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Neurons transplanted into Parkinson’s-affected brains appear healthy after 14 years When transplanted into the midbrains of adult patients with Parkinson’s disease, dopamine neurons derived from fetal tissue can remain healthy for many years. The findings reported in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports on June 5th suggest that transplanted neurons don’t degenerate over time as some had suggested and feared they would, which provides further rationale for
Risk tolerance of investors decreases with the stock market As the U.S. economy slowly recovers many investors remain wary about investing in the stock market. Now, Michael Guillemette, an assistant professor of personal financial planning in the University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences, analyzed investors’ “risk tolerance,” or willingness to take risks, and found that it decreased as the stock market faltered. Guillemette says this
UCLA researchers identify new gene involved in Parkinson’s disease A team of UCLA researchers has identified a new gene involved in Parkinson’s disease, a finding that may one day provide a target for a new drug to prevent and potentially even cure the debilitating neurological disorder. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease, and there is no cure for
New research explains how we use the GPS inside our brain to navigate The way we navigate from A to B is controlled by two brain regions which track the distance to our destination, according to new research funded by the Wellcome Trust and published in Current Biology. The study found that at the beginning of a journey, one region of the brain calculates the straight-line to the destination
Making artificial vision look more natural In laboratory tests, researchers have used electrical stimulation of retinal cells to produce the same patterns of activity that occur when the retina sees a moving object. Although more work remains, this is a step toward restoring natural, high-fidelity vision to blind people, the researchers say. The work was funded in part by the National
Biologists pave the way for improved epilepsy treatments University of Toronto biologists leading an investigation into the cells that regulate proper brain function, have identified and located the key players whose actions contribute to afflictions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia. The discovery is a major step toward developing improved treatments for these and other neurological disorders. “Neurons in the brain communicate with other
Brain circuit problem likely sets stage for the ‘voices’ that are symptom of schizophrenia St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have identified problems in a connection between brain structures that may predispose individuals to hearing the “voices” that are a common symptom of schizophrenia. The work appears in the June 6 issue of the journal Science. Researchers linked the problem to a gene deletion. This leads to changes in brain
Is glaucoma a brain disease? Findings from a new study published in Translational Vision Science & Technology (TVST) show the brain, not the eye, controls the cellular process that leads to glaucoma. The results may help develop treatments for one of the world’s leading causes of irreversible blindness, as well as contribute to the development of future therapies for preserving brain function
Our ability to identify the source of pain varies across the body “Where does it hurt?” is the first question asked to any person in pain. A new UCL study defines for the first time how our ability to identify where it hurts, called “spatial acuity”, varies across the body, being most sensitive at the forehead and fingertips. Using lasers to cause pain to 26 healthy volunteers
A safe dose of ecstasy can be deadly in a hot environment A moderate dose of MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy or Molly, that is typically nonfatal in cool, quiet environments can be lethal in rats exposed to conditions that mimic the hot, crowded, social settings where the drug is often used by people, a study finds.  Scientists have identified the therapeutically-relevant cooling mechanism to enable effective interventions
Complex neural circuitry keeps you from biting your tongue Eating, like breathing and sleeping, seems to be a rather basic biological task. Yet chewing requires a complex interplay between the tongue and jaw, with the tongue positioning food between the teeth and then moving out of the way every time the jaw clamps down to grind it up. If the act weren’t coordinated precisely,
The Advantages of Being Conflict-Avoidant Have you ever been told that you’re conflict-avoidant? Do you cringe in shame when people utter these dreaded words or ones like it? Do you find yourself leveling such accusations toward others? The pitfalls of avoiding conflict may be obvious. We may conceal our genuine feelings, desires, and viewpoints because...
RU ready to quit smoking? Texting can help Getting counseling through text messages doubled the odds of kicking the habit compared with those who relied on Internet searches and basic information brochures.
Brain traffic jams that can disappear in 30 seconds Motorists in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other gridlocked cities could learn something from the fruit fly. Scientists have found that cellular blockages, the molecular equivalent to traffic jams, in nerve cells of the insect’s brain can form and dissolve in 30 seconds or less. The findings, presented in the journal PLOS ONE, could provide scientists
New evidence links air pollution to autism and schizophrenia A new study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives describes how exposure to air pollution early in life produces harmful changes in the brains of mice, including an enlargement of part of the brain that is seen in humans who have autism and schizophrenia. As in autism and schizophrenia, the changes occurred predominately in males. The
Looking for the best strategy? Ask a chimp If you’re trying to outwit the competition, it might be better to have been born a chimpanzee, according to a study by researchers at Caltech, which found that chimps at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute consistently outperform humans in simple contests drawn from game theory. The study, led by Colin Camerer, Robert Kirby Professor
Exploring a legal and ethical gray area for people with dementia Many of the legal and ethical options for refusing unwanted interventions are not available to people with dementia because they lack decision-making capacity. But one way for these people to ensure that they do not live for years with severe dementia is to use an advance directive to instruct caregivers to stop giving them food
New findings out on brain networks in children at risk for mental disorders Attention deficits are central to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and are thought to precede the presentation of the illnesses. A new study led by Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher Vaibhav Diwadkar, Ph.D. suggests that the brain network interactions between regions that support attention are dysfunctional in children and adolescents
Alcohol-related terms can increase aggression New psychology research shows that exposing people to alcohol-related words can influence aggressive behaviour in ways similar to actually consuming alcohol. Researchers found however that this aggressive behaviour occurred when people were subjected to provocation in a way that was not a clear-cut insult. Although it has been long known that drinking alcohol can increase
Couples sleep in sync when the wife is satisfied with their marriage A new study suggests that couples are more likely to sleep in sync when the wife is more satisfied with their marriage. Results show that overall synchrony in sleep-wake schedules among couples was high, as those who slept in the same bed were awake or asleep at the same time about 75 percent of the