Brain

How can I cut my risk of dementia?

Nerves
Getty Images

The World Health Organization has launched its first ever guidelines on how people can help avoid getting dementia.

It looked at the evidence of what works and what doesn't for lowering risk.

Things to avoid include smoking and drinking too much alcohol.

While eating a healthy diet is beneficial, popping vitamin pills makes no difference to dementia risk, it advises.

Read the full guidelines here.

MPs demand better brain injury care

Head injuries are a leading cause of death and disability
Astonishingly, every 90 seconds someone in the UK is taken to hospital with a brain injury. 

A report commissioned by a group of cross-party MPs found that while immediate care was invariably excellent, the rehabilitation process was often less satisfactory.  

Mandy Baker reports.

If you'd like to hear more from Today In Parliament, tune in to BC Radio 4 at 11.30pm

Can playing Pokémon rewire your brain?

Gamers have developed a unique cluster of brain cells that recognise Pokémon characters
Pokémon experts have developed a unique cluster of brain cells devoted to recognising the hundreds of different characters in the famous video game. Author of the study Jesse Gomez explains what this reveals about the brain's ability to store and categorise information. 

(Image: 20 Pikachu characters. Credit: Yoshikazu Tsuno/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)
Loneliness: 'Take friendships more seriously'
Comedian Carys Eleri says people need to interact face to face with their friends to combat loneliness.

Irene Tracey on pain in the brain

Irene Tracey tells Jim Al-Khalili how imaging the brain reveals how and why we feel pain.
Pain, as we know, is highly personal.  Some can cope with huge amounts, while others reel in agony over a seemingly minor injury.  Though you might feel the stab of pain in your stubbed toe or sprained ankle, it is actually processed in the brain.

That is where Irene Tracey, Nuffield Professor of Anaesthetic Science at Oxford University, has been focussing her attention.  Known as the Queen of Pain, she has spent the past two decades unravelling the complexities of this puzzling sensation.

She goes behind the scenes, as it were, of what happens when we feel pain - scanning the brains of her research subjects while subjecting them to a fair amount of burning, prodding and poking.

Her work is transforming our understanding, revealing how our emotions influence our experience of pain, how chronic pain develops and even when consciousness is present in the brain.

Producer: Beth Eastwood