Quantcast

Latest Activity-dependent plasticity Stories

2012-05-02 09:56:42

New insight into the mechanisms that enable us to remember events precisely Scientists now have a better understanding of how precise memories are formed thanks to research led by Prof. Jean-Claude Lacaille of the University of Montreal's Department of Physiology. "In terms of human applications, these findings could help us to better understand memory impairments in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease," Lacaille said. The study looks at the cells in our brains, or...

2012-04-16 21:39:06

Researchers at the Institute of Neurosciences at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (INc-UAB) identified the fundamental role played by the Nurr1 gene in neuron survival associated with synaptic activity. The discovery, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, allows scientists to study a new target that could help to understand the relationship between alterations in neural connections, which are known to cause early cognitive deficit, and the neurodegeneration...

2012-02-22 10:25:31

There are a number of drugs and experimental conditions that can block cognitive function and impair learning and memory. However, scientists have recently shown that some drugs can actually improve cognitive function, which may have implications for our understanding of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The new research is reported 21 February in the open-access journal PLoS Biology. The study, led by Drs. Jose A. Esteban, Shira Knafo and Cesar Venero, is the result of...

2011-12-07 22:43:01

Neuroimaging has provided fascinating insight into the dynamic nature of human brain maturation. However, most studies of developmental changes in brain anatomy have considered individual locations in relative isolation from all others and have not characterized relationships between structural changes in different parts of the developing brain. Now, new research describes the first comprehensive study of coordinated anatomical maturation within the developing human brain. The study,...

2011-11-23 12:10:47

Although many mental illnesses are uniquely human, animals sometimes exhibit abnormal behaviors similar to those seen in humans with psychological disorders. Such behaviors are called endophenotypes. Now, researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have found that mice lacking a gene that encodes a particular protein found in the synapses of the brain display a number of endophenotypes associated with schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. The new findings appear...

Brain Makes Memories Rhythmically
2011-10-04 04:55:18

The brain learns through changes in the strength of its synapses -- the connections between neurons -- in response to stimuli. Now, in a discovery that challenges conventional wisdom on the brain mechanisms of learning, UCLA neuro-physicists have found there is an optimal brain "rhythm," or frequency, for changing synaptic strength. And further, like stations on a radio dial, each synapse is tuned to a different optimal frequency for learning. The findings, which provide a grand-unified...

2011-03-23 20:39:46

It is well established that environmental enrichment, providing animals with rich sensory, motor, and social stimulation, produces both dramatic increases in the number of synapses in the brain and enhanced learning. However, causal relationships between synapse formation and improved memory have not been definitively established. Now, a new study published by Cell Press in the March 24 issue of the journal Neuron introduces a valuable model system for investigating the role of synapse...

2011-03-23 15:25:01

The human brain loses 5 to 10% of its weight between the ages of 20 and 90 years old. While some cells are lost, the brain is equipped with two compensatory mechanisms: plasticity and redundancy. Based on the results of her most recent clinical study published today in the online version of Brain: A Journal of Neurology, Dr. Sylvie Belleville, PhD in neuropsychology, the principal author of this study and Director of Research at the Institut universitaire de g©riatrie de Montr©al...

2009-12-28 16:43:06

The early stages of Alzheimer's disease are thought to occur at the synapse, since synapse loss is associated with memory dysfunction. Evidence suggests that amyloid beta (AÃŽ²) plays an important role in early synaptic failure, but little has been understood about AÃŽ²'s effect on the plasticity of dendritic spines. These spines are short outgrowths of dendrites (extensions of neurons) that relay electrical impulses in the brain. A single neuron's dendrite...

2009-10-20 19:19:28

Growth factors. They are the proteins that trigger a countless number of actions in cells. Drugs that increase or decrease certain growth factors have lead to treatments for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Georgetown University Medical Center researchers say a new understanding of a growth factor implicated in some mental retardation disorders could lead to a novel treatment. Abnormalities in the number and shape of dendritic spines, the protrusions that allow communication between brain...


Word of the Day
ambsace
  • Bad luck; misfortune.
  • The smallest amount possible or the most worthless thing.
The word 'ambsace' comes from a Latin word meaning 'both'.