The loss of nerve cells in the brain is the main event causing life-long deficits and neurological problems after stroke. Weilinger et al. show that NMDA receptors cause nerve cell death during stroke in an unexpected way.
Nature Neuroscience 17, 1064 (2014).doi:10.1038/nn.3761 Authors: Eline Pecho-Vrieseling, Claus Rieker, Sascha Fuchs, Dorothee Bleckmann, Maria Soledad Esposito, Paolo Botta, Chris Goldstein, Mario Bernhard, Ivan Galimberti, Matthias Müller, Andreas...
Although the past decades have seen an explosion in research into psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, and a concomitant increase in our understanding of their fundamental molecular mechanisms in discrete brain regions, a holistic,...
Writing by hand activates areas in the brain that help you learn faster and better.
“When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated. There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain,” Stanislas Dehaene, a psychologist at the Collège de France in Paris.
A study conducted at Indiana University, in the US, reported that when children write by hand three areas of the brain are activated—the left fusiform gyrus, the inferior frontal gyrus and the posterior parietal cortex. These are the same areas that are set in motion when adults read and write. Kids who typed or just traced letters didn’t show any activation in these areas.
“This is one of the first demonstrations of the brain being changed because of the practice,” explained Karin James, who was involved in the study, told The New York Times.
Taking notes by hand can help you learn faster and better—you should try it next time you have an exam or need to deliver a presentation. Studies suggest this is due to the fact that one needs to process and reframe all the information before writing it down. “We don’t write longhand as fast as we type these days, but people who were typing just tended to transcribe large parts of lecture content verbatim,” Pam Mueller, teaching assistant at Princeton University
Nature Reviews Neurology 10, 428 (2014). doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2014.135 Astrocytes that surround amyloid plaques become reactive in Alzheimer disease (AD), but their role in AD pathogenesis is poorly understood.
Use of the highly toxic and easily prepared rodenticide tetramethylenedisulfotetramine (TETS) was banned after thousands of accidental or intentional human poisonings, but it is of continued concern as a chemical threat agent.
Nature Neuroscience.doi:10.1038/nn.3717 Authors: Javier Sanchez-Padilla, Jaime N Guzman, Ema Ilijic, Jyothisri Kondapalli, Daniel J Galtieri, Ben Yang, Simon Schieber, Wolfgang Oertel, David Wokosin, Paul T Schumacker & D James Surmeier...
The Malay Mail Online New Neurons Found to Overwrite Old Memories New York Times The inability of adults to recall experiences from early childhood may be linked to the creation of new neurons in the brain.
Heterogeneity within distinct cell populations resident in the central nervous system is increasingly recognized as important for functional diversity, plasticity and sensitivity to neurological disease.
Nature Neuroscience 17, 1123 (2014).doi:10.1038/nn.3752 Authors: Amy S Chuong, Mitra L Miri, Volker Busskamp, Gillian A C Matthews, Leah C Acker, Andreas T Sørensen, Andrew Young, Nathan C Klapoetke, Mike A Henninger, Suhasa B Kodandaramaiah, Masaaki...
Genetically engineered protein responds remotely to red light.
A team of biological engineers has developed a light-sensitive protein that permits scientists to control activity inside the brains of mice from outside the rodents’ skulls. The protein, called Jaws, promises to expand scientists’ ability to study brain activity in experimental animals and -- eventually -- humans. Ultimately, it holds the prospect of facilitating treatment of human conditions such as epilepsy.
Researchers are also using the protein to treat eye disease in experimental animals. Here, an immediate goal is therapy for certain eye ailments in humans.
Scientists use optogenetics, as the technology is known, to study the behavior and pathology of experimental animals’ brains by shining light on proteins known as opsins. Introduced into the brain aboard viruses, the opsins respond to the light by suppressing or stimulating electrical signals in brain cells. Optogenetic inhibition of the electrical activity of neurons enables the causal assessment of their contributions to brain functions. Red light penetrates deeper into tissue than other visible wavelengths. The red-shifted cruxhalorhodopsin, Jaws, derived from Haloarcula (Halobacterium) salinarum (strain Shark) and engineered to result in red light–induced photocurrents three times those of earlier silencers. Jaws exhibits robust inhibition of sensory-evoked neural activity in the cortex and results in strong light responses when used in retinas of retinitis pigmentosa model mice.
The opsins normally used in brain studies are sensitive to blue, green, or yellow light. Because bodily tissue absorbs those colors easily, the sources of such light must lie inside the brain. Typically, the light is delivered through an optical fiber implanted in an experimental animal’s brain. Jaws can noninvasively mediate transcranial optical inhibition of neurons deep in the brains of awake mice. The noninvasive optogenetic inhibition opened up by Jaws enables a variety of important neuroscience experiments and offers a powerful general-use chloride pump for basic and applied neuroscience.
A team led by Ed Boyden, associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, reporting in Nature Neuroscience, demonstrated that red light shone from outside a mouse’s head can influence the Jaws protein up to three millimeters deep inside the brain. In fact, Boyden said, "we think the light goes further into the brain." A mouse’s brain is only about four millimeters thick.
"This is a huge advance, in that it allows for much deeper penetration of effective light," said David Lyon, an associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. Lyon was not involved in the research on Jaws.
Stimulating presynaptic terminals can increase the proton concentration in synapses. Potential receptors for protons are acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), Na+- and Ca2+-permeable channels that are activated by extracellular acidosis.
How medicine, sports and society are trying to heal and protect the brains of millions amidst the growing awareness of the long-lasting effects of traumatic head injury. May 13, 2014. A Generation Loses Consciousness, and Grows More ...
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