This is the first example of a novel mode of neurotransmitter-based communication and challenges current dogma about mechanisms of signaling in the brain. The findings uncover new pathways for developing therapies for disorders like epilepsy, anxiety and chronic pain.
NASA and private company SpaceX plan to send humans to Mars within the next 15 years--but need to figure out how to protect astronauts from the dangerous cosmic radiation of deep space. Now the lab of UCSF neuroscientist Susanna Rosi, PhD, has identified a potential treatment for the brain damage caused by cosmic rays--a drug that prevents memory impairment in mice exposed to simulated space radiation. The study was published May 18, 2018 in Scientific Reports.
A major study examining the fish-eating habits of pregnant women has found that they are not linked to autism or autistic traits in their children. Scientists at the University of Bristol looked at the assumption that mercury exposure during pregnancy is a major cause of autism using evidence from nearly 4,500 women who took part in the Children of the '90s study.
Homocysteine occurs naturally in the human body, generated as a byproduct of methionine metabolism. Genetic diseases or an imbalanced diet, with too much red meat or B vitamins and folic acid deficiencies, can lead to high homocysteine levels, a condition known as hyperhomocysteinemia. This causes considerable harm to the heart but can also affect the brain. Now, Temple researchers further reveal the extent to which elevated homocysteine damages the brain.
Our brains are obsessed with being social even when we are not in social situations. A Dartmouth-led study finds that the brain may tune towards social learning even when it is at rest. The findings published in an advance article of Cerebral Cortex, demonstrate empirically for the first time how two regions of the brain experience increased connectivity during rest after encoding new social information.
A study published this week in Nature sheds new light on the connection between the gut and the brain, untangling the complex interplay that allows the byproducts of microorganisms living in the gut to influence the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.
In an article published online on May 16, 2018, by Science Translational Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina investigators report that, after ischemic stroke, the complement system identifies stressed but salvageable neurons for removal by microglial phagocytosis. To preserve these neurons, the investigators designed a novel therapeutic that targets a complement inhibitor to a damage signal expressed after stroke. A single post-stroke injection protected neurons from microglial attack in a preclinical model, reducing neuronal loss.
Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have discovered how melatonin suppresses neurons in the brain that keeps you awake and alert. These findings could lead to new therapies for those who suffer from insomnia.
SERCA activator may improve memory and cognition for Alzheimer's patients by preserving calcium ion balance in neurons and offering a new therapeutic strategy for neurodegeneration drug development. A report on this study was published in the Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters.
Being repulsive can have its advantages. In the case of an experiment at Los Alamos National Laboratory's linear accelerator, a repulsive magnetic field and a clever detector system are allowing ultracold neutrons to be levitated so their actual lifetimes can be more accurately measured.