Scientists reverse aging process in rat brain stem cells

New research, published today in Nature, reveals how increasing brain stiffness as we age causes brain stem cell dysfunction, and demonstrates new ways to reverse older stem cells to a younger, healthier state. The results have far reaching implications for how we understand the ageing process, and how we might develop much-needed treatments for age-related brain diseases. As our bodies […]

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Pinpointing how cells regulate long-lasting memories

The brain has a knack for safekeeping our most treasured memories, from a first kiss to a child’s birth. In a new study in mouse cells, Columbia neuroscientists have mapped some of the molecular machinery that helps the brain maintain these kinds of long-term memories. By observing the activity of nerve cells of the brain, called neurons, that were extracted […]

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Faulty brain circuits repaired using nanotechnology: Possible new drug targets for dementia and intellectual disability

Working with mouse and human tissue, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report new evidence that a protein pumped out of some — but not all — populations of “helper” cells in the brain, called astrocytes, plays a specific role in directing the formation of connections among neurons needed for learning and forming new memories. Using mice genetically engineered and bred with […]

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Older adults: Daunted by a new task? Learn 3 instead: Learning multiple things simultaneously increases cognitive abilities in older adults

Learning several new things at once increases cognitive abilities in older adults, according to new research from UC Riverside. UCR psychologist Rachel Wu says one important way of staving off cognitive decline is learning new skills as a child would. That is, be a sponge: seek new skills to learn; maintain motivation as fuel; rely on encouraging mentors to guide […]

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What we think we know — but might not — pushes us to learn more: New findings challenge the popular assumption that curiosity in general is the prime driver of learning

Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched the “Game of Thrones” season finale. If you think you know the farm animal most closely related to T-Rex, or the American president who inspired the creation of blue jelly beans — but aren’t entirely sure — you’re more likely to bone up on the chicken-dinosaur connection or Ronald Reagan’s predilection for glazed, gel-filled […]

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Unlike men, women’s cognitive performance may improve at higher room temperature

Women’s performance on math and verbal tests is best at higher temperatures, while men perform best on the same tests at lower temperatures, according to a study published May 22, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Tom Chang and Agne Kajackaite from the USC Marshall School of Business, Los Angeles, USA, and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, […]

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Probiotic-derived molecule may suppress fatal brain inflammation, preclinical study finds: Scientists explore how swallowing a ‘bacterial envelope molecule’ may prime your body to fend off viral infections

The existence of certain microorganisms in your gut may bolster the immune system’s ability to fend off a herpes viral attack that can cause fatal brain inflammation, reports a new City of Hope-led study. Researchers say the findings are the first to suggest that an envelope molecule from a bacterium called Bacteroides fragilis (B. fragilis) might be useful against viral […]

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Breastfeeding boosts metabolites important for brain growth

Micro-preemies who primarily consume breast milk have significantly higher levels of metabolites important for brain growth and development, according to sophisticated imaging conducted by an interdisciplinary research team at Children’s National. “Our previous research established that vulnerable preterm infants who are fed breast milk early in life have improved brain growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes. It was unclear what makes breastfeeding […]

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Empathy often avoided because of mental effort: People don’t want to feel empathy unless they think they are good at it, study finds

Even when feeling empathy for others isn’t financially costly or emotionally draining, people will still avoid it because they think empathy requires too much mental effort, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. Empathy, the ability to understand the feelings of another person, is often viewed as a virtue that encourages helping behaviors. But people often don’t […]

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New insight into how obesity, insulin resistance can impair cognition

Obesity can break down our protective blood brain barrier resulting in problems with learning and memory, scientists report. They knew that chronic activation of the receptor Adora2a on the endothelial cells that line this important barrier in our brain can let factors from the blood enter the brain and affect the function of our neurons. Now Medical College of Georgia […]

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