Some of the Latest Mind & Brain Research – from Science Daily
  • New mech­an­ism un­der­ly­ing epi­lepsy found February 27, 2017
    Prolonged epileptic seizures may cause serious problems that will continue for the rest of a patient’s life. As a result of a seizure, neural connections of the brain may be rewired in an incorrect way. This may result in seizures that are difficult to control with medication. Mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are not entirely known, […]
  • Dietary prebiotics improve sleep, buffer impacts of stress, says study February 25, 2017
    New research suggests that lesser-known gut-health promoters called prebiotics -- which serve as food for good bacteria inside the gut -- can also have an impact, improving sleep and buffering the physiological impacts of stress.
  • New risk factors for anxiety disorders February 24, 2017
    Several newly discovered variants of a gene increase the risk of developing anxiety disorders. A research team aims to derive new therapies from this finding which are better tailored to the individual patients.
  • Regular aerobic exercise beginning in middle age may lessen severity of stroke in old age February 24, 2017
    Regular aerobic exercise may protect the collateral circulation and lessen the severity of strokes later in life.
  • Deep brain stimulation for patients with chronic anorexia is safe and might improve symptoms February 24, 2017
    A small study in 16 people suggests that deep brain stimulation is safe and might help improve mood, anxiety and well-being, while increasing weight.
  • Sugar's 'tipping point' link to Alzheimer's disease revealed February 23, 2017
    For the first time a molecular 'tipping point' has been demonstrated in Alzheimer's, linking high blood sugar with this debilitating disease.
  • Playing favorites: Brain cells prefer one parent's gene over the other's February 23, 2017
    It has long been thought that each copy of our DNA instructions -- one inherited from mom and one from dad -- is treated the same. A new study shows that it is not uncommon for cells in the brain to preferentially activate one copy over the other. The finding breaks basic tenets of classic […]
  • Fructose is generated in the human brain February 23, 2017
    Fructose, a form of sugar linked to obesity and diabetes, is converted in the human brain from glucose, according to a new study. The finding raises questions about fructose's effects on the brain and eating behavior.
  • Sons of cocaine-using fathers have profound memory impairments February 23, 2017
    Fathers who use cocaine at the time of conceiving a child may be putting their sons at risk of learning disabilities and memory loss. The researchers say the findings reveal that drug abuse by fathers -- separate from the well-established effects of cocaine use in mothers -- may negatively impact cognitive development in their male […]
  • Studies show that the cerebellum is crucial to understanding vulnerability to drug addiction February 23, 2017
    The cerebellum, contrary to what was thought, fulfils functions that go beyond the motor sphere and can be co-responsible for the brain alterations associated with addictive consumption of drugs, research shows. The findings would represent a step forward towards the design of new therapies for the future, say the investigators.
  • Tired teens 4.5 times more likely to commit crimes as adults February 23, 2017
    Teenagers who experience sleep problems and exhibit anti-social behavior are more likely to commit violent crimes as adults, new research concludes.
  • Researchers uncover brain circuitry central to reward-seeking behavior February 22, 2017
    Scientists have found that as mice learn to associate a particular sound with a rewarding sugary drink, one set of prefrontal neurons becomes more active and promotes reward-seeking behavior while other prefrontal neurons are silenced, and those neurons act like a brake on reward-seeking.
  • Brain-machine interfaces: Bidirectional communication at last February 22, 2017
    A prosthetic limb controlled by brain activity can partially recover the lost motor function. Neuroscientists asked whether it was possible to transmit the missing sensation back to the brain by stimulating neural activity in the cortex. They discovered that not only was it possible to create an artificial sensation of neuroprosthetic movements, but that the […]
  • Scientists survey the state of sleep science February 22, 2017
    Sleep remains an enduring mystery with major clinical relevance, according to a a recent review. In recent decades, new technologies have allowed neuroscientists to identify multiple brain circuits that govern the sleep/wake cycle, as well as the factors that can influence it, such as caffeine and light. But the brain's complexity is still a stumbling […]
  • Itch neurons play a role in managing pain February 22, 2017
    There are neurons in your skin that are wired to sense itchy things. These neurons are separate from the ones that detect pain, and yet, chemical-induced itch is often accompanied by mild pain such as burning and stinging sensations. But when it comes to sending signals toward your brain through your spinal cord, itch and […]