Dopamine neurons are located in the midbrain, but their tendril-like axons can branch far into the higher cortical areas, influencing how we move and how we feel. New genetic evidence has revealed that these specialized cells may also have far-reaching effects, implicating them in conditions that range from Parkinson’s disease to schizophrenia. Using a new […]Continue Reading ...
The human brain is exceedingly complex, consisting of various regions with particular functions and approximately 100 billion neurons. This complexity has presented a major challenge in understanding this organ and how it develops, particularly in view of the ethical issues associated with research on humans. In a new study reported in Genes and Development, a […]Continue Reading ...
Spiny projection neurons, like the one shown here, help the brain make decisions. A new study shows that the neurons mature with the help of dopamine. Image: Ori Lieberman / Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Adults select appropriate behavior with the help of the brain’s “spiny” neurons, and now a new study from Columbia neuroscientists […]Continue Reading ...
Researchers at UBC’s Okanagan campus have developed a new and improved method to judge the effectiveness of experimental therapies for neurodegeneration–the progressive loss of neurons. “Neurons–or nerve cells–are hugely important to our daily lives,” says post doctoral fellow Aaron Johnstone and study lead author. “These specialized cells collect and process the large amounts of information […]Continue Reading ...
Aug 23 2018 Our brain cells control every aspect of our lives – from the movements we make to the memories we form. But capturing the activity of neurons in the form of electric impulses isn’t easy. Information processing happens on different time scales and involves quick changes in voltage, ion concentrations and many different […]Continue Reading ...
Although the serotonin system — which helps regulate mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory and motor skills — is critical to so many functions in the human body, its underlying organization and properties are not well understood. Past studies have even reported divergent results. New research that appears in Cell may help clear up […]Continue Reading ...
Research scientist Kwan Young Lee, left, molecular and integrative physiology professor Nien-Pei Tsai and their colleagues discovered that an overabundance of the tumor suppressor protein p53 in neurons can lead to impaired regulation of neuronal excitability in a mouse model of Fragile X syndrome. Credit: Steph Adams In a new study in mice, researchers have […]Continue Reading ...
July 23, 2018 There is no shortage of wonders that our central nervous system produces–from thought and language to movement to the five senses. All of those dazzling traits, however, depend on an underappreciated deep brain mechanism that Donald Pfaff, head of the Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior at The Rockefeller University, calls generalized arousal, […]Continue Reading ...
Dendritic fragments from ApoE3, top, and ApoE4, bottom, mature adult-born granule cells. Credit: Kernie lab/CUIMC A new study has found that a gene that raises the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease stunts the development of neurons created during adulthood in a part of the brain involved in learning and memory. The finding may help explain […]Continue Reading ...
Rasmussen’s encephalitis is a rare autoimmune disease that primarily affects children and can lead to seizures. As the disease is resistant to drug treatments, it frequently requires surgical interventions aiming to remove or disconnect the affected part of the brain. Researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) have succeeded […]Continue Reading ...
Aug 27 2018 By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD A unique type of neuron has been discovered in the human brain. It has been termed the “rose hip” neuron after the base of the rose which it resembles. This neuron is absent in mice and may provide clues about what makes the human brain unique. The […]Continue Reading ...
Aug 23 2018 In the fruit fly, a single pair of brain neurons command backward locomotion in both larvae and adults, researchers report. The mapping of descending circuitry that can smoothly and rapidly switch movement from forward to backward is unprecedented, said Chris Doe, a biology professor and co-director of the University of Oregon’s Institute […]Continue Reading ...
August 14, 2018 Puzzled by their experimental results, a team of scientists from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital investigated why a research tool that was expected to suppress neuronal activity actually was stimulating it. Their findings led them to modify the research tool in ways that minimize the undesired effects, transforming it […]Continue Reading ...
July 27, 2018 University of Oregon scientists have identified brain cells vital to how zebrafish socialize. When the neurons are disabled, their orientation to one another breaks down in ways similar to socialization problems seen in humans with autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. The neurons, which have equivalent genes in mice and in humans, provide […]Continue Reading ...
July 20, 2018 Sleep is an autonomic process and is not always under our direct, voluntary control. Awake or asleep, we are basically under the regulation of two biological processes: sleep homeostasis, commonly known as ‘sleep pressure’, and the circadian rhythm, otherwise known as the ‘body clock’. These two processes work in harmony to promote […]Continue Reading ...
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