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Scientists identify protein linking exercise to brain health PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 12 October 2013 22:11



A protein that is increased by endurance exercise has been isolated and given to non-exercising mice, in which it turned on genes that promote brain health and encourage the growth of new nerves involved in learning and memory, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

Mouse studies reveal promising vitamin D-based treatment for MS PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 September 2013 16:21

MADISON -- A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) is a hard lot. Patients typically get the diagnosis around age 30 after experiencing a series of neurological problems such as blurry vision, wobbly gait or a numb foot. From there, this neurodegenerative disease follows an unforgiving course.

New technique to help brain cancer patients PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 August 2013 15:50

A new scanning technique developed by Danish and US researchers reveals how susceptible patients with aggressive brain cancer are to the drugs they receive. The research behind the ground-breaking technique has just been published in Nature Medicine.

Effects of Parkinson's-disease mutation reversed in cells PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 August 2013 22:15

UCSF study shows potential for new treatment strategy

UC San Francisco scientists working in the lab used a chemical found in an anti-wrinkle cream to prevent the death of nerve cells damaged by mutations that cause an inherited form of Parkinson’s disease. A similar approach might ward off cell death in the brains of people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, the team suggested in a study reported online in the journal Cell on August 15.

Vanderbilt scientists discover potential new way to treat anxiety PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 August 2013 22:47

Chemically modified inhibitors of the COX-2 enzyme relieve anxiety behaviors in mice by activating natural "endocannabinoids" without gastrointestinal side effects, Vanderbilt University scientists will report next week.

Endocannabinoids are natural signaling molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the same receptors turned on by the active ingredient in marijuana.

Practice makes the brain's motor cortex more efficient, Pitt researchers say PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 August 2013 22:31

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 4, 2013 – Not only does practice make perfect, it also makes for more efficient generation of neuronal activity in the primary motor cortex, the area of the brain that plans and executes movement, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Their findings, published online today in Nature Neuroscience, showed that practice leads to decreased metabolic activity for internally generated movements, but not for visually guided motor tasks, and suggest the motor cortex is "plastic" and a potential site for the storage of motor skills.

Sudden Decline in Testosterone May Cause Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms in Men PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 July 2013 15:58

(CHICAGO) – The results of a new study by neurological researchers at Rush University Medical Center show that a sudden decrease of testosterone, the male sex hormone, may cause Parkinson’s like symptoms in male mice.  The findings were recently published in theJournal of Biological Chemistry.

Isolated Psychiatric Episodes Rare, but Possible, in Common Form of Autoimmune Encephalitis PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 July 2013 14:36

PHILADELPHIA — A small percentage of people diagnosed with a mysterious neurological condition may only experience psychiatric changes - such as delusional thinking, hallucinations, and aggressive behavior - according to a new study by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, people who had previously been diagnosed with this disease, called anti-NMDA receptor (anti-NMDAR) encephalitis, had relapses that only involved psychiatric behavior. In an article published Online First in JAMA Neurology, researchers suggest that, while isolated psychiatric episodes are rare in anti-NMDAR encephalitis cases, abnormal test findings or subtle neurological symptoms should prompt screening for the condition, as it is treatable with immunotherapies.

How the brain creates the 'buzz' that helps ideas spread PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 06 July 2013 16:55

How do ideas spread? What messages will go viral on social media, and can this be predicted?

UCLA psychologists have taken a significant step toward answering these questions, identifying for the first time the brain regions associated with the successful spread of ideas, often called "buzz."

Salk scientists discover previously unknown requirement for brain development PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 22 June 2013 22:30

The brain requires thalamic input as well as genetics to properly establish areas essential for vision and other senses

Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have demonstrated that sensory regions in the brain develop in a fundamentally different way than previously thought, a finding that may yield new insights into visual and neural disorders.

New research helps fight against motor neurone disease PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 September 2013 16:24

New research from the University of Sheffield could offer solutions into slowing down the progression of motor neurone disease (MND).

Scientists from the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) conducted pioneering research assessing how the devastating debilitating disease affects individual patients.

Penn study: Shutting off neurons helps bullied mice overcome symptoms of depression PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 31 August 2013 06:01

Findings point to new potential drug target -- GABA neurons -- to treat patients with depression and other mood disorders

PHILADELPHIA— A new drug target to treat depression and other mood disorders may lie in a group of GABA neurons (gamma-aminobutyric acid –the neurotransmitters which inhibit other cells) shown to contribute to symptoms like social withdrawal and increased anxiety, Penn Medicine researchers report in a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Receptor may aid spread of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in brain PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 August 2013 15:35

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found a way that corrupted, disease-causing proteins spread in the brain, potentially contributing to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other brain-damaging disorders.

The research identifies a specific type of receptor and suggests that blocking it may aid treatment of theses illnesses. The receptors are called heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs).

Study reveals potential role of 'love hormone' oxytocin in brain function PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 August 2013 22:50

Findings of NYU Langone researchers may have relevance in autism-spectrum disorder

In a loud, crowded restaurant, having the ability to focus on the people and conversation at your own table is critical. Nerve cells in the brain face similar challenges in separating wanted messages from background chatter. A key element in this process appears to be oxytocin, typically known as the “love hormone” for its role in promoting social and parental bonding.

MIT researchers reveal how the brain keeps eyes on the prize PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 August 2013 22:32

Researchers reveal how the brain remains focused on long-term goals

Cambridge-- As anyone who has traveled with young children knows, maintaining focus on distant goals can be a challenge. A new study from MIT suggests how the brain achieves this task, and indicates that the neurotransmitter dopamine may signal the value of long-term rewards. The findings may also explain why patients with Parkinson's disease — in which dopamine signaling is impaired — often have difficulty in sustaining motivation to finish tasks.

The brain's GPS: Researchers discover human neurons linked to navigation in open environments PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 August 2013 22:18

Using direct human brain recordings, a research team from Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA and Thomas Jefferson University has identified a new type of cell in the brain that helps people to keep track of their relative location while navigating an unfamiliar environment.

Migraine is associated with variations in structure of brain arteries PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 July 2013 14:41

Incomplete circle of Willis more common in subjects with migraine.

PHILADELPHIA – The network of arteries supplying blood flow to the brain is more likely to be incomplete in people who suffer migraine, a new study by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania reports. Variations in arterial anatomy lead to asymmetries in cerebral blood flow that might contribute to the process triggering migraines.

Unique epigenomic code identified during human brain development PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 06 July 2013 17:28

Salk findings uncovers dynamic changes in the epigenome that occur during brain circuitry formation.

LA JOLLA, CA – Changes in the epigenome, including chemical modifications of DNA, can act as an extra layer of information in the genome, and are thought to play a role in learning and memory, as well as in age-related cognitive decline. The results of a new study by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies show that the landscape of DNA methylation, a particular type of epigenomic modification, is highly dynamic in brain cells during the transition from birth to adulthood, helping to understand how information in the genomes of cells in the brain is controlled from fetal development to adulthood. The brain is much more complex than all other organs in the body and this discovery opens the door to a deeper understanding of how the intricate patterns of connectivity in the brain are formed.

Different neuronal groups govern right-left alternation when walking PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 30 June 2013 15:30

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have identified the neuronal circuits in the spinal cord of mice that control the ability to produce the alternating movements of the legs during walking. The study, published in the journal Nature, demonstrates that two genetically-defined groups of nerve cells are in control of limb alternation at different speeds of locomotion, and thus that the animals' gait is disturbed when these cell populations are missing.

A revolutionary new 3D digital brain atlas PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 22 June 2013 22:23

Imagine being able to zoom into the brain to see various cells the way we zoom into Google maps of the world and can see houses on a street.  And keep in mind that the brain is considered the most complex structure in the universe with 86 billion neurons.  Zooming in is now possible thanks to a new brain atlas with unprecedented resolution.  BigBrain is the first 3D  microstructural model of the entire human brain, and is free and publicly available to researchers world-wide. The results of the BigBrain model, created at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro, McGill University  - in collaboration with researchers at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, are published today in the June 20 issue of Science (

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