Neuroscience News

DNA Mutations Can Be Good in Brain Tumors

March 25, 2015

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Possible Personalized Treatments for More Aggressive Forms of Brain Cancer

New research from Yale University reveals that it may be possible to develop personalized treatments for more aggressive forms of brain cancer. DNA mutations can cause cancer but in some cases, more mutations may mean a better prognosis for patients. A Yale-led comprehensive genomic analysis of more than 700 brain tumors has revealed one such […]

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New Technique Offers Direct Stimulation of Neurons Without External Connections

March 13, 2015

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New Technique Could Lead to Long-Lasting Localized Stimulation of Brain Tissue

Using external magnetic fields and injected magnetic nanoparticles, a new technique developed by researchers at MIT could lead to long-lasting localized stimulation of brain tissue without external connections. This video shows a calcium ion influx into neurons as a result of magnetothermal excitation with alternating magnetic fields in the presence of magnetic nanoparticles. Neurons on […]

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Neuroscientists Find That Cognitive Skills Peak at Different Ages

March 10, 2015

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Cognitive Skills Peak at Different Ages Across Adulthood

New research from neuroscientists at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital reveals that different parts of the brain work best at different ages. Scientists have long known that our ability to think quickly and recall information, also known as fluid intelligence, peaks around age 20 and then begins a slow decline. However, more recent findings, including […]

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Yale Study Reveals Connection Between Genes That Contribute to Autism

March 10, 2015

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Study Shows Connection Between Key Autism Risk Genes

A newly published study from Yale University reveals an important connection between key autism risk genes in the human brain, a major step toward understanding how brain development goes awry in some individuals with the disorder. The research shows that CHD8, a gene that is strongly linked to autism, acts as a master regulator in […]

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Hypothalamic Agrp Neurons Also Control Compulsive Behaviors

March 6, 2015

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Study Shows Hunger Neurons also Control Compulsive Behaviors

A newly published study from Yale University shows that in the absence of food Agrp neurons trigger foraging and repetitive behaviors in mice. In the absence of food, neurons that normally control appetite initiate complex, repetitive behaviors seen in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and anorexia nervosa, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine […]

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Yale Maps Evolutionary Changes of the Human Brain

March 6, 2015

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Researchers Map Switches That Shaped the Evolution of the Human Brain

New research from Yale University reveals a detailed catalog of human-specific changes in gene regulation and pinpoints several biological processes potentially guided by these regulatory elements that are crucial to human brain development. Thousands of genetic “dimmer” switches, regions of DNA known as regulatory elements, were turned up high during human evolution in the developing […]

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Neuroscientists Examine How Brain Waves Guide Memory Formation

February 23, 2015

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Neuroscientists Reveal How Brain Waves Guide Memory Formation

New research from MIT shows that the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex use two different brain-wave frequencies to communicate as the brain learns to associate unrelated objects. Our brains generate a constant hum of activity: As neurons fire, they produce brain waves that oscillate at different frequencies. Long thought to be merely a byproduct of […]

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Yale Neurobiologists Discover Surprising Trigger of New Brain Cell Growth

February 19, 2015

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Researchers Find Trigger of New Brain Cell Growth

A newly published study from Yale University shows that adult hippocampal neural stem cells (NSCs) express vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) 3 and its ligand VEGF-C, which activates quiescent NSCs to enter the cell cycle and generate progenitor cells. Scientists have discovered that the human brain can produce new neurons, but exactly how those […]

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Marijuana Munchies: How the Appetite Center of the Brain Responds to Marijuana

February 18, 2015

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Marijuana Munchies How the Brain Flips the Hunger Switch

A new study from Yale University observes how the appetite center of the brain responds to marijuana, revealing what drives the hunger brought about by cannabis and how that same mechanism that normally turns off feeding becomes a driver of eating. The “munchies,” or that uncontrollable urge to eat after using marijuana, appear to be […]

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Nano-Antioxidants Quickly Neutralize Superoxides

February 12, 2015

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Study Shows How Particles Quench Damaging Superoxides

A new Rice-led study reveals how nanoparticles can quickly neutralize superoxides that are overexpressed by the body’s cells in response to an injury. Injectable nanoparticles that could protect an injured person from further damage due to oxidative stress have proven to be astoundingly effective in tests to study their mechanism. Scientists at Rice University, Baylor […]

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Key Process in Brain Development Identified

February 6, 2015

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Yale Identifies Key Process in Brain Development

By studying miR-107 in zebrafish, Yale researchers have discovered that miR-107 plays a key role in early brain development, and perhaps in the development of brain-related disease. MicroRNA are the tiny non-coding RNA molecules that help determine whether genes are expressed or silenced. One particular microRNA — miR-107 — plays a key role in early […]

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New Research Shows Seizures Knock Out Brain Arousal Centers

February 5, 2015

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Seizures Knock Out Brain Arousal Centers

Researchers from Yale University found that during seizures the arousal centers in the brain stem are actually suppressed, leading to a loss of consciousness. People with epilepsy who experience focal seizures sometimes remain mobile but are unable to hear or respond to their environment. Yale School of Medicine researchers have discovered a surprising explanation for […]

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Brain Scans Help Reveal How the Brain Ignores Distractions

February 4, 2015

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How the Brain Ignores Distractions

By scanning the brains of people engaged in selective attention to sensations, researchers from Brown University have learned how the brain appears to coordinate the response needed to ignore distractions. Providence, Rhode Island (Brown University) — When we concentrate on something, we also engage in the unsung, parallel act of purposefully ignoring other things. A […]

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Yale Research Shows Immune Cells Are an Ally, Not Enemy, in Battle Against Alzheimer’s

January 29, 2015

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Study Shows Immune Cells Are An Ally Against Alzheimer’s

New research in battle against Alzheimer’s shows that brain immune cells (called microglia) seem to protect the brain by keeping amyloid plaques corralled, and are not re responsible for inflammation and damage to surrounding brain cells as previously thought. Beta-amyloid is a sticky protein that aggregates and forms small plaques in the brains of the […]

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New Technique Enlarges Tissue Samples, Making Them Easier to Image

January 16, 2015

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New Technique Enables Nanoscale-Resolution Microscopy

By physically enlarging the specimen itself, researchers from MIT have invented a new way to visualize the nanoscale structure of the brain and other tissues. Beginning with the invention of the first microscope in the late 1500s, scientists have been trying to peer into preserved cells and tissues with ever-greater magnification. The latest generation of […]

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Duke Study Provides Close-Up of Synapse Refinement

January 12, 2015

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Study Pinpoints Autism-Linked Protein for Sculpting Brain Connections

A new study from Duke University provides a close-up of synapse refinement and identifies that the protein hevin is crucial in this process. Durham, North Carolina – Shortly after birth, human brains expand rapidly with the experience of an entirely new world. During this period, neurons in the newborn brain compete with one another to […]

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Onset of Schizophrenia Linked to Elevated Neural Links

January 7, 2015

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Schizophrenia Onset Linked to Elevated Neural Links

New research from Yale scientists, in conjunction with colleagues at the Huaxi Magnetic Resonance Research Center at Sichuan University in China, reveals that that the onset of the schizophrenia is marked by an abnormal spike in neural connections. In its chronic stage, schizophrenia is typically marked by a dearth of links between brain cells in […]

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