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Group of gamma-protocadherins linked with neurons help regulate growth of dendrites

Group of gamma-protocadherins linked with neurons help regulate growth of dendrites

When you think of a neuron, imagine a tree. A healthy brain cell indeed looks like a tree with a full canopy. There's a trunk, which is the cell's nucleus; there's a root system, embodied in a single axon; and there are the branches, called dendrites. [More]
Single season of contact sports can cause measurable brain changes

Single season of contact sports can cause measurable brain changes

Repeated impacts to the heads of high school football players cause measurable changes in their brains, even when no concussion occurs, according to research from UT Southwestern Medical Center's Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. [More]
Same genetic changes responsible for gastrointestinal problems in children with autism

Same genetic changes responsible for gastrointestinal problems in children with autism

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have found evidence in mice that, for some types of autism, gastrointestinal difficulties may originate from the same genetic changes that lead to the behavioral and social characteristics of the condition. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. [More]
Brain chemical dopamine plays key role in representing or encoding movement

Brain chemical dopamine plays key role in representing or encoding movement

Princeton University researchers have found that dopamine - a brain chemical involved in learning, motivation and many other functions - also has a direct role in representing or encoding movement. The finding could help researchers better understand dopamine's role in movement-related disorders such as Parkinson's disease. [More]
Unique mouse model could help study genetic origins and potential treatments for ALS

Unique mouse model could help study genetic origins and potential treatments for ALS

University of Florida Health researchers have developed a unique mouse model that will allow researchers around the world to better study the genetic origins and potential treatments for a neurodegenerative brain disease that causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, and frontotemporal dementia. [More]
Caltech researchers map out pathways of neurons responsible for Parkinson's motor impairments

Caltech researchers map out pathways of neurons responsible for Parkinson's motor impairments

Because billions of neurons are packed into our brain, the neuronal circuits that are responsible for controlling our behaviors are by necessity highly intermingled. This tangled web makes it complicated for scientists to determine exactly which circuits do what. Now, using two laboratory techniques pioneered in part at Caltech, Caltech researchers have mapped out the pathways of a set of neurons responsible for the kinds of motor impairments--such as difficulty walking--found in patients with Parkinson's disease. [More]
Scientists discover CD2AP protein that plays key role in nervous system

Scientists discover CD2AP protein that plays key role in nervous system

University of Louisville researchers have discovered that a protein previously known for its role in kidney function also plays a significant role in the nervous system. In an article featured in the April 13 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, they show that the adaptor protein CD2AP is a key player in a type of neural growth known as collateral sprouting. [More]
Researchers discover new, previously underappreciated role for immature dentate gyrus granule cells

Researchers discover new, previously underappreciated role for immature dentate gyrus granule cells

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have proposed a model that resolves a seeming paradox in one of the most intriguing areas of the brain -- the dentate gyrus. [More]
Actin filaments may be key to molecular machinery that forms, stores long-term memories

Actin filaments may be key to molecular machinery that forms, stores long-term memories

Thank the little "muscles" in your neurons for allowing you to remember where you live, what your friends and family look like and a lot more. [More]
Irvine neurobiologists find new way to change damaging course of Huntington disease

Irvine neurobiologists find new way to change damaging course of Huntington disease

A study appearing April 14 in the journal Neuron suggests there may be a new way to change the damaging course of Huntington disease. [More]
Scientists identify unique memory suppressor gene that could provide clues for new Alzheimer’s disease treatments

Scientists identify unique memory suppressor gene that could provide clues for new Alzheimer’s disease treatments

While research has identified hundreds of genes required for normal memory formation, genes that suppress memory are of special interest because they offer insights into how the brain prioritizes and manages all of the information, including memories, that it takes in every day. [More]
Scientists identify key pathway that regulates 'switch' between wakefulness and sleep

Scientists identify key pathway that regulates 'switch' between wakefulness and sleep

Falling asleep and waking up are key transitions in everyone's day. Millions of people have trouble with these transitions - they find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, and hard to stay awake during the day. Despite decades of research, how these transitions work - the neurobiological mechanics of our circadian rhythm - has remained largely a mystery to brain scientists. [More]
Newly found mechanism of color vision illustrates why people perceive color blue in dim light

Newly found mechanism of color vision illustrates why people perceive color blue in dim light

The swirling skies of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night illustrate a mystery that has eluded biologists for more than a century--why do we perceive the color blue in the dimly lit night sky? A newly discovered mechanism of color vision in mice might help answer this question, Caltech researchers say. [More]
Glial cells can modulate specific nerve endings in the brain, find Rockefeller scientists

Glial cells can modulate specific nerve endings in the brain, find Rockefeller scientists

More than half of our brains are made up of glial cells, which wrap around nerve fibers and insulate them--similarly to how the plastic casing of an electric cable insulates the copper wire within--allowing electrical and chemical impulses to travel faster. [More]
Chemists design set of molecules that promote microscopic, anatomical changes in neurons

Chemists design set of molecules that promote microscopic, anatomical changes in neurons

Chemists at the University of California San Diego have designed a set of molecules that promote microscopic, anatomical changes in neurons associated with the formation and retention of memories. These drug candidates also prevent deterioration of the same neuronal structures in the presence of amyloid-beta, a protein fragment that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. [More]
Rockefeller scientists study molecular mechanism that causes linker cell death in worms

Rockefeller scientists study molecular mechanism that causes linker cell death in worms

Some cells are meant to live, and some are meant to die. The linker cell of Caenorhabditis elegans, a tiny worm that is a favored model organism for biologists, is among those destined for termination. [More]
Salk scientists identify specific cellular switches that clear dying, dead neurons

Salk scientists identify specific cellular switches that clear dying, dead neurons

By adolescence, your brain already contains most of the neurons that you'll have for the rest of your life. But a few regions continue to grow new nerve cells--and require the services of cellular sentinels, specialized immune cells that keep the brain safe by getting rid of dead or dysfunctional cells. [More]
New technologies can improve memory, learning in cognitive deficit patients

New technologies can improve memory, learning in cognitive deficit patients

People are using brain-machine interfaces to restore motor function in ways never before possible - through limb prosthetics and exoskletons. But technologies to repair and improve cognition have been more elusive. That is rapidly changing with new tools - from fully implantable brain devices to neuron-eavesdropping grids atop the brain - to directly probe the mind. [More]
Study explores two new antibodies believed to cause myasthenia gravis

Study explores two new antibodies believed to cause myasthenia gravis

A study of patients from across the nation with myasthenia gravis is helping determine the incidence of two new antibodies believed to cause the disease, and whether these patients need different treatment strategies. [More]
Commonly used fungicides could cause gene expression changes in brain cells

Commonly used fungicides could cause gene expression changes in brain cells

Scientists at the UNC School of Medicine have found a class of commonly used fungicides that produce gene expression changes similar to those in people with autism and neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease. [More]
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