Brain

Patients with recurrent depression have smaller hippocampi

Patients with recurrent depression have smaller hippocampi

The brains of people with recurrent depression have a significantly smaller hippocampus - the part of the brain most associated with forming new memories - than healthy individuals, a new global study of nearly 9,000 people reveals.

Published in Molecular Psychiatry, the ENIGMA study is co-authored by University of Sydney scholars at the Brain and Mind Research Institute.

Rats dream paths to a brighter future

Rats dream paths to a brighter future

When rats rest, their brains simulate journeys to a desired future such as a tasty treat, finds new UCL research funded by the Wellcome Trust and Royal Society.

The researchers monitored brain activity in rats, first as the animals viewed food in a location they could not reach, then as they rested in a separate chamber, and finally as they were allowed to walk to the food. The activity of specialised brain cells involved in navigation suggested that during the rest the rats simulated walking to and from food that they had been unable to reach.

How our brains recognize faces from minimal information

How our brains recognize faces from minimal information

Our brain recognizes objects within milliseconds, even if it only receives rudimentary visual information. Researchers believe that reliable and fast recognition works because the brain is constantly making predictions about objects in the field of view and is comparing these with incoming information. Only if mismatches occur in this process do higher areas of the brain have to be notified of the error in order to make active corrections to the predictions. Now scientists at the Goethe University have confirmed this hypothesis.

Thick cortex could be key in Down syndrome

Thick cortex could be key in Down syndrome

The thickness of the brain's cerebral cortex could be a key to unlocking answers about intellectual development in youth with Down Syndrome. It could also provide new insights to why individuals with this genetic neurodevelopmental disorder are highly susceptible to early onset Alzheimer's Disease later in life.

How New Memories are Formed

In the first study of its kind, UCLA and United Kingdom researchers found that neurons in a specific brain region play a key role in rapidly forming memories about every day events, a finding that may result in a better understanding of memory loss and new methods to fight it in Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

Two techniques of temporal migraine surgery are 'equally effective'

Two migraine surgery techniques targeting a specific "trigger site" are both highly effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraine headaches, according to a randomized trial.

Patients with temporal-type migraine derive similar and significant improvement from techniques that relieve pressure on (decompression) or remove a portion of (neurectomy) the nerve responsible for triggering their headaches, reports the study by ASPS Member Surgeon Bahman Guyuron, MD, Emeritus professor of plastic surgery at Case School of Medicine, Cleveland, and colleagues.

Scientists identify a calcium channel essential for deep sleep

Sleep seems simple enough, a state of rest and restoration that almost every vertebrate creature must enter regularly in order to survive. But the brain responds differently to stimuli when asleep than when awake, and it is not clear what brain changes happen during sleep. "It is the same brain, same neurons and similar requirements for oxygen and so on, so what is the difference between these two states?" asks Rodolfo Llinás, a professor of neuroscience at New York University School of Medicine and a Whitman Center Investigator at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole.

Therapy affects the brain of people with Tourette syndrome

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can change the brain function of people with Tourette syndrome. This is what is revealed in a study by researchers at the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal (CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal) and the University of Montreal, the results of which will be presented at the First World Congress on Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders, to be held in London from June 24 to 26.

Not like riding a bike: New motor memories need stabilizing

Well-practiced motor skills like riding a bike are extremely stable memories that can be effortlessly recalled after years or decades. In contrast, a new study publishing in PLOS Computational Biology shows that changes to motor skill memories occurring over the course of a single practice session are not immediately stable, according to researchers Andrew Brennan and Maurice Smith of Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Science and Center for Brain Science.

New biomarker identified in women with mental illness

Psychiatric disorders can be difficult to diagnose because clinicians must rely upon interpreted clues, such as a patient's behaviors and feelings. For the first time, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report identifying a biological marker: the over-production of specific genes that could be a diagnostic indicator of mental illness in female psychiatric patients.

The study was published this week in the journal EBioMedicine.