Neuroscience News

Common Mechanism May Be Responsible for the Spread of Alzheimer’s and CTE

December 8, 2016

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Alzheimer’s and CTE May Spread Via a Common Mechanism

A newly published study from UC San Francisco reveals that a shared biological mechanism may drive the progression of both Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Both Alzheimer’s and CTE are classified as “tauopathies,” a category of diseases characterized by the improper folding and clumping together of a protein called tau (rhymes with “how”) inside […]

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Mice Can Sense Oxygen Levels in the Environment Using Specialized Neurons

December 2, 2016

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Mice Can Sense Oxygen Levels in the Environment

New research from the Max Planck Institute shows that mice can sense oxygen levels in the environment using specialized neurons in their noses that are present in the olfactory mucosa. The genome of mice harbors more than 1000 odorant receptor genes, which enable them to smell myriad odors in their surroundings. Researchers at the Max […]

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Neuroscientists Identify Two Key Groups of Neurons That Help Regulate Appetite

October 21, 2016

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Scientists Identify Two Key Groups of Neurons That Help Regulate Appetite

In a newly published study, Scientists from MIT have identify two key groups of neurons within the hypothalamus that help regulate appetite. MIT neuroscientists have discovered that brain cells called glial cells play a critical role in controlling appetite and feeding behavior. In a study of mice, the researchers found that activating these cells stimulates […]

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New Research Shows Female Hippocampus Structure Changes in Sync with Hormones

October 10, 2016

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Study Shows Female Brains Change in Sync with Hormones

New research from the Max Planck Institute shows that in women, in parallel to the rhythm of the level of estrogen across their menstrual cycle, the structures of the Hippocampus vary — a brain area that is crucial for memories, mood and emotions. Although it has already been known for some time that the brain […]

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Memory Changes May Occur in Women Decades Earlier Than Previously Thought

September 28, 2016

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Study Shows Changes in Memory Tied to Menopausal Status

New research from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital reveals that reproductive stage, not simply chronological age, may contribute to changes in memory and brain function for women. Many women report forgetfulness and changes in memory as they transition to menopause. But studies that target participants who are 65 and older do not account for cognitive […]

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Yale Study Shows Video Games Can Have Lasting Impact on Learning

September 12, 2016

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Video Games Have Lasting Impact on Learning

New research from Yale University shows that a computer-based brain training program helps improve student performance in reading and math — in some cases even more than individualized tutoring. The new study is published in Scientific Reports. In a study of more than 500 second graders, math and reading scores on school- administered tests increased […]

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New Reserach Reveals How Zika Virus Causes Fetal Brain Damage

August 24, 2016

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Yale Reserachers Discover How Zika Virus Causes Fetal Brain Damage

In a newly published study, researchers from Yale University report that infection by the Zika virus diverts a key protein necessary for neural cell division in the developing human fetus, thereby causing the birth defect microcephaly. The findings suggest that Zika virus might be susceptible to existing antiviral drugs that may prevent disruption to the […]

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Yale Scientists Discover a New Therapy for a Chronic Brain Disease

August 23, 2016

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Yale Biologists Uncover Marker for a Chronic Brain Disease

Yale scientists have discovered a new and effective therapy for cerebral cavernous malformations. A team of researchers led by Yale professor of pathology Wang Min have pinpointed a marker that contributes to a chronic condition affecting the brain. Known as cerebral cavernous malformations, the condition is characterized by a tangle of capillaries in the brain’s […]

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Scientists Show How Synapses Are Arranged with Respect to Each Other

July 19, 2016

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How Synapses Are Arranged with Respect to Each Other

For the first time, neurobiologists show that contact points between specific neuron types are clustered in groups on the target neuron. The cerebral cortex resembles a vast switchboard. Countless lines carrying information about the environment, for example from the sensory organs, converge in the cerebral cortex. In order to direct the flow of data into […]

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New Equation Shows How Other People’s Fortunes Affect Our Happiness

June 17, 2016

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How Other People's Fortunes Affect Our Happiness

A new equation shows how our happiness depends not only on what happens to us and how this compares to other people.The team developed an equation to predict happiness in 2014, highlighting the importance of expectations, and the new updated equation also takes into account other people’s fortunes. The study, published in Nature Communications, found […]

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Bird Brains Have Significantly More Neurons Than Primate Brains Of The Same Mass

June 14, 2016

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Birds Have Primate-Like Numbers of Neurons in the Forebrain

A new study systematically measures the number of neurons in the brains of birds, revealing that they have significantly more neurons packed into their small brains than are stuffed into mammalian and even primate brains of the same mass. The macaw has a brain the size of an unshelled walnut, while the macaque monkey has […]

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New Study Shows Fructose Alters Brain Genes, Which Can Lead to Disease

April 25, 2016

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New Research Shows Fructose Alters Brain Genes, Can Lead to Disease

A new study by researchers at UCLA reveals that genes in the brain can be damaged by fructose, leading to diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A range of diseases — from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer’s disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — are linked to […]

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New Genome-Wide Analysis Links Marijuana Dependence and Major Depression

March 30, 2016

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New Study Links Genes to Marijuana Dependence and Major Depression

A newly published genome-wide analysis of more than 14,000 individuals has identified several gene variants that increase risk of cannabis dependence. The analysis also suggests that the genetic risk for dependence on marijuana is associated with a higher inherited risk of major depression. The new study is published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. The study […]

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New Stem Cell Innovation Could Someday Help Treat Parkinson’s

March 17, 2016

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Stem Cell Innovation Could Treat Parkinson’s

A team of researchers from Rutgers and Stanford have created a new way to inject healthy human nerve cells into the brain that could someday help treat Parkinson’s disease and other devastating brain-related conditions that affect millions of people. The technology – a major innovation – involves converting adult tissue-derived stem cells into human neurons […]

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Yale Researchers Track How the Brain Routes Visual Signals

March 10, 2016

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Yale Scientists Track How Brain Routes Visual Signals

Newly published research from Yale’s Department of Neuroscience provides some clues to how cells in the visual cortex direct sensory information to different targets throughout the brain. Understanding how the brain manages to process the deluge of information about the outside world has been a daunting challenge. By imaging activity in the mouse brain, the […]

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Neuroscientists Discover a Behavioral State Gene That May be Linked to Autism

March 7, 2016

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Gene for Behavioral State May be Linked to Autism

In a newly published study, neuroscientists from MIT reeval a gene that plays a critical role in controlling the switch between alternative behavioral states – which for humans include hunger and fullness, or sleep and wakefulness. This gene, which the researchers dubbed vps-50, helps to regulate neuropeptides — tiny proteins that carry messages between neurons […]

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MIT Researchers Identify Cells That Represent Feelings of Isolation

February 16, 2016

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Researchers Identify Cells That Represent Feelings of Isolation

In a newly published study, MIT neuroscientists reveal how they identified a brain region that represents the feelings of loneliness. Humans, like all social animals, have a fundamental need for contact with others. This deeply ingrained instinct helps us to survive; it’s much easier to find food, shelter, and other necessities with a group than […]

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Scientists Characterize Nerve Cells That Detect Motion by Light Changes

February 8, 2016

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Neurobiologists Characterize Nerve Cells That Detect Motion by Light Changes

In a newly published study, neurobiologists from the Max Planck Institute reveal that (in fruit flies) four classes of nerve cell are involved in calculating directionally selective signals. The ability to see the direction in which something is moving is vital for survival. Only in this way is it possible to avoid predators, capture prey […]

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