Current Brain Function News and Events

Current Brain Function News and Events, Brain Function News Articles.
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Beta blockers can repair malformed blood vessels in the brain
Propranolol, a drug that is efficacious against infantile haemangiomas (''strawberry naevi'', resembling birthmarks), can also be used to treat cerebral cavernous malformations, a condition characterised by misshapen blood vessels in the brain and elsewhere. This has been shown by researchers at Uppsala University in a new study published in the scientific journal Stroke. (2021-02-23)

ALS neuron damage reversed with new compound
Scientists have identified the first compound that eliminates the ongoing degeneration of upper motor neurons that become diseased and are a key contributor to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a swift and fatal neurodegenerative disease that paralyzes its victims. In ALS, movement-initiating nerve cells in the brain and muscle-controlling nerve cells in the spinal cord die. After administering the new compound,, the diseased brain neurons stopped degenerating so much that they became similar to healthy control neurons after 60 days of treatment. (2021-02-23)

Seasonal variation in daylight influences brain function
A Finnish research group has studied how seasons influence the function of the brain. Researchers at the Turku PET Centre showed that the length of daylight affects the opioid receptors, which in turn regulates the mood we experience. (2021-02-23)

Immune-compromised people with HIV, APOE4 gene may have a compounded risk for Alzheimer's
People living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who have a history of severe immunosuppression and at least one copy of the Alzheimer's disease-related gene variant APOE4, might see a compounded adverse effect on the circuitry that impacts memory. This could eventually lead to an increased risk for dementia after age 65, according to Georgetown University Medical Center investigators and colleagues. (2021-02-22)

'Mini brain' organoids grown in lab mature much like infant brains
A new study from UCLA and Stanford University researchers finds that three-dimensional human stem cell-derived 'mini brain' organoids can mature in a manner that is strikingly similar to human brain development. (2021-02-22)

Yale scientists repair injured spinal cord using patients' own stem cells
Intravenous injection of bone marrow derived stem cells (MSCs) in patients with spinal cord injuries led to significant improvement in motor functions, researchers from Yale University and Japan report Feb. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery. (2021-02-22)

Politics and the brain: Attention perks up when politicians break with party lines
Building upon previous work studying the brain and politics, Ingrid Haas, associate professor of political science affiliated with Nebraska's Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, examined the insula and anterior cingular cortex in 58 individuals using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and learned that the human brain processes politically incongruent statements differently. (2021-02-22)

Distorting memories helps the brain remember
In order to remember similar events, the brain exaggerates the difference between them. This results in divergent brain activity patterns but better memory performance, according to new research published in JNeurosci. (2021-02-22)

Deep brain stimulation prevents epileptic seizures in mouse model
Scientists led by neurobiologist Prof. Dr. Carola Haas, head of the research group at the Department of Neurosurgery at Medical Center - University of Freiburg and the BrainLinks-BrainTools research center, have investigated a new therapeutic approach to prevent epileptic seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy. They showed in mice that low-frequency stimulation of specific brain areas could completely stop epileptic activity. (2021-02-19)

How the brain processes sign language
Over 70 million deaf people use sign languages as their preferred communication form. Although they access similar brain structures as spoken languages, it hasn't been identified the brain regions that process both forms of language equally. MPI CBS has now discovered that Broca's area in the left hemisphere, central for spoken languages, is also crucial for sign languages. This is where the grammar and meaning are processed, regardless of whether it is spoken or signed language. (2021-02-19)

Study reveals how a longevity gene protects brain stem cells from stress
A gene linked to unusually long lifespans in humans protects brain stem cells from the harmful effects of stress, according to a new study by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators. (2021-02-19)

Study: Preschoolers with higher cardiorespiratory fitness do better on cognitive tests
Researchers report that 4-6-year-old children who walk further than their peers during a timed test - a method used to estimate cardiorespiratory health - also do better on cognitive tests and other measures of brain function. Published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, the study suggests that the link between cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive health is evident even earlier in life than previously appreciated. (2021-02-18)

Researchers uncover new information on the effects of antidepressants
The findings of a new study challenge the prevailing thinking on the primary role of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the effects of antidepressants. (2021-02-18)

How the 'noise' in our brain influences our behavior
The brain's neural activity is irregular, changing from one moment to the next. To date, this apparent ''noise'' has been thought to be due to random natural variations or measurement error. However, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development have shown that this neural variability may provide a unique window into brain function. (2021-02-17)

Protein linked to Alzheimer's, strokes cleared from brain blood vessels
Amyloid deposits in the brain increase the risk of dementia and strokes. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified an antibody that clears amyloid deposits from the brain without raising the risk of brain bleeds. (2021-02-17)

Understanding cellular clock synchronization
In humans, the disruption of circadian clocks is the cause of many metabolic diseases. Thanks to an observation tool based on bioluminescence, a research (UNIGE) were able to demonstrate that cells that compose a particular organ can be in-phase, even in the absence of the central brain clock. Indeed, the scientists managed to restore circadian function in the liver in completely arrhythmic mice, demonstrating that neurons are not unique in their ability to coordinate. (2021-02-17)

New immunotherapy target discovered for malignant brain tumors
Scientists say they have discovered a potential new target for immunotherapy of malignant brain tumors, which so far have resisted the ground-breaking cancer treatment based on harnessing the body's immune system. The discovery, reported in the journal CELL, emerged from laboratory experiments and has no immediate implications for treating patients. (2021-02-15)

Lower testosterone during puberty increases the brain's sensitivity to it in adulthood
Young men with lower testosterone levels throughout puberty become more sensitive to how the hormone influences the brain's responses to faces in adulthood, according to new research published in JNeurosci. (2021-02-15)

Regular caffeine consumption affects brain structure
Coffee, cola or an energy drink: caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance. Researchers from the University of Basel have now shown in a study that regular caffeine intake can change the gray matter of the brain. However, the effect appears to be temporary. (2021-02-15)

Compounds from apples may boost brain function
Natural compounds found in apples and other fruits may help stimulate the production of new brain cells, which may have implications for learning and memory, according to a new study in mice published in Stem Cell Reports. (2021-02-11)

Neandertal genes alter neurodevelopment in modern human brain organoids
Building modern human brain organoids with the Neanderthal variant of a gene has provided a glimpse into the way substitutions in this gene impacted our species' evolution. (2021-02-11)

Function identified of 'mystery protein' that kills brain cells of people with Parkinson's
Scientists have made a 'vital step' towards understanding the origins of Parkinson's Disease - the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. A study published in Nature Communications today (Wednesday 10 February) presents a compelling new evidence about what a key protein called alpha-synuclein actually does in neurons in the brain. (2021-02-10)

Where and when is economic decision-making represented in the brain?
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba report two areas of the monkey brain that represent expected value when making economic decisions. Analyses showed that neuronal activity in the VS and the cOFC provided stable representations of expected value, while other regions that are part of the reward network in the brain did not. State-space analysis revealed that the way expected value was represented over time differed in these two areas. (2021-02-10)

Mediterranean-style diet linked to better thinking skills in later life
People who eat a Mediterranean-style diet--particularly one rich in green leafy vegetables and low in meat--are more likely to stay mentally sharp in later life, a study shows. Closely adhering to a Mediterranean diet was associated with higher scores on a range of memory and thinking tests among adults in their late 70s, the research found. The study found no link, however, between the Mediterranean-style diet and better brain health. (2021-02-10)

Adult neurogenesis may hold clues for more effective treatment of alcoholism
Neuroplasticity, the remarkable ability of the brain to modify and reorganize itself, is affected by or in response to excessive alcohol, whether through individual consumption or exposure in the womb. It is now well accepted that the birth and integration of new neurons continue beyond development and into adulthood. New discoveries and insights on how alcohol impacts this and other plastic processes are discussed in ''Alcohol and Neural Plasticity,'' a special issue of Brain Plasticity. (2021-02-10)

Traumatic stress in childhood can lead to brain changes in adulthood: study
A new study has shown that traumatic or stressful events in childhood may lead to tiny changes in key brain structures that can now be identified decades later. The study is the first to show that trauma or maltreatment during a child's early years--a well-known risk factor for developing mental health conditions such as major depressive disorder in adulthood--triggers changes in specific subregions of the amygdala and the hippocampus. (2021-02-09)

AD diagnostics could become more accessible
A team of researchers from the Laboratory of Biophysics at NUST MISIS, Lomonosov Moscow State University and D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia has summarized metal-containing diagnostic agents for positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging of Alzheimer's disease (AD). According to the researchers, their use could improve access to diagnostic imaging of AD among the risk groups. (2021-02-09)

Can the brain resist the group opinion?
Scientists at HSE University have learned that disagreeing with the opinion of other people leaves a 'trace' in brain activity, which allows the brain to later adjust its opinion in favour of the majority-held point of view. The article was published in Scientific Reports. (2021-02-08)

As you look around, mental images bounce between right and left brain
A new study in Neuron explains how the brain helps us remember what we've seen, even as it shifts around in our visual system. That ability--to remember that something is the same thing no matter how it's moving around relative to our eyes--is what gives us the freedom to control where we look. (2021-02-08)

Brain changed by caffeine in utero, study finds
New research finds caffeine consumed during pregnancy can change important brain pathways that could lead to behavioral problems later in life. Researchers in the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) analyzed thousands of brain scans of nine and ten-year-olds, and revealed changes in the brain structure in children who were exposed to caffeine in utero. (2021-02-08)

Synchronization of brain hemispheres changes what we hear
Most of the time, our brain receives different input from each of our ears, but we nevertheless perceive speech as unified sounds. This process takes place through synchronization of the areas of the brain involved with the help of gamma waves, neurolinguists at the University of Zurich have now discovered. Their findings may lead to new treatment approaches for tinnitus. (2021-02-08)

New research studies 'domino effects' and synchrony in brain activity
Scientists have made a significant breakthrough in the quest to understand the intricate processes that occur in the brain during seizures that are the key symptom of epilepsy. (2021-02-05)

Center for BrainHealth researchers create virtual reality cognitive assessment
Virtual reality isn't just for gaming. Researchers can use virtual reality, or VR, to assess participants' attention, memory and problem-solving abilities in real world settings. By using VR technology to examine how folks complete daily tasks, like making a grocery list, researchers can better help clinical populations that struggle with executive functioning to manage their everyday lives. (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)

Innovation from Vienna: Ultrasound in the treatment of brain diseases
Ultrasound is not only used as an imaging technique but targeted pulses of ultrasound can be used as a highly accurate treatment for a range of brain diseases. A review jointly written by MedUni Vienna and the University of Toronto shows that the new treatments are already on the brink of broad clinical application. (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)

Blink! The link between aerobic fitness and cognition
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found evidence that spontaneous eye blink activity, which reflects activity in the dopaminergic system, explains the connection between fitness and cognitive function. This is the first study to indicate that dopamine has an essential role in linking aerobic fitness and cognition. These findings open the door to new research regarding the mechanisms by which exercise improves brain function, and may lead to novel fitness strategies for enhancing cognition. (2021-02-03)

Study reveals neurons responsible for rapidly stopping behaviors, actions
For the first time in humans, investigators at Cedars-Sinai have identified the neurons responsible for canceling planned behaviors or actions--a highly adaptive skill that when lost, can lead to unwanted movements. (2021-02-03)

Supercomputer in your bedroom
University of Sussex academics have established a method of turbocharging desktop PCs to give them the same capability as supercomputers worth tens of millions of pounds. (2021-02-02)

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