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Targeted Brain Stimulation Aids Stroke Recovery

August 19, 2014 1:27 pm | News | Comments

When investigators applied light-driven stimulation to nerve cells in the brains of mice that had suffered strokes several days earlier, the mice showed significantly greater recovery in motor ability than mice that had experienced strokes but whose brains weren’t stimulated.

Epigenetic Breakthrough Bolsters Understanding of Alzheimer’s

August 18, 2014 12:12 pm | News | Comments

A team of researchers has uncovered some of the strongest evidence yet that epigenetic changes in the brain play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. The current study found that chemical modifications to DNA within the ANK1 gene are strongly associated with measures of neuropathology in the brain. 

Suspect Gene Corrupts Neural Connections

August 18, 2014 10:58 am | News | Comments

A genetic variation linked to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression wreaks havoc on connections among neurons in the developing brain, a team of researchers reports.                    

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Lasers Can Control Mouse Brain Switchboard

August 15, 2014 12:31 pm | Videos | Comments

Ever wonder why it’s hard to focus after a bad night’s sleep? Using mice and flashes of light, scientists show that just a few nerve cells in the brain may control the switch between internal thoughts and external distractions.         

Autism, SPD Hit Different Brain Areas

August 14, 2014 11:10 am | by Cynthia Fox | Articles | Comments

Children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) have decreased white matter brain connections in sensory regions very different from those with autism, say researchers. Their study is the first to compare, and find critical differences in, brain connectivity in autism versus SPD versus controls.

Involuntary Eye Movement a Foolproof Indication for ADHD Diagnosis

August 13, 2014 1:38 pm | News | Comments

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed—and misdiagnosed—behavioral disorder in children in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, there are currently no reliable physiological markers to diagnose ADHD.

Huntingtin Gene Crucial to Memory Development

August 13, 2014 11:50 am | News | Comments

It has been more than 20 years since scientists discovered that mutations in the gene huntingtin cause the devastating progressive neurological condition Huntington’s disease. Surprisingly little, however, has been known about the gene’s role in normal brain activity. Now, new research shows it plays a critical role in long-term memory.

Hijacking the Brain's Blood Supply: Tumor Discovery Could Aid Treatment

August 12, 2014 1:55 pm | News | Comments

Dangerous brain tumors hijack the brain’s existing blood supply throughout their progression, by growing only within narrow potential spaces between and along the brain’s thousands of small blood vessels, new research shows for the first time.

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Biomarker Could Predict PTSD Risk

August 12, 2014 12:40 pm | News | Comments

Blood expression levels of genes targeted by the stress hormones called glucocorticoids could be a physical measure, or biomarker, of risk for developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to a new study.          

Size Matters When Convincing Brain to Eat Healthy Foods

August 12, 2014 12:05 pm | Videos | Comments

Playing with the portions of good and not-so-good-for-you foods is better than trying to eliminate bad foods, according to a new study. The idea is to not give up entirely foods that provide pleasure but aren’t nutritious.         

Slowing Brain Functions Linked to Increased Risk of Stroke, Death

August 8, 2014 1:09 pm | News | Comments

Cognitive abilities such as memory and attention are not only important after a stroke but also before. Previous studies have shown poor cardiovascular health can increase the risk of cognitive impairment such as problems in memory and learning. However, the opposite idea that cognitive impairment may impact cardiovascular health, specifically stroke, was not established before.

Part of the Brain Stays "Youthful" into Older Age

August 7, 2014 1:52 pm | News | Comments

At least one part of the human brain may be able to process information the same way in older age as it does in the prime of life, according to new research conducted at the University of Adelaide. A study compared the ability of 60 older and younger people to respond to visual and non-visual stimuli in order to measure their "spatial attention" skills.

Nasal Test Accurately Diagnoses Human Prion Disease

August 7, 2014 9:57 am | News | Comments

A nasal brush test can rapidly and accurately diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), an incurable and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder, according to a new study.                     

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Low Vitamin D Ups Dementia Risk, Study Says

August 7, 2014 9:51 am | News | Comments

In the largest study of its kind, researchers suggests that in older people, not getting enough vitamin D may double the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.                      

Bioscience Technology This Week #5: Protein Hub Crucial to Brain Development

August 6, 2014 2:27 pm | Videos | Comments

In this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, News Editor Christina Jakubowski highlights the role of the protein GSK-3 in brain development and also reports that running, regardless of duration or speed, reduces death risk.      

Researchers Boost Insect Aggression by Altering Brain Metabolism

August 6, 2014 1:36 pm | Videos | Comments

Scientists report they can crank up insect aggression simply by interfering with a basic metabolic pathway in the insect brain. Their study, of fruit flies and honey bees, shows a direct, causal link between brain metabolism (how the brain generates the energy it needs to function) and aggression.

Scientists Uncover New Clues to Repairing Injured Spinal Cord

August 6, 2014 1:19 pm | News | Comments

Frogs, dogs, whales, snails can all do it, but humans and primates can't. Regrow nerves after an injury, that is— while many animals have this ability, humans don't. But now, new research suggests that a small molecule may be able to convince damaged nerves to grow and effectively rewire circuits.

Lasers, Nanotubes Help to Look Inside Living Brains

August 6, 2014 12:40 pm | News | Comments

A team of scientists has developed an entirely non-invasive technique that provides a view of blood flow in the brain. The tool could provide powerful insights into strokes and possibly Alzheimer's disease.             

Eating Baked or Broiled Fish Weekly Boosts Brain Health

August 5, 2014 2:43 pm | News | Comments

Eating baked or broiled fish once a week is good for the brain, regardless of how much omega-3 fatty acid it contains, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings add to growing evidence that lifestyle factors contribute to brain health later in life.

DNA Modifications Predict Brain’s Threat Response

August 4, 2014 1:01 pm | News | Comments

The tiny addition of a chemical mark atop a gene that is well known for its involvement in clinical depression and posttraumatic stress disorder can affect the way a person’s brain responds to threats, according to a new study.       

African Plant May Be Possible Treatment for Aging Brain

August 4, 2014 11:22 am | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered that a compound isolated from the plant protects cells from altered molecular pathways linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the neurodegeneration that often follows a stroke.              

Engineering a Protein to Prevent Brain Damage from Toxic Agents

July 31, 2014 3:21 pm | News | Comments

Research at New York University is paving the way for a breakthrough that may prevent brain damage in civilians and military troops exposed to poisonous chemicals—particularly those in pesticides and chemical weapons. The research outlines the advancement in detoxifying organophosphates, which are compounds commonly used in pesticides and warfare agents.

How Is Depression Related to Dementia?

July 31, 2014 3:05 pm | News | Comments

A new study gives insight into the relationship between depression and dementia. The current study, which involved 1,764 people from the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project, indicates that the association of depression with dementia is independent of dementia-related brain changes.

Scientists Zoom In and Out as Brain Processes Sound

July 31, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have mapped the sound-processing part of the mouse brain in a way that keeps both the proverbial forest and the trees in view. Their technique allows zooming in and out on views of brain activity within mice, and it enabled the team to watch brain cells light up as mice “called” to each other.

Autistic Brain Less Flexible at Taking on Tasks

July 31, 2014 9:41 am | News | Comments

The brains of children with autism are relatively inflexible at switching from rest to task performance, according to a new study. Instead of changing to accommodate a job, connectivity in key brain networks of autistic children looks similar to connectivity in the resting brain. And the greater this inflexibility, the more severe the child’s manifestations of repetitive and restrictive behaviors that characterize autism, the study found.

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