Nerve cells communicate with one another via synapses. Neuroscientists at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have now found that these connections seem to be much more powerful than previously thought. The larger the synapse, the stronger the signal it transmits. These findings will enable a better understanding of how the brain functions and how neurological disorders arise.
Anyone who has tried and failed to meditate knows that our minds are rarely still. But where do they roam? New research led by the University of California, Berkeley, has come up with a way to track the flow of our internal thought processes and signal whether our minds are focused, fixated or wandering.
The abnormal immune system response that causes multiple sclerosis (MS) by attacking and damaging the central nervous system can be triggered by the lack of a specific fatty acid in fat tissue, according to a new Yale study. The finding suggests that dietary change might help treat some people with the autoimmune disease.
Targeted neuromodulation tailored to individual patients' distinctive symptoms is an increasingly common way of correcting misfiring brain circuits in people with epilepsy or Parkinson's disease. Now, scientists at UC San Francisco's Dolby Family Center for Mood Disorders have demonstrated a novel personalized neuromodulation approach that -- at least in one patient -- was able to provide relief from symptoms of severe treatment-resistant depression within minutes.
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered that fruit flies with genetic modifications to enhance glucose uptake have significantly longer lifespans. Looking at the brain cells of aging flies, they found that better glucose uptake compensates for age-related deterioration in motor functions, and led to longer life. The effect was more pronounced when coupled with dietary restrictions. This suggests healthier eating plus improved glucose uptake in the brain might lead to enhanced lifespans.
Scientists have uncovered new clues implicating a type of herpes virus as the cause of a central nervous system disease in monkeys that's similar to multiple sclerosis in people. By linking two specific T cells to the loss of myelin, scientists say the new study opens the possibility of developing an antiviral therapy that could be especially useful for newly diagnosed cases of multiple sclerosis.
A team of neuroscientists and engineers at McMaster University has created a nasal spray to deliver antipsychotic medication directly to the brain instead of having it pass through the body.
A new study conducted at the University of Turku, Finland, shows that patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder have an increased risk of Parkinson's disease later in life. The increased risk may be due to alterations in the brain's dopamine system caused by dopamine receptor antagonists or neurobiological effects of schizophrenia.
Researchers from the PTSD Systems Biology Consortium identified distinct biotypes for post-traumatic stress disorder, the first of their kind for any psychological disorder. These biotypes can refine the development of screening tools and may explain the varying efficacy of PTSD treatments. PTSD diagnosis is complicated by over-reliance on self-reporting of patient symptoms, particularly underreporting signs of distress due to perceived stigma. Researchers identified two PTSD biotypes with differing genetic markers and underlying mechanisms of disease.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Milan and Google Research have used machine learning techniques to predict how proteins, particularly those implicated in neurological diseases, completely change their shapes in a matter of microseconds.