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Latest Molecular neuroscience Stories

2011-08-10 22:41:10

Researchers studying mice are getting closer to understanding how stress affects mood and motivation for drugs. According to the researchers, blocking the stress cascade in brain cells may help reduce the effects of stress, which can include anxiety, depression and the pursuit of addictive drugs. A research team from St. Louis and Seattle reports in the Aug. 11 issue of the journal Neuron that in mice exposed to stress, a protein called p38ÃŽ± mitogen-activated protein...

2011-06-16 13:21:10

Precisely mapped allosteric binding site will facilitate design of drugs with minimal side effects Structural biologists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have obtained a precise molecular map of the binding site for an allosteric inhibitor in a subtype of the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor, which is commonly expressed in brain cells. The newly discovered binding site -- a docking port within the receptor -- is important because it is a potential target for drugs that can modulate...

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2011-04-28 09:03:23

A new study reveals a novel gene associated with major depression. The research, published by Cell Press in the April 28 issue of the journal Neuron, suggests a previously unrecognized mechanism for major depression and may guide future therapeutic strategies for this debilitating mood disorder. Major depression is a psychiatric disorder that is responsible for a substantial loss in work productivity and can even lead to suicide in some individuals. "Current treatments for major depression...

2011-04-26 23:32:16

Structure of GluN2D subunit when docked with certain neurotransmitters helps explain the receptor's slow deactivation Structural biologists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in collaboration with colleagues at Emory University have determined the molecular structure of a key portion, or subunit, of a receptor type commonly expressed in brain cells. The receptor is one of several NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor variants, and the subunit in question is that which specifically binds...

2011-04-25 12:49:35

By shedding new light on how cells migrate in the developing brain, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center also may have found a new mechanism by which other types of cells, including cancer cells, travel within the body. The findings by Jonathan Cooper, Ph.D., member and director of the Hutchinson Center's Basic Sciences Division, and Yves Jossin, Ph.D., a research fellow in Cooper's laboratory, published online April 24 in Nature Neuroscience, could lead to a better...

2011-04-08 15:25:08

Researchers from the CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM) have identified a new gene that predisposes people to both autism and epilepsy. Led by the neurologist Dr. Patrick Cossette, the research team found a severe mutation of the synapsin gene (SYN1) in all members of a large French-Canadian family suffering from epilepsy, including individuals also suffering from autism. This study also includes an analysis of two cohorts of individuals from Quebec, which made it possible to identify other...

2011-03-03 12:56:48

A new study provides fascinating insight into the genetic basis of bipolar disorder, a highly heritable mood disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression. The research, published by Cell Press online February 24 in the American Journal of Human Genetics, identifies a previously unrecognized susceptibility factor for bipolar disorder. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) provide a way to systematically sort through all the DNA of many individuals in order to identify...

2011-02-09 15:04:29

The discovery of a new mechanism may have implications for a host of diseases A study from The Scripps Research Institute has unveiled a surprising mechanism that controls brain formation. The findings have implications for understanding a host of diseases, including some forms of mental retardation, epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism. The research, led by Scripps Research Professor Ulrich Mueller, was published in the journal Neuron on February 10, 2011. In the new study, Mueller and...

2011-02-08 07:55:10

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- In a major advance for schizophrenia research, scientists identified a gene mutation linked to the severe brain disorder and a signaling pathway that could be treatable with existing methods. "In some ways, this is the kind of gene that the pharmaceutical industry has been waiting for," Jonathan Sebat, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, was quoted as saying." Its...

2011-01-04 03:59:55

University of Michigan research finds new evidence that our genes play a role in our response to adversity University of Michigan Health System researchers have found new evidence that our genes help determine our susceptibility to depression. Their findings, published online today in the Archives of General Psychiatry, challenge a 2009 study that called the genetic link into question and add new support to earlier research hailed as a medical breakthrough. In the summer of 2003, scientists...