New research suggests that higher-level brain functions have a major role in losing weight. In a study among 24 participants at a weight-loss clinic, those who achieved greatest success in terms of weight loss demonstrated more activity in the brain regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex associated with self-control. The results of the study were published in Cell Metabolism on Oct. 18.
'Exercise is a low-cost, non-invasive modality,' noted Dr. John DeLuca, 'so we are very interested in learning more about how activity results in these improvements. Rethinking how we view exercise in the long-term management of MS and other neurological conditions is our first step. We anticipate that the PRIMERS framework will accelerate advances in treatment by integrating the contributions from neuroscience, neurophysiology, and neurorehabilitation."
The architecture of each person's brain is unique, and differences may influence how quickly people can complete various cognitive tasks. But how neuroanatomy impacts performance is largely an open question. To learn more, scientists are developing a new tool -- computational models of the brain -- to simulate how the structure of the brain may impact brain activity and, ultimately, human behavior.
Scientists at Scripps Research have successfully tested a potential new smoking-cessation treatment in rodents.
The current study demonstrates a deleterious effect of midazolam administration prior to myocardial ischemia and reveals reduced circadian protein Period 2 (PER2) levels as the underlying mechanism. These findings highlight PER2 as a cardioprotective mechanism and suggest the PER2 enhancer nobiletin as preventative therapy for myocardial injury in the perioperative setting where midazolam pretreatment occurs frequently.
Adolescent THC exposure reduces the branching of prefrontal cortical neurons and the number of spines, which are critical for cellular communication. This adolescent exposure is also associated with a reorganization of the gene expression of specific genes that are predominantly related to neuron development, synaptic plasticity and chromatin organization (epigenetic mechanisms).
Somatic stem cells are microscopic workhorses, constantly regenerating cells throughout the body: skin and the lining of the intestine, for example. And to University of Illinois neuroscientists, they represent untapped potential.
A group of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators is proposing that targeting immune checkpoints -- molecules that regulate the activity of the immune system -- in immune cells called microglia could reduce the inflammatory aspects of important neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and ALS.
In a study of 15 patients affected by major depressive disorder and complaining of insomnia, initiating treatment with vortioxetine for their depressive symptoms led to significant improvements in subjective sleep quality and daytime sleepiness.
Human and avian youngsters learn behaviors by imitating adults. But learners are selective in who they copy, and scientists don't understand how they choose the right teacher. Young male zebra finches must learn to copy the song of an adult male to mate, but juveniles won't imitate songs played through a loudspeaker or sung by other species of birds. New findings from Duke University scientists show how the juvenile birds identify the right teacher.