MORE…

CHEMICAL P7C3 GROWS NEW NEURONS AND IMPROVES LEARNING

Scientists find the chemical P7C3 grows new neuronal growth within the dentate gyrus and improves learning and memory. READ MORE…

AUTISM RESEARCH: MISOPROSTOL INTERFERES WITH NEURONAL CELL FUNCTION

Neuroscience research on Autism has shown how misoprostol interferes with neuronal cell function.  READ MORE…

NATURAL MECHANISM THAT CONTROLS COCAINE USE DISCOVERED

A natural mechanism that controls cocaine use was discovered by Scripps Research scientists. READ MORE…

SCIENTISTS PREDICT YOUR BEHAVIORS BETTER THAN YOU

Scientists predict your behavior better than you according to new neuroscience research. READ MORE…
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COFFEE AND NIGHTTIME JOBS DON’T MIX, STUDY FINDS

Night-shift workers should avoid drinking coffee if they wish to improve their sleep, according to research published in the journal Sleep Medicine. READ MORE…

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NEW GUIDELINES IDENTIFY BEST TREATMENTS TO HELP ALS PATIENTS LIVE LONGER, EASIER

ST. PAUL, Minn. – New guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology identify the most effective treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often caREAD MORE…

NEUROBIOLOGICAL MARKERS FOR DEPRESSION

Neuroscience researchers suggest that utilizing fMRI studies could help to provide biomarkers for the diagnosis of depression. A recent fMRI study of patients with depression showed marked abnormal activations in the medial prefronal cortex. Researchers believe that by identifying the neurobiological markers for depression, psychiatrists can tailor medications and therapies to suit the needs of individual patients. READ MORE…

NERVE CELL REGENERATION IN HIPPOCAMPUS CAN PREVENT MEMORY LOSS

New research released from the University of Florida suggests the production of new nerve cells within the Hippocampus could prevent memory loss and assist in improving memory. READ MORE…

OLDER CORPUS COLLOSUM CROSSTALK SLOWS RESPONSE TIMES

This research shows that the loss of connections in the corpus collosum could be partly responsible for slower response times seen in older animals and humans due to too much crosstalk and confusion between the brain hemispheres. READ MORE…

SINGLE NEURONS AND DENDRITES CAN DETECT DIFFERENT INPUT SEQUENCES

UCL neuroscientists have shown that a single neuron, and even a single dendrite, can respond differently to unique sequences of input. READ MORE…

PERFORANT PATH IDENTIFIED IN HUMANS – EARLY ID OF ALZHEIMER’S POSSIBLE

UC Irvine researchers have identified the perforant path in humans with the diffusion tensor imaging technique. READ MORE…

REGENERATION OF NERVE CONNECTIONS AFTER SPINAL CORD INJURY – PTEN DELETION

Deleting the enzyme PTEN allowed neurology researchers to regenerate corticospinal tract neurons after spinal cord injuries in rodents. READ MORE…

ARTIFICIAL BEE EYES SHOW WORLD FROM BEE’S POINT OF VIEW

Researchers have developed a camera system that mimics the bee eye. The artificial bee eyes allow the researchers to take images that are believed to be similar to the bee’s viewpoint. READ MORE…

MEMORIES WITH EMOTIONAL CONTENT FORM EVEN WHEN AMYGDALA IS DAMAGED

A new study from researchers at UCLA indicates that new memories with emotional content can be formed even if the amygdala is damaged. Researchers believe that other areas compensated for the damaged amygdala, and aided learning and memory. READ MORE…

NEUROGLOBIN COULD BE KEY TO PREVENTING ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Research scientists from UC Davis and the University of Auckland have discovered that neuroglobin might be key to preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroglobin can prevent apoptosis in response to nautral stress.  READ MORE…

HARD TO CATCH UP ON SLEEP LOSS STUDY FINDS

Sleeping in on the weekends may not allow you to recover from the sleep lost during the work week according to a recent sleep study. READ MORE…

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EARLY EDUCATION FIGHTS DEMENTIA

Brain research reveals a correlation between amount of education and dementia.READ MORE…

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FIRST DIRECT EVIDENCE THAT ADHD IS A GENETIC DISORDER FOUND

Neuroscience researchers from Cardiff University have found the first direct evidence that ADHD is a genetic disorder. READ MORE…

EARLY LIFE STRESSES COULD HAVE LASTING EFFECTS ON GAD1 GENE

Neuroscience research published in September’s Journal of Neuroscience suggests early life stresses may modify the GAD1 gene, which controls the production of GABA. Through their research on rats, researchers were able to note that those who experienced a lack of affection showed an obstruction within the DNA which controls the GAD1 gene. As it is believed that GABA deficits might be apparent within schizophrenic patients, researchers propose that the modification of GAD1 might determine a child’s predisposition to mental illness. READ MORE…

CHANGING RIGHT HANDERS TO LEFT HANDERS

Neuroscientists at UC Berkeley have discovered that stimulation of a certain area of the brain can cause a change in which hand a person favors to perform a task. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation on right handed test subjects, researchers discovered that stimulating the posterior parietal cortex on the left side caused an increase in the use of the left hand. Researchers suggested this finding might be useful in discovering methods to help patients overcome learned limb disuse. READ MORE…

GAMERS HAVE ADVANTAGE IN PERFORMING VISUOMOTOR TASKS

A study published in October’s Cortex has shown young people who regularly play video games have an advantage in performing tasks which require visuomotor skills. The study also found that gamers show increased activity in the prefrontal cortex when asked to perform visuomotor tasks. By contrast, non-gamers had more reliant use of the parietal cortex, an area which involves hand-eye coordination, when performing visuomotor tasks. READ MORE…

CAN CAREER CHOICES INFLUENCE DEMENTIA?

Correlating data from 588 patients diagnosed with frontotemporal lobe degeneration (FTLD), researchers found that subjects with professions which related highly for verbal skills had greater tissue loss on the right hand side of the brain. By contrast, those whose professions required less aptitude for verbal skills, for example flight engineers, had more tissue damage to the left hand side of the brain. READ MORE…

DISABLING THE RGS14 GENE MAKES MICE SMARTER

Researchers have discovered that disabling the RGS14 gene in mice can make them smarter. When the RGS14 gene was disabled within the CA2 region of the hippocampus, researchers found that mice were better able to remember objects they had explored and learn to navigate mazes better than regular mice.  READ MORE…

INTROSPECTIVE PEOPLE HAVE LARGER PREFRONTAL CORTEX

Neuroscience researchers have discovered the anterior prefrontal cortex appears to be larger in people with strong introspective abilities. Additionally, the structure of white matter within this area of the brain is also linked to the process of introspection. READ MORE…

PHYSICALLY FIT CHILDREN HAVE BIGGER HIPPOCAMPAL VOLUME

Neuroscientists have reported they have found an association between physical fitness and brain development in children. The report suggests children who are physically fitter tend to have larger hippocampi and perform better in memory based tests than their less fit counterparts.  READ MORE…

DECREASED NEURAL INHIBITION MAKES DECISION MAKING HARDER FOR THE ANXIOUS

New psychology research from CU-Boulder suggests that “neural inhibition” is a critical component in our ability to make choices. Psychologists have proposed people who suffer from anxiety could have decreased neuronal inhibition, which makes it more difficult to make important decisions. READ MORE…

NEW MOLECULAR PATHWAY UNDERLYING PARKINSON’S DISEASE IDENTIFIED

Neuroscience researchers have identified a new molecular pathway underlying Parkinson’s disease. The pathway involves polyamines, which were discovered to be responsible for increased build-up of other toxic proteins in neurons. The research also suggests polyamine lowering drugs could have a protective effect from Parkinson’s disease.  READ MORE…

TWO STEPS DURING LTP REMODEL INTERNAL SKELETON OF DENDRITIC SPINES

Neuroscience researchers have discovered how a structural component within neurons performs coordinated movements when connections are strengthened. Researchers also distinguished two separate steps during long term potentiation which are involved in remodeling the internal “skeletons” of dendritic spines. The research could be influential in providing further understanding of many neurological, cognitive and neurodegenerative diseases. READ MORE…

Fetal alcohol syndrome

fasExposure of fetus to alcohol

Although most nutrients are affected by alcohol intake, specific nutrients noted from numerous studies are thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-12, vitamin E, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin D, zinc, and a few trace minerals. Alcohol is metabolized within hepatocytes by 1 of the 3 following pathways:

  • Alcohol dehydrogenase pathway (ADH): The first pathway, known as ADH, occurs in the cytosol of the hepatocyte (Fig. 2). ADH metabolizes ethanol to acetaldehyde, which is subsequently converted into acetic acid in mitochondria (20). In the ADH pathway, ethanol competes with vitamin A, or retinol, for metabolism because both substrates are metabolized by the same pathway (this is discussed later). Ultimately, ethanol is oxidized, which leads to the production of acetaldehyde and large amounts of NADH.

Alcohol effects on vitamin A

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy depletes maternal vitamin A stores, which can interrupt normal cell growth of the fetus. The proposed mechanism for this is that when both retinol and alcohol are present, ADH involved in the rate-limiting step of retinol oxidation has a higher affinity to alcohol, therefore preferentially metabolizing alcohol instead of retinol. This results in a deficiency in retinoic acid synthesis (39, 40), which is required to signal and control the cells involved in fetal development, organogenesis, organ homeostasis, cell and neuronal growth and differentiation, development of the CNS, and limb morphogenesis (16, 40).

DHA

DHA is highly important during fetal development because it plays an essential role in cognitive and visual development, as well as the development of the CNS (53, 54). DHA is also a precursor of a potent neurotrophic factor (neuroprotectin D1), which protects the brain and retina against injury-induced oxidative stress and enhances cell survivals in these tissues. Thus, it is recognized as a conditionally essential nutrient for infants. There is no RDA for DHA, but the Adequate Intake (AI) for n–3 FAs for pregnancy is 1.4 g/d (55). DHA is esterified to membrane phospholipids to maintain optimal fluidity and cellular integrity. Among phospholipids, phosphatidylserine has been the most studied in association with CNS development (54, 56, 57). Optimal neuronal development of the fetus is dependent on maternal intake and dietary status of DHA. In humans, the accumulation and integration of DHA into phosphatidylserine and cell membranes occurs from 16 wk to term and continues into the early postnatal development period (53). It is specifically during the last trimester in which DHA is rapidly incorporated into phosphatidylserine synthesis and storage in the hippocampus, because it is during this period in which human brain growth rapidly occurs (57, 58).

Folate (folic acid)

Folic acid, a water-soluble vitamin, has been identified as an essential nutrient that may provide a protective effect against gestational ethanol exposure. For folic acid to become metabolically active, it must be reduced to tetrahydrofolic acid (FH4) as a carrier for single-carbon moieties. FH4 is involved in the biosynthesis of the DNA and RNA precursors thymidylate and purine bases (64). Therefore, adequate maternal folic acid status is integral for optimal fetal growth and development. During pregnancy, the demand for folic acid is increased because it is not only required to support the mother for increased RBC formation but also to support the rapid growth of the fetus, including neural tube formation (65). The RDA for folic acid during pregnancy is 600 μg/d (66), and dietary sources are found in green leafy vegetables, beef, liver, pulses, and foods produced from whole wheat.

Alcohol effects on zinc

Alcohol consumption on a chronic basis itself reduces the availability of zinc because there is decreased intake and absorption and increased urinary excretion. When acute zinc deficiency occurs as a result of ethanol exposure, metallothionein, a low-molecular-weight protein body, sequesters plasma zinc to the liver, resulting in a reduction in plasma zinc. This leads to decreased amounts available for placental transport, resulting in fetal zinc deficiency (81, 82).

Choline

Choline and its metabolites are invaluable in neurotransmission (acetylcholine), structural integrity of cell plasma membranes (phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin), and cell signaling and in folate-independent pathways as a methyl donor via its metabolite, betaine (42, 90). This nutrient is the most-studied nutrient related to brain development and memory function and has been classified as an essential nutrient by the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences in the United States (66).

Choline supplementation in animal models

A recent study looked at the effect of choline supplementation on specific neurons that are altered in FASD (94). Pregnant rat dams were fed an alcohol-containing liquid diet or a control diet during GDs 7 and 21 with or without choline (642 mg/L choline chloride). The results showed that gestational choline supplementation prevented the adverse effects of alcohol on the neurons (Table 1) (94). Previous research from Thomas and colleagues (9599) showed that perinatal choline supplementation can reduce the severity of FASD—specifically, hyperactivity and learning deficits in the rat model. The authors found that choline chloride supplementation (250 mg · kg−1 · d−1 choline chloride) prevented ethanol-induced alterations in tasks that require behavioral flexibility such as spontaneous alternation behavior and memory (Table 1) (98).

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that are produced to scavenge free radicals and other compounds that threaten cellular oxidation. Cells can neutralize and scavenge reactive oxygen species through the enzymatic activity of SOD, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and catalase. Nutrients such as folate, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (α-tocopherol), selenium, and zinc are important contributors to antioxidant activity.

Selenium

Selenium is a micronutrient that serves as an important component for the generation of the enzyme GPx. GPx inhibits oxidation because it is involved in scavenging free radicals, specifically hydrogen peroxide, and converting them to harmless products such as water. Selenium-based GPx primarily is active within the cytosol or the mitochondria. The amount of selenium obtained from the diet is based on the amount in the soil or water where the food source was grown. Once consumed, it is predominantly stored in the liver, because alcohol metabolism in the liver produces various reactive oxygen species and free radicals. The RDA for selenium during pregnancy is 60 μg/d (105).

Alcohol effects on selenium.

Typically, selenium deposits and plasma concentratons are low in chronic alcoholics because of decreased dietary intake and increased production of free radicals resulting from alcohol metabolism (107). However, selenium concentrations in the plasma were reported to be increased and were significantly greater in women who drank heavily, defined as >140 g/wk, during their pregnancy in comparison to abstinent women and those who consumed alcohol moderately (108).

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Inhaled soil bacteria causes AD/brain disease

bacteria.JPGMelioidosis is an infectious disease caused by a gram-negative bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei, found in soil and water. It is of public health importance in endemic areas, particularly in Thailand and northern Australia. It exists in acute and chronic forms. Signs and symptoms may include pain in chest, bones, or joints; cough; skin infections, lung nodules and pneumonia.

B. pseudomallei was previously classed as part of the Pseudomonas genus and until 1992, it was known as Pseudomonas pseudomallei. It is phylogenetically related closely to Burkholderia mallei which causes glanders, an infection primarily of horses, donkeys, and mules. The name melioidosis is derived from the Greek melis (μηλις) meaning “a distemper of asses” with the suffixes -oid meaning “similar to” and -osis meaning “a condition”, that is, a condition similar to glanders.[1]


This bacteria from the soil can be inhaled and travels from the nose to the brain. Seek a doctor for an antibiotic treatment when sympoms occur: fever, cough

Acute melioidosis

In the subgroup of patients where an inoculating event was noted, the mean incubation period of acute melioidosis was 9 days (range 1–21 days).[2] Patients with latent melioidosis may be symptom-free for decades; the longest period between presumed exposure and clinical presentation is 62 years.[3] The potential for prolonged incubation was recognized in US servicemen involved in the Vietnam War, and was referred to as the “Vietnam time-bomb”. A wide spectrum of severity exists; in chronic presentations, symptoms may last months, but fulminant infection, particularly associated with near-drowning, may present with severe symptoms over hours.

A patient with active melioidosis usually presents with fever. Pain or other symptoms may be suggestive of a clinical focus, which is found in around 75% of patients. Such symptoms include cough or pleuritic chest pain suggestive of pneumonia, bone or joint pain suggestive of osteomyelitis or septic arthritis, or cellulitis. Intra-abdominal infection (including liver and/or splenic abscesses, or prostatic abscesses) do not usually present with focal pain, and imaging of these organs using ultrasound or CT should be performed routinely. In one series of 214 patients, 27.6% had abscesses in the liver or spleen (95% confidence interval, 22.0% to 33.9%). B. pseudomallei abscesses may have a characteristic “honeycomb” or “swiss cheese” architecture (hypoechoic, multiseptate, multiloculate) on CT.[4][5]

Regional variations in disease presentation are seen: parotid abscesses characteristically occur in Thai children, but this presentation has only been described once in Australia.[6] Conversely, prostatic abscesses are found in up to 20% of Australian males, but are rarely described elsewhere. An encephalomyelitis syndrome is recognised in northern Australia.

Patients with melioidosis usually have risk factors for disease, such as diabetes, thalassemia, hazardous alcohol use, or renal disease, and frequently give a history of occupational or recreational exposure to mud or pooled surface water.[7] However, otherwise healthy patients, including children, may also get melioidosis.