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Why chronic pain is all in your head PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 July 2012 23:00

First study to show early brain changes predict which patients develop chronic pain

CHICAGO --- When people have similar injuries, why do some end up with chronic pain while others recover and are pain free? The first longitudinal brain imaging study to track participants with a new back injury has found the chronic pain is all in their heads –- quite literally.

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A different drummer: Stanford engineers discover neural rhythms drive physical movement PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 June 2012 00:01

Finding that motor cortex is a dynamic pattern generator upends existing theory with broad implications for neuroscience

Unlike their visual cousins, the neurons that control movement are not a predictable bunch. Scientists working to decode how such neurons convey information to muscles have been stymied when trying to establish a one-to-one relationship between a neuron's behavior and external factors such as muscle activity or movement velocity.

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Gene therapy for hearing loss: potential and limitations PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 May 2012 05:47

Regenerating sensory hair cells, which produce electrical signals in response to vibrations within the inner ear, could form the basis for treating age- or trauma-related hearing loss. One way to do this could be with gene therapy that drives new sensory hair cells to grow.

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Vitamin K2: New hope for Parkinson's patients? PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 May 2012 05:30

Neuroscientist Patrik Verstreken, associated with VIB and KU Leuven, succeeded in undoing the effect of one of the genetic defects that leads to Parkinson's using vitamin K2. His discovery gives hope to Parkinson's patients. This research was done in collaboration with colleagues from Northern Illinois University (US) and will be published this evening on the website of the authorative journal Science.

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Brain surgery for epilepsy underutilized PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 April 2012 14:45

UCSF study indicates effective treatment should be far more commo. 

Ten years ago, a landmark clinical trial in Canada demonstrated the unequivocal effectiveness of brain surgeries for treating uncontrolled epilepsy, but since then the procedure has not been widely adopted—in fact, it is dramatically underutilized according to a new study from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

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New method may help detect marker for Alzheimer's disease earlier PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 15 April 2012 21:20

NEW ORLEANS – Use of a new drug to detect the beta-amyloid plaques in the brain that are hallmark signs of Alzheimer's disease may help doctors diagnose the disease earlier, according to research that will be presented as part of the Emerging Science program (formerly known as Late-Breaking Science) at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans April 21 to April 28, 2012.

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Penn biologists identify a key enzyme involved in protecting nerves from degeneration PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 April 2012 04:34

PHILADELPHIA –- A new animal model of nerve injury has brought to light a critical role of an enzyme called Nmnat in nerve fiber maintenance and neuroprotection. Understanding biological pathways involved in maintaining healthy nerves and clearing away damaged ones may offer scientists targets for drugs to mitigate neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's and Parkinson's, as well as aid in situations of acute nerve damage, such as spinal cord injury.

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UCLA scientists pinpoint how vitamin D may help clear amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer's PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 05:04

A team of academic researchers has identified the intracellular mechanisms regulated by vitamin D3 that may help the body clear the brain of amyloid beta, the main component of plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Published in the March 6 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the early findings show that vitamin D3 may activate key genes and cellular signaling networks to help stimulate the immune system to clear the amyloid-beta protein.

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EEG pattern reflects brain's shift into low-energy, protective mode PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 12 February 2012 17:48

Mathematical model reveals system of compensating for reduced cellular energy

A distinctive pattern of brain activity associated with conditions including deep anesthesia, coma and congenital brain disorders appears to represent the brain's shift into a protective, low-activity state in response to reduced metabolic energy. A mathematical model developed by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-based research team accurately predicts and explains for the first time how the condition called burst suppression is elicited when brain cells' energy supply becomes insufficient. Their report has been released online in PNAS Early Edition.

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Discovery of extremely long-lived proteins may provide insight into cell aging PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 05 February 2012 17:31

Salk researchers find that the adult brain contains proteins that last a lifetime

IMAGE: This microscope image shows extremely long-lived proteins, or ELLPs, glowing green on the outside of the nucleus of a rat brain cell. DNA inside the nucleus is pictured in blue....

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La Jolla, CA---- One of the big mysteries in biology is why cells age. Now scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies report that they have discovered a weakness in a component of brain cells that may explain how the aging process occurs in the brain.

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Manipulation of a specific neural circuit buried in complicated brain networks in primates PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 June 2012 19:29

Newly clarified function of 'indirect pathways' from brain to spinal motor neurons, controlling dexterous hand movements by newly developed 'the double viral vector transfection technique'

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Acid in the brain PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 May 2012 06:34

UI team develops new way to look at brain function.

University of Iowa neuroscientist John Wemmie, M.D., Ph.D., is interested in the effect of acid in the brain. His studies suggest that increased acidity or low pH, in the brain is linked to panic disorders, anxiety, and depression. But his work also suggests that changes in acidity are important for normal brain activity too.

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Mild Traumatic Brain Injury May Alter the Brain’s Neuronal Circuit Excitability and Contribute to Brain Network Dysfunction PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 May 2012 05:44

Even mild head injuries can cause significant abnormalities in brain function that last for several days, which may explain the neurological symptoms experienced by some individuals who have experienced a head injury associated with sports, accidents or combat, according to a study by Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine researchers.

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Gatekeeper of brain steroid signals boosts emotional resilience to stress PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 April 2012 14:58

PHILADELPHIA - A cellular protein called HDAC6, newly characterized as a gatekeeper of steroid biology in the brain, may provide a novel target for treating and preventing stress-linked disorders, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

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International team uncovers new genes that shape brain size, intelligence PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 15 April 2012 21:56

UCLA-launched partnership identifies genes that boost or lessen risk of brain atrophy, mental illness and Alzheimer’s disease

In the world's largest brain study to date, a team of more than 200 scientists from 100 institutions worldwide collaborated to map the human genes that boost or sabotage the brain's resistance to a variety of mental illnesses and Alzheimer's disease. Published April 15 in the advance online edition of Nature Genetics, the study also uncovers new genes that may explain individual differences in brain size and intelligence.

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Pulse pressure elevation could presage cerebrovascular disease in Alzheimer's patients PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 April 2012 20:48

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System have shown that elevated pulse pressure may increase the risk of cerebrovascular disease (CVD) in older adults with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Their study has been published in the early online edition of Journal of Alzheimer's Disease in advance of the June 5 print publication.

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Brain insulin resistance contributes to cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 March 2012 06:45

PHILADELPHIA – Insulin resistance in the brain precedes and contributes to cognitive decline above and beyond other known causes of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Insulin is an important hormone in many bodily functions, including the health of brain cells. The team identified extensive abnormalities in the activity of two major signaling pathways for insulin and insulin-like growth factor in non-diabetic people with Alzheimer's disease. These pathways could be targeted with new or existing medicines to potentially help resensitize the brain to insulin and possibly slow down or even improve cognitive decline.

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New brain connections form in clusters during learning PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 February 2012 00:03

Researchers track structural changes during formation of new memories

SANTA CRUZ, CA--New connections between brain cells emerge in clusters in the brain as animals learn to perform a new task, according to a study published in Nature on February 19 (advance online publication). Led by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the study reveals details of how brain circuits are rewired during the formation of new motor memories.

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Why Two New Studies Represent an Important Breakthrough in Alzheimer's Disease Research PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 05 February 2012 17:39

Statement of Guy Eakin, Ph.D. AHAF Vice President of Scientific Affairs

Clarksburg, MD—Two different research groups have independently made the same important discoveries on how Alzheimer’s disease spreads in the brain, according to a February 2 New York Times story. The groups’ findings have the potential to give us a much more sophisticated understanding of what goes wrong in Alzheimer’s disease and, more importantly, what can be done to prevent or repair damage in the brain.

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Mayo Clinic finds mild cognitive impairment is common, affects men most PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 January 2012 23:29

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Researchers involved in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging reported today that more than 6 percent of Americans age 70 to 89 develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) every year. Also, the condition appears to affect men and those who only have a high school education more than women and those who have completed some higher education. People with MCI are at the stage between suffering the normal forgetfulness associated with aging and developing dementia, such as that caused by Alzheimer's disease.

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