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Latest Chemical synapse Stories

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...

2012-02-20 13:52:58

Researchers track structural changes during formation of new memories New connections between brain cells emerge in clusters in the brain as animals learn to perform a new task, according to a study published in Nature on February 19 (advance online publication). Led by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the study reveals details of how brain circuits are rewired during the formation of new motor memories. The researchers studied mice as they learned new behaviors,...

2012-02-09 15:02:46

UC Riverside scientists identify a protein that plays a crucial role in learning and memory Biomedical scientists at the University of California, Riverside have identified a new link between a protein called beta-arrestin and short-term memory that could open new doors for the therapeutic treatment of neurological disorders, particularly Alzheimer's disease. Beta-arrestin is expressed in various cells of the body, including cells of the hippocampus, the region of the brain that is...

Mouse Study Sheds Light On Controlling Hunger
2012-02-08 14:40:15

Researchers have revealed that the neural circuits controlling hunger and eating behaviors are also controlled by plasticity. They found that during fasting, the AgRP neurons that drive feeding behaviors actually undergo anatomical changes that cause them to become more active. This effect results in these neurons "learning" to be more responsive to hunger-promoting neural stimuli. "The role of plasticity has generally not been evaluated in neuronal circuits that control feeding...

2012-02-01 14:08:22

Researchers reveal a novel mechanism through which the brain may become more reluctant to function as we grow older New findings, led by neuroscientists at the University of Bristol and published this week in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, reveal a novel mechanism through which the brain may become more reluctant to function as we grow older. It is not fully understood why the brain's cognitive functions such as memory and speech decline as we age. Although work published this year...

2012-01-04 08:56:59

Quite early in its development, the mammalian brain has all the raw materials on hand to forge complex neural networks. But forming the connections that make these intricate networks so exquisitely functional is a process that occurs one synapse at a time. An important question for neuroscience has been: how exactly do stable synapses form? How do nerve cells of particular types know which of their cortical neighbors to "synapse" with, and which to leave out of their emerging networks?...

2011-12-14 10:18:39

An inhibitory drug reverses seizure damage to neurologic pathways in rats About half of newborns who have seizures go on to have long-term intellectual and memory deficits and cognitive disorders such as autism, but why this occurs has been unknown. In the December 14 Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston detail how early-life seizures disrupt normal brain development, and show in a rat model that it might be possible to reverse this pathology by giving certain...

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...

Researchers Turn Embryonic Stem Cells Into Functioning Neurons
2011-11-22 06:26:29

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin have successfully had implanted neurons, created in laboratory conditions, connect with the brains of mice and both send and receive signals. In research published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), lead author Jason P. Weick and associates Yan Liu and Su-Chun Zhang describe how they were able to take blank slate human embryonic stem cells (hESC), turn them into neurons, implant them into the brains of...


Word of the Day
snash
  • To talk saucily.
  • Insolent, opprobrious language; impertinent abuse.
This word is Scots in origin and probably imitative.