Protein linked to sex differences in age-related dopamine neuron loss — ScienceDaily


It is not every day that scientists come across a phenomenon so fundamental that it is observed across fruit flies, rodents and humans. In a paper published today in Aging Cell, neuroscientists from the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences discovered that a single protein — a glutamate transporter on the membrane of […]

Mouse study provides atlas to pinpoint neurons involved in neurodegenerative diseases — ScienceDaily


In a mouse study, National Institutes of Health researchers have identified and mapped a diverse spectrum of motor neurons along the spinal cord. These neurons, which send and receive messages throughout the body, include a subset that is susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases. Created with a genetic sequencing technique, the atlas reveals 21 subtypes of neurons […]

Results from phase two study show improved language and daily functioning among participants — ScienceDaily


An experimental treatment produced improvements in cognitive function and language in patients with fragile X syndrome, according to study results published on April 29 in Nature Medicine. Fragile X syndrome (known as FXS for short) is the most common known genetic cause of autism and the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability. “These results […]

Team builds better tool for assessing infant brain health — ScienceDaily


Researchers have created a new, open-access tool that allows doctors and scientists to evaluate infant brain health by assessing the concentration of various chemical markers, called metabolites, in the brain. The tool compiled data from 140 infants to determine normal ranges for these metabolites. Published in the journal NMR in Biomedicine, the study describes an […]

Neural implant monitors multiple brain areas at once, provides new neuroscience insights — ScienceDaily


How do different parts of the brain communicate with each other during learning and memory formation? A new study by researchers at the University of California San Diego takes a first step at answering this fundamental neuroscience question. The study was made possible by developing a neural implant that monitors the activity of different parts […]

Tiny miracles saved by surgery in the womb


There could barely be worse news for a mother-to-be to receive. And because of pandemic regulations, Becky had to hear it alone. ‘The sonographer said: ‘I’m so sorry, there’s something seriously wrong with your baby and she is in imminent danger,’ ‘ the 28-year-old recalls. ‘I couldn’t stop crying.’ What should have been a routine mid-pregnancy […]

Anesthesia doesn’t simply turn off the brain, it changes its rhythms — ScienceDaily


In a uniquely deep and detailed look at how the commonly used anesthetic propofol causes unconsciousness, a collaboration of labs at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT shows that as the drug takes hold in the brain, a wide swath of regions become coordinated by very slow rhythms that maintain a commensurately […]

New technique models brain cells in older patients more accurately than ever before — ScienceDaily


Despite the prevalence of Alzheimer’s, there are still no treatments, in part because it has been challenging to study how the disease develops. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered new insights into what goes awry during Alzheimer’s by growing neurons that resemble — more accurately than ever before — brain cells in older […]

New model may explain the mystery of asymmetry in Parkinson’s disease — ScienceDaily


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by slowness of movement and tremors, which often appear asymmetrically in patients. The new model of PD described in this review article published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease may explain these perplexing asymmetrical motor symptoms and other known variations such as different degrees of constipation and sleep disorders. PD […]

Research also challenges the idea that cell division is the main mechanism driving genetic changes — ScienceDaily


For the first time, scientists are able to study changes in the DNA of any human tissue, following the resolution of long-standing technical challenges by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. The new method, called nanorate sequencing (NanoSeq), makes it possible to study how genetic changes occur in human tissues with unprecedented accuracy. The study, […]

New ways to classify and study spinal cord neurons could inform therapies for illness or injury — ScienceDaily


Spinal cord nerve cells branching through the body resemble trees with limbs fanning out in every direction. But this image can also be used to tell the story of how these neurons, their jobs becoming more specialized over time, arose through developmental and evolutionary history. Salk researchers have, for the first time, traced the development […]

Removing ‘garbage’ from brain cells improves memory in mice — ScienceDaily


Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have designed an experimental drug that reversed key symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. The drug works by reinvigorating a cellular cleaning mechanism that gets rid of unwanted proteins by digesting and recycling them. The study was published online today in the journal Cell. “Discoveries in mice don’t […]

Learning and memory problems were linked to defective cilia — ScienceDaily


Mice with symptoms that mimic Bardet-Biedl Syndrome (BBS) have difficulty with learning and generating new neurons in the hippocampus. However, according to a new study by Thomas Pak, Calvin Carter, and Val Sheffield of the University of Iowa, published April 22nd in the journal PLOS Genetics, these mental defects can be successfully treated with lithium. […]

Simplifying Our World — ScienceDaily


Categorization is the brain’s tool to organize nearly everything we encounter in our daily lives. Grouping information into categories simplifies our complex world and helps us to react quickly and effectively to new experiences. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology have now shown that also mice categorize surprisingly well. The researchers identified neurons […]

Repurposed drug works by building cells’ skeleton and transportation network — ScienceDaily


A simple dietary supplement reduces behavioral symptoms in mice with a genetic mutation that causes schizophrenia. After additional experiments, including visualizing the fluorescently stained dancing edge of immature brain cells, researchers concluded that the supplement likely protects proteins that build neurons’ cellular skeletons. The supplement betaine was first isolated from sugar beets and is often […]

A gene finding links severe canine juvenile epilepsy to mitochondrial dysfunction — ScienceDaily


In a study conducted at the University of Helsinki, researchers found a cause for severe epilepsy resulting in death in Parson Russell Terrier puppies at a few months of age. A change in the PITRM1 gene can lead to a dysfunction of mitochondria, the cellular energy pumps. Concurrently, amyloid-β accumulation and widespread neurodegeneration associated with […]

Targeted chemotherapy of glioblastoma spheroids with an iontronic pump — ScienceDaily


Despite surgery and subsequent treatment with chemotherapy and radiation, the majority of patients experience recurrence of malignant brain tumours. Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, and the Medical University of Graz, Austria, have shown in cells in culture that an ion pump can deliver drugs more accurately, which gives less severe adverse effects in chemotherapy. The […]

Scientists find brain’s immune cells form some plaques as a defense in Alzheimer’s, suggesting a new therapeutic direction — ScienceDaily


One of the characteristic hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the buildup of amyloid-beta plaques in the brain. Most therapies designed to treat AD target these plaques, but they’ve largely failed in clinical trials. New research by Salk scientists upends conventional views of the origin of one prevalent type of plaque, indicating a reason why […]

The new model may have applications for studying and predicting a range of dynamical systems — ScienceDaily


The dynamics of the neural activity of a mouse brain behave in a peculiar, unexpected way that can be theoretically modeled without any fine tuning, suggests a new paper by physicists at Emory University. Physical Review Letters published the research, which adds to the evidence that theoretical physics frameworks may aid in the understanding of […]

A 3D structure reveals how a unique molecular switch in our brain causes us to feel full — and may help develop improved anti-obesity drugs — ScienceDaily


Being constantly hungry, no matter how much you eat — that’s the daily struggle of people with genetic defects in the brain’s appetite controls, and it often ends in severe obesity. In a study published in Science on April 15, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, together with colleagues from the Queen Mary University […]

Tiny implantable tool for light-sheet imaging of brain activity — ScienceDaily


Tools that allow neuroscientists to record and quantify functional activity within the living brain are in great demand. Traditionally, researchers have used techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, but this method cannot record neural activity with high spatial resolution or in moving subjects. In recent years, a technology called optogenetics has shown considerable success […]

New type of cell contributes to increased understanding of ALS — ScienceDaily


The causes of the serious muscle disease ALS still remain unknown. Now, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, among others, have examined a type of cell in the brain blood vessels that could explain the unpredictable disease origins and dynamics. The results indicate a hitherto unknown connection between the nervous and […]

Are you suffering from pain-somnia and waking up in agony? Here’s how to beat it


Crying children, noisy neighbours, a weak bladder — the things that can wake us in the night are numerous. But for some, there is another troubling cause — pain. Painsomnia is a medical condition where people go to bed in relative comfort but as they sleep their pain builds and wakes them up. The number […]

Coronavirus does not infect the brain but still inflicts damage, study finds — ScienceDaily


SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, likely does not directly infect the brain but can still inflict significant neurological damage, according to a new study from neuropathologists, neurologists, and neuroradiologists at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “There’s been considerable debate about whether this virus infects the brain, but we were unable to […]

Neural plasticity depends on this long noncoding RNA’s journey from nucleus to synapse — ScienceDaily


Making memories involves more than seeing friends or taking photos. The brain constantly adapts to new information and stores memories by building connections among neurons, called synapses. How neurons do this — reaching out arm-like dendrites to communicate with other neurons — requires a ballet of genes, signaling molecules, cellular scaffolding and protein-building machinery. A […]

First noninvasive measurements of fast brain signals — ScienceDaily


The brain processes information using both slow and fast currents. Until now, researchers had to use electrodes placed inside the brain in order to measure the latter. For the first time, researchers from Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), successfully visualized these fast brain signals from the outside — and found a […]

Get your head in the game — One gene’s role in cranial development — ScienceDaily


Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) use genetic engineering in mice to further understand how cell fate is determined in the head Tokyo, Japan — Mammalian embryonic development is an extremely complex and precise process. Specific molecular events act as cues that tell cells in the embryo where to move and what type […]

Scientists explore how ‘imprinting’ on some smells by newborn mice affects adult social behaviors — ScienceDaily


The smells that newborn mice are exposed to (or “imprint” on to use the academic term) affect many social behaviors later in life, but how this happens is still a mystery. Scientists from Japan have now discovered the molecules necessary for imprinting. Their new study sheds light on the decision-making process and neurodevelopmental disorders such […]

Leaking calcium in neurons an early sign of Alzheimer’s pathology — ScienceDaily


Alzheimer’s disease is known for its slow attack on neurons crucial to memory and cognition. But why are these particular neurons in aging brains so susceptible to the disease’s ravages, while others remain resilient? A new study led by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine has found that susceptible neurons in the prefrontal cortex […]

Aluminum is intricately associated with the neuropathology of familial Alzheimer’s disease — ScienceDaily


A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports continues to support a growing body of evidence that aluminum contributes to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Researchers found aluminum co-located with phosphorylated tau protein, which is an early initiator of AD. This study builds upon two earlier published studies (including Mold et […]

Saved… the jaws that are wrecked by radiotherapy


People with debilitating jaw fractures caused by cancer treatment could be spared risky surgery by a breakthrough drug combo that heals damaged bone. Radiotherapy to the head and neck, given for tongue, throat and nose cancers, can lead to problems with blood vessels connected to the lower jaw. This can trigger infections in the bone […]

Brisk walking 5 times a week may combat brain aging, study suggests


A brisk walk around the block several times a week could do wonders to preserve a healthier mind – as well as body – as you age, a new study suggests.    In a year-long study conducted by University of Texas, Southwestern, researchers found that middle aged and older Americans scored higher on cognitive tests and […]

Energy balance includes modulation of dopamine reward signaling — ScienceDaily


Since the discovery of leptin in the 1990s, researchers have wondered, how does leptin, a hormone made by body fat, suppress appetite? Despite tremendous gains in the intervening three decades, many questions still remain. Now, a new study in mice describes novel neurocircuitry between midbrain structures that control feeding behaviors that are under modulatory control […]

Itching sensation originates in the skin cells themselves, after signaling from an excess of lipid — ScienceDaily


A devastating itching of the skin driven by severe liver disease turns out to have a surprising cause. Its discovery points toward possible new therapies for itching, and shows that the outer layer of the skin is so much more than insulation. The finding, which appears April 2 in Gastroenterology, indicates that the keratinocyte cells […]

An amyloid link between Parkinson’s disease and melanoma — ScienceDaily


On the surface, Parkinson’s disease — a neurodegenerative disorder — and melanoma — a type of skin cancer — do not appear to have much in common. However, for nearly 50 years, doctors have recognized that Parkinson’s disease patients are more likely to develop melanoma than the general population. Now, scientists report a molecular link […]

Why 2020 was the year of marvellous medicine


A year ago, the world was in the grip of a deadly and, seemingly, unstoppable virus and the UK went into its first lockdown.  Since then, vaccines and life-saving drugs to counter Covid have been the focus of international attention.  But the past year has also seen major developments in treatments for cancer, diabetes, multiple […]

Mutations to Dyrk1a gene lead to brain undergrowth; an existing drug rescues the condition in newborn mice — ScienceDaily


Damage to the autism-associated gene Dyrk1a, sets off a cascade of problems in developing mouse brains, resulting in abnormal growth-factor signaling, undergrowth of neurons, smaller-than-average brain size, and, eventually, autism-like behaviors, a new study from Scripps Research, Florida, finds. The study from neuroscientist Damon Page, PhD, describes a new mechanism underlying the brain undergrowth seen […]

Functional PLD3 protein is linked to fewer beta-amyloid plaques and less cognitive decline in patients — ScienceDaily


A rare and controversial mutation in the phospholipase D3 (PLD3) protein — previously linked to Alzheimer’s disease — interferes with PLD3’s vital recycling function inside neurons. Matthew Schrag of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and colleagues report these new findings in a paper published April 8th in PLOS Genetics. About 1 percent of people with Alzheimer’s […]

A new agent for brain diseases: mRNA — ScienceDaily


Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) demonstrate an mRNA delivery system that effectively produces BDNF protein in rat brain to protect neurons from ischemia Tokyo — A lack of oxygen to brain tissue — known as ischemia — leads to the death of neurons, which results in stroke. Despite considerable research, there are […]

Light shed on the coordination of neural stem cell activation — ScienceDaily


In all adult vertebrates, neural stem cells can be recruited to produce new neurons in the brain. However, little is known about these so-called “activation” processes. Scientists at the Institut Pasteur, CNRS, and Tel Aviv University working in collaboration with the École Polytechnique and INRAE have successfully performed 3D visualization and spatial and temporal distribution […]

Drinking blocks a chemical that promotes attention


Martin Paukert, M.D., of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is studying astroglia cells and how they interact with neurons in the brain. Credit: UT Health San Antonio In a new paper, researchers from The University of Texas Health Science […]

Stable connections between nerve cells are the basis of memory


Credit: gerd altmann_pixabay Memories are part of our lives, the good and the bad. Through our senses, experiences reach our brain where networks of nerve cells encode them into a memory. It was previously unclear why only certain nerve cells join together for this purpose. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich […]

London A.I. Lab Claims Breakthrough That Could Accelerate Drug Discovery


Some scientists spend their lives trying to pinpoint the shape of tiny proteins in the human body. Proteins are the microscopic mechanisms that drive the behavior of viruses, bacteria, the human body and all living things. They begin as strings of chemical compounds, before twisting and folding into three-dimensional shapes that define what they can […]

Scientists reveal regions of the brain where serotonin promotes patience


Serotonin-releasing neurons (green arrows) from the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) penetrate many other areas of the brain, including the nucleus accumbens (NAc), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Credit: OIST We’ve all been there. Whether we’re stuck in traffic at the end of a long day, or eagerly anticipating the release of a […]

Researchers find how stress and the circadian clock affect sleep


The optogenetic tool “Channelrhodopsin2” expresses CRF neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus in mice. These neurons were found to be part of the neural pathway that is crucial for the circadian regulation of sleep and wakefulness. Overactivity of CRF neurons due to stress or disturbed circadian rhythm is likely to cause insomnia and […]

Immune responses during embryo development could increase risk of schizophrenia


Human Embryo. Credit: Ed Uthman, MD/Wikipedia Past research has often highlighted the effects that immune activation in pregnant women can have on the development of human embryos, for instance increasing the risk of a child developing psychiatric disorders later in life. The neural mechanisms underpinning these effects, however, remain largely unclear. Researchers at New York […]

Unique Schwann cells: The eyes have it


Neuroscience researchers at UConn Health are uncovering genetic properties of Schwann cells in the cornea that may lead the way to a better understanding of their role in healing and sensory function. Credit: Background photo by Jan Krnc/Pexels, Cornea Image from Mohan Lab The insulation around nerve cell components in our corneas have unique properties, […]

Team discovers new connection between Alzheimer’s dementia and Dlgap2


Andrew Ouellette and Sarah Neuner. Credit: Tiffany Laufer A gene known for helping facilitate communication between neurons in the nervous system has been discovered to be connected with Alzheimer’s dementia and cognitive decline, according to a national research team led by The Jackson Laboratory and University of Maine. Catherine Kaczorowski, associate professor and Evnin family […]

Early, late stages of degenerative diseases are distinct, study shows


Based on thousands of experiments over more than a decade, Rice University biochemists Michael Stern and James McNew believe degenerative diseases as varied as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and muscle atrophy occur in two phases (green and red) marked by distinct alterations in the activity of the signaling pathway proteins TOR, AMPK, Foxo and JNK. In the […]

Eye exam could lead to early Parkinson’s disease diagnosis


An example of a fundus eye images taken from the UK Biobank. Credit: Radiological Society of North America A simple eye exam combined with powerful artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning technology could provide early detection of Parkinson’s disease, according to research being presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). […]

New non-invasive technology could spot early signs of motor disorders in babies


Credit: CC0 Public Domain The research, carried out using a wearable cuff, provides a new method for monitoring movements in babies, and new insights into how babies’ reflexes—like kicking—develop. These insights and the cuff could also be used to spot early signs of motor disorders such as cerebral palsy. The research, published today in Science […]

A genetic link to molecular events that precede symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease


BACE1 (red) and GGA3 (green) in a wild-type neuron. Credit: S. Lomoio et al., Science Translational Medicine (2020) Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine have discovered a molecular mechanism that causes a “traffic jam” of enzymes traveling up and down neuronal axons, leading to the accumulation of amyloid beta—a key feature and cause of […]

Here’s three ways physical activity changes its very structure


Regular exercise changes the structure of our bodies’ tissues in obvious ways, such as reducing the size of fat stores and increasing muscle mass. Less visible, but perhaps even more important, is the profound influence exercise has on the structure of our brains – an influence that can protect and preserve brain health and function […]

Chronic alcohol use reshapes the brain’s immune landscape, driving anxiety and addiction


Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Deep within the brain, a small almond-shaped region called the amygdala plays a vital role in how we exhibit emotion, behavior and motivation. Understandably, it’s also strongly implicated in alcohol abuse, making it a long-running focus of Marisa Roberto, Ph.D., professor in Scripps Research’s Department of Molecular Medicine. Now, for the […]

First non-human primate study showing promise of gene therapy for stroke repair


Astrocyte-converted neurons in monkey brain after stroke. Credit: Jinan University Stroke is a leading cause of death and severe long-term disability with limited treatments available. A research team led by Prof. Gong Chen at Jinan University, Guangzhou, China recently reported the first non-human primate study demonstrating successful in vivo neural regeneration from brain internal glial […]

Research shows what happens in the sensory cortex when learning and recognising patterns


Credit: CC0 Public Domain A study by scientists at the University of Sussex is challenging the common understanding of how mammalian brains work. The research, published in Current Biology, suggests that neurons in the sensory cortex don’t just detect sensory information, but could actually decipher meaning and regulate bodily responses too. The findings could have […]

Protein in blood may predict prognosis, recovery from stroke


Credit: Mayo Clinic Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida and collaborators have found that a biomarker in the blood may determine the extent of brain injury from different types of strokes and predict prognosis in these patients. Their findings are reported in Science Translational Medicine. The blood biomarker is a protein known as neurofilament light […]

Brain Scientists Explore the How of When


“These cells are encoding information related to time, and this information is clearly important for memory,” Dr. Lega said. In effect, Dr. Lega said, the cells representing time fired to support an activity, in this case to track the passage of the 30-second interval. There is no constant rhythm or background beat; the time signal […]

Understanding rare type of diabetes gives insights into mechanisms of insulin production


Credit: CC0 Public Domain Solving the genetic puzzle of why babies developed a rare type of diabetes has uncovered a new biological pathway that is fundamental to insulin production, and could boost research into new treatments for more common forms of diabetes. Published today (9th November) in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the study used […]

An Amazonian tea stimulates the formation of new neurons


Preparation of ayahuasca in Ecuador. Credit: Terpsichore. One of the main natural components of ayahuasca tea is dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which promotes neurogenesis —the formation of new neurons—according to research led by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). In addition to neurons, the infusion used for shamanic purposes also induces the formation of other neural cells […]

Neural stem and progenitor cell diversity in brain development may contribute to cortical complexity


Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Stem and progenitor cells exhibit diversity in early brain development that likely contributes to later neural complexity in the adult cerebral cortex, this according to a new study published Nov. 6 in Science Advances. Researchers from the Center for Neuroscience Research (CNR) at Children’s National Hospital say this research expands on […]

Vaccine shows promise against herpes virus


A genetically edited form of a herpes simplex virus has outperformed a leading vaccine candidate in a study published Nov. 6. Nebraska researchers Patricia Sollars (left) and Gary Pickard teamed with colleagues from the University of Cincinnati and Northwestern University to develop and test a form of HSV that generates high levels of neutralizing antibodies […]

Technique to regenerate optic nerve offers hope for future glaucoma treatment


Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Scientists have used gene therapy to regenerate damaged nerve fibres in the eye, in a discovery that could aid the development of new treatments for glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Axons—nerve fibres—in the adult central nervous system (CNS) do not normally regenerate after injury and disease, meaning […]

Das Protein-Kleid einer Nervenzelle – Biermann Medizin


Zwei Wissenschaftlerinnen am Max-Planck-Institut für Neurobiologie haben eine Methode in der Fruchtfliege entwickelt, um Rezeptorproteine in ausgewählten Zellen zu markieren. Dadurch erlangten sie neue Einblicke in die neuronalen Mechanismen des Bewegungssehens. Zudem erhält die Forschungsgemeinschaft ein innovatives Werkzeug, mit dem sich Proteine jeglicher Art markieren lassen. Eine der grundlegendsten Fragen der Neurobiologie ist, wie ankommende […]

Scientists identify specific brain region and circuits controlling attention


LC neurons identified by the marker tyrosine hydroxylase (magenta) engineered via a virus to express ChR2 (green) which allows the neurons to become stimulated upon blue laser activation. Credit: Tonegawa Lab/MIT Picower Institute The attentional control that organisms need to succeed in their goals comes from two abilities: the focus to ignore distractions and the […]

Novel technique spotlights neuronal uptake of amyloid beta in Alzheimer’s disease


Confocal images of cells with and without the cellular prion protein (labeled red), showing uptake of amyloid beta (labeled green) in cells with the prion protein (above) and no uptake in cells lacking the prion protein (below). (Magenta is membrane dye and blue is nuclear dye.) Credit: Graham Roseman, UCSC One of the hallmarks of […]

Better repaired nerve insulation may lead to new multiple sclerosis treatments


Credit: CC0 Public Domain In a new study using mice, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have found a better way than natural healing to repair damaged insulation surrounding nerve cells. Normally, the natural healing process adds bumps to the surface of the protective fatty sheath, known as myelin, each time it’s repaired. Over time and after […]

Time-keeping brain protein influences memory


The core clock regulates distinct behaviors via discrete PDF targets: a proposedmodel. Localization of PDFR to the clock permits control of locomotor activity independently from control of memory. Signaling through PDFR in a population of interneurons extrinsic to both the clock and mushroom bodies (here shown as IN1) permits regulation of appetitive memory. We propose […]

A step closer to mapping the rodent brain


Credit: Blue Brain Project / EPFL The rodent Hippocampal formation is one of the most exhaustively studied regions in the mammalian brain but until now, there has not been a comprehensive knowledge base of its synaptic physiology. In a front cover paper published in the journal Hippocampus, researchers at EPFL’s Blue Brain Project present a […]

Tracer molecule may improve imaging tests for brain injury


Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Researchers have validated a new radiolabeled molecule that can be used with imaging tests to accurately detect and characterize brain injury. The team, led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), recently received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate a first-in-human study with the strategy. As […]

Rethinking the link between cannabinoids and learning


Fluorescent image of a mouse brain with the cerebellum highlighted in the shape of a marijuana leaf. Credit: Rita Félix, PhD. Cannabinoids have a strong influence on how our brains work and how we behave. Many people are only aware of the recreational aspect of cannabinoids. But in fact these molecules naturally exist in our […]

Newborn brains lack maturity to process emotions as adults do


Newborn brains aren’t ready to process emotions right from birth. Credit: Isaac Taylor from Pexels Humans aren’t born with mature brain circuitry that attaches emotions to the things they see or hear in their environment, a new study shows. Researchers studying brain scans of newborns found that the part of the brain involved in experiencing […]

Lineage tracing of direct astrocyte-to-neuron conversion for brain repair


Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Regeneration of functional neurons to repair injured human brain tissue has been a long-term unsolved problem. The lack of neuroregeneration is one of the major reasons why so many brain disorders such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease do not have a cure yet. A research team led by Prof. Gong Chen […]

New study may reveal link to lipids playing a key role in Parkinson’s disease


Researchers in the Neuroregeneration Institute are making strides in Parkinson’s disease research. Credit: McLean Hospital In a novel research study conducted by a team from the Neuroregeneration Institute at McLean Hospital, investigators believe they have found key brain cell type changes involving lipids, inflammation, and the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Their findings appear in […]

Neural crest cell migration in Hirschsprung disease


Ankush Gosain, MD, Ph.D., of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center has focused his research on determining the mechanisms underlying abnormal development of the enteric nervous system in Hirschsprung disease. Gosain recently published a new study in The FASEB Journal delineating interactions between migrating neural crest cells and the […]

A team of researchers makes novel discoveries in preventing epileptic seizures


Sanjay Kumar, an associate professor in the Florida State University College of Medicine’s Department of Biomedical Sciences Credit: Colin Hackley A team of researchers from the Florida State University College of Medicine has found that an amino acid produced by the brain could play a crucial role in preventing a type of epileptic seizure. Temporal […]

Scientists report role for dopamine and serotonin in human perception and decision-making


Ball-and-stick model of the dopamine molecule, a neurotransmitter that affects the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Credit: Jynto/Wikipedia Scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine have recorded real time changes in dopamine and serotonin levels in the human brain that are involved with perception and decision-making. These same neurochemicals also are critical to movement disorders […]

Spinal modules in macaques can independently control forelimb force direction and magnitude


An experiment nearly 40 years ago in frogs showed that their leg muscles were controlled by simultaneously recruitment of two modules of neurons. It’s a bit more complex in macaques. Credit: The National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry Researchers in Japan have demonstrated for the first time the spinal motor module hypothesis in the primate […]

Enzyme SSH1 impairs disposal of accumulating cellular garbage, leading to brain cell death


David Kang, PhD, professor of molecular medicine at the University of South Florida Health (USF Health) Byrd Alzheimer’s Center, led the research team that discovered a defect early in the dynamic cellular waste clearance process known as autophagy. Credit: © USF Health In a healthy brain, the multistep waste clearance process known as autophagy routinely […]

Improvements in stroke treatment could save more lives


Credit: CC0 Public Domain Yale researchers have found ways to treat stroke patients that may otherwise be untreatable. In a study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, principal investigators Yale’s Charles Matouk, MD, associate professor of neurosurgery, and Nils Petersen, MD, Ph.D. associate professor of neurology, show that a method called direct carotid puncture (DCT) […]

Nerve cell activity shows how confident we are


The further they moved the slider to the left or right end, the more confident they were in their choice. Credit: © AG Mormann/Uni Bonn Should I or shouldn’t I? The activity of individual nerve cells in the brain tells us how confident we are in our decisions. This is shown by a recent study […]

New perspectives to treat neuropsychiatric diseases


Credit: CC0 Public Domain Researchers at the Institute of Biology, Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Budapest, Hungary, studied the major types of neurons of the prefrontal cortex of the brain in an international collaboration. The research team has identified molecular differences in neurons that may support drug development for the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as […]

The effects of oxytocin on social anxiety depend on location, location, location


Credit: CC0 Public Domain Studies have long suggested that oxytocin—a hormone that can also act as a neurotransmitter—regulates prosocial behavior such as empathy, trust and bonding, which led to its popular labeling as the “love hormone.” Mysteriously, oxytocin has also been shown to play a role in antisocial behaviors and emotions, including reduced cooperation, envy […]

Evidence of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MND in brains of young people exposed to dirty air


Credit: CC0 Public Domain Researchers looking at the brainstems of children and young adults exposed lifelong to air pollution in Mexico City have discovered disturbing evidence of harm. Previous studies have linked fine particulate air pollution exposure with Alzheimer’s disease, and researchers have also reported evidence of air pollution-derived nanoparticles in the frontal cortex of […]

New clues about the link between stress and depression


Vasco Sousa (left), Per Svenningsson and Ioannis Mantas (right) at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience. Credit: Ulf Sirborn Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have identified a protein in the brain that is important both for the function of the mood-regulating substance serotonin and for the release of stress hormones, at least in mice. The findings, which […]

Pain relief caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection may help explain COVID-19 spread


Doctoral student Lisa Boinon prepares buffers while Dr. Rajesh Khanna looks on. Credit: University of Arizona Health Sciences, Kris Hanning SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can relieve pain, according to a new study by University of Arizona Health Sciences researchers. The finding may explain why nearly half of people who get COVID-19 experience few […]

Tone of voice matters in neuronal communication


Synapses before (left) and after stimulation, with arrows showing the moment of neurons talking to each other (fusion of synaptic vesicles). Credit: MBL Neurobiology course students Kristina Lippmann, Kadidia Adula, Thien Vu, and Eddie Hujber The dialogue between neurons is of critical importance for all nervous system activities, from breathing to sensing, thinking to running. […]

Hearing speech requires quiet— in more ways than one


Credit: Public Domain Perceiving speech requires quieting certain types of brain cells, report a team of researchers from UConn Health and University of Rochester in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology. Their research reveals a previously unknown population of brain cells, and opens up a new way of understanding how the brain hears. […]

How microbes in a mother’s intestines affect fetal neurodevelopment


The gut microbiota comprises the billions of bacteria and other microbes that live in the intestines. Credit: Alpha Tauri 3D Graphics/Shutterstock.com During pregnancy in mice, the billions of bacteria and other microbes that live in a mother’s intestines regulate key metabolites, small molecules that are important for healthy fetal brain development, UCLA biologists report Sept. […]