||Last Updated: Nov 17th, 2006 - 22:35:04
Memories: It's all in the packaging
Researchers at UC Irvine have found that how much detail one remembers of an event depends on whether a certain portion of the brain is activated to “package” the memory.
Nov 10, 2006, 17:08
New Effort to Treat Stroke More Effectively
Just a small fraction of patients who have a stroke receive the only drug – TPA – available to treat the condition. Now doctors and scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have developed a potential new treatment that will reach a milestone in the next few months, when the experimental treatment is tested for the first time in people who have suffered a stroke or “brain attack.”
Nov 7, 2006, 22:24
Atrial Fibrillation linked to Reduced Cognitive Performance
Researchers from Boston University have found a link between atrial fibrillation and low cognitive performance in men. Using a subset of participants from the Framingham Offspring Study, part of the long-running Framingham Heart Study, the team found an association between atrial fibrillation and poor mental functioning.
Oct 24, 2006, 18:10
Human Memory Gene Identified
Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) today announced the discovery of a gene that plays a significant role in memory performance in humans. The findings, reported by TGen and research colleagues at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, Banner Alzheimer's Institute, and Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, appear in the October 20 issue of Science. The study details how researchers associated memory performance with a gene called Kibra in over 1,000 individuals --both young and old-- from Switzerland and Arizona. This study is the first to describe scanning the human genetic blueprint at over 500,000 positions to identify cognitive differences between humans.
Oct 20, 2006, 23:37
Laser Analysis Points to Brain Pigment's Hidden Anatomy
In a finding that may offer clues about Parkinson's disease, a team led by Duke University researchers used a sophisticated laser system to gain evidence that a dark brown pigment that accumulates in people's brains consists of layers of two other pigments commonly found in hair.
Oct 20, 2006, 22:55
Cause of nerve fiber damage in multiple sclerosis identified
Researchers have identified how the body’s own immune system contributes to the nerve fiber damage caused by multiple sclerosis, a finding that can potentially aid earlier diagnosis and improved treatment for this chronic disease.
Oct 17, 2006, 02:38
REGARDS Study: Stroke Symptoms Common Among General Population
As many as 18 percent of adults who have no history of stroke report having had at least one symptom of stroke, according to results of a large national study published in the October 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Using brain imaging to screen individuals without a history of stroke reveals that many have had an undiagnosed or silent stroke, according to background information in the article. One previous study found that 11 percent of individuals age 55 to 64, 22 percent of those ages 65 to 69 and 43 percent of those older than 85 years show evidence of stroke despite never having been diagnosed with the condition. Because awareness of stroke symptoms is low, it is possible that these individuals had symptoms but did not recognize them or that the symptoms did not reach the threshold necessary for a stroke diagnosis.
Oct 11, 2006, 05:02
Signals That Tell Fly Neurons to Extend or Retract
During metamorphosis, fruit fly larvae shed the maggot sheath that had confined their life to a tedious creepy-crawl and don legs, wings, and a pair of big, buggy eyes to explore the third dimension and broaden their horizons. A less conspicuous, but just as wondrous transformation also takes place in their brains. There, new neurons are born and new neural networks are established, which the insects will use to make sense of the environment sampled by their shiny new limbs. How neurons select the appropriate partners among myriad candidates is a long-standing question in neurobiology. And what powers the growth of their axons, the long extensions with which they probe the brain until they reach the right target, is also mostly unknown. Mohammed Srahna, Bassem Hassan, and their colleagues have tackled these issues by genetically manipulating a small cluster of neurons whose axons carve their way through the optic lobe of the fly brain during metamorphosis.
Oct 11, 2006, 04:36
Potential link between celiac disease and cognitive decline discovered
Mayo Clinic researchers have uncovered a new link between celiac disease, a digestive condition triggered by consumption of gluten, and dementia or other forms of cognitive decline. The investigators' case series analysis -- an examination of medical histories of a group of patients with a common problem -- of 13 patients will be published in the October issue of Archives of Neurology.
Oct 10, 2006, 12:51
Progesterone for Traumatic brain injury??
Emory University researchers have found that giving progesterone to trauma victims shortly following brain injury appears to be safe and may reduce the risk of death and the degree of disability. The results of this study--the first clinical trial of its kind in the world--will be available online in the October issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Annals of Emergency Medicine, on October 2. Researchers say the next step will be to confirm their findings in a much larger group of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients.
Oct 2, 2006, 17:19
Women become sexually aroused as quickly as men
A new McGill University study that used thermal imaging technology for the first time ever to measure sexual arousal rates has turned the conventional wisdom that women become aroused more slowly than men on its head.
Oct 2, 2006, 00:32
Study pinpoints part of brain responsible for congenital amusia
A new study has discovered that the brains of people suffering from tone-deafness are in fact lacking in white matter. The study published in the current issue of Brain was conducted by a team of researchers from the Université de Montréal, the Montreal Neurological Institute and the Newcastle University Medical School.
Sep 29, 2006, 20:09
Elevated testosterone kills nerve cells
A Yale School of Medicine study shows for the first time that a high level of testosterone, such as that caused by the use of steroids to increase muscle mass or for replacement therapy, can lead to a catastrophic loss of brain cells. Taking large doses of androgens, or steroids, is known to cause hyperexcitability, a highly aggressive nature, and suicidal tendencies. These behavioral changes could be evidence of alterations in neuronal function caused by the steroids, said the senior author, Barbara Ehrlich, professor of pharmacology and physiology.
Sep 26, 2006, 22:45
Fampridine may hold promise for treating Multiple Sclerosis
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOR) today announced positive results from its Phase 3 clinical trial of Fampridine-SR on walking in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Sep 26, 2006, 18:50
Found! The curcuit in the brain controlling response to fear
Columbia University Medical Center researchers have identified the neurocircuit that controls the brain's response to fear. Results suggest that it may be possible to understand psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety or depression, from the underlying neurophysiology – workings of the brain.
Sep 20, 2006, 23:43
Responsive Neurostimulator System: An implantable device to treat epilepsy
About 2.5 million Americans of all ages have epilepsy. Think of it as a tiny electrical storm in the brain. Many people suffer from seizures affecting their quality of life or have side effects from epilepsy medications. However, patients with some types of the disease don't respond to surgery or may be at high risk for complications. That's why new devices surgically implanted in the brain itself offer hope for an effective epilepsy treatment.
Sep 14, 2006, 16:54
Defibrillator to prevent epileptic seizures?
Researchers at MIT are developing a device that could detect and prevent epileptic seizures before they become debilitating.
Sep 13, 2006, 20:10
BMPs: Conserved Morphogens in Neural Patterning
During evolution, organisms seem to maintain the function of certain key genes but vary the mechanisms that call these genes into action. For instance, fruit flies and vertebrates share three genesâ€”vnd, ind, and mshâ€”that induce distinct cell fates in the developing nervous system. Both flies and vertebrates express these genes in three adjacent stripes that span the length of their nascent nerve cords. But stripe patterns in fruit flies depend on the nuclear protein Dorsal and in vertebrates on the signaling molecule Hedgehog; both factors are produced in ventral regions of the nerve cord. Since Dorsal and Hedgehog belong to unrelated signaling pathways, vertebrates and fruit flies seem to have independently evolved distinct means of expressing vnd, ind, and msh in the same striped pattern. But in a recent study, Claudia Mieko Mizutani, Ethan Bier, and colleagues demonstrate that both flies and vertebrates similarly rely on a third dorsally produced signal, the bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), to paint stripes along their nerve cords. They propose that BMPs are the ancestral patterning signal that the precursors of flies and vertebrates originally shared and that later were reinforced by recruiting either Dorsal or Hedgehog in neural development.
Sep 13, 2006, 06:15
Learning New Movements Depends on the Statistics of Your Prior Actions
Itâ€™s tough to learn to drive on the other side of the road than youâ€™re used toâ€”just ask any American driving in London for the first time. Yet thereâ€™s little you can do consciously to change such habits; you simply have to take the time to practice with the new set of rules. Now a new study shows that if people are given appropriate cues and learn tasks in a certain order, they can learn new rules more quickly and call them up at the right time.
Sep 13, 2006, 03:54
Migraine dealings for the women
Migraines are more common in the United States than diabetes, osteoarthritis or asthma. Of the 28 million people who experience migraines in this country, 18 million are women. Although prevention is very effective in managing this disorder, only 3 percent to 5 percent of women seek preventive therapy.
Sep 7, 2006, 00:54
There is no brain region designed for communication with God, study shows
A new study at the Université de Montréal has concluded that there is no single God spot in the brain. In other words, mystical experiences are mediated by several brain regions and systems normally implicated in a variety of functions (self-consciousness, emotion, body representation).
Aug 29, 2006, 21:13
Video game for stroke rehabilitation?
Engineers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, have modified a popular home video game system to assist stroke patients with hand exercises, producing a technology costing less than $600 that may one day rival systems 10 times as expensive.
Aug 29, 2006, 03:27
The mechanism of manganese neurotoxicity detected
For decades, scientists have known that chronic exposure to high concentrations of the metal manganese can cause movement abnormalities resembling symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but apparently without the same neuron damage characteristic of Parkinson’s patients.
Aug 29, 2006, 02:55
Artificial synapses created between nanoelectronic devices and mammalian neurons
Opening a whole new interface between nanotechnology and neuroscience, scientists at Harvard University have used slender silicon nanowires to detect, stimulate, and inhibit nerve signals along the axons and dendrites of live mammalian neurons. Harvard chemist Charles M. Lieber and colleagues report on this marriage of nanowires and neurons this week in the journal Science.
Aug 25, 2006, 19:26
Friedreich's ataxia defect reversed in cell culture
In the new study, the researchers tested a variety of compounds that inhibited a class of enzymes known as histone deacetylases in a cell line derived from blood cells from a Fredreich's ataxia sufferer. One of these inhibitors had the effect of reactivating the frataxin gene, which is silenced in those with the disease. The researchers then went on to improve on this molecule by synthesis of novel derivatives, identifying compounds that would reactivate the frataxin gene in blood cells taken from 13 Friedreich's ataxia patients.
Aug 22, 2006, 20:23
Severed nerve fibers in spinal cord can regenerate for long distances
The body's spinal cord is like a super highway of nerves. When an injury occurs, the body's policing defenses put up a roadblock in the form of a scar to prevent further injury, but it stops all neural traffic from moving forward.
Aug 19, 2006, 21:45
3-D forms link antibiotic resistance and pantothenate kinase associated neurodegeneration
The story of what makes certain types of bacteria resistant to a specific antibiotic has a sub-plot that gives insight into the cause of a rare form of brain degeneration among children, according to investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The story takes a twist as key differences among the structures of its main molecular characters disappear and reappear as they are assembled in the cell.
Aug 19, 2006, 16:47
How the Brain Loses Plasticity of Youth
A protein once thought to play a role only in the immune system could hold a clue to one of the great puzzles of neuroscience: how do the highly malleable and plastic brains of youth settle down into a relatively stable adult set of neuronal connections? Harvard Medical School researchers report in the August 17 Science Express that adult mice lacking the immune system protein paired-immunoglobulin like receptor-B (PirB) had brains that retained the plasticity of much younger brains, suggesting that PirB inhibits such plasticity.
Aug 18, 2006, 18:51
Internal body clock dictates timing of different types of stroke
The internal body clock, or circadian rhythm, seems to influence the timing of different types of stroke, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. The research team analysed data from almost 13,000 patients who had had one of three types of stroke for the first time, diagnosed by brain scan. These patients' data had been collected on a stroke register, showing that cerebral infarction, where blood flow to brain arteries is restricted, was the most common type of stroke. The rate was 89 per 100,000 of the population.
Aug 17, 2006, 16:27
Common brain cells may have stem-cell-like potential
University of Florida researchers have shown ordinary human brain cells may share the prized qualities of self-renewal and adaptability normally associated with stem cells. Writing online in Development, scientists from UF's McKnight Brain Institute describe how they used mature human brain cells taken from epilepsy patients to generate new brain tissue in mice. Furthermore, they can coax these pedestrian human cells to produce large amounts of new brain cells in culture, with one cell theoretically able to begin a cycle of cell division that does not stop until the cells number about 10 to the 16th power.
Aug 17, 2006, 16:02