Some of the Latest Mind & Brain Research – from Science Daily
  • In Alzheimer's, excess tau protein damages brain's GPS January 19, 2017
    Researchers have linked excess tau protein in the brain to the spatial disorientation that leads to wandering in many Alzheimer's disease patients. The findings, in mice, could lead to early diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's and point to treatments for this common and troubling symptom.
  • Precision medicine advances pediatric brain tumor diagnosis and treatment January 19, 2017
    In the largest clinical study to date of genetic abnormalities in pediatric brain tumors, researchers performed clinical testing on more than 200 tumor samples and found that a majority had genetic irregularities that could influence how the disease was diagnosed and/or treated with approved drugs or agents being evaluated in clinical trials.
  • Mapping brain in preemies may predict later disability January 18, 2017
    Scanning a premature infant’s brain shortly after birth to map the location and volume of lesions, small areas of injury in the brain’s white matter, may help doctors better predict whether the baby will have disabilities later, according to a new study.
  • Mapping the mind of worms January 18, 2017
    Biologists have identified signals that drive distinct behavior in microscopic nematode worms, and which may hold lessons for human brains.
  • How estrogen modulates fear learning January 18, 2017
    Low estrogen levels may make women more susceptible to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while high estrogen levels may be protective. New research provides insight into how estrogen changes gene activity in the brain to achieve its protective effects.
  • Changes in blood-brain barrier, intestinal permeability found in individuals with autism January 18, 2017
    A new study finds reduced expression of genes involved in integrity of the blood-brain barrier, intestinal barrier in those with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Study identifies molecular signal for maintaining adult neuron January 18, 2017
    Research in mice points to better understanding of how the structure of nerve cells in the adult hippocampus may deteriorate, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders, report researchers.
  • Toxic brain cells may drive many neurodegenerative disorders, study finds January 18, 2017
    While most of us haven't heard of astrocytes, these cells are four times as plentiful in the human brain as nerve cells. Now, a team led by researchers has found that astrocytes, which perform many indispensable functions in the brain, can take on a villainous character, destroying nerve cells and likely driving many neurodegenerative diseases.
  • In Rett syndrome model, team shows how adult learning is impaired in females January 18, 2017
    In mouse models of Rett syndrome -- which in humans is seen overwhelmingly in females -- researchers have demonstrated how failure of Mecp2, the mouse equivalent of the human gene of the same name, has biological consequences that prevent adult females from learning how to gather newborn pups in the days immediately following the pups' […]
  • New avenue for anti-depressant therapy discovered January 18, 2017
    Researchers have made a ground-breaking discovery revealing new molecular information on how the brain regulates depression and anxiety. In so doing, they identified a new molecule that alleviates anxiety and depressive behavior in rodents.
  • Heavy alcohol use in adolescence alters brain electrical activity January 18, 2017
    Long-term heavy use of alcohol in adolescence alters cortical excitability and functional connectivity in the brain, according to a new study. These alterations were observed in physically and mentally healthy but heavy-drinking adolescents, who nevertheless did not fulfil the diagnostic criteria for a substance abuse disorder.
  • Key signaling protein associated with addiction controls the actions of oxycodone in pain-free, chronic pain states January 17, 2017
    RGS9-2, a key signaling protein in the brain known to play a critical role in the development of addiction-related behaviors, acts as a positive modulator of oxycodone reward in both pain-free and chronic pain states
  • Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 17, 2017
    In a new study, researchers are investigating why hair is incredibly strong and resistant to breaking. The findings could lead to the development of new materials for body armor and help cosmetic manufacturers create better hair care products.
  • First cell culture of live adult human neurons shows potential of brain cell types January 17, 2017
    Studying brain disorders in people and developing drugs to treat them has been slowed by the inability to investigate single living cells from adult patients. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers were able to grow adult human neurons donated from patients who had undergone surgery. From these cell cultures, they identified more than five brain cell […]
  • Scientists find sensor that makes synapses fast January 17, 2017
    Synapses, the connections between neurons, come in different flavors, depending on the chemical they use as transmitter. The type of synapses that use a signal transmitter called GABA stand out because of their speed and precision. But the secret behind their speed was not fully known until now, and neither was the sensor they use […]