Current Neuron News and Events

Current Neuron News and Events, Neuron News Articles.
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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)

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)

Study shows how some neurons compensate for death of their neighbors
By studying several neuron pairs that innervate distinct muscles in a fruit fly model, researchers found that some neurons compensate for the loss of a neighboring partner. (2021-02-17)

Peeking at the pathfinding strategies of the hippocampus in the brain
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced that the research team led by Sebastien Royer uncovered that place cells in the hippocampus encode spatial information using interchangeably two distinct information processing mechanisms referred to as a rate code and a phase code, somewhat analogue to the number and spatial arrangement of bars in bar codes. In addition, the research team found that parallel neural circuits and information processing mechanisms are used depending on the complexity of the landmarks along the path. (2021-02-15)

Tiny population of neurons may have big role in depression
Medical College of Georgia scientists and their colleagues report the first evidence that, not short-term stress, like a series of tough college exams, rather chronic, unpredictable stress like that which erupts in our personal and professional lives, induces changes in the function of AgRP neurons that may contribute to depression (2021-02-11)

Once bitten, twice shy: the neurology of why one bad curry could put us off for life
A negative experience with food usually leaves us unable to stomach the thought of eating that particular dish again. Using sugar-loving snails as models, researchers at the University of Sussex believe these bad experiences could be causing a switch in our brains, which impacts our future eating habits. (2021-02-11)

Discovering structural diverseness of neurons between brain areas and between cases
Dr. Masanari Itokawa who is the vice president of Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science and colleague by the collaboration with Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI/SPring-8) and Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory identified that the schizophrenia cases showed a thin and tortuous neuronal network compared with the controls (2021-02-10)

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)

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)

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)

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)

A NEAT reduction of complex neuronal models accelerates brain research
Unlike their simple counterparts in artificial intelligence (AI) applications, neurons in the brain use dendrites - their intricate tree-like branches - to find relevant chunks of information. Now, neuroscientists from the University of Bern have discovered a new computational method to make complex dendrite models much simpler. These faithful reductions may lead AI applications to process information much like the brain does. (2021-01-27)

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)

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)

Master designers: Architects of the brain revealed
In a study published in Cell Reports, researchers at Kanazawa University identify pathways in the brain which enable neurons to assemble into functional units resembling tall columns. (2021-01-12)

GridTape: An automated electron microscopy platform
Scientists have developed an automated, faster, and more rapid electron microscopy technique, called GridTape, that enables them to label and read the location of every neuron in a tissue sample. The team used GridTape to map the circuity of the spinal cord nerve of the fruit fly. The technique not only provides a comprehensive map of neuronal circuits; it can also be used to study nerve circuitry in larger animal systems. (2021-01-11)

Scientists paint multi-color atlas of the brain
Columbia scientists have engineered a coloring technique, known as NeuroPAL (a Neuronal Polychromatic Atlas of Landmarks), which makes it possible to identify every single neuron in the mind of a worm. (2021-01-08)

Mouse-controlled mouse helps researchers understand intentional control
Researchers at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre have devised a brain machine interface (BMI) that allows mice to learn to guide a cursor using only their brain activity. By monitoring this mouse-controlled mouse moving to a target location to receive a reward, the researchers were able to study how the brain represents intentional control. (2020-12-22)

CAPTUREing Whole-Body 3D movements
Neuroscientists have made major advances in their quest to study the brain; however, there are no tools to precisely measure the brain's principal output -- behavior -- in freely moving animals. Researchers at Harvard University present CAPTURE, a new method for long-term continuous three-dimension motion tracking in freely behaving animals. Attaching markers to rats' head, trunk, and limbs, researchers can use CAPTURE to record the animal's natural behavior continuously for weeks. (2020-12-18)

How does the brain project manage its learning?
In a paper published today in the prestigious journal Science, a collaboration between University of Ottawa and Humbolt University of Berlin reveals a critical role for a brain area called the perirhinal cortex in managing this learning process. (2020-12-18)

New approach reveals structure and function of individual synapses
An interdisciplinary team of scientists at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience report the results of a novel approach that allowed them to achieve direct measurements of the activity of individual synapses, their size, and their neuron's output signal. Their work challenges predictions of the Hebbian model, demonstrating that synapse size is not correlated with response similarity and suggests neural response properties reflect the total number of active synapses, both weak and strong. (2020-12-16)

Researchers identify neurons that control nausea-like responses in mice
Researchers have identified neurons that regulate nausea-like responses in mice. When these neurons are experimentally turned on, nausea-like responses can be activated regardless of exposure to nausea-triggering substances. Without these neurons, nausea-like responses to poisons are lost. The results shed light on the sensation of nausea and present new targets for the design of improved, more precise antinausea medications. (2020-12-16)

Neuroregenerative gene therapy
Spinal cord injury (SCI) often causes disability and seriously compromises quality of life. The major reasons for the difficulty of treatment for SCI might be due to the fact that many neurons are lost during the injury, leading to permanent loss of neural functions. An innovative gene therapy approach regenerated functional new neurons using local glial cells in the injured spinal cord, bringing new hope to millions of SCI patients worldwide. (2020-12-16)

Accurate neural network computer vision without the 'black box'
New research by a team at Duke University offers clues to what goes on inside the minds of machines as they learn to see. Instead of attempting to account for a neural network's decision-making on a post hoc basis, their method shows how the network learns along the way, by revealing how much the network calls to mind different concepts to help decipher what it sees as the image travels through successive layers. (2020-12-15)

Antiepileptic drug reduces motor neuron excitability in ALS
The antiepileptic drug ezogabine reduced pathologic excitability of cortical and spinal motor neuron cells that are early signs of clinical dysfunction in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a study conducted by the Neurological Clinical Research Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). In addition, the multi-site study involves the first clinical investigation of ALS using a drug identified through an induced pluripotent stem cell model. (2020-12-10)

Predicting epilepsy from neural network models
A new study published in EPJ B shows how 'tipping points' in the brain, responsible for diseases including epilepsy, can be better predicted by accounting for branches in networks of neurons. (2020-12-08)

Brain clears the way for binocular vision even before eyes are open
The brain architecture of binocular vision is laid down even before a young mouse's eyes are open. About half of the chandelier cells, so-named because they have many long extensions that control the firing of hundreds of excitatory pyramidal neurons, are selectively pruned from the developing mouse visual cortex by a process of programmed cell death called apoptosis. (2020-12-07)

New fundamental knowledge of the 'abdominal brain'
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have succeeded in mapping the neuron types comprising the enteric nervous system in the intestine of mice. The study, which is published today in the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience, also describes how the different neurons form during fetal development, a process that follows different principles to brain neurons. (2020-12-07)

Researchers find how stress and the circadian clock affect sleep
Japanese researchers have found a new neural pathway that links the circadian clock, stress, and wakefulness in mammals. They identified a neuron that becomes excessively active when the mammal is under stress, which could trigger insomnia and other sleep disorders. (2020-11-30)

Neuroscientists measure fans' reactions to the big game
In a study published November 25 in the journal Neuron, researchers show how the feelings of surprise experienced while watching sports creates shifts in brain patterns. These shifts are important for neuroscientists to understand because they contribute to the formation of memories that are particularly strong. (2020-11-25)

Basketball on the brain: Neuroscientists use sports to study surprise
Princeton neuroscientists tracked the brains and pupils of self-described basketball fans as they watched March Madness games, to study how people process surprise -- an unexpected change of circumstances that shifts an anticipated outcome. They found that that shifts in the pattern of activity in high-level brain areas only happened at moments that contradicted the watchers' current beliefs about which team was more likely to win. (2020-11-25)

Research shows the intrinsically nonlinear nature of receptive fields in vision
According to a study led by Marcelo Bertalmío, a researcher at the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, published in the journal of the group Nature, Scientific Reports, which proposes a paradigm shift for both vision science and for artificial intelligence. (2020-11-23)

Proteins in motion
Membrane proteins are more efficient at reaching distal dendrites than soluble proteins (2020-11-21)

Dormant threat: Abnormal proteins unleash latent toxicity in neurodegenerative diseases
Though neurodegenerative diseases are becoming more common in today's aging societies, the exact way in which accumulated abnormal proteins become toxic to neurons is unknown. In a recent study conducted at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, scientists have discovered a new mechanism of action by which these abnormal proteins actually unlock the normally latent toxicity of native proteins. Their results represent a completely new avenue toward the development of effective therapies. (2020-11-20)

Lovestruck by oxytocin! Novel roles of the hormone in controlling male sexual function
Hormones are the master regulators of sexual functions in mammals. The hormone oxytocin has a well-established role in social bonding, sexual function, maternal instinct, nursing, and lactation. Researchers from Okayama University have now explored the roles of oxytocin in male sexual function for the first time. Findings from the study suggest that oxytocin-mediated control of male sexual function via the spinal cord may in fact be instrumental in treating erectile dysfunction. (2020-11-18)

Researchers improve neuronal reprogramming by manipulating mitochondria
Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München and Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU) have identified a hurdle towards an efficient conversion: the cell metabolism. By expressing neuron-enriched mitochondrial proteins at an early stage of the direct reprogramming process, the researchers achieved a four times higher conversion rate and simultaneously increased the speed of reprogramming. (2020-11-17)

Reversal of glial scar tissue back to neuronal tissue through neuroregenerative gene therapy
Brain or spinal cord injury often results in glial scar tissue that is correlated to neural functional loss. Glial scar is a well-known obstacle for neural regeneration. A research team led by Prof. Gong Chen at Jinan University, Guangzhou, published an article in the current issue of Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, demonstrating that glial scar tissue can be reversed back to neuronal tissue through NeuroD1-based neuroregenerative gene therapy. (2020-11-16)

First non-human primate study showing promise of gene therapy for stroke repair
Stroke is a leading cause of death and severe long-term disability with limited treatment available. A research team led by Prof. Gong Chen at Jinan University, Guangzhou, China recently reported the first non-human primate study demonstrating successful in vivo neural regeneration from brain internal glial cells for stroke repair. This work was published on Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology on November 5th, 2020. (2020-11-13)

New study reveals a holistic way to look at neurons in the brain
A new lens on visual neurons is laying the groundwork for a more complete ''family tree'' of the mammalian brain. A team of researchers from the Allen Institute for Brain Science, a division of the Allen Institute, published a study -- the largest of its kind to date -- in the journal Cell today revealing a new categorization of mouse neurons that relies on multiple types of data drawn from each individual cell. (2020-11-12)

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