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Tackling Blindness, Deafness Through Neuroengineering

October 22, 2014 2:26 pm | News | Comments

The Bertarelli Program in Translational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering, a collaborative program between Harvard Medical School and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, has announced a new set of grants worth $3.6 million for five research projects.

Childhood Autism Linked to Air Toxics

October 22, 2014 2:13 pm | News | Comments

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more likely to have been exposed to...

Skin Cells Reprogrammed Directly into Brain Cells

October 22, 2014 1:30 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have described a way to convert human skin cells directly into a specific type...

See-through Sensors Open New Window into the Brain

October 21, 2014 11:18 am | News | Comments

Developing invisible implantable medical sensor arrays, a team of engineers has overcome a...

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Tarantula Venom Illuminates Electrical Activity in Live Cells

October 21, 2014 11:01 am | Videos | Comments

Researchers have created a cellular probe that combines a tarantula toxin with a fluorescent compound to help scientists observe electrical activity in neurons and other cells.                     

B Vitamins Can Help Beat Depression

October 21, 2014 10:39 am | News | Comments

Supplementing current anti-depressant medication with B vitamins improves response to treatment, according to a new study.                                     

Fairness is in the Brain

October 20, 2014 12:18 pm | News | Comments

Ever wondered how people figure out what is fair? Look to the brain for the answer. According to a new study, people appreciate fairness in much the same way as they appreciate money for themselves, and also that fairness is not necessarily that everybody gets the same income.

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Scientific Evidence Does Not Support 'Brain Game' Claims

October 20, 2014 11:39 am | News | Comments

A group of scholars issued a statement skeptical about the effectiveness of so-called "brain game" products, citing that the scientific track record does not support the claims that these games actually help older adults boost their mental powers.

Experimental Drug Restores Pleasure-seeking Behavior in Bipolar Patients

October 20, 2014 11:05 am | News | Comments

A drug being studied as a fast-acting mood-lifter restored pleasure-seeking behavior independent of— and ahead of— its other antidepressant effects, in an NIH trial.                         

Cold Sore Virus May Increase Dementia Risk

October 20, 2014 10:33 am | News | Comments

Alzheimer's disease is the most common among the dementia diseases. In recent years research has increasingly indicated that there is a possible connection between the two. Now, two new studies are supporting this link.         

Myelin Vital for Learning New Practical Skills

October 17, 2014 12:26 pm | News | Comments

New evidence of myelin’s essential role in learning and retaining new practical skills, such as playing a musical instrument, has been uncovered by researchers.                          

New Front in War on Alzheimer’s, Other Protein-folding Diseases

October 17, 2014 12:06 pm | News | Comments

A surprise discovery that overturns decades of thinking about how the body fixes proteins that come unraveled greatly expands opportunities for therapies to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which have been linked to the accumulation of improperly folded proteins in the brain.

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Brain’s Compass Relies on Geometric Relationships

October 16, 2014 2:24 pm | Videos | Comments

The brain has a complex system for keeping track of which direction you are facing as you move about; remembering how to get from one place to another would otherwise be impossible. Researchers have now shown how the brain anchors this mental compass.

Effects of High-risk Parkinson’s Mutation Are Reversible

October 15, 2014 3:08 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have found vital new evidence on how to target and reverse the effects caused by one of the most common genetic causes of Parkinson’s.                             

Exercise Can Improve Memory in People Over 60

October 14, 2014 12:53 pm | News | Comments

A new study shows that physical activity can improve memory performance in older people through increasing volume and blood flow in an area of the brain called hippocampus.                       

Damage to Brain ‘Hubs’ Causes Extensive Impairment

October 14, 2014 12:41 pm | News | Comments

Injuries to six brain areas are much more devastating to patients’ abilities to think and adapt to everyday challenges than damage to other parts of the brain, scientists have learned.                    

ALS Progression Linked to Increased Protein Instability

October 14, 2014 12:28 pm | News | Comments

A new study suggests a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The study provides evidence that those proteins linked to more severe forms of the disease are less stable structurally and more prone to form clusters or aggregates.

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Chemical from Broccoli Sprouts Promising Against Autism

October 14, 2014 11:41 am | News | Comments

Results of a small clinical trial suggest that a chemical derived from broccoli sprouts— and best known for claims that it can help prevent certain cancers— may ease classic behavioral symptoms in those with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).   

Gene Links Rare Infections with Predisposition to Autoimmune Disease

October 13, 2014 1:47 pm | News | Comments

Scientists discovered an immune protein with paradoxical roles: It both aids and tamps down aspects of an immune system response, according to new research.                           

What Happens to Your Brain When Your Mind is at Rest?

October 13, 2014 1:34 pm | News | Comments

For many years, the focus of brain mapping was to examine changes in the brain that occur when people are attentively engaged in an activity. No one spent much time thinking about what happens to the brain when people are doing very little. But new research has done just that.

Scientists Sniff Out Unexpected Role for Stem Cells in the Brain

October 13, 2014 1:09 pm | Videos | Comments

Scientists report that newly formed brain cells in the mouse olfactory system— the area that processes smells— play a critical role in maintaining proper connections.                        

Newly Discovered Brain Cells Explain Oxytocin's Prosocial Effect

October 10, 2014 11:43 am | News | Comments

Oxytocin, the body’s natural love potion, helps couples fall in love, makes mothers bond with their babies, and encourages teams to work together. Now, new research reveals a mechanism by which this prosocial hormone has its effect on interactions between the sexes, at least in certain situations. The key is a newly discovered class of brain cells.

Neural Stem Cell Overgrowth, Autism-like Behavior May be Linked

October 10, 2014 11:36 am | News | Comments

People with autism spectrum disorder often experience a period of accelerated brain growth after birth. No one knows why, or whether the change is linked to any specific behavioral changes. A new mouse study demonstrates how inflammation can trigger an excessive division of neural stem cells that can cause “overgrowth” in offspring’s brain.

Manipulating Memory with Light

October 10, 2014 11:30 am | News | Comments

Just look into the light: not quite, but researchers have used light to erase specific memories in mice, and proved a basic theory of how different parts of the brain work together to retrieve episodic memories.            

Similar but Different: New Discovery for Degenerative Disease

October 10, 2014 11:26 am | News | Comments

Researchers have established how two degenerative diseases that present in similar ways are in fact quite different. Progressive Supranuclear palsy (PSP) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) have overlapping symptoms but remain difficult to distinguish.

New Brain-repairing Mechanism Discovered

October 10, 2014 11:18 am | News | Comments

A previously unknown mechanism through which the brain produces new nerve cells after a stroke has been discovered. The researchers have shown that following an induced stroke in mice, support cells, so-called astrocytes, start to form nerve cells in the injured part of the brain.

Restoring Familiar Sensations to Amputees

October 9, 2014 1:05 pm | Videos | Comments

Even before he lost his right hand to an industrial accident four years ago, Igor Spetic had family open his medicine bottles. Cotton balls give him goose bumps. Now, blindfolded during an experiment, he feels his arm hairs raise when a researcher brushes the back of his prosthetic hand with a cotton ball.

Autism as a Disorder of Prediction

October 9, 2014 12:10 pm | News | Comments

Autism is characterized by many different symptoms: difficulty interacting with others, repetitive behaviors, and hypersensitivity to sound and other stimuli. Neuroscientists have put forth a new hypothesis that accounts for these behaviors and may provide a neurological foundation for many of the disparate features of the disorder.

Toddlers Regulate Behavior to Avoid Making Adults Angry

October 8, 2014 11:56 am | Videos | Comments

When kids say “the darnedest things,” it’s often in response to something they heard or saw. Now researchers found that children as young as 15 months can detect anger when watching other people’s social interactions and then use that emotional information to guide their own behavior.

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