Ragweed compounds could protect nerve cells from Alzheimer’s

As spring arrives in the northern hemisphere, many people are cursing ragweed, a primary culprit in seasonal allergies. But scientists might have discovered a promising new use for some substances produced by the pesky weed. In ACS’ Journal of Natural Products, researchers have identified and characterized ragweed compounds that could help nerve cells survive in the presence of Alzheimer’s disease […]

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Technology automatically senses how Parkinson’s patients respond to medication: Novel approach doesn’t require patient or physician engagement

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive neurological disorder affecting approximately 6 million people globally and is expected to double by 2040. PD leads to disabling motor features including tremor, reduced speed, and gait/balance impairment leading to falls, as well as non-motor symptoms such as cognitive impairment and sleep and speech disorders. One of the most prevalent complications in PD […]

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Parkinson’s clues seen in tiny fish could aid quest for treatments

Parkinson’s patients could be helped by fresh insights gained from studies of tiny tropical fish. Research using zebrafish has revealed how key brain cells that are damaged in people with Parkinson’s disease can be regenerated. The findings offer clues that could one day lead to treatments for the neurological condition, which causes movement problems and tremors. Parkinson’s occurs when specialised […]

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New microscope captures large groups of neurons in living animals: Fast, detailed imaging across a wide field of view useful for deciphering brain functions

Researchers have developed a microscope specifically for imaging large groups of interacting cells in their natural environments. The instrument provides scientists with a new tool for imaging neurons in living animals and could provide an unprecedented view into how large networks of neurons interact during various behaviors. In Optica, The Optical Society’s journal for high-impact research, researchers from Boston University, […]

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Neural processing with trauma and adversity interact to increase core symptom of PTSD

Lifetime adversity and increased neural processing during a traumatic event combine to increase the frequency of intrusive traumatic memories and the distress they cause, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. The increased neural processing was found in brain regions important for emotion and memory. The involuntary recollection of traumatic events is a core symptom […]

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New target for chronic pain: Shape of structure that nerve cells use to sense cold

People are great at detecting cold temperatures and also the cool sensation induced by natural substances like menthol, which is common in remedies used to soothe aching muscles. But it hasn’t been entirely clear how we do this. About a year ago, a group of researchers led by Seok-Yong Lee, Associate Professor of Biochemistry in the Duke University School of […]

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Engineers translate brain signals directly into speech: Advance marks critical step toward brain-computer interfaces that hold immense promise for those with limited or no ability to speak

In a scientific first, Columbia neuroengineers have created a system that translates thought into intelligible, recognizable speech. By monitoring someone’s brain activity, the technology can reconstruct the words a person hears with unprecedented clarity. This breakthrough, which harnesses the power of speech synthesizers and artificial intelligence, could lead to new ways for computers to communicate directly with the brain. It […]

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Difference in brain connectivity may explain autism spectrum disorder: Researchers work toward finding the biomarkers of autism for earlier diagnosis and treatment

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have identified a possible mechanism of human cognition that underlies autism spectrum disorders, or ASD. Diagnosis for ASD is still behaviorally based. Psychologists and medical professionals with clinical expertise use the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and the Autism Diagnostic Interview to diagnose autism — these two tests are considered the gold standard. […]

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A tradeoff in the neural code: The price we pay for our advanced brains may be a greater tendency to disorders

Prof. Rony Paz of the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests that our brains are like modern washing machines — evolved to have the latest sophisticated programming, but more vulnerable to breakdown and prone to develop costly disorders. He and a group of researchers recently conducted experiments comparing the efficiency of the neural code in non-human and human primates, and found […]

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Specific cognitive deficits in individuals with spinal cord injury

A multidisciplinary team of researchers has identified specific cognitive deficits in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). Their findings support the theory of accelerated aging after SCI, and have important implications for further research. The article, “Patterns of cognitive deficits in persons with spinal cord injury as compared with both age-matched and older individuals without spinal cord injury,” was e-published […]

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