Because there's currently no cure for dementia, it's important to know about risk factors that may lead to developing it. For example, researchers have learned that older adults with slower walking speeds seem to have a greater risk than those with faster walking speeds. Recently, researchers from the UK. teamed up to learn more about changes in walking speed, changes in the ability to think and make decisions, and dementia.
Researchers have recently focused on the role that dementia and other cognitive problems may play in falling, in hopes of discovering ways to manage and prevent falls. They published their study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
A new study has revealed that the human brain's tiniest blood vessels can activate genes known to trigger spinal motor neurons, prompting the neurons to grow during early development. The findings could provide insights into how amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative disorders may develop. To make the discovery, investigators successfully re-created living tissues of the blood vessels and the spinal motor neurons -- which control muscles -- outside the body to show how they interact.
Exposures of pregnant women and children to common thyroid-hormone-disrupting toxins may be linked to the increased incidence of brain development disorders, according to a review published in Endocrine Connections. The review describes how numerous, common chemicals can interfere with normal thyroid hormone actions, which are essential for normal brain development in fetuses and young children, and suggests a need for greater public health intervention.
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University studied the neural response of Japanese junior high school students learning English as a second language, while listening to English sentences. More proficient boys showed more activation in parts of the brain associated with grammatical rules (syntax); girls used a wider range of language information, including speech sounds (phonology) and meaning of words and sentences (semantics). These discoveries may help optimize how boys and girls are taught English.
A new study suggests for the first time that reflection of past failures might prepare an individual for the next challenge by changing the body's response to stress. The US research team found that writing about a past failure led to lower levels of the 'stress' hormone, cortisol, better choices and better outcomes on a new stressful task. This technique may help improve performance in a variety of settings.
Newly discovered gene mutations may help explain the cause of a disease that drastically impairs walking and thinking.
Neurology researchers investigating a rare but devastating neurological regression in infants have discovered the cause: gene mutations that severely disrupt crucial functions in mitochondria, the energy-producing structures within cells. The specific disease mechanism, in which mutations disrupt a critical mitochondrial enzyme, has not previously been implicated in a human disease.
A new study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) suggests that Transcendental Meditation is associated with a unique state of 'restful alertness.' The study, which monitored blood flow, found that, compared to eyes-closed rest, during Transcendental Meditation there was increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, indicating the sort of alertness also seen in other meditations. However, unlike other meditations, there was decreased activity in the cerebellum and pons, indicating deep rest.
A scientific paper has revealed that some nutrients found in food may help reduce the symptoms of psychotic illness, when used in the early stages of treatment. The systematic review, led by Dr Firth, honorary Research Fellow at The University of Manchester and Research Fellow at NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University an examined if nutrient supplementation could provide effective 'add on' treatment for young people with psychosis.