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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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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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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Neuron and synapse-mimetic spintronics devices developed

A research group from Tohoku University has developed spintronics devices which are promising for future energy-efficient and adoptive computing systems, as they behave like neurons and synapses in the human brain. Today’s information society is built on digital computers that have evolved drastically for half a century and are capable of executing complicated tasks reliably. The human brain, by contrast, […]

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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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Low-dose radiation therapy improves delivery of therapeutic nanoparticles to brain tumors

A new study led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators finds that radiation therapy may increase the uptake of therapeutic nanoparticles by glioblastomas, raising the possibility of using both growth-factor-targeted and immune-system-based therapies against the deadly brain tumor. The team describes how pretreatment with low-dose radiation increased delivery to tumors of nanoparticles carrying small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules and significantly […]

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Diattenuation imaging: Promising imaging technique for brain research

A new imaging method provides structural information about brain tissue that was previously difficult to access. Diattenuation Imaging (DI), developed by scientists at Forschungszentrum Jülich and the University of Groningen, allows researchers to differentiate, e.g., regions with many thin nerve fibres from regions with few thick nerve fibres. With current imaging methods, these tissue types cannot easily be distinguished. The […]

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Blunting pain’s emotional component: Blocking a type of opioid receptor restores motivation

Chronic pain involves more than just hurting. People suffering from pain often experience sadness, depression and lethargy. That’s one reason opioids can be so addictive — they not only dampen the pain but also make people feel euphoric. What if it were possible to develop a pain killer that could curb the negative emotions associated with pain without causing euphoria? […]

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