Bionic neurons could enable implants to restore failing brain circuits

Neurons in the brain. Rather than implanting directly into the brain, the bionic neurons are built into ultra-low power microchips that form the basis for devices that would plug straight into the nervous system. Scientists have created artificial neurons that could potentially be implanted into patients to overcome paralysis, restore failing brain circuits, and evenContinue reading “Bionic neurons could enable implants to restore failing brain circuits”

Cannabinoid Exposure During Adolescence Disrupts Neural Regulation

Cannabis exposure during adolescence may interfere with the brain’s maturation, at least in rats, according to research presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego this week. Scientists find that a synthetic cannabinoid can throw dopamine signaling out of whack and alter the development of the prefrontal cortex. As states continue to legalizeContinue reading “Cannabinoid Exposure During Adolescence Disrupts Neural Regulation”

Cleveland Clinic Researchers Discover Novel Subtype of Multiple Sclerosis

Reprinted from The Lancet Neurology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(18)30245-X, Trapp et al, Cortical neuronal densities and cerebral white matter demyelination in multiple sclerosis: a retrospective study, Copyright (2018), with permission from Elsevier Bruce Trapp, Ph.D., chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute Department of Neurosciences Cleveland Clinic researchers have discovered a new subtype of multiple sclerosis (MS), providingContinue reading “Cleveland Clinic Researchers Discover Novel Subtype of Multiple Sclerosis”

New Research Suggests It’s all About the Bass

When we listen to music, we often tap our feet or bob our head along to the beat – but why do we do it? New research led by Western Sydney University’s MARCS Institute suggests the reason could be related to the way our brain processes low-frequency sounds. The study, published in PNAS, recorded theContinue reading “New Research Suggests It’s all About the Bass”

Scientists are now able to make human neurons from white blood cells

Fresh or frozen human blood samples can be directly transformed into patient-specific neurons to study disorders such as schizophrenia and autism, Stanford researcher Marius Wernig has found. Human immune cells in blood can be converted directly into functional neurons in the laboratory in about three weeks with the addition of just four proteins, researchers atContinue reading “Scientists are now able to make human neurons from white blood cells”

Researchers discovery an independent role for astrocytes in cognition

The majority of the cells in the brain are no neurons, but Glia (from “glue”) cells, that support the structure and function of the brain. Astrocytes (“start cells”) are star-shaped glial cells providing many supportive functions for the neurons surrounding them, such as the provision of nutrients and the regulation of their chemical environment. NewerContinue reading “Researchers discovery an independent role for astrocytes in cognition”

Biomaterial developed at UCLA helps regrow brain tissue after stroke in mice

by Leigh Hopper Tnew stroke-healing gel created by UCLA researchers helped regrow neurons and blood vessels in mice whose brains had been damaged by strokes. The finding is reported May 21 in Nature Materials. “We tested this in laboratory mice to determine if it would repair the brain and lead to recovery in a modelContinue reading “Biomaterial developed at UCLA helps regrow brain tissue after stroke in mice”

Molecular link between long-term memory and neurodegenerative disease discovered

Scientists have just discovered that a small region of a cellular protein that helps long-term memories form also drives the neurodegeneration seen in motor neuron disease (MND). This small part of the Ataxin-2 protein thus works for good and for bad. When a version of the protein lacking this region was substituted for the normalContinue reading “Molecular link between long-term memory and neurodegenerative disease discovered”

Scientists transfer memory from one snail to another

By Ashley Yeager Researchers have transferred a memory from one snail to another via RNA, they report today (May 14) in eNeuro. If confirmed in other species, the finding may lead to a shift in scientists’ thinking about how memories are made—rather than cemented in nerve-cell connections, they may be spurred on by RNA-induced epigeneticContinue reading “Scientists transfer memory from one snail to another”

When artificial intelligence was allowed to learn how to move through a virtual environment, it spontaneously generated patterns of activity found in grid neurons of the human brain.

By Diana Kwon A computer program can learn to navigate through space and spontaneously mimics the electrical activity of grid cells, neurons that help animals navigate their environments, according to a study published May 9 in Nature. “This paper came out of the blue, like a shot, and it’s very exciting,” Edvard Moser, a neuroscientistContinue reading “When artificial intelligence was allowed to learn how to move through a virtual environment, it spontaneously generated patterns of activity found in grid neurons of the human brain.”