New Approaches to Brain Tumors

by Guy McKhann, MD

Guy_McKhann_thmb

Personalized medicine may be the answer for brain tumor therapy, which desperately needs new ideas and approaches.
From our free print publication, Brain in the News.



Imaging of Cognitive Impairment from Soccer Heading-Related Brain Injury

by Jim Schnabel

Michael Lipton headshotDana Foundation grantee Michael Lipton is looking at the cumulative effect of heading impacts by monitoring changes in brain structure and function with diffusion tensor imaging and cognitive tests. One of our Scientist Q&As.



Stress, Neuropeptide Interaction, and Relapse: A Neurobiological Addiction Story

by Kayt Sukel

Relapsing may have more to do with altered stress pathways than pleasure-seeking pathways. 



New Study Casts Doubt on Brain ‘Rejuvenator’ Protein

by Jim Schnabel

Yet Harvard researchers insist brain-improving effects of GDF11 were real.



Could the Cerebellum Help Drive Creativity?

by Kayt Sukel

The highly connected region is active not only driving motor movements but also during cognitive tasks. 



Maturing Intelligence

by Kayt Sukel

While our short-term memory ability may peak in youth, other cognitive skills hit their strides much later, researchers report from a series of crowd-sourced experiments.



Schizophrenia Research Zeroes In on Fast-Spiking Interneurons

by Jim Schnabel

Could the disorder—often characterized by hearing voices—be a failure of brain rhythms? 



Teasing Apart How Food Can Make Us Well

by Carl Sherman

Many researchers at a New York Academy of Sciences symposium described a “nexus of nutrition, aging, and dementia.” 



The Journey to the Cognitive Map

By Moheb Costandi

2014 Nobel Prize winner John O’Keefe described the path to our understanding of how place works in the brain during a special lecture celebrating the British Neuroscience Association’s 50th year. 



How Should Society Treat Addiction?

by Moheb Costandi

Recent research reveals the neural mechanisms underlying the transition from voluntary to compulsive drug-taking. Scientists and neuroethicists argued what could be done to help people and society during a symposium at the BNA Festival of Neuroscience.



Targeting Inflammatory Diseases With Electrical Signals

by Jim Schnabel

Kevin TraceyDana grantee Kevin J. Tracey, a pioneer of “bioelectric medicine,” and his colleagues are testing vagus nerve stimulation devices for possible use in severe rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. One of our series of Scientist Q&As.



Dana Library and Research Centre Announced by the Science Museum

The Science Museum in London has officially announced the new Dana Library and Research Centre, opening in late 2015.



What Were You Thinking?! – Understanding the Neurobiology of the Teen Brain

by Marisa M. Silveri, Ph.D.

Lauren Parsley

Wrong-headed teen behavior isn’t due necessarily to a lack of knowing right from wrong, but rather an inability to hold back the wrong answer or behavior. 

One of our series of Reports on Progress.



Can Brain Science Help Promote Good Health?

by Carl Sherman

Can imaging tell us if scary labels on cigarette packages prompt smokers to quit? Researchers look for signs that might track how persuasive psychological and social interventions will be.



Stimulating the Brain: Electroceuticals

by Guy McKhann, MD

Guy_McKhann_thmb

Electrical stimulation has been used for many years to treat various brain disorders and researchers continue to hone its capabilities and understand how it works. From our free print publication, Brain in the News.



Studying the Blind Leads to New Insights in Human Brain Specialization

by Kayt Sukel

Their ability to use brain real estate slotted for vision for touch perception suggests that sense areas could be driven by task, not the type of sense.



Ultrasound for Alzheimer’s?

by Jim Schnabel

Researchers find that focused sound waves can loosen the blood-brain barrier in Alzheimer’s-model mice, resulting in the clearance of amyloid beta from the brain, and big improvements on memory tests.



Dana Library and Research Centre Announced by the Science Museum

The Science Museum in London has officially announced the new Dana Library and Research Centre, opening in late 2015. As envisioned by the Science Museum, the new Centre will provide a “world class environment” for academic research and it will be open to the public as well. Renovation is now underway at the former Dana Centre, which opened in 2003 and provided public events about the latest in science research.

  For academic research, the Centre will focus on bringing together the Museums’ library and archive collections, as well as artifacts, through its Research and Public History Department. The facility will be open to the public and include special events aimed at reaching broad audiences.

  Edward Rover, Chairman and President of the Dana Foundation said, “We are delighted that the Library and Research Centre preserves the Dana name. We have a longstanding relationship with the Science Museum and the focus of the new facility is in keeping with Dana’s mission and commitment  to the importance of scientific inquiry and public education. ”



The Patterns of Pain Relief

by Kayt Sukel

Using a data-mining method and fMRI results from eight separate clinical trials testing pain medicines, Oxford researchers find evidence of consistent patterns of brain activity. Such a definite pattern might be used before human trials to choose which new drug to test, or after, to see if it is working in a particular patient. 



Unraveling the Complexity of Schizophrenia Genetics

by Rebecca Birnbaum, MD, and Daniel R. Weinberger, MD

Our understanding of the biological mechanisms of schizophrenia risk has steadily evolved over the past few decades, attributable largely to advances in human genetics and to genomic technologies. One of our series of Reports on Progress.



The Enduring Mystery of Migraine

by Jim Schnabel

People who get migraines could soon have some new therapeutic options, but a deep understanding of the disorder continues to elude researchers.



Disorders of Consciousness: Brain Death, Coma, and the Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States

by Thomas I. Cochrane, MD, MBA, and Michael A. Williams, MD, FAAN

Using two sample outcomes, the authors walk us through possible stages of consciousness after injury. One of our series of Reports on Progress.



Early Life Experience, Critical Periods, and Brain Development

by Kayt Sukel

Researchers describe links between the presence of a caregiver, the absence of severe prenatal stress, and changes in brain structure and function in childhood and adolescence.



When the Myth is the Message: Neuromyths and Education

by Kayt Sukel

A recent survey suggests that neuromyths are more pervasive in the educational community than we might think, and this may work against academic achievement. We investigate some of the most common myths, explaining their scientific origins and realities. One of our series of briefing papers. 



How to Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Without Taking Drugs

By Jim Schnabel

AlzRisk-VitaminDWhile most cases of dementia may be unavoidable, a great many may be prevented or delayed via simple changes in diet and other habits. In principle, the earlier in life a person starts making these changes, the better the preventive effect would be.



Swiss Neuroscientists Induce Spooky ‘Feeling of a Presence’ in Healthy Volunteers

by Jim Schnabel

The researchers expect that such investigations ultimately could offer insights into related neuroscientific issues such as the neural origins of hallucinated voices in schizophrenia and the delusional sense of being controlled by someone else.



Beyond Insulin: Regulating Blood Sugar

by Tom Valeo

Research on diet, exercise, and using gene-spliced mice lead scientists to suspect that brain mechanisms may contribute up to half the control we have over glucose.



Tracking Neuroinflammation in Development, Neurodegenerative Disease

by Kayt Sukel

Researchers use new techniques and drugs to see if inflammation is a cause or an effect of brain illnesses.



The Brain–Gut Axis and Neuropsychiatric Disease: A Paradigm Shift

by Kayt Sukel

“As our understanding of the microbiome grows, we see a new opportunity for new questions and new understanding of brain disorders ranging from autism and depression,” says one researcher at the recent Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. Others agree. 



Environmental Influence on the Developing Brain

by Carl Sherman

A panel at the recent Aspen Brain Forum discussed how certain social and psychological aspects of environment influence biology and behavior.



Nutrition and Brain Development

by Carl Sherman

Speakers on an Aspen Brain Forum panel about nutrition focused on iron deficiency—the most common single nutrient deficiency in the world—and its effects on neurodevelopment.



Seeking the Neural Signature of Consciousness

by Kayt Sukel

Cambridge researchers using EEG find network activity differs among minimally conscious patients, and the possibility of predicting the potential to communicate even in non-responsive people.



This is Your Brain in Space

by Dirk Hanson

Want to travel to Mars? Bring empathy, communication skills; expect trouble with seeing, thinking—and keeping food down.



Probing Synaptic Pruning

by Brenda Patoine

Beth StevensDana grantee Beth Stevens, Ph.D., discusses the unexpected roles immune cells play in normal brain development and disease. One of our series of Scientist Q&As.

 



What Does it Mean to be ‘Amyloid Positive?’

by Jim Schnabel

Studies suggest amyloid accumulates for 3 decades or more before dementia symptoms show.



Truth, Lies, and False Memories: Neuroscience in the Courtroom

by Craig Stark, PhD


Craig Stark, Ph.D.Our constant exposure to over-inflated claims of what technologies like neuroimaging can do are leading to a form of collective false memory in the form of an unreasonable expectation of what the technology can prove. One of our series of Reports on Progress.



All About A4: An Important Test of Alzheimer’s Prevention

by Jim Schnabel

 Researchers, doctors, and patients await the results of the first clinical trial to prevent Alzheimer’s in ordinary elderly people. 



Sleep Deprivation Increases Susceptibility to False Memories

by Kayt Sukel

Learning false information when sleepy can change a person’s memory of a photograph, researchers find.



Placebo Effects Offer Window to Individual Differences in Treatment Response

By Jon-Kar Zubieta, MD, PhD

Rather than discounting placebo responses as irrelevant noise, we should instead investigate them as predictors of treatment response and as novel therapeutic targets in medication, device, or psychotherapeutic approaches to disease recovery. One of our series of Reports on Progress.



Target: Tau

by Jim Schnabel

Scientists have new insights into how the tau protein spreads within and harms the brain, in Alzheimer’s and other diseases--and tau-targeting therapies are now entering clinical trials.



The Brain Inflamed

by Jim Schnabel

Scientists are finding evidence that neuroinflammation can alter mood and cognition, perhaps enough to help cause psychiatric disorders.



Taking Out The Garbage: New Hope for Treating Neurodegeneration

by Kayt Sukel

Dementias, ALS, and Huntington’s show different outward symptoms, but researchers theorize the disease process may be similar—a buildup of proteins that normally are cleared away.



New Stroke Therapy

by Guy McKhann, MD

Guy_McKhann_thmbThere are still questions to be answered and procedures to be changed, but there are some exciting new therapeutic approaches to stroke. From our free print publication, Brain in the News.

 

 



More Evidence That Vitamin D Protects Against Alzheimer’s

by Jim Schnabel

Lower vitamin D levels linked to higher dementia risk in two separate studies.



The Link Between Depression, Sleep, and Stress

by Moheb Costandi

Researchers discussed the molecular mechanisms linking sleep to depression and stress at the 9th FENS Forum of Neuroscience in Milan last month.



Closing the Gap Between Cochlear Implants and Natural Hearing

by Carl Sherman

Approaches include stimulating the growth of nerve fibers to improve sound perception and scanning the cortex to improve the device’s programming.



Can Hearing Loss Predict—or Lead to—Cognitive Decline?

by Jeremy Shere

Possible links between impaired hearing and loss of cognitive abilities raise the tantalizing possibility that restoring hearing could slow cognitive decline.



Why Studies of Fighting Fruit Flies Are Relevant to Understanding Human Aggression

By David J. Anderson, Ph.D.

Even though the brain of a fly doesn’t look like our own brain, it appears to follow certain basic principles in how it uses its neurons to control behavior, which may generalize to “higher” organisms, including humans. One of our series of Reports on Progress.



Autism Remains a Mystery, but Help May Be on the Horizon

AAAS Capitol Hill Briefing

As autism prevalence rises, early behavioral intervention is key, experts say, and insights on brain signaling could lead to new treatments. A report from a Capitol Hill briefing in July. See also links to video of the briefing.



Beyond Serotonin: Depression at the microRNA Level

by Kayt Sukel

Researchers focusing on glutamate pathways may have found a potential biomarker for the mood disorder.