Current Brainstem News and Events

Current Brainstem News and Events, Brainstem News Articles.
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Auditory brainstem pathways do not develop properly without microglia
Auditory pathways in the brainstem do not fully mature without microglia clearing away extra cell connections. This crucial function occurs even when pruning by microglia is delayed, according to new research published in eNeuro. (2021-02-08)

First observation of the early link between proteins linked to Alzheimer's disease
Study conducted by researchers from the GIGA CRC In vivo Imaging laboratory at ULi├Ęge demonstrates, for the first time in humans, how the first deposits of tau proteins in the brainstem are associated with neurophysiological processes specific to the early stages of Alzheimer's disease development. (2021-01-25)

Neuronal circuits for fine motor skills
Writing, driving a screw or throwing darts are only some of the activities that demand a high level of skill. How the brain masters such exquisite movements has now been described in the journal ''Nature'' by a team of researchers at the University of Basel and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research. A map of brainstem circuits reveals which neurons control the fine motor skills of the arm and hand. (2021-01-06)

Study sheds new light on how the brain distinguishes speech from noise
For the first time, researchers have provided physiological evidence that a pervasive neuromodulation system - a group of neurons that regulate the functioning of more specialized neurons - strongly influences sound processing in an important auditory region of the brain. The neuromodulator, acetylcholine, may even help the main auditory brain circuitry distinguish speech from noise. (2020-12-20)

New mechanism of pain control revealed
Researchers have identified a unique population of astrocytes in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord of mice that produces pain hypersensitivity when activated by neurons carrying signals down from the brain. The findings indicate that the role of descending neurons in controlling spinal pain transmission is not limited to suppression and point to this group of astrocytes as a new target for enhancing the effect of chronic pain treatments. (2020-11-25)

Re-mapping taste in the brain
A new study from Stony Brook University found that the map of neural responses mediating taste perception does not involve, as previously believed, specialized groups of neurons in the brain, but rather overlapping and spatially distributed populations. (2020-11-12)

Hearing test may detect autism in newborns
University of Miami and Harvard Medical School researchers who explored responses to the standard hearing test administered to millions of newborns around the world are closing in on a way to detect early indicators of autism--perhaps as early as at birth. (2020-11-12)

Should I run, or should I not? The neural basis of aggression and flight
Researchers in the Gross group at EMBL Rome have investigated the mechanism behind defensive behaviour in mice. They have identified a specific area of the brain that encodes both spatial and threat cues to drive location-specific defensive responses. (2020-10-29)

Brainstem neurons control both behaviour and misbehaviour
A recent study at the University of Helsinki reveals how gene control mechanisms define the identity of developing neurons in the brainstem. The researchers also showed that a failure in differentiation of the brainstem neurons leads to behavioural abnormalities, including hyperactivity and attention deficit. (2020-10-29)

The good cough and the bad cough
Researchers might be able to treat a troublesome cough in disease without disrupting the protective cough we need for optimal lung health, by targeting the different brain circuits involved. That's according to new research published today in The Journal of Physiology. (2020-10-07)

Evidence of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's & MND in brains of young people exposed to dirty air
After examining the brainstems of 186 young Mexico City residents aged between 11 months and 27 years of age, researchers, including Professor Barbara Maher from Lancaster University, found markers not only of Alzheimer's disease, but also of Parkinson's and of motor neurone disease (MND) too. These markers of disease were coupled with the presence of tiny, distinctive nanoparticles within the brainstem - their appearance and composition indicating they were likely to come from vehicle pollution. (2020-10-06)

New clues about the link between stress and depression
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have identified a protein in the brain that is important both for the function of the mood-regulating substance serotonin and for the release of stress hormones, at least in mice. The findings, which are published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, may have implications for the development of new drugs for depression and anxiety. (2020-10-02)

Obstructive sleep apnea risk varies in patients with different types of epilepsy
People with generalized epilepsy who have seizures arising from both sides of the brain simultaneously, have a higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) compared to patients who have focal epilepsy where seizures emanate from one area of the brain, according to a Rutgers study. (2020-09-29)

Research confirms link between sleep apnea and Alzheimer's disease
New research shows damage in the brain starts in the same place and spreads in the same way in sleep apnea, as in Alzheimer's disease. The study is the first to find Alzheimer's-like amyloid plaques in the brains of people with clinically-verified obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that affects more than 936 million people worldwide. (2020-09-28)

New UBCO study examines pain tolerance among cannabis users
A recent study examining pain among cannabis users suggests that--unlike long-term opioid use--regular cannabis use does not appear to increase pain sensitivity. Doctoral student Michelle St. Pierre, who conducts research in the psychology department at UBC Okanagan, recently published a study looking for differences in pain tolerance of people who frequently use cannabis compared to those who don't. (2020-09-10)

Brainstem protein mediates exercise-based stress relief
Exercise fights off stress by increasing levels of the brain protein galanin, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci. (2020-08-31)

LSU Health study explains multipronged SARS-CoV-2 attack and widepread COVID-19 infection
A study of a gateway receptor for SARS-CoV-2 led by Walter Lukiw, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Neurology and Ophthalmology at LSU Health New Orleans' Neuroscience Center of Excellence and School of Medicine, may help explain the wide variety of symptoms and organs involved with SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. The results suggest that a multi-organ infection with SARS-CoV-2 may be via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, which is found almost everywhere throughout the body. (2020-08-28)

Researchers find the 'brain's steering wheel' in the brainstem of mice
In a new study in mice, neuroscientists from the University of Copenhagen have found neurons in the brain that control how the mice turn right and left. They hope that the new knowledge can be used in connection with motor disorders in humans. (2020-05-12)

Changes in brain attention may underlie autism
New research in JNeurosci explores how a particular region of the brainstem might explain differences in attention in people with autism. (2020-04-06)

Gut communicates with the entire brain through cross-talking neurons
You know that feeling in your gut? We think of it as an innate intuition that sparks deep in the belly and helps guide our actions, if we let it. It's also a metaphor for what scientists call the 'gut-brain axis,' a biological reality in which the gut and its microbial inhabitants send signals to the brain, and vice versa. (2020-04-02)

To sleep deeply: The brainstem neurons that regulate non-REM sleep
University of Tsukuba researchers identified neurons that promote non-REM sleep in the brainstem in mice. These neurons commonly expressed the gene that encodes the neuropeptide neurotensin. Activation of these neurons induced non-REM sleep. Moreover, direct administration of neurotensin into the ventricle induced NREM sleep-like brain activity. These findings contribute to our understanding of sleep promotion and sleep disorders, and could tell us more about the evolution of sleep architecture in mammals. (2020-03-23)

Binaural beats synchronize brain activity, don't affect mood
An auditory illusion thought to synchronize brain waves and alter mood is no more effective than other sounds, according to research in adults recently published in eNeuro. The effect reported in other studies might be a placebo but could still have helpful effects for some people. (2020-02-17)

Identified a brain circuit that could indicate the risk of developing Alzheimer's
The first brain changes associated with Alzheimer disease may appear years before the first symptoms. A study has provided evidences that a poor neuronal connection between the brainstem and cerebellum may be predictive of the risk of developing Alzheimer's. (2020-02-12)

Fiber crossings ahead: Key enzymes affecting nervous system pathway identified
University of Tsukuba researchers found the absence of enzymes key for corticospinal tract guidance, Sulf1 and Sulf2, results in abnormal anatomy of the corticospinal tract and impairments in fine motor function. The corticospinal tract of Sulf1/Sulf2 knockout mice showed abnormal fiber crossing at the pyramidal decussation. As a result, bilateral movement was seen when stimulating only one side of the brain, and mice had impaired fine motor control. (2020-02-05)

Locomotor engine in the spinal cord revealed
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have revealed a new principle of organization which explains how locomotion is coordinated in vertebrates akin to an engine with three gears. The results are published in the scientific journal Neuron. (2020-01-22)

Study: Neuron found in mice could have implications for effective diet drugs
A CALCR cell found in mice may stop feeding without subsequential nauseating effects, as well as influence the long term intake of food. (2020-01-17)

Surgery may add months or years of survival for adults with rare and deadly brain cancers
For adult patients with brainstem high-grade gliomas -- one of the rarest and deadliest forms of brain cancer -- surgically removing the entire tumor may add many months or potentially years of survival beyond that offered by radiation and chemotherapy, according to results of a medical records study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. (2020-01-09)

Cytoskeletal proteins play maintenance roles in neurotransmission
Researchers in the Cellular and Molecular Synaptic Function Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have elucidated the roles of cytoskeletal proteins at the giant presynaptic terminal, called the calyx of Held, visualized in rat brainstem slices. (2019-12-24)

Scientists discover key neural circuit regulating alcohol consumption
Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, UNC-Chapel Hill research pinpoints a specific neural circuit that when altered caused animal models to drink less alcohol. (2019-12-12)

Brain biomarker predicts compulsive drinking in mice
A neural circuit in the brains of mice controls the development of compulsive drinking disorders, according to a new study. (2019-11-21)

What leads to compulsive alcohol use? New experiments into binge drinking provide answers
New study from neuroscientists at Vanderbilt provides initial answers to long-standing scientific questions on what causes the transition from moderate to compulsive alcohol consumption - and what makes some drinkers particularly vulnerable to developing alcohol use disorders. (2019-11-21)

Where does Parkinson's disease start? In the brain or gut? Or both?
Does Parkinson's disease (PD) start in the brain or the gut? In a new contribution published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, scientists hypothesize that PD can be divided into two subtypes: gut-first, originating in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) of the gut and spreading to the brain; and brain-first, originating in the brain, or entering the brain via the olfactory system, and spreading to the brainstem and peripheral nervous system. (2019-11-07)

Gene variants influence size of brainstem, other structures
Three-hundred researchers from 3 large consortiums, including researchers from UT Health San Antonio, identified 48 common genetic variants that are associated with the size of the brainstem and other subcortical structures deep within the brain. This is the first step toward understanding how to devise treatments for disorders affecting these structures. (2019-10-21)

EPFL is developing next-generation soft hearing implants
Working with clinicians from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School, a team of EPFL researchers has developed a conformable electrode implant that will allow people with a dysfunctional inner ear to hear again. This new device could replace existing auditory brainstem implants, which have a number of shortcomings. (2019-10-16)

Neurological signals from the spinal cord surprise scientists
With a study of the network between nerve and muscle cells in turtles, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have gained new insight into the way in which movements are generated and maintained. In the long term, the new knowledge may have an impact on the treatment of, for example, ALS and spinal cord injuries. (2019-09-19)

Two studies show promise, safety of proton therapy in the brain in children with cancer
From improving outcomes in children with brain cancer to lowering the risk of damage to the brainstem in children with central nervous system tumors, a pair of new studies published today add to the growing body of research showing the potential benefits of proton therapy. (2019-09-12)

Cause of congenital nystagmus found
Researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience have overturned the long held view that congenital nystagmus, a condition where eyes make repetitive involuntary movements, is a brain disorder by showing that its cause is actually retinal. Deficits in just a few proteins involved in one of the retina's earliest light-signal processing steps result in the eye sending an erroneous movement signal to the brain rhythmically. (2019-09-12)

Dynamic reorganization of brain circuit with post-stroke rehabilitation
Nagoya City University researchers have revealed an interaction between cortico-brainstem pathways during training-induced recovery in stroke model rats. The researchers demonstrated that the rapid compensatory recruitment of the cortex-to-brainstem pathways occurred when other responsible motor circuits failed to function. This dynamic recruitment of the cortex-to-brainstem pathways is a key factor for functional recovery in intensive rehabilitation after stroke. (2019-09-11)

How the eyes might be windows to the risk of Alzheimer's disease
UC San Diego researchers say that measuring how quickly a person's pupil dilates while they are taking cognitive tests may be a low-cost, low-invasive method to aid in screening individuals at increased genetic risk for AD before cognitive decline begins. (2019-09-10)

How our brain filters sounds
When two identical sounds are repeated quickly, a filter reduces the attention that the brain directs to the second sound it hears. In people with schizophrenia, this ability to reduce the brain's response to identical sounds does not function properly. But the question is: Why? Neuroscientists (UNIGE) have been investigating the mechanism that lies behind this auditory sensory gating. Their results show that the filtering begins at the very beginning of the auditory stimuli processing. (2019-09-06)

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