In a new study published in GLIA , Virginia Tech neuroscientists at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC describe how the common Toxoplasma gondii parasite prompts the loss of inhibitory signaling in the brain by altering the behavior of nearby cells called microglia.
You know that feeling in your gut? We think of it as an innate intuition that sparks deep in the belly and helps guide our actions, if we let it. It's also a metaphor for what scientists call the 'gut-brain axis,' a biological reality in which the gut and its microbial inhabitants send signals to the brain, and vice versa.
Before they were banned about a half century ago, psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin showed promise for treating conditions including alcoholism and some psychiatric disorders. In a commentary publishing April 2 in the journal Cell, researchers say it's time for regulators, scientists, and the public to 'revisit drugs that were once used but fell out of use because of political machinations, especially the war on drugs.'
In the fight against neurodegenerative diseases such as frontotemporal dementia, Alzheimer's and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, the tau protein is a major culprit. Found abundantly in our brain cells, tau is normally a team player -- it maintains structure and stability within neurons, and it helps with transport of nutrients from one part of the cell to another.
New analysis examines light scattering properties in brain tissue to better understand the three-dimensional structure of nerve fibers.
A first-of-its-kind trial has demonstrated that a receptor involved in the brain's reward system may be a viable target for treating anhedonia (or lack of pleasure), a key symptom of several mood and anxiety disorders. This innovative fast-fail trial was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the results of the trial are published in Nature Medicine.
Scientists have identified a specific type of sensory nerve ending in the gut and how these communicate pain or discomfort to the brain, paving the way for targeted treatments for common conditions like ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome or chronic constipation. While understanding of the gut's neurosensory abilities has grown rapidly, two great mysteries have been where and how different types of sensory nerve endings in the gut lie.
In a paper publishing March 26 in the journal Cell, investigators report that they have used microelectrode arrays implanted in human brains to map out motor functions down to the level of the single nerve cell. The study revealed that an area believed to control only one body part actually operates across a wide range of motor functions. It also demonstrated how different neurons coordinate with each other.
Lactation temporarily changes how a mother's neurons behave, according to new research in mice published in JNeurosci.
Today, severe depressions require a high dose of antidepressants. However, the high dose may also cause serious side effects. Now, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have found a substance that may ease the side effects while preserving the therapeutic effect.