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Critical flaw found in lab models of the human blood-brain barrier
Cells used to study the human blood-brain barrier in the lab aren't what they seem, a new study has found, throwing nearly a decade's worth of research into question. (2021-02-05)

Study links brain cells to depression
Major depressive disorder is a significant medical condition that leads to a variety of serious emotional and physical problems. New research further highlights the potential implication of astrocytes in depression. These cells support the function of neurons in the brain and postmortem analysis reveals they are found in reduced numbers in depressed patients who have died by suicide. It is hoped these findings will guide targeted treatment options for those suffering from this debilitating disorder. (2021-02-04)

Father's early-life exposure to stress associated with child's brain development
The FinnBrain research of the University of Turku has demonstrated for the first time that the stress the father has experienced in his childhood is connected to the development of the white matter tracts in the child's brain. Whether this connection is transmitted through epigenetic inheritance needs further research. (2021-02-04)

'Where did I park my car?' Brain stimulation improves mental time travel
A new Northwestern Medicine study improved memory of complex, realistic events similar to these by applying transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the brain network responsible for memory. The authors then had participants watch videos of realistic activities to measure how memory works during everyday tasks. The findings prove it is possible to measure and manipulate realistic types of memory. (2021-02-04)

Solving a puzzle
University of New Mexico scientists tease out the underlying mechanism of tuberous sclerosis complex (2021-02-03)

Modeling the brain during pain processing
Through new research published in EPJ B, researchers show that inhibitory interneurons, which prevent chemical messages from passing between different regions of the brain, make up 20% of the circuitry in the brain required for pain processing. The discovery represents a significant advance in researchers' understanding of how our bodies and brains respond to pain. (2021-02-02)

Scientists find promising avenue to restore cognitive function impaired by Alzheimer's disease
A team of neuroscientists has identified a potential means to address the loss of cognitive function due to Alzheimer's disease by targeting protein synthesis in mice. Their findings reveal that synthetic pharmaceuticals could rescue the activity of brain cells needed for memory formation. (2021-02-02)

Neurons: 'String of lights' indicates excitation propagation
A type of novel molecular voltage sensor makes it possible to watch nerve cells at work. The principle of the method has been known for some time. However, researchers at the University of Bonn and the University of California in Los Angeles have now succeeded in significantly improving it. It allows the propagation of electrical signals in living nerve cells to be observed with high temporal and spatial resolution. (2021-02-02)

Unraveling the mystery of Gao, a protein implicated in movement disorders
Scientists at Scripps Research have clarified the workings of a mysterious protein called Gao, which is one of the most abundant proteins in the brain and, when mutated, causes severe movement disorders. (2021-02-02)

Why do psychiatric drugs help some, but not others? Study offers clues
New University of Colorado Boulder research shows that a key protein in the brain called AKT may function differently in males than females. The study also offers a closer look at where, precisely, in the brain things may go wrong with it, marking an important step toward more targeted and less harmful therapies. (2021-02-01)

New realm of personalized medicine with brain stimulation
Millions of patients suffering from neurological and mental disorders such as depression, addiction, and chronic pain are treatment-resistant. New research paves the way for a promising alternative: personalized deep brain stimulation. Researchers have found a way to predict what effect electrical stimulation will have on an individual's brain activity across multiple brain regions. The work represents a major step forward in achieving new therapies for a whole host of neurological and mental disorders. (2021-02-01)

A study reveals that the brain distributes sensory information highly efficiently
Extracting information from a small fraction of neurons, according to a study published in Nature Communications, involving Rubén Moreno-Bote, a researcher at the Center for Brain and Cognition, together with researchers from the University of Zaragoza and the University of the Basque Country, led by Harvard University (USA). (2021-02-01)

Researchers describe a molecular mechanism involved in the pathology's neurodegeneration
Protein alteration in the family of lamins causes several diseases, known as laminopathies, such as progeria or precocious ageing. A study in which UB researchers have taken part states that alterations in the levels of one of these proteins, lamin B1, contribute to the degeneration of neuronal populations in Huntington's disease. Caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gen, this pathology features involuntary movements, cognitive deficit and psychiatric disorders, and has no cure yet. (2021-02-01)

Stress on every cell:
Uncovering the activities of the organs, tissues and cells responsible for the body's stress response as they've never before been seen revealed new cells and possible new drug targets (2021-02-01)

New discovery for how the brain 'tangles' in Alzheimer's Disease
University of Queensland researchers have discovered a new 'seeding' process in brain cells that could be a cause of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. (2021-02-01)

Novel therapy-resistance mechanism promoting the growth of breast cancer brain metastasis
SORLA is a protein trafficking receptor that has been mainly studied in neurons, but it also plays a role in cancer cells. Professor Johanna Ivaska's research group at Turku Bioscience observed that SORLA functionally contributes to the most reported therapy-resistant mechanism by which the cell-surface receptor HER3 counteracts HER2 targeting therapy in HER2-positive cancers. Removing SORLA from cancer cells sensitized anti-HER2 resistant breast cancer brain metastasis to targeted therapy. (2021-01-29)

Our gut-brain connection
MIT researchers developed an 'organs-on-a-chip' system that replicates interactions between the brain, liver, and colon. They modeled the influence microbes living in the gut have on both healthy brain tissue and tissue samples derived from patients with Parkinson's disease. (2021-01-29)

Study reveals cause of common Zika virus birth defect
CLEVELAND - Cleveland Clinic researchers have described for the first time how Zika virus (ZIKV) causes one of the most common birth defects associated with prenatal infection, called brain calcification, according to new study findings published in Nature Microbiology. The findings may reveal novel strategies to prevent prenatal ZIKV brain calcification and offer important insights into how calcifications form in other congenital infections. (2021-01-28)

New gene variant linked to stroke
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden believe they have identified a gene variant that can cause cerebral small vessel disease and stroke. The study is published in Neurology Genetics. (2021-01-28)

Unlocking PTSD: New study reveals why trauma-focused psychotherapy treatment works
MEDIA: Trauma-focused psychotherapy is the best-known treatment for PTSD. But how does it work? Dell Med researcher Greg Fonzo says he may have found the answer by exploring how different parts of the brain talk to one another. (2021-01-27)

When simpler is harder
Some languages require less neural activity than others. But these are not necessarily the ones we would imagine. In a study published today in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers at the University of Zurich have shown that languages that are often considered 'easy' actually require an enormous amount of work from our brains. (2021-01-27)

How does the immune system keep tabs on the brain?
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that immune cells stationed in the meninges, the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord, monitor the brain and initiate an immune response if they detect a problem. (2021-01-27)

In a tight spot
A newly discovered circuit helps fish to prioritize. (2021-01-27)

Squeeze it like toothpaste: The flexible brain of marsupial mammals
Being stretchy and squeezable may be the key to finding space for the brain in mammals, including humans. An international study, co-led by Flinders University's Vera Weisbecker, has revealed that marsupial mammals like possums, kangaroos, and wombats appear to have a lot of flexibility when it comes to accommodating their brains into their skulls. (2021-01-27)

Wirelessly rechargeable soft brain implant controls brain cells
Researchers have invented a smartphone-controlled soft brain implant that can be recharged wirelessly from outside the body. It enables long-term neural circuit manipulation without the need for periodic disruptive surgeries to replace the battery of the implant. Scientists believe this technology can help uncover and treat psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as addiction, depression, and Parkinson's. (2021-01-26)

Multiple sclerosis: Immune cells silence neurons by removing synapses
Damage to the brain gray matter plays an important role in the progression of multiple sclerosis. This study now shows that such damage can be caused by inflammatory reactions that lead to loss of synapses, which impairs neural activity. (2021-01-26)

New study: Malaria tricks the brain's defence system
Malaria is one of the most common causes of death in children in Africa. When the parasite builds up in the blood vessels of the brain, it develops into one of the most dangerous forms of the disease, cerebral malaria. Though it wasn't certain if the parasite was able to penetrate the brain tissue, now researchers from the University of Copenhagen have found parasites can do that and have mapped the mechanism they utilise. (2021-01-26)

Fine tuning first-responder immune cells may reduce TBI damage
Immediately after a traumatic brain injury and as long as one year later, there are increased levels of immune cells called ILCs in the brain promoting inflammation, which can worsen brain damage, scientists report. They also report for the first time that the cell energy sensor AMPK is a brake that can stop what becomes a chronic state of destructive inflammation driven by these ILCs, or innate lymphoid cells. (2021-01-25)

Stimulating brain pathways shows origins of human language and memory
Scientists have identified that the evolutionary development of human and primate brains may have been similar for communication and memory. (2021-01-25)

Researchers develop promising way to find new cancer drugs
The enzymes in human cells known as histone deacetylases, or HDACs, are targets for a handful of anticancer drugs because of their ability to affect gene expression. Now, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have developed a new method to investigate how these enzymes work on a molecular level. This new method can also help identify more precise possible anti-cancer drug candidates at a very high pace. (2021-01-25)

Immune cells found in the brain are behind the depression experienced in inflammation
Special immune cells found in the brain, microglia, play a key role in the processes that make you feel uneasy and depressed in correlation with inflammation. This is the conclusion of a study using mice carried out by researchers at Linköping University, Sweden. The results have been published in the scientific journal Immunity, and suggest that microglial cells contribute to the negative mood experienced during several neurological diseases, and maybe also depression. (2021-01-25)

Epilepsy research focused on astrocytes
A significant number of epilepsy patients does not respond to currently available drugs. A collaboration between researchers in Japan and at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) now addressed a cell type in the brain that has so far not received much attention in epilepsy therapy. In the current edition of the Journal of Neuroscience, they describe that astrocytes might be a potential new target to better treat this disease. (2021-01-25)

Musicians have more connected brains than non-musicians
The brains of musicians have stronger structural and functional connections compared to those of non-musicians, regardless of innate pitch ability, according to new research from JNeurosci. (2021-01-25)

Newly discovered subset of brain cells fight inflammation with instructions from the gut
A team led by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, has shown that a specific astrocyte sub-population can do the opposite, instead serving a protective, anti-inflammatory function within the brain based on signals regulated by the bacteria that reside in the gut. (2021-01-25)

MRI helps unravel the mysteries of sleep
Scientists at EPFL and the Universities of Geneva, Cape Town and Bochum have joined forces to investigate brain activity during sleep with the help of MRI scans. It turns out our brains are much more active than we thought. (2021-01-22)

A study explores the alteration of the functional dynamics of the human brain associated with ageing
A study published in Cerebral Cortex, led by Gustavo Deco, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, with Anira Escrichs as first author, in collaboration with several research centres in Lleida and Girona and participation by the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg (Canada). (2021-01-22)

New technique to fast-track pain research
Scientists have for the first time established a sensory neuron model able to mass-reproduce two key sensory neuron types involved in pain sensation, enabling the easy generation of large numbers of the cells to fast-track chronic pain research. Using a new technique, researchers at Flinders University have found a way to reproduce millions of the cells, providing ample resources for the simultaneous testing of thousands of samples or potential drug libraries. (2021-01-21)

Size of connections between nerve cells determines their signaling strength
Nerve cells communicate with one another via synapses. Neuroscientists at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have now found that these connections seem to be much more powerful than previously thought. The larger the synapse, the stronger the signal it transmits. These findings will enable a better understanding of how the brain functions and how neurological disorders arise. (2021-01-21)

New Parkinson's disease therapeutics discovered by Ben-Gurion U researchers
Dr. Claude Brodski, M.D., head of the BGU's Laboratory for Molecular Neuroscience, discovered that BMP5/7 signaling in neurons was significantly reduced in dopamine-producing brain cells, which could contribute to Parkinson's disease advancement. (2021-01-20)

Automated imaging reveals where TAU protein originates in the brain in Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have developed an automated method that can track the development of harmful clumps of TAU protein related to Alzheimer's disease in the brain, according to work involving 443 individuals. (2021-01-20)

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