Scientists have identified patterns of epigenetic changes involved in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by studying genetically identical twins who differ in autism traits. The study is the largest of its kind and may shed light on the biological mechanism by which environmental influences regulate the activity of certain genes and in turn contribute to the development of ASD and related behavior traits.
In a serendipitous discovery, scientists have found a way to turn bone marrow stem cells directly into brain cells. Current techniques for turning patients’ marrow cells into cells of some other desired type are relatively cumbersome, risky and effectively confined to the lab dish.
An international team of neuroscientists has described for the first time in exhaustive detail the underlying neurobiology of an amnesiac who suffered from profound memory loss after damage to key portions of his brain. In a new paper, researchers recount the case of EP, a man who suffered radical memory loss and dysfunction following a bout of viral encephalitis.
For the first time, human embryonic stem cells have been transformed into nerve cells that helped mice regain the ability to learn and remember. A new study shows that human stem cells can successfully implant themselves in the brain and then heal neurological deficits.
A contact lens on the bathroom floor, an escaped hamster in the backyard, a car key in a bed of gravel: How are we able to focus so sharply to find that proverbial needle in a haystack? Scientists ave discovered that when we embark on a targeted search, various visual and non-visual regions of the brain mobilize to track down a person, animal or thing.
Wielding a joystick and wearing special glasses, pain researcher Alexandre DaSilva rotates and slices apart a large, colorful, 3-D brain floating in space before him. Despite the white lab coat, it appears DaSilva's playing the world's most advanced virtual video game.
Scientists have long pondered the roots of aggression—and ways to temper it. Now, new research is beginning to illuminate the cellular-level circuitry responsible for modulating aggression in fruit flies, with the hope of someday translating the findings to humans.
Neuroscientists have taken a major step in their efforts to help people with memory loss tied to brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Using sea snail nerve cells, the scientists reversed memory loss by determining when the cells were primed for learning.
While studying rats’ ability to navigate familiar territory, scientists found that one particular brain structure uses remembered spatial information to imagine routes the rats then follow. Their discovery has implications for understanding why damage to that structure, called the hippocampus, disrupts specific types of memory and learning in people with Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
Overworked and stressed out? Look on the bright side: Some stress is good for you. New research has uncovered exactly how acute stress– short-lived, not chronic– primes the brain for improved performance. In studies on rats, researchers found that significant, but brief stressful events caused stem cells in their brains to proliferate into new nerve cells.
The distressing nonstop crying in babies with colic is often blamed on tummy trouble, but a new study says the problem could be linked with migraine headaches in at least some infants. Children and teens treated for migraine headaches at three hospitals in Italy and France were much more likely than other kids to have had colic in infancy.
Specific DNA once dismissed as junk plays an important role in brain development and might be involved in several devastating neurological diseases, scientists have found. Their discovery in mice is likely to further fuel a recent scramble by researchers to identify roles for long-neglected bits of DNA within the genomes of mice and humans alike.
A new model of brain lateralization for movement could dramatically improve the future of rehabilitation for stroke patients, according to researchers who proposed and confirmed the model through novel virtual reality and brain lesion experiments.
Researchers have found a new potential use for the over-the-counter pain drug Tylenol. Typically known to relieve physical pain, the study suggests the drug may also reduce the psychological effects of fear and anxiety over the human condition, or existential dread.
In a provocative new study, scientists reported Wednesday that they were able to “see” pain on brain scans and, for the first time, measure its intensity and tell whether a drug was relieving it. Though the research is in its early stages, it opens the door to a host of possibilities.
Talk about clearing your head: Stanford University scientists have found a way to make see-through mouse brains. You take the brain out of the mouse, soak it in chemicals for a couple of days, and voila: It becomes transparent. That's not just a parlor trick.
A new genetically engineered lab rat that has the full array of brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease supports the idea that increases in a molecule called beta-amyloid in the brain causes the disease, according to a new study.
A drug-induced similarity between the brains of rats and the brains of humans led National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) researchers to a procedure that effectively wipes away compulsive cocaine addiction in rats—and they discovered a similar approach to curing human drug addiction along the way.
A Phase 2 clinical trial, described this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, tested a new protocol for treating a relatively rare form of brain cancer, primary CNS lymphoma, that may change the standard of care for this disease, according to doctors who led the research.
With perhaps billions of dollars at stake, a hearing Tuesday over concussion litigation filed against the NFL promises to be a brawl between legal heavyweights. About 4,200 former players have sued the league. Some suffer from dementia, depression, Alzheimer's disease and other neurological problems. Others simply want their health monitored.
Researchers have identified a new set of genetic markers for Alzheimer’s that point to a second pathway through which the disease develops.
More than half a million U.S. children are now believed to have lead poisoning, roughly twice the previous high estimate, health officials reported Thursday.
Researchers have used a brain-imaging tool and stroke risk assessment to identify signs of cognitive decline early on in individuals who don't yet show symptoms of dementia.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed an effort to map the brain's activity in unprecedented detail, as a step toward finding better ways to treat such conditions as Alzheimer's, autism, stroke and traumatic brain injuries.