Current Neurobiology News and Events

Current Neurobiology News and Events, Neurobiology News Articles.
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Machine learning could aid mental health diagnoses
A way of using machine learning to more accurately identify patients with a mix of psychotic and depressive symptoms has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham. (2021-02-08)

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)

Turning on the switch for plasticity in the human brain
Shigeki Watanabe and colleagues describe how glutamate signals are transmitted across synapses to turn on the switch for synapatic plasticity, the ability of synapses to strengthen or weaken over time in response to increases or decreases in their activity. (2021-01-29)

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)

Chronic stress? Zebrafish to the rescue
A team of researchers led by MIPT's Allan Kalueff has studied chronic stress in zebrafish and determined that the animal can serve as a valuable model species for research into the associated brain diseases, complementing research currently done on rodents. The paper was published in Scientific Reports. (2020-12-14)

Early signs of Alzheimer's disease in people with Down's syndrome
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have studied the incidence and regional distribution of Alzheimer's disease biomarkers in the brains of people with Down's syndrome. The results can bring new possibilities for earlier diagnosis and preventive treatment of dementia. The study is published in Molecular Neurodegeneration. (2020-11-22)

The very hungry, angry caterpillars
In the absence of milkweed--their favorite food--monarch butterfly caterpillars (Danaus plexippus) go from peaceful feeders to aggressive fighters. Researchers reporting in the journal iScience on November 19 observed that caterpillars with less access to food were more likely to lunge at others to knock them aside, and caterpillars were most aggressive during the final stages before metamorphosis. (2020-11-19)

The protein dress of a neuron
New method marks proteins and reveals the receptors in which neurons are dressed (2020-11-01)

New study finds antidepressant drug effective in treating "lazy eye" in adults
In a new study, published in Current Biology, researchers from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine reveal how subanesthetic ketamine, which is used for pain management and as an antidepressant in humans, is effective in treating adult amblyopia, a brain disorder commonly known as ''lazy eye.'' (2020-09-30)

Repeated pregnancy loss may be tied to the olfactory system
Understanding the connection could lead to a new search for the causes of unexplained spontaneous miscarriage (2020-09-29)

Novel Drosophila-based disease model to study human intellectual disability syndrome
The researchers from the TalTech molecular neurobiology laboratory headed by professor Tõnis Timmusk used the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster to develop a novel disease model for Pitt-Hopkins syndrome (PTHS). Their study was reported in the July issue of Disease Models and Mechanisms. (2020-09-29)

Tone of voice matters in neuronal communication
Neuronal communication is so fast, and at such a small scale, that it is exceedingly difficult to explain precisely how it occurs. An observation in the Neurobiology course at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), enabled by a custom imaging system, has led to a clear understanding of how neurons communicate with each other by modulating the ''tone'' of their signal, which previously had eluded the field. (2020-09-28)

Cocaine addiction: Impact of genetic mutations elucidated
Cocaine addiction is a chronic disorder with a high rate of relapse for which no effective treatment is currently available. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, the CNRS, Inserm and the Paris Public Hospital Network (AP-HP) recently demonstrated that two gene mutations involved in the conformation of nicotinic receptors in the brain appear to play a role in various aspects of cocaine addiction. (2020-09-25)

Decreased protein degradation in cerebellum leads to motor dysfunction
A research team from Kumamoto University, Japan has developed an animal model that reproduces motor dysfunction and cerebellar neurodegeneration similar to that in spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) by inhibiting chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) in cerebellar neurons. Since CMA activity is reduced in cells expressing SCA causing proteins, CMA is expected to become a new therapeutic target for SCA--a disease that currently has no basic treatment. (2020-09-23)

How the brain's inner clock measures seconds
UCLA researchers have pinpointed a second hand to the brain's internal clock. By revealing how and where the brain counts and represents seconds, the UCLA discovery will expand scientists' understanding of normal and abnormal brain function. (2020-09-17)

Genetic factors in chronic versus episodic migraine
According to existing estimates, migraine is a highly prevalent ailment, with about 15 percent of global population suffering from it at one time or another. In Russia, the ratio is as high as 20 percent. The current diagnostics and treatment methods are strictly clinical, i. e. they are based on a patient's complaints. (2020-09-14)

Adaptation in single neurons provides memory for language processing
To understand language, we have to remember the words that were uttered and combine them into an interpretation. How does the brain retain information long enough to accomplish this, despite the fact that neuronal firing events are very short-lived? Hartmut Fitz from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and his colleagues propose a neurobiological explanation bridging this discrepancy. Neurons change their spike rate based on experience and this adaptation provides memory for sentence processing. (2020-08-12)

UCI researchers publish new guide for viral tracers in neural circuit mapping
Researchers from the newly-established Center for Neural Circuit Mapping at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine evaluate the properties of anterograde and retrograde viral tracers, comparing their strengths and limitations for use in neural circuit mapping. Results were published today as a primer in Neuron. (2020-08-04)

Calcium channel subunits play a major role in autistic disorders
Neurobiologists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany have found new evidence that specific calcium channel subunits play a crucial role in the development of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. (2020-07-22)

Brain network mechanism causing spatial memory impairment revealed
Patients with Alzheimer's disease frequently suffer from spatial memory loss, such as no recognition of where they are, and forgetting where they put their belongings. They often show a wandering symptom, which is also a feature of spatial memory impairment. Until now, the brain network mechanism that causes spatial memory impairment had been unclear. (2020-07-21)

A complex gene program initiates brain changes in response to cocaine
Researchers used single-nucleus RNA sequencing to compare transcriptional responses to acute cocaine in 16 unique cell populations from the brain nucleus accumbens. The atlas is part of a major study that used multiple cutting-edge technologies to describe a dopamine-induced gene expression signature that regulates the brain's response to cocaine. The study shows neurobiological processes that control drug-related adaptations and reveals new information about how transcriptional mechanisms regulate activity-dependent processes within the central nervous system. (2020-07-09)

Weizmann Institute scientists develop 'sniff test' that predicts recovery of consciousness in brain
If an unconscious person responds to smell through a slight change in their nasal airflow pattern -- they are likely to regain consciousness. This is the conclusion from a new study conducted by Weizmann Institute scientists and colleagues at the Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital, Israel. (2020-05-21)

New therapeutic targets for treating memory impairment in Down syndrome
Researchers from Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute studied the neural basis of intellectual disability in mice with Down syndrome and discovered that the neural networks of brain circuits relevant to memory and learning are over-activated and that the connectivity of these circuits is poor. They also identified biomarkers in brain rhythms that can predict memory deficits in the mice which are corrected by chronic treatment with a natural component of green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (2020-05-05)

New players in the programmed cell death mechanism
Skoltech researchers have identified a set of proteins that are important in the process of apoptosis, or programmed cell death. These newly identified proteins can become targets in the development of drugs against cancer or other diseases. (2020-04-30)

New imaging technique sheds light on adult zebrafish brain
Cornell scientists have developed a new technique for imaging a zebrafish's brain at all stages of its development, which could have implications for the study of human brain disorders, including autism. (2020-04-29)

KU Leuven researchers unravel protein mystery of three brain diseases
The accumulation of one particular protein in the brain is at the basis of three very different age-related conditions. Until recently, nobody understood how this was possible. Research by the Laboratory for Neurobiology and Gene Therapy (KU Leuven) now reveals that the shape of the protein determines the clinical picture. (2020-04-29)

Worm nerve responses for good and bad
Studies on a tiny soil worm help explain how animal nervous systems translate external signals as 'good' or 'bad' in order to elicit the appropriate response. (2020-03-13)

Moderate intensity exercise can benefit memory performance
University of Kent research has found that moderate intensity exercise such as brisk walking, water aerobics or cycling can have the most beneficial effect on memory performance. These findings suggest that it is not necessary for people to carry out highly strenuous exercise to achieve observable improvements in long-term memory, as moderate exercise can have a more positive influence. (2020-02-17)

Shaping the social networks of neurons
Identification of a protein complex that attracts or repels nerve cells during development. (2020-01-24)

Reelin reverts the main pathological processes related to Alzheimer's and other tauopathy
Promoting the signalling pathway of reelin -an essential extracellular protein for the neuronal migration and synaptic plasticity- could be an effective therapeutical strategy to counterbalance the main cognitive, biochemical and behavioural alterations seen in Alzheimer's and other pathologies associated with Tau protein, as shown in a new study with animal models -published in the journal Progress in Neurobiology. (2020-01-23)

Scientists shed light on surprising visual development patterns
Neuroscientists reveal a surprising clue about how this intricate visual processing system forms during early brain development. (2020-01-20)

Brain imaging may improve diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders
Brain imaging may one day be used to help diagnose mental health disorders--including depression and anxiety--with greater accuracy, according to a new study conducted in a large sample of youth at the University of Pennsylvania and led by Antonia Kaczkurkin, PhD and Theodore Satterthwaite, MD. (2020-01-16)

Using caffeine as a tool to study information processing
Researchers are using caffeine to study how the brain processes information, and a new study shows the effectiveness of this approach. (2020-01-13)

Scientists discover medicinal cannabis substitute for treating Parkinson's disease
A drug that provides the benefits obtained from medicinal cannabis without the 'high' or other side effects may help to unlock a new treatment for Parkinson's disease. (2019-12-19)

How minds make meaning
Meaning is central to language. But how do we combine the building blocks of thought and language to compose meaning? A special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, edited by Andrea E. Martin from the Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics and Giosuè Baggio from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, brings together fifteen contributions from the fields of linguistics, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and computer science to answer this age-old question. (2019-12-16)

Emerging role of adenosine in brain disorders and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
The role of adenosine in neurodegeneration and neuroregeneration has led to growing attention on adenosine receptors as potential drug targets in a range of brain disorders, including neuroregenerative therapy and treatment for amyotrophyic lateral sclerosis (ALS). (2019-12-06)

New cell therapy improves memory and stops seizures following TBI
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine developed a breakthrough cell therapy to improve memory and prevent seizures in mice following traumatic brain injury. The study, titled ''Transplanted interneurons improve memory precision after traumatic brain injury,'' was published today in Nature Communications. (2019-11-15)

For the first time: A method for measuring animal personality
A study on mice shows animal research may need to take into account the connection between genes, behavior and personality. (2019-11-11)

An exception to the rule: An intact sense of smell without a crucial olfactory brain structure
A handful of left-handed women have excellent senses of smell, despite lacking olfactory bulbs. (2019-11-11)

Skull features among Asian and Asian-derived groups differ significantly
Forensic anthropologists have now discovered that several skull features in Asian and Asian-derived groups differ significantly with regard to shape, such that they can be distinguished using statistical analyses. These findings highlight the future potential for developing more nuanced statistical methods that can potentially differentiate between groups that comprise the broad 'Asian' ancestral category in forensic casework. (2019-11-07)

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