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Current Motor Neurons News and Events, Motor Neurons News Articles.
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Who you see matters: Stroke patients benefit more from observing their own hand movements during therapy
Japanese scientists at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) have found that for stroke patients, observing their own hand movements in a video-assisted therapy -- as opposed to someone else's hand -- could enhance brain activity and speed up rehabilitation. (2019-08-23)

Cell suicide could hold key for brain health and food security
Research into the self-destruction of cells in humans and plants could lead to treatments for neurodegenerative brain diseases and the development of disease-resistant plants. A study co-led by The University of Queensland's Professor Bostjan Kobe identified the role certain proteins play in cellular suicide. (2019-08-22)

Scratching the surface of how your brain senses an itch
Light touch plays a critical role in everyday tasks, such as picking up a glass or playing a musical instrument, as well as for detecting the touch of, say, biting insects. Salk researchers have discovered how neurons in the spinal cord help transmit such itch signals to the brain. The findings could help contribute to a better understanding of itch and could lead to new drugs to treat chronic itch, which occurs in such conditions as eczema, diabetes and even some cancers. (2019-08-22)

New method classifies brain cells based on electrical signals
A team of neuroscientists at the University of Tuebingen and MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory shows how to distinguish four classes of brain cells by their spike waveforms. The advance offers brain researchers the chance to better understand how different kinds of neurons are contributing to behavior, perception and memory, and how they are malfunctioning in cases of psychiatric or neurological diseases. (2019-08-22)

Brain finds order amidst chaos
How does the brain find order amidst a sea of noise and chaos? Researchers at the EPFL Blue Brain Project have found the answer by using advanced simulation techniques to investigate the way neurons talk to each other. In a paper published in Nature Communications, they found that by working as a team, cortical neurons can respond even to weak input against the backdrop of noise and chaos, allowing the brain to find order. (2019-08-22)

Physicists create world's smallest engine
The research explains how random fluctuations affect the operation of microscopic machines like this tiny motor. In the future, such devices could be incorporated into other technologies to recycle waste heat and thus improve energy efficiency. (2019-08-21)

Multi-tasking protein at the root of neuropathic pain
Neuropathic pain is a chronic condition resulting from nerve injury and is characterized by increased pain sensitivity. Although known to be associated with overly excitable neurons in the spinal cord, the mechanisms leading to chronic pain are poorly understood. Researchers from Osaka University have now shown that expression of a protein called FLRT3 in the spinal dorsal root ganglion causes pain sensitization, which can be alleviated by treatment with FLRT3-blocking antibodies. (2019-08-20)

Single protein plays important dual transport roles in the brain
Edwin Chapman of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of Wisconsin-Madison reports that halting production of synaptotagmin 17 (syt-17) blocks growth of axons. Equally significant, when cells made more syt-17, axon growth accelerated. A wide range of neurological conditions could benefit from the growth of axons, including spinal cord injuries and some neurodegenerative diseases. (2019-08-19)

Stanford researchers enhance neuron recovery in rats after blood flow stalls
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine report in a new study that they found a way to help rats recover neurons in the brain's center of learning and memory. They accomplished the feat by blocking a molecule that controls how efficiently genetic instructions are used to build proteins. (2019-08-19)

Gene regulation behind the choice of the correct receptor for olfaction
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have uncovered the genetics behind two distinct types of olfactory sensory neurons; the so called 'class I olfactory neurons' that has persisted from aquatic to terrestrial animals and the 'class II olfactory neurons' that only terrestrial animals possess. (2019-08-16)

Tweaked CRISPR in neurons gives scientists new power to probe brain diseases
In a paper published August 15 in the journal Neuron, the researchers describe a technique that uses a special version of CRISPR developed at UCSF to systematically alter the activity of genes in human neurons generated from stem cells, the first successful merger of stem cell-derived cell types and CRISPR screening technologies. (2019-08-15)

Early exposure to manganese could affect teens' cognitive ability and motor control
Early-life exposure to the mineral manganese disrupts the way different areas of the brain involved in cognitive ability and motor control connect in teenagers, Mount Sinai researchers report in a study published in PLOS ONE in August. (2019-08-14)

New technology could aid stem cell transplantation research
Nanotechnology developed at Rutgers University-New Brunswick could boost research on stem cell transplantation, which may help people with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, other neurodegenerative diseases and central nervous system injuries. (2019-08-14)

Pinpointing how cells regulate long-lasting memories
The brain has a knack for safekeeping our most treasured memories, from a first kiss to a child's birth. In a new study in mouse cells, Columbia neuroscientists have mapped some of the molecular machinery that helps the brain maintain these kinds of long-term memories. (2019-08-12)

Estrogen improves Parkinson's disease symptoms
Brain-selective estrogen treatment improves the symptoms of Parkinson's disease in male mice, according to new research published in JNeurosci. These findings may help explain the sex differences in Parkinson's disease and could lead to estrogen-based treatments. (2019-08-12)

Tissue model reveals role of blood-brain barrier in Alzheimer's
Study shows how the disease allows toxins to pass through the blood-brain barrier, further harming neurons. (2019-08-12)

Take a break! Brain stimulation improves motor learning
In a joint study, Jost-Julian Rumpf from the University of Leipzig and Gesa Hartwigsen from MPI CBS suggest the process of motor learning probably already begins during short interruptions of practice. Further, the solidification process can be improved with brain stimulation. (2019-08-09)

Direct toxic action of beta-amyloid identified
Hyperactive neurons in specific areas of the brain are believed to be an early perturbation in Alzheimer's disease. For the first time, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) was able to explain the reasons and mechanisms underlying this early and therefore important neuronal dysfunction. They found that the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate persists for too long near active neurons. This causes a pathological overstimulation of those neurons -- most likely contributing critically to impaired learning and memory loss in Alzheimer's patients. (2019-08-09)

Biomarker to avoid safety risk for the sleep deprived
New research published today in the The Journal of Physiology shows that a range of eye-movement tests provide a reliable biomarker of individual acute sleep loss. (2019-08-08)

Controlling the shape-shifting skeletons of cells
In studying the dynamic skeletons that cells use to move, Caltech researchers develop a new tool for manipulating chemistry and biology. (2019-08-08)

Rethinking seizures associated with cardiac disease
Research from Washington University in St. Louis finds that mutations of a gene implicated in long QT syndrome in humans may trigger seizures because of their direct effects on certain classes of neurons in the brain -- independent from what the genetic mutations do to heart function. The new work from Arts & Sciences was conducted with fruit flies and is published Aug. 8, 2019 in PLOS Genetics. (2019-08-08)

Decoding touch
Study in mice reveals several distinct molecular mechanisms underlying abnormal touch sensitivity in autism spectrum disorders. Gene mutations in the peripheral nervous system lead to touch aversion and interfere with normal brain development in young mice, underscoring importance of early intervention. Treatment with an old experimental compound that selectively targets the peripheral nervous system without entering the brain reduces abnormal touch sensitivity, normalized certain social behaviors. (2019-08-08)

Researchers identify key proteins for the repair of nerve fibers
Scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) have identified a group of proteins that help to regenerate damaged nerve cells. Their findings are reported in the journal Neuron. (2019-08-07)

Low vitamin D levels linked to non-motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease
In an Acta Neurologica Scandinavia study of 182 patients with Parkinson's disease and 185 healthy controls, patients with Parkinson's disease had significantly lower levels of vitamin D in their blood. Also, patients with lower vitamin D levels were more likely to fall, and to experience sleep problems, depression, and anxiety. (2019-08-07)

Paradoxical outcomes for Zika-exposed tots
Forty-five percent of Zika-exposed infants who had abnormalities at birth had normal test results in the second or third year of life. By contrast, 25% who had normal assessments at birth had below average developmental testing or abnormalities in hearing or vision by age 32 months. (2019-08-02)

Knowing where the center of a space is helps inform spatial awareness
As you enter a new environment such as visiting a classroom for the first time, your brain takes in information about your surroundings to help inform where you are and what direction you are facing. Knowing where the center of the room is located helps provide a reference point for processing space. A Dartmouth study published in Science provides new insight into navigation and spatial learning by examining how the rat brain processes spatial information. (2019-08-02)

New research findings on dizziness of unknown cause
Many patients with functional dizziness look back on a long odyssey to numerous doctors, because no organic causes could be found. Now for the first time, an experiment at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has identified possible causes of the disorder: problems with the processing of sensory-motor signals in the brain that resemble those associated with dizziness due to organic causes. (2019-08-02)

Efficient, interconnected, stable: New carbon nanotubes to grow neurons
Carbon nanotubes able to take on the desired shapes thanks to a special chemical treatment, called crosslinking and, at the same time, able to function as substrata for the growth of nerve cells, finely tuning their growth and activity. The research is a new and important step towards the construction of neuronal regenerative-interfaces to repair spinal injuries (2019-08-02)

'Voltron' imaging tool captures brain cell action in living animals
Janelia scientists have developed a new way to track neural activity. The technique can target specific brain cells and relies on dyes that are brighter and more stable than those currently used. (2019-08-01)

Russian scientists studied the effect of mutations of Alzheimer's disease
A team of neurobiologists from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) published an article on their study of the causes of Alzheimer's disease and suggested therapy methods. The scientists believe the disease is associated with the genes that code the formation of contacts between neurons. The team also discovered a substance that could considerably reduce the negative effect of mutations in these genes. The work was published in Neuroscience. (2019-08-01)

Ground breaking Trinity research shows how MND affects multiple brain networks
Researchers in the Academic Unit of Neurology at Trinity College Dublin have identified characteristic changes in the patterns of electrical brain wave activity in motor neurone disease (MND). This ground breaking observation will help to develop treatments for the disease that affects over 350 people in Ireland.Their findings, published in the recent issue of the journal Human Brain Mapping reveals how MND affects the neural communication in different brain networks. (2019-07-31)

A paradoxical proinflammatory effect of endocannabinoids in the brain discovered
The results of the study in mice are contrary to what had been observed to date in other areas of the brain where endocannabinoids play an anti-inflammatory role. (2019-07-30)

The surprising link between a babies' weeble-wobble and the genetics of motor control
Neuroscientists at the University of Sussex have revealed that complex movements, such as those that maintain our posture, can be controlled by a simple genetic system, providing a framework to better understand the molecular basis of diseases that affect motor control, like Huntington's and Parkinson's. (2019-07-30)

Researchers repair faulty brain circuits using nanotechnology
Working with mouse and human tissue, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report new evidence that a protein pumped out of some -- but not all -- populations of 'helper' cells in the brain, called astrocytes, plays a specific role in directing the formation of connections among neurons needed for learning and forming new memories. (2019-07-30)

Researchers identify specific genetic vulnerabilities to PTSD among US veterans
A genome-wide association study of more than 165,000 US veterans confirms a genetic vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder, specifically noting abnormalities in stress hormone response and/or functioning of specific brain regions. (2019-07-29)

New insights into how the brain works
This study provides new insights into the functional relationships between inhibitory and excitatory neurons in the brain. (2019-07-29)

Key gene behind hallmark of Lou Gehrig's disease identified
Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and their collaborators have pinpointed a key gene behind the formation of a toxic protein in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. As the proteins amass in the debilitating neurodegenerative disease, they damage healthy neurons and block cells' ability to function normally. When the gene's activity was depleted in neurons from patients with ALS and in fruit flies, the lethal protein dropped by about 50%. (2019-07-29)

SLAP microscope smashes speed records
A new 2-photon microscope captures videos of the brain faster than ever, revealing voltage changes and neurotransmitter release. (2019-07-29)

Mechanical forces control cell fate during brain formation
The study shows that during the embryonic development of the brain, the cells that are between adjacent segments detect the mechanical forces generated during morphogenesis to regulate the balance between progenitor stem cells and differentiated neurons. (2019-07-29)

Discovery could lead to new treatments for Parkinson's, other brain diseases
A small protein previously associated with cellular dysfunction and death in fact serves a critical function in repairing breaks in DNA, according to new research. The study is the first to demonstrate the role that alpha-synuclein plays in forestalling the demise of neurons in brain diseases such as Parkinson's. The findings suggest that it may be possible to design new therapies to replace alpha-synuclein's function or boost it in people with Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. (2019-07-29)

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