A Link Between Sense of Smell and Spatial Memory

January 9, 2019

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it disrupts both navigation and olfaction; scientists are starting to tease out why, which might help them find an early-indicator test for people at risk before these systems start to break down.

Using Neuroscience Evidence to Argue Against Solitary Confinement

January 3, 2019

From scathing reports to court cases, advocates at a Society for Neuroscience meeting describe their efforts to end the mentally harmful practice of confining people.

Seeing Through the Haze of Cannabis Research on Epilepsy

December 5, 2018

Over thousands of years, tales about using cannabis to treat epilepsy accumulated. The FDA recently approved a solution containing cannabidiol, an ingredient of cannabis, for treating childhood epilepsy. But does cannabidiol live up to expectations?

Anxiety’s Ties to Dementia

November 14, 2018

While it’s not clear if it is a cause or an effect, anxiety appears closely linked to circuits affected in Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

The Art of Discovering New Brain Cells

October 30, 2018

Researchers identify new types of cells by looking at the brain through sharper lenses, searching vast gene expression databases, and crowd-sourcing visual analyses.

Robots for ASD Therapy? Maybe as Partners

October 3, 2018

Researchers test machine learning and social gaming to find new ways to help children on the autism spectrum focus and learn skills to connect with other people. “The most promising findings are not with the robot as therapist, but as co-therapist,” says one scientist.

The End Comes as a Wave

September 26, 2018

Starved of oxygen, neurons lose their proper electrical charge when we die and a wave of electrochemical energy spreads through the brain. Researchers in Berlin and Cincinnati have, for the first time, recorded such brain tsunamis in dying patients, and also in patients with survivable brain damage, such as brain hemorrhages, suggesting that doctors look for this pattern and act quickly when they see it to save endangered neurons.

Predicting Suicides—Beyond STARRS

September 10, 2018

After the Army successfully trained a computer program to find people in their health databases who were at serious risk of self-harm, the Veterans Administration did it service-wide. Could civilian healthcare providers do the same?


Advances in Biomarkers: Using Machine Learning to Develop a Test for Autism

September 5, 2018

Studies that use an algorithm to successfully predict if a child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on metabolites in a blood sample have been replicated in small samples.

What is ‘Well’?

August 28, 2018

Are we using the right standards when judging whether a psychiatric intervention, such as deep brain stimulation, is working, asked neurologist Helen Mayberg during the EDAB Special Lecture on Neuroethics during the recent FENS Forum. 

Fine-Tuning Deep Brain Stimulation

August 27, 2018

Device-makers and researchers test implants that can give feedback to themselves to turn on and off, hoping to reduce side-effects.

Digging into Sleep’s Effects

August 23, 2018

Researchers look at the molecular level for answers to why some people can resist the ills of sleep deprivation.

Behind the Taste of Bitter and Sweet

August 21, 2018

A new study describes two brain circuits for each flavor: one that identifies it and another that signals if it's delightful or repellent.

Thinking Outside the Box About Memory

August 15, 2018

Researcher Eleanor Maguire argues that long-term storage of autobiographical memories is done by the vmPFC, part of the prefrontal cortex, while the hippocampus plays a subordinate but critical role. She presented new research at the FENS Forum in Berlin last month.

Heroin vs. the Runner’s High: Different Action on Neurons

August 1, 2018

Researchers had assumed that opioid drugs mimicked the actions of naturally occurring opioids in the brain, binding to the surface of cells, but new research shows that drugs also enter the cell and bind to internal components. This difference could help point the way to treatments that are less addictive than currently available opioids.

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