Tag Archives: Neurology

New insights into how the mind influences the body

Neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh have identified the neural networks that connect the cerebral cortex to the adrenal medulla, which is responsible for the body’s rapid response in stressful situations. These findings, reported in the online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), provide evidence for the neural […]

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Cognitive offloading: How the Internet is increasingly taking over human memory

Our increasing reliance on the Internet and the ease of access to the vast resource available online is affecting our thought processes for problem solving, recall and learning. In a new article published in the journal Memory, researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz and University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign have found that ‘cognitive […]

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Snakes have adapted their vision to hunt their prey day or night

For example, snakes that need good eyesight to hunt during the day have eye lenses that act as sunglasses, filtering out ultraviolet light and sharpening their vision while nocturnal snakes have lenses that allow ultraviolet light through, helping them to see in the dark. New insights into the relationship between ultraviolet (UV) filters and hunting […]

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No blue light, please, I’m tired: Light color determines sleepiness versus arousal in mice

Light affects sleep. A study in mice published in Open Access journal PLOS Biology shows that the actual color of light matters; blue light keeps mice awake longer while green light puts them to sleep easily. An accompanying Primer provides accessible context information and discusses open questions and potential implications for “designing the lighting of […]

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Zika infection may affect adult brain cells

Concerns over the Zika virus have focused on pregnant women due to mounting evidence that it causes brain abnormalities in developing fetuses. However, new research in mice from scientists at The Rockefeller University and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology suggests that certain adult brain cells may be vulnerable to infection as well. Among […]

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Burnout is caused by mismatch between unconscious needs and job demands

New research shows that burnout is caused by a mismatch between a person’s unconscious needs and the opportunities and demands at the workplace. These results have implications for the prevention of jobburnout. Imagine an accountant who is outgoing and seeks closeness in her social relationships, but whose job offers little scope for contact with colleagues […]

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Novel compounds arrested epilepsy development in mice

A team led by Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of LSU Health New Orleans’ Neuroscience Center of Excellence, has developed neuroprotective compounds that may prevent the development of epilepsy. The findings will be published online in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal, on July 22, 2016. In this study in an experimental model […]

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Antibiotics weaken Alzheimer’s disease progression through changes in the gut microbiome

Long-term treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics decreased levels of amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, and activated inflammatory microglial cells in the brains of mice in a new study by neuroscientists from the University of Chicago. The study, published July 21, 2016, in Scientific Reports, also showed significant changes in the gut microbiome after […]

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Seeing structure that allows brain cells to communicate

For more than a century, neuroscientists have known that nerve cells talk to one another across the small gaps between them, a process known as synaptic transmission (synapses are the connections between neurons). Information is carried from one cell to the other by neurotransmitters such as glutamate, dopamine, and serotonin, which activate receptors on the […]

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Why brain neurons in Parkinson’s disease stop benefiting from levodopa

Though the drug levodopa can dramatically improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms, within five years one-half of the patients using L-DOPA develop an irreversible condition — involuntary repetitive, rapid and jerky movements. This abnormal motor behavior appears only while taking L-DOPA, and it stops if the drug is stopped. However, if L-DOPA is taken again, even many […]

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How birds soar to great heights

Migratory birds often use warm, rising atmospheric currents to gain height with little energy expenditure when flying over long distances. It’s a behavior known as thermal soaring that requires complex decision-making within the turbulent environment of a rising column of warm air from the sun baked surface of the earth. But exactly how birds navigate […]

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Why is cocaine so addictive? Study using animal model provides clues

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are one step closer to understanding what causes cocaine to be so addictive. The research findings are published in the current issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. Cocaine addiction is a debilitating neurological disorder that affects more than 700,000 people in the United States alone, according to the […]

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What can a sea-lion teach us about musicality?

Ronan the sea lion can keep the beat better than any other animal, a study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience found out more. Whether it is Mozart, Hendrix, Miles Davis, or tribal drumming, few activities feel as uniquely human as music. And, indeed, for a long time, most scientists believed that Homo sapiens was the […]

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How birds unlock their super-sense, ultraviolet vision

The ability of finches, sparrows, and many other birds to see a visual world hidden to us is explained in a study published in the journal eLife. Birds can be divided into those that can see ultraviolet (UV) light and those that cannot. Those that can live in a sensory world apart, able to transmit […]

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Scientists move closer to developing therapeutic window to the brain

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside are bringing their idea for a ‘Window to the Brain’ transparent skull implant closer to reality through the findings of two studies that are forthcoming in the journals Lasers in Surgery and Medicine and Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. The implant under development, which literally provides a ‘window […]

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Ravens learn best from their affiliates

Transmission of information from one individual to another forms the basis of long-term traditions and culture, and is critical in adjusting to changing environmental conditions. Animals frequently observe each other to learn about food, predators and their social environment. The study fills an important gap in our understanding of how different types of social connections […]

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What free will looks like in the brain

Johns Hopkins University researchers are the first to glimpse the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act. Unlike most brain studies where scientists watch as people respond to cues or commands, Johns Hopkins researchers found a way to observe people’s brain activity as they made choices entirely on their own. The findings, which […]

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* Newborn ducklings can acquire notions of ‘same’ and ‘different’

Scientists from the University of Oxford have shown that newly hatched ducklings can readily acquire the concepts of ‘same’ and ‘different’ — an ability previously known only in highly intelligent animals such as apes, crows and parrots. Ducklings and other young animals normally learn to identify and follow their mother through a type of learning […]

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Overeating in obese mice linked to altered brain responses to food cues

Obese mice are much more likely than lean mice to overeat in the presence of environmental cues, a behavior that could be related to changes in the brain, finds a new study by a Michigan State University neuroscientist. The study is to be presented this week at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, […]

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*Battling toxoplasmosis: International team describes step-by-step progress

In the July 14 edition of Scientific Reports (Nature), 39 researchers from 14 leading institutions in the United States, United Kingdom and France suggest novel approaches that could hasten the development of better medications for people suffering from toxoplasmosis. This chronic, currently incurable infection, caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, infects the brain and eye […]

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Human intelligence measured in the brain

Human intelligence is being defined and measured for the first time ever, by researchers at the University of Warwick. Led by Professor Jianfeng Feng in the Department of Computer Science, studies at Warwick and in China have been recently undertaken to quantify the brain’s dynamic functions, and identify how different parts of the brain interact […]

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New discovery on how the inner ear works

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Researchers have found that the parts of the inner ear that process sounds such as speech and music seem to work differently than other parts of the inner ear. Researchers from Linköping University are part of the team behind the discovery. “This helps us understand the mechanisms that enable us to perceive speech and music. […]

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Current stimulation to the brain partially restores vision in patients with glaucoma and optic nerve damage

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Vision loss due to glaucoma or optic nerve damage is generally considered irreversible. Now a new prospective, randomized, multi-center clinical trial demonstrates significant vision improvement in partially blind patients after 10 days of noninvasive, transorbital alternating current stimulation (ACS). In addition to activation of their residual vision, patients also experienced improvement in vision-related quality of […]

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Cerebrovascular disease linked to Alzheimer’s

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Study finds association between diseases in brain blood vessels and dementia. While strokes are known to increase risk for dementia, much less is known about diseases of large and small blood vessels in the brain, separate from stroke, and how they relate to dementia. Diseased blood vessels in the brain itself, which commonly is found […]

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Copper-induced misfolding of prion proteins

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Iowa State University researchers have described with single-molecule precision how copper ions cause prion proteins to misfold and seed the misfolding and clumping of nearby prion proteins. The researchers also found the copper-induced misfolding and clumping is associated with inflammation and damage to nerve cells in brain tissue from a mouse model. Prions are abnormal, […]

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The relentless dynamism of the adult brain

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Scientists from the Institut Pasteur and the CNRS were able to make real-time observations over a period of several months that reveal how new adult-born neurons are formed and evolve in the olfactory bulb of mice. They made the surprising discovery that there is constant structural plasticity in the connections established by these new neurons […]

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* The story of how a touch screen helped a paralyzed chimp walk again

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The case of Reo, a male chimpanzee that learned to walk again after being paralyzed due to illness, shows how much can be done to rehabilitate animals injured in captivity. So says lead author Yoko Sakuraba of Kyoto University, in an article in Primates, the official journal of the Japan Monkey Centre published by Springer. […]

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A sense of direction in the brain: Seeing the inner compass

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A team of neuroscientists led by Dr. Andrea Burgalossi of the Tübingen Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN) at the University of Tübingen has taken an important step towards understanding the ‘inner compass’. Investigating so-called head direction cells (HD cells) in the rodent brain, they were able to find evidence of networks that had […]

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* Imaging study in mice sheds light on how the brain draws a map to a destination

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Columbia scientists have uncovered a key feature of the brain’s GPS that helps a mouse find what it is seeking. The study enabled scientists to define the precise duties of cells in a particular region of the hippocampus, the brain’s learning and memory center. The research also advances a long-standing quest in the field of […]

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Cats seem to grasp the laws of physics

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Cats understand the principle of cause and effect as well as some elements of physics. Combining these abilities with their keen sense of hearing, they can predict where possible prey hides. These are the findings of researchers from Kyoto University in Japan, led by Saho Takagi and published in Springer’s journal Animal Cognition. Previous work […]

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