Tag Archives: Neurology

* New hope for spinal cord injuries

Posted on

Stem cells have been used successfully, for the first time, to promote regeneration after injury to a specialized band of nerve fibres that are important for motor function. Researchers from Hokkaido University in Japan together with an international team of scientists implanted specialized embryonic stem cells into the severed spinal cords of rats. The stem […]

Tags: , ,

Towards a new theory of sleep

Posted on

Why do animals sleep? Even though slumber consumes about a third of the day for many life forms, we know very little about why it’s needed. The need for sleep remains one of the great mysteries of biology. A leading theory posits that sleep may provide the brain with an opportunity to “rebalance” itself. In […]

Tags: ,

* New microscope controls brain activity of live animals

Posted on

For the first time, researchers have developed a microscope capable of observing — and manipulating — neural activity in the brains of live animals at the scale of a single cell with millisecond precision. By allowing scientists to directly control the firing of individual neurons within complex brain circuits, the device could ultimately revolutionize how […]

Tags: ,

Blood-brain barrier breakthrough reported by researchers

Posted on

Cornell researchers have discovered a way to penetrate the blood brain barrier (BBB) that may soon permit delivery of drugs directly into the brain to treat disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and chemotherapy-resistant cancers. The BBB is a layer of endothelial cells that selectively allow entry of molecules needed for brain function, such as amino […]

Tags: ,

New assay offers improved detection of deadly prion diseases

Posted on

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, are a family of rare progressive, neurodegenerative illnesses that affect both humans and animals. TSE surveillance is important for public health and food safety because TSEs have the potential of crossing from animals to humans, as seen with the spread of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy […]

Tags: , ,

With ravens, out of sight is not out of mind

Posted on

The question of what sets humans apart from other animals is one of the oldest philosophical puzzles. A popular answer is that only humans can understand that others also have minds like their own. But new research suggests that ravens — birds singled out by many cultures as a symbol of intelligence and wisdom — […]

Tags: , ,

Biologists discover new strategy to treat central nervous system injury

Posted on

Neurobiologists at UC San Diego have discovered how signals that orchestrate the construction of the nervous system also influence recovery after traumatic injury. They also found that manipulating these signals can enhance the return of function. Most people who suffer traumatic injuries have incomplete lesions of neural circuits whose function can be partially restored from […]

Tags: ,

Fetal and newborn dolphin deaths linked to Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Posted on

Scientists have finalized a four-year study of newborn and fetal dolphins found stranded on beaches in the northern Gulf of Mexico between 2010 and 2013. Their study, reported in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, identified substantial differences between fetal and newborn dolphins found stranded inside and outside the areas affected by the 2010 Deepwater […]

Tags: ,

Three new primate species discovered in Madagascar

Posted on

Immunotherapy with a live bacterium combined with chemotherapy demonstrated more than 90% disease control and 59% response rate in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), according to the results of a phase Ib trial presented today at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. “Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the […]

Tags: ,

Memories retrieved in mutant ‘Alzheimer’s’ mice

People with Alzheimer’s disease may forget faces or where they left familiar objects because their brains cannot find where they put those memories, a study in mice suggests. The study, reported in Nature, contradicts the notion that Alzheimer’s prevents the brain from making new memories. It also suggests that brain stimulation might temporarily improve the […]

Tags: ,

Scientists reveal how animals find their way ‘in the dark’

Scientists have revealed the brain activity in animals that helps them find food and other vital resources in unfamiliar environments where there are no cues, such as lights and sounds, to guide them. Animals that are placed in such environments display spontaneous, seemingly random behaviors when foraging. These behaviors have been observed in many organisms, […]

Tags: , ,

Brain may show signs of aging earlier than old age

A new study published in Physiological Genomics suggests that the brain shows signs of aging earlier than old age. The study found that the microglia cells — the immune cells of the brain — in middle-aged mice already showed altered activity seen in microglia from older mice. Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other aging-related neurodegenerative disorders are […]

Tags: ,

* Anatomy of pain

Grimacing, we flinch when we see someone accidentally hit their thumb with a hammer. But is it really pain we feel? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and other institutions have now proposed a new theory that describes pain as a multi-layered gradual event which consists of […]

Tags: , ,

Researchers identify new cause of inherited neuropathy

Neurology researchers link mutations in myelin protein to Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease. Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT) is a family of inherited disorders of the peripheral nervous system, affecting approximately one in 2,500 Americans. Its most common iteration, CMT1, comes in many forms, most of which have to date been linked to a small set of causative genes. New […]

Tags: ,

Brain induces preference for caloric food for energy storage

Different brain circuits are invoked by the pleasure we derive from eating sweet foods and the calories they supply. Given the choice between eating something caloric with an unpleasant taste and more palatable food with no calories, some vertebrates may choose the former, prioritizing energy to assure their survival. This finding comes from a study […]

Tags: ,

Using magnetic forces to control neurons, study finds brain is vital in glucose metabolism

A new tool to control the activity of neurons in mice avoids the downfalls of current methods by using magnetic forces to remotely control the flow of ions into specifically targeted cells. Applying this method to a group of neurons in the hypothalamus, researchers found that the brain plays a surprisingly vital role in maintaining […]

Tags: , ,

* Flipping a light switch recovers memories lost to Alzheimer’s disease mice

Light stimulation of brain cells can recover memories in mice with Alzheimer’s disease-like memory loss, according to new research from the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics. The rescue of memories, which changed both the structure of neurons as well as the behavior of mice, was achieved using optogenetics, a method for manipulating genetically tagged […]

Tags: ,

Scientists pinpoint brain circuit for risk preference in rats

Investigators at Stanford University have identified a small group of nerve cells in a specific brain region of rats whose signaling activity, or lack of it, explains the vast bulk of differences in risk-taking preferences among the animals. That activity not only predicts but effectively determines whether an animal decides to take a chance or […]

Tags: , ,

* Songbirds pinpoint effects of Huntington’s disease

Posted on

Although Huntington’s disease is caused by mutations in a single gene, understanding how it ravages the brain and body has been anything but simple. A new study by Duke University scientists parses the role of the Huntington’s disease gene in an area of the brain responsible for complex, sequential movements like those used to talk […]

Tags: ,

* Monkeys drive wheelchairs using only their thoughts

Posted on

Neuroscientists at Duke Health have developed a brain-machine interface (BMI) that allows primates to use only their thoughts to navigate a robotic wheelchair. The BMI uses signals from hundreds of neurons recorded simultaneously in two regions of the monkeys’ brains that are involved in movement and sensation. As the animals think about moving toward their […]

Tags: , ,

Long-term stress erodes memory

Posted on

Sustained stress erodes memory, and the immune system plays a key role in the cognitive impairment, according to a new study from researchers at The Ohio State University. The work in mice could one day lead to treatment for repeated, long-term mental assault such as that sustained by bullying victims, soldiers and those who report […]

Tags: ,

Scientists map roots of premeditated, violent ‘intent’ in animal brain

Posted on

The bad intentions that often precede violence originate in a specific brain region, according to a study in mice led by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center and published in Nature Neuroscience online March 7. The work is the first, say the study authors, to tie warning signs of premeditated violence — stalking, bullying, and […]

Tags: , ,

* Circuit for experience-informed decision-making identified in rats

Posted on

Memory and executive hubs work in lockstep during awake mental replay. Researchers have discovered how the rat brain ‘s memory and executive hubs talk with each other as decision-making is informed by past experiences. Also, the rat brain encodes memories for location during periods of stillness via a separate system than for memories of activity. […]

Tags: ,

* Groundbreaking discovery made use skin cells to kill cancer

Skin cells turned cancer-killing stem cells hunt down, destroy deadly remnants inevitably left behind when a brain tumor is surgically removed In a first for medical science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pharmacy researchers turn skin cells into cancer-hunting stem cells that destroy brain tumors known as glioblastoma — a discovery that can […]

Tags: , ,

Proposal to ban imported monkeys catches scientists off guard

Nicholas Price works to understand the brain’s fundamental functions, with a view towards developing a bionic eye. The neuroscientist uses marmosets and macaques in his experiments at Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute in Melbourne. In late January, he was shocked to discover a bill before the Australian Parliament that calls for a ban on the […]

Tags: , ,

Team suppresses oxidative stress, neuronal death associated with Alzheimer’s disease

The brain is an enormous network of communication, containing over 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, with branches that connect at more than 100 trillion points. They are constantly sending signals through a vast neuron forest that forms memories, thoughts and feelings; these patterns of activity form the essence of each person. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) […]

Tags: , ,

* Zika virus might cause Guillain-Barré syndrome, according to new evidence

Analysis of blood samples from 42 patients diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) during the Zika virus outbreak in French Polynesia provides the first evidence that Zika virus might cause GBS, a severe neurological disorder, according to new research published in The Lancet today. Based on the analysis of data from French Polynesia, if 100000 people […]

Tags: , ,

Brain boost: Research to improve memory through electricity?

In a breakthrough study that could improve how people learn and retain information, researchers at the Catholic University Medical School in Rome significantly boosted the memory and mental performance of laboratory mice through electrical stimulation. The study, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global, involved the use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or […]

Tags: , ,

Aggression causes new nerve cells to be generated in the brain

Posted on

A group of neurobiologists from Russia and the USA, including Dmitry Smagin, Tatyana Michurina, and Grigori Enikolopov from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), have proven experimentally that aggression has an influence on the production of new nerve cells in the brain. The scientists conducted a series of experiments on male mice and published […]

Tags: , ,

Horses can read human emotions

Posted on

For the first time horses have been shown to be able to distinguish between angry and happy human facial expressions. Psychologists studied how 28 horses reacted to seeing photographs of positive versus negative human facial expressions. When viewing angry faces, horses looked more with their left eye, a behaviour associated with perceiving negative stimuli. Their […]

Tags: ,

Sidebar