Columbia neuroscientists have revealed that a simple brain region, known for processing basic sensory information, can also guide complex feats of mental activity. The new study involving mice demonstrated that cells in the somatosensory cortex, the brain area responsible for touch, also play a key role in reward learning. It is the basis for how we connect our work in the office to that paycheck, or that A+ to the studying we did in preparation for the test.
Certain personality traits such as sociability, anxiety or depression influence manifestations of neuropathic pain in mice, according to a new study by the Neuropharmacology Laboratory-NeuroPhar at Pompeu Fabra University. The study, led by Rafael Maldonado, has been published in the journal Neuropharmacology.
A genetic variant found only in people of African descent significantly increases a smoker's preference for cigarettes containing menthol, a flavor additive. The variant of the MRGPRX4 gene is five to eight times more frequent among smokers who use menthol cigarettes than other smokers. The multi-ethnic study is the first to look across all genes to identify genetic vulnerability to menthol cigarettes.
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have become the first to describe a model of mitochondrial epilepsy which raises hope for better therapies for patients with this incapacitating condition.Despite the severity of this epilepsy, up to now there have been no animal models available to provide a mechanistic understanding of the condition. That is set to change though as researchers at Trinity can now explain the important role that astrocytes play in seizure generation.
New therapeutic molecules developed at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) show promise in reversing the memory loss linked to depression and aging. These molecules not only rapidly improve symptoms, but remarkably, also appear to renew the underlying brain impairments causing memory loss in preclinical models.
'Night owls' -- those who go to bed and get up later -- have fundamental differences in their brain function compared to 'morning larks,' which mean they could be disadvantaged by the constraints of a normal working day.
Daniela Kaufer, a professor at UC Berkeley and fellow in the CIFAR Child & Brain Development program, has discovered one of the biological pathways that lead to age-related cognitive decline, and has found clues on how to reverse the aging process in the brain.
People who have chronic inflammation in middle-age may develop problems with thinking and memory in the decades leading up to old age, according to a new study published in the Feb. 13, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Researchers at Tokyo Tech, Imperial College London and the University of Tokyo have demonstrated that physical coordination is more beneficial in larger groups.
Stressed dopaminergic neurons call nearby glial cells for help. Those calls can over-activate the glial cells resulting in a cascade of inflammatory signaling that, over time, contributes to neuronal degradation. Working in two fly models of Parkinson's, researchers characterized a novel mechanism that orchestrates this cascade and demonstrated that disrupting it protects neurons as they age. The research provides a new understanding of Parkinson's pathology and offers an alternative approach for developing preventative treatments.