Targeting Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Disease

August 15, 2017

Some brain disorders are linked to problems with mitochondria, which power cells among other critical functions. Researchers find that Improving their function and increasing their numbers might stem some diseases and reduce symptoms of others. A recent mouse study found one compound that increases counts—and also a possible method of measuring mitochondrial success.

Tracing the ‘Love’ Signal

August 8, 2017

How do we choose our partners? In voles, researchers find the stronger a certain brain circuit’s connections are, the stronger the bond—and timing is important.

Primary Visual Cortex Changes Throughout Life

July 24, 2017

The idea of critical periods in brain development was born from classic research on the visual cortex. Now scientists have found that proteins governing synapses in the visual system change at various stages of our lives, not just in our earliest years.

Defending the Aging Brain

July 11, 2017

“The brain doesn’t want to be demented,” researcher David Bennett says, “and it has means to protect itself.” He and other scientists are starting to find clues to genetic factors in the biology of resilience.

Smart Drugs in Health and Disease

July 3, 2017

Drugs that enhance cognition might benefit people who have cognitive troubles due to depression or schizophrenia, said researcher Barbara Sahakian in a recent lecture at University College London. While there are suggestions that modafinil could improve cognitive performance in high-risk sleep-deprived people, it is less clear whether any benefit would outweigh risks and side effects for people in the normal course of life.

Different Types of Music May Aid Stroke Recovery

June 27, 2017

Building on work showing that listening to music helps speed peoples’ recovery from stroke, researchers find that that peppy song you love triggers different brain areas than unfamiliar music.

Genes, Environment—and Epigenetics

June 19, 2017

Can what happened to your parents before you were born affect how your body and mind work at birth—and even now? Researchers in one area of the field of epigenetics—the study of influences on how genes are expressed—think probably so, but their challenge is to prove causality.

How to Stay Sharp in Later Life

June 12, 2017

To prevent or slow cognitive decline in later life, one should adopt as many healthy lifestyle choices as possible, researcher Ian Deary told an audience at the Royal Society. His talk was organized by the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) and the University of the Third Age (U3A).

A Rose by Any Other Name: How our Sense of Smell Influences Cognition

June 6, 2017

Research into olfaction has lagged behind vision and hearing. New studies suggest how smell predictions and reactions can affect memory and thought processing.

Modeling Rare Neurological Disease

May 31, 2017

A new technique that uses induced pluripotent stem cells from people with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease has told researchers a lot about that disease and offers proof of concept for its use for people with other diseases.

The Brains that Pull the Triggers

May 18, 2017

What leads seemingly ordinary people to lead or join in committing genocidal violence? Researchers at a Paris conference find traces of clues by imaging the brain.

Highlighting Prenatally Damaged Neurons that Remain Vulnerable After Birth

May 16, 2017

Some of the neurons in mice stressed while in embryo show persistent damage. A new technique that pinpoints the harm could help explain individual differences in stress response later in life.

How Type 1 Diabetes Affects the Brain

May 9, 2017

The auto-immune disorder makes it harder to regulate glucose levels in the brain. While the focus has been on keeping their numbers above a certain threshold, staying below an upper limit may be equally important.

Informing Education with Neuroscience

April 23, 2017

Teachers want to take advantage of what we’ve learned about the brain and learning, but don’t always know how to tell what is solid science. Researchers at BNA 2017 Festival of Neuroscience described studies in classrooms themselves that show promise.

Motivational Disorders in Brain Conditions

April 19, 2017

People with a variety of disorders, from neurological to psychiatric, share troubles with motivation, especially apathy and impulsivity. Scientists described how they are connecting the dots between symptoms and brain mechanisms during the BNA2017 Festival of Neuroscience.

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