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Researchers create microtube platform to analyze neuron growth

Researchers create microtube platform to analyze neuron growth

Tiny, thin microtubes could provide a scaffold for neuron cultures to grow so that researchers can study neural networks, their growth and repair, yielding insights into treatment for degenerative neurological conditions or restoring nerve connections after injury. [More]
Stopping the death of synapses: an interview with Dr Soledad Galli

Stopping the death of synapses: an interview with Dr Soledad Galli

Synapses are the sites that connect neurons – sites where information is passed from one neuron to another. They are highly specialized structures and synaptic function is crucial for normal brain function. [More]
Endothelin gene expression linked to vision loss in premature babies

Endothelin gene expression linked to vision loss in premature babies

A gene known to play a major role in constricting blood vessels also appears to be a major player in the aberrant blood vessel growth that can destroy the vision of premature babies. [More]
McLean Hospital lab explores use of stem cell therapy to treat epilepsy

McLean Hospital lab explores use of stem cell therapy to treat epilepsy

McLean Hospital and Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists have new evidence that stem cell transplantation could be a worthwhile strategy to help epileptics who do not respond to anti-seizure drugs. [More]
U-M researchers show how neurons perform multiple functions

U-M researchers show how neurons perform multiple functions

Researchers at the University of Michigan have shown how a single neuron can perform multiple functions in a model organism, illuminating for the first time this fundamental biological mechanism and shedding light on the human brain. [More]
Study looks at new diagnostic, treatment approaches to neurological conditions

Study looks at new diagnostic, treatment approaches to neurological conditions

Despite great advances in understanding how the human brain works, psychiatric conditions, neurodegenerative disorders, and brain injuries are on the rise. Progress in the development of new diagnostic and treatment approaches appears to have stalled. In a special issue of the Cell Press journal Neuron, experts look at the challenges associated with "translational neuroscience," or efforts to bring advances in the lab to the patients who need them. [More]
Light-activated diabetes drug: an interview with Dr David Hodson

Light-activated diabetes drug: an interview with Dr David Hodson

We've known about chemicals that can be light-activated for about five to ten years now. They’ve mainly all been applied to neurons and, more specifically, the retina. Nobody has ever really looked at any tissues outside of the nervous system. [More]
Even brief workouts can reduce risk of relapse during meth withdrawal

Even brief workouts can reduce risk of relapse during meth withdrawal

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that even brief workouts can reduce the risk of relapse in rats withdrawing from methamphetamine. In addition, the team found that exercise affected the neurons in a brain region that had never before been associated with meth withdrawal, suggesting a new direction for drug development. [More]
3D brain-like tissue: an interview with Professor David Kaplan, Tufts University

3D brain-like tissue: an interview with Professor David Kaplan, Tufts University

In 2D, neurons tend to form limited connectivity reflective of the 3D complexity in the brain and have more limited cultivation time before reduction in functions. [More]
Tau proteins spur neuron death in Alzheimer's disease

Tau proteins spur neuron death in Alzheimer's disease

New research points to tau, not amyloid-beta (Abeta) plaque, as the seminal event that spurs neuron death in disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The finding, which dramatically alters the prevailing theory of Alzheimer's development, also explains why some people with plaque build-up in their brains don't have dementia. [More]
Scratching itchy skin causes the brain to release serotonin, intensifies itchy feeling

Scratching itchy skin causes the brain to release serotonin, intensifies itchy feeling

Turns out your mom was right: Scratching an itch only makes it worse. New research from scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that scratching causes the brain to release serotonin, which intensifies the itch sensation. [More]
Aging astrocytes lose ability to protect motor neurons, reveal Cedars-Sinai ALS researchers

Aging astrocytes lose ability to protect motor neurons, reveal Cedars-Sinai ALS researchers

Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, attacks muscle-controlling nerve cells – motor neurons – in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord, leading to progressive weakness and eventual paralysis of muscles throughout the body. Patients typically survive only three to five years after diagnosis. [More]
Nanostructures around brain cells may have role in central nervous system function

Nanostructures around brain cells may have role in central nervous system function

An accumulation of a protein called amyloid-beta into large insoluble deposits called plaques is known to cause Alzheimer's disease. One aspect of this illness that has not received much attention is which role the structure of the brain environment plays. [More]
Teen binge drinking effects may last a lifetime, suggests UMass Amherst study

Teen binge drinking effects may last a lifetime, suggests UMass Amherst study

Binge drinking can have lasting effects on brain pathways that are still developing during adolescence, say neuroscience researcher Heather N. Richardson and her colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Louisiana State University. [More]
Study sheds light on why we remember some things and not others

Study sheds light on why we remember some things and not others

Why do we remember some things and not others? In a unique imaging study, two Northwestern University researchers have discovered how neurons in the brain might allow some experiences to be remembered while others are forgotten. It turns out, if you want to remember something about your environment, you better involve your dendrites. [More]
Nano-sized discovery helps explain bipolar disorder

Nano-sized discovery helps explain bipolar disorder

A nano-sized discovery by Northwestern Medicine® scientists helps explain how bipolar disorder affects the brain and could one day lead to new drug therapies to treat the mental illness. [More]
Scientists use innovative exome sequencing strategy to identify new gene associated with ALS

Scientists use innovative exome sequencing strategy to identify new gene associated with ALS

Using an innovative exome sequencing strategy, a team of international scientists led by John Landers, PhD, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has shown that TUBA4A, the gene encoding the Tubulin Alpha 4A protein, is associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurological disorder also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. [More]
Isis Pharmaceuticals provides update on Phase 2 clinical studies of ISIS-SMN Rx in children with SMA

Isis Pharmaceuticals provides update on Phase 2 clinical studies of ISIS-SMN Rx in children with SMA

Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today provided an update on its ongoing open-label Phase 2 clinical studies of ISIS-SMN Rx in infants and children with spinal muscular atrophy at the 19th International World Muscle Society (WMS) Congress in Berlin, Germany. [More]
UCI to receive $8 million from NIH to study brain cell activity in motor neuron disorders

UCI to receive $8 million from NIH to study brain cell activity in motor neuron disorders

UC Irvine will receive $8 million from the National Institutes of Health to establish one of six national centers dedicated to creating a database of human cellular responses that will accelerate efforts to develop new therapies for many diseases. [More]
UT Arlington scientists explore how fluid flow could play significant role in neuronal growth

UT Arlington scientists explore how fluid flow could play significant role in neuronal growth

A University of Texas at Arlington team exploring how neuron growth can be controlled in the lab and, possibly, in the human body has published a new paper in Nature Scientific Reports on how fluid flow could play a significant role. [More]