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August 1, 2014 / drrobertcach

Dr. Robert Cach- Advancements in Neurosurgery

Possessing nearly 20 years of experience in medicine, Dr. Robert Cach owns and operates Idaho Neurosurgical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Also the chief of surgery at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, Dr. Robert Cach stays abreast of the newest advancements in neurosurgery.

In May 2014, neuroscientists and neurosurgeons from the University of Pennsylvania announced a discovery regarding the brain’s reward system and learning process. While performing surgery to treat individuals with Parkinson’s disease, the scientists found a way to approach the substantia nigra. This deep brain structure, named for its dark color, affects addiction, reward, and movement. Dying neurons in this region are the cause of Parkinson’s disease.

The University of Pennsylvania team identified potential benefits to stimulating the substantia nigra, which releases the hormone dopamine, which in turn is associated with reward-seeking behavior. Patients participating in the study played computer games featuring rigged slot machines. When the subjects found an award-producing machine, the doctors would trigger the substantia nigra; they then observed that even when the machine no longer generated winning results, the patients continued to return to it. The conclusion of this research was that stimulation of this zone may encourage people to repeat the same action. This knowledge may help scientists develop better treatments for individuals with substance abuse or gambling issues, as well as people with neurological disorders.

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