A new study explores the mystery of what drives eating past the point of fullness, at the most basic level in the brain. It shows that two tiny clusters of cells battle for control of feeding behavior -- and the one that drives eating overpowers the one that says to stop. It also shows that the brain's own natural opioid system gets involved -- and that blocking it with the drug naloxone can stop over-eating.
A novel gut-to-brain neural circuit establishes the vagus nerve as an essential component of the brain system that regulates reward and motivation, according to research conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published Sept. 20 in the journal Cell.
Researchers at University of Tsukuba used a novel approach for analyzing the central nervous system of a proto-vertebrate to identify a regulatory cocktail that induces the creation of dopaminergic neurons/coronet cells, a primitive version of the hypothalamus. The findings shed more light on how neurons differentiate into particular subtypes, with potential implications for the treatment of conditions such as Parkinson's disease.
When people take MDMA, the drug popularly known as ecstasy, a rush of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin produces feelings of emotional closeness and euphoria, making people more interested than normal in connecting with other people. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on Sept. 20 have made the surprising discovery that a species of octopus considered to be primarily solitary and asocial responds to MDMA similarly: by becoming much more interested in engaging with one other.
Researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) of McGill University examined the effects of aging on neuroplasticity in the primary auditory cortex, the part of the brain that processes auditory information. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to modify its connections and function in response to environmental demands, an important process in learning.
Today, a decisive step in understanding schizophrenia has been taken. Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have succeeded not only in deciphering a cellular mechanism leading to the desynchronization of neural networks, but also in correcting this organizational defect in an adult animal model, thereby suppressing abnormal behaviors associated with schizophrenia. Results that show that a therapeutic intervention is possible at all ages.
Children diagnosed with autism perform better in school if they participate in two 30-minute drumming sessions a week, according to a new scientific study.
The research will not only aid basic understanding of brain development, but also provide a foundation for understanding the cellular origins of brain disorders caused by errors in development. These anatomical defects include Joubert syndrome, Dandy-Walker malformation and pontocerebellar hypoplasia. The database will enable future studies tracing the cellular origins of childhood brain tumors such as medulloblastoma, astrocytoma and ependymoma. Researchers worldwide can interact with the data via an interface St. Jude has created called Cell Seek.
Despite increases in medication use for ADHD between 2001 and 2015, prescription rates are still far below diagnosis rates in most countries, suggesting some patients may not be receiving the treatment they need. Children and adults are far more likely to be prescribed drug treatment for ADHD in the USA than the UK. Renewed efforts are needed to improve the consistent identification and treatment of ADHD across the international community and to develop and implement best practices.
A simple blood test can detect the earliest changes caused by Huntington's disease, even before scans can pick up any signs in the brain, a new UCL-led study has found.