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Latest Nature Neuroscience Stories

2014-02-03 10:45:07

Our brains have billions of neurons grouped into different regions. These regions often work alone, but sometimes must join forces. How do regions communicate selectively? Stanford researchers may have solved a riddle about the inner workings of the brain, which consists of billions of neurons, organized into many different regions, with each region primarily responsible for different tasks. The various regions of the brain often work independently, relying on the neurons inside that...

2014-01-20 12:26:21

Study uncovers role of Neuroligin-1 protein Cleveland Clinic researchers have identified a protein in the brain that plays a critical role in the memory loss seen in Alzheimer's patients, according to a study to be published in the journal Nature Neuroscience and posted online today. The protein – Neuroligin-1 (NLGN1) – is known to be involved in memory formation; this is the first time it's been linked to amyloid-associated memory loss. In Alzheimer's disease, amyloid beta...

2013-12-18 11:36:08

Imagine kicking a cocaine addiction by simply popping a pill that alters the way your brain processes chemical addiction. New research from the University of Pittsburgh suggests that a method of biologically manipulating certain neurocircuits could lead to a pharmacological approach that would weaken post-withdrawal cocaine cravings. The findings have been published in Nature Neuroscience. Researchers led by Pitt neuroscience professor Yan Dong used rat models to examine the effects of...

2013-11-21 11:37:31

Researchers from Bonn University decode a roadblock to nerve cell transplantation A vision is to implant nerve precursor cells in the diseased brains of patients with Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, whereby these cells are to assume the function of the cells that have died off. However, the implanted nerve cells frequently do not migrate as hoped, rather they hardly move from the site. Scientists at the Institute for Reconstructive Neurobiology at Bonn University have now discovered...

2013-11-15 10:58:29

Identifying 'sensome' of microglia could improve understanding, treatments for neurodegenerative disorders Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators have used a new sequencing method to identify a group of genes used by the brain's immune cells – called microglia – to sense pathogenic organisms, toxins or damaged cells that require their response. Identifying these genes should lead to better understanding of the role of microglia both in normal brains and in neurodegenerative...

2013-08-26 11:26:49

Compounds already exist to potentially treat both inherited and non-inherited cases Researchers at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere have brought new clarity to the picture of what goes awry in the brain during Parkinson's disease and identified a compound that eases the disease's symptoms in mice. Their discoveries, described in a paper published online in Nature Neuroscience on August 25, also overturn established ideas about the role of a protein considered key to the disease's progress....

2013-08-12 14:12:37

A team of neuroscientists has identified a modification to a protein in laboratory mice linked to conditions associated with Alzheimer's Disease. Their findings, which appear in the journal Nature Neuroscience, also point to a potential therapeutic intervention for alleviating memory-related disorders. The research centered on eukaryotic initiation factor 2 alpha (eIF2alpha) and two enzymes that modify it with a phosphate group; this type of modification is termed phosphorylation. The...

2013-08-12 14:10:30

Researchers have discovered how genetic mutations linked to Parkinson's disease might play a key role in the death of brain cells, potentially paving the way for the development of more effective drug treatments. In the new study, published in Nature Neuroscience, a team of researchers from UCL, the University of Cambridge and the University of Sheffield showed how defects in the Parkinson's gene Fbxo7 cause problems with 'mitaphagy' – an essential process through which our bodies are...

2013-08-05 12:25:20

Using direct human brain recordings, a research team from Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA and Thomas Jefferson University has identified a new type of cell in the brain that helps people to keep track of their relative location while navigating an unfamiliar environment. The "grid cell," which derives its name from the triangular grid pattern in which the cell activates during navigation, is distinct among brain cells because its activation represents multiple...

2013-07-23 10:49:27

Research could have direct application for treating human drinking problems A research team led by scientists from the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco has identified circuitry in the brain that drives compulsive drinking in rats, and likely plays a similar role in humans. The scientists found they could reduce compulsive drinking in rats by inhibiting key neural pathways that run between the prefrontal cortex, which is involved with...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'