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  • September 19, 2014
  • 01:21 PM
  • 37 views

New test for Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Early

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Alzheimer’s diagnosis is important, like the famous slogan “with a stroke, time lost is brain lost,” detecting alzheimer’s is important in order to stave off cognitive decline. A just like a stroke time lost is brain lost. Unfortunately early diagnosis has been hard to come by, but now researchers say a simple test that combines thinking and movement can help to detect heightened risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease in a person. The best part, they say this will work even before the........ Read more »

  • September 19, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 58 views

Translational Findings: What drunk fruit flies can tell us about alcohol addiction

by Bethany Christmann in Fly on the Wall

A study in 2012 found that approximately 7.2% of adults in the United States have an alcohol use disorder (a term that covers any person for whom their drinking causes distress or harm). That adds up to approximately 17 million Americans! Treatments for alcoholism, such as behavioral therapies or medications, can often be ineffective in […]... Read more »

  • September 19, 2014
  • 12:13 AM
  • 44 views

The neuroscience behind scratching an itch

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

The beautiful experience of alleviating an itch, the vigorous scratching of skin cells, and the white flakes that float away slowly and gently like a whimsical dream.If only those with chronic itching problems could describe their conditions in such a serene way. In the latest edition of Nature Neuroscience, Diana Bautista and colleagues (2014) review the literature on the underlying mechanism of the itch at the molecular and cellular level within the peripheral and central nervous systems. They........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2014
  • 12:58 PM
  • 60 views

Is Stress Eating Away at You? No, Literally…

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever wonder why, when people are too stressed, they are often grouchy, grumpy, nasty, distracted or forgetful? It may not be something you’ve done, in fact it turns out stress is literally tearing apart the brain. By this I mean that researchers have just highlighted a fundamental synaptic mechanism that explains the relationship between chronic stress and the loss of social skills and cognitive impairment. When triggered by stress, an enzyme attacks a synaptic regulatory molecule in the brain........ Read more »

van der Kooij, M., Fantin, M., Rejmak, E., Grosse, J., Zanoletti, O., Fournier, C., Ganguly, K., Kalita, K., Kaczmarek, L., & Sandi, C. (2014) Role for MMP-9 in stress-induced downregulation of nectin-3 in hippocampal CA1 and associated behavioural alterations. Nature Communications, 4995. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5995  

  • September 18, 2014
  • 11:11 AM
  • 76 views

Genetics of Social Skills: Oxytocin Receptor Gene

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Social neuroscience is an emerging emphasis in the field of neuroscience research.Social cognition is the subset of cognitive functions related to social processes and includes factors such as facial recognition, social memory and ability to form friendships and other social bonds.Impairment in social cognition is a known feature in autism, schizophrenia and other mental disorders. This type of impairment can produce significant problems in life adjustment, employment and human attachment.Geneti........ Read more »

Skuse DH, Lori A, Cubells JF, Lee I, Conneely KN, Puura K, Lehtimäki T, Binder EB, & Young LJ. (2014) Common polymorphism in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) is associated with human social recognition skills. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(5), 1987-92. PMID: 24367110  

  • September 17, 2014
  • 11:28 AM
  • 58 views

Antidepressants Modulate Memory in the Healthy Brain

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

The mechanism of antidepressant drug response is not well understood.One theory posits antidepressant effects are only seen in those with clinical depression leaving the healthy brain unchanged.In a previous post, I outlined a study demonstrating effects of antidepressants on brain connectivity measures in the healthy brain.A recent fMRI study extends our understanding of the potential mechanisms for antidepressant drugs.CT Cerqueira and colleagues from Brazil studied the effects of the antidepr........ Read more »

  • September 16, 2014
  • 11:01 AM
  • 73 views

Cannabis-induced Paranoia: Cognitive Mechanisms

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Some individuals appear vulnerable to paranoia induced by exposure to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis.The mechanism for this effect is poorly understood.Daniel Freeman from University of Oxford along with colleagues in England and Switzerland recently conducted an interventional research study on this issue.In this study, 121 subjects were recruited to receive injections of THC in a laboratory setting.These subjects were required to have taken cannabis at least once before participation i........ Read more »

  • September 16, 2014
  • 06:36 AM
  • 56 views

Should Policy Makers and Financial Institutions Have Access to Billions of Brain Scans?

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

"Individual risk attitudes are correlated with the grey matter volume in the posterior parietal cortex suggesting existence of an anatomical biomarker for financial risk-attitude," said Dr Tymula.This means tolerance of risk "could potentially be measured in billions of existing medical brain scans." 1 -Gray matter matters when measuring risk toleranceLet's pretend that scientists have discovered a neural biomarker that could accurately predict a person's propensity to take financial risks in ........ Read more »

Gilaie-Dotan, S., Tymula, A., Cooper, N., Kable, J., Glimcher, P., & Levy, I. (2014) Neuroanatomy Predicts Individual Risk Attitudes. Journal of Neuroscience, 34(37), 12394-12401. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1600-14.2014  

  • September 15, 2014
  • 04:01 PM
  • 55 views

Humanized FoxP2 and the timing of habits

by Björn Brembs in bjoern.brembs.blog

Last week, Elizabeth Pennisi asked me to comment on the recent paper from Schreiweis et al. entitled “Humanized FoxP2 accelerates learning by enhancing transitions from declarative to procedural performance”. Since I don’t know how much, if anything, of my answers […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...... Read more »

Schreiweis, C., Bornschein, U., Burguiere, E., Kerimoglu, C., Schreiter, S., Dannemann, M., Goyal, S., Rea, E., French, C., Puliyadi, R.... (2014) Humanized Foxp2 accelerates learning by enhancing transitions from declarative to procedural performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1414542111  

  • September 15, 2014
  • 12:58 PM
  • 89 views

The Genetic Roots of Schizophrenia

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

I have a friend who lost an eye — not in a war zone like you might suspect given my background — but to his brother. Yes, you read that correctly, his brother tried to kill him and in the process he lost his eye. I’ve told this story before, but whenever new schizophrenia research comes out I feel the need to tell it again. While he has forgiven his brother (partly because not long after, he was diagnosed as schizophrenic), he will not be able to see him again until he is released from pri........ Read more »

avier Arnedo, M.S.; Dragan M. Svrakic, M.D., Ph.D.; Coral del Val, Ph.D.; Rocío Romero-Zaliz, Ph.D.; Helena Hernández-Cuervo, M.D.; Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia Consortium; Ayman H. Fanous, M.D.; Michele T. Pato, M.D.; Carlos N. Pato, M.D., Ph.D. (2014) Uncovering the Hidden Risk Architecture of the Schizophrenias: Confirmation in Three Independent Genome-Wide Association Studies. The American Journal of Psychiatry. info:/10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14040435

  • September 14, 2014
  • 01:00 AM
  • 67 views

Telepathy is Almost Here

by Viputheshwar Sitaraman in Draw Science

Telepathy is under works; it's just super clunky right now. Non-invasive technology enables brain-to-brain communication by converting words into binary and from binary into pulses of light and back.... Read more »

Grau C, Ginhoux R, Riera A, Nguyen TL, Chauvat H, Berg M, Amengual JL, Pascual-Leone A, & Ruffini G. (2014) Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies. PloS one, 9(8). PMID: 25137064  

  • September 12, 2014
  • 03:44 PM
  • 90 views

Inflammation of the Brain and Memory Problems

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Neurological disorders typically involve memory issues. Most of the problems are attributed to plaques that build up in the brain (which are typically prions), yet some causes are unknown. New research however sheds some light on at least one cause of memory problems. As it turns out brain inflammation can rapidly disrupt our ability to retrieve complex memories of similar but distinct experiences.... Read more »

  • September 12, 2014
  • 04:33 AM
  • 84 views

Astrocyte role in gamma waves

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

The study of the brain has been very neuron centered. Glial cells outnumber neuron by about 10 to 1 in the cortex and are known to be important to brain function but it is not clear just what they do other than some housekeeping tasks and shepherding neurons to their final locations during development. Astrocyte […]... Read more »

Lee, H., Ghetti, A., Pinto-Duarte, A., Wang, X., Dziewczapolski, G., Galimi, F., Huitron-Resendiz, S., Pina-Crespo, J., Roberts, A., Verma, I.... (2014) Astrocytes contribute to gamma oscillations and recognition memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(32). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1410893111  

  • September 11, 2014
  • 12:45 PM
  • 109 views

The Origami Brain and a new marker for Schizophrenia

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Anyone who has seen pictures or models of the human brain (like the one above) is aware that the outside layer, or cortex, of the brain is folded in an intricate pattern of “hills”, called gyri, and “valleys”, called sulci which give the brain it’s distinctive look. It turns out that the patterns of cortical folding are largely consistent across healthy humans, broadly speaking. However, disturbances in cortical folding patterns suggest deeper disturbances in brain structure and functi........ Read more »

Nanda P, Tandon N, Mathew IT, Giakoumatos CI, Abhishekh HA, Clementz BA, Pearlson GD, Sweeney J, Tamminga CA, & Keshavan MS. (2014) Local gyrification index in probands with psychotic disorders and their first-degree relatives. Biological psychiatry, 76(6), 447-55. PMID: 24369266  

  • September 10, 2014
  • 02:26 PM
  • 86 views

Multiple Sclerosis and Myelin loss

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. The exact cause is unknown, however people with multiple sclerosis lose myelin in the gray matter of their brains and the loss is closely correlated with the severity of the disease, according to a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study.... Read more »

Vasily L. Yarnykh, James D. Bowen, Alexey Samsonov, Pavle Repovic, Angeli Mayadev, Peiqing Qian, Beena Gangadharan, Bart P. Keogh, Kenneth R. Maravilla, & Lily K. Jung Henson. (2014) Fast Whole-Brain Three-dimensional Macromolecular Proton Fraction Mapping in Multiple Sclerosis. Radiological Society of North America . info:/10.1148/radiol.14140528

  • September 10, 2014
  • 09:40 AM
  • 99 views

Midi-chlorians gave Jedi knights their power. Is there something like this on Earth?

by Bill Sullivan in The 'Scope

A strange and provocative paper by Alexander Panchin and colleagues proposes an unorthodox new idea called the “biomeme hypothesis”, which posits that the impulse behind some religious rituals could be driven by mind-altering parasites.... Read more »

  • September 9, 2014
  • 09:49 PM
  • 73 views

Prejudice in the brain

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Despite the great strides that have been made toward a more egalitarian society in the United States over the past 50 years, events like what occurred in Ferguson last month are a bleak reminder of the racial tensions that still exist here. Of course, the United States is not alone in this respect; throughout the world we can see abundant examples of strain between different races, as well as between any groups with dissimilar characteristics. In fact, it seems that the quickness with which we f........ Read more »

  • September 9, 2014
  • 02:35 PM
  • 82 views

Autism and Testosterone

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

As a male we are at higher risk for heart disease, we are also at higher risk for stroke. It’s that pesky testosterone, sure it has its benefits, don’t get me wrong I think testosterone over all is great. Estrogen has it’s own downsides too, things like certain cancers for example. Well estrogen has some other benefits and as it turns out, the same sex hormone that helps protect females from stroke may also reduce their risk of autism.... Read more »

Amanda Crider,, Roshni Thakkar,, Anthony O Ahmed, & Anilkumar Pillai. (2014) Dysregulation of estrogen receptor beta (ERβ), aromatase (CYP19A1), and ER co-activators in the middle frontal gyrus of autism spectrum disorder subjects. Molecular Autism . info:/10.1186/2040-2392-5-46

  • September 9, 2014
  • 08:54 AM
  • 77 views

Discovering rules unconsciously

by Janet Kwasniak in Neuro-patch

Dijksterhuis and Nordgren put forward a theory of unconscious thought. They propose that there are two types of thought process: conscious and unconscious. “CT (conscious thought) refers to object-relevant or task-relevant cognitive or affective thought processes that occur while the object or task is the focus of one’s conscious attention, whereas UT (unconscious thought) refers […]... Read more »

  • September 8, 2014
  • 01:17 PM
  • 79 views

Fingertips can actually perform calculations

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Nerve endings on our fingertips have the same ability of performing complex neural computations as we can find in our brain.

Published in:

Nature Nanotechnology

Study Further:

Researchers have found that our fingertips are able to differentiate the edges and this process of getting knowledge of orientation of edges is performed by both touch and visual senses. Most of these senses and computations occur in the brain as it contains cells of both touch and see that are s........ Read more »

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