Brain

Chapman University publishes research on how the media influence perceptions of obesity

Chapman University publishes research on how the media influence perceptions of obesity

Researchers at Chapman University, UCLA, and Stanford have just published work on how news media coverage shapes perceptions of obesity. They examined how perspectives on obesity portrayed in news articles affect people's support for different obesity-related public policies and their prejudice towards fat men and women.

New research replicates a folding human brain in 3-D

New research replicates a folding human brain in 3-D

The distinctive troughs and crests of the human brain are not present in most animals; highly folded brains are seen only in a handful of species, including some primates, dolphins, elephants and pigs. In humans, folding begins in fetal brains around the 20th week of gestation and is completed only when the child is about a year and a half.

Study finds no link between subcortical brain volumes and genetic risk for schizophrenia

Study finds no link between subcortical brain volumes and genetic risk for schizophrenia

Over the last decade, important contributions to our understanding of schizophrenia have come from two different types of studies.

Study suggests different written languages are equally efficient at conveying meaning

Study suggests different written languages are equally efficient at conveying meaning

A study led by the University of Southampton has found there is no difference in the time it takes people from different countries to read and process different languages.

The research, published in the journal Cognition, finds the same amount of time is needed for a person, from for example China, to read and understand a text in Mandarin, as it takes a person from Britain to read and understand a text in English - assuming both are reading their native language.

Noninvasive electrical stimulation may help relieve symptoms of PTSD and depression

A new study indicates that a noninvasive treatment that stimulates nerves through an electrical impulse many help patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression.

The technique, called External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation, was delivered to 12 patients who used a device nightly for 8 weeks. Patients experienced significant improvements in symptoms related to PTSD and depression, and scores related to quality of life increased.

Long-term marijuana use associated with worse verbal memory in middle age

Marijuana use over time was associated with remembering fewer words from a list but it did not appear to affect other areas of cognitive function in a study of men and women followed up over 25 years, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Marijuana use is common among adolescents and young adults. It remains unclear whether there are long-term effects from low-intensity or occasional marijuana use earlier in life and whether the magnitude and persistence of impairment depends on the duration of marijuana use or the age of exposure.

Delivering genes across the blood-brain barrier

Caltech biologists have modified a harmless virus in such a way that it can successfully enter the adult mouse brain through the bloodstream and deliver genes to cells of the nervous system. The virus could help researchers map the intricacies of the brain and holds promise for the delivery of novel therapeutics to address diseases such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's. In addition, the screening approach the researchers developed to identify the virus could be used to make additional vectors capable of targeting cells in other organs.

Insulin-like growth factor linked to hippocampal hyperactivity in Alzheimer's disease

The mechanisms underlying the stability and plasticity of neural circuits in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for spatial memory and the memory of everyday facts and events, has been a major focus of study in the field of neuroscience. Understanding precisely how a "healthy" brain stores and processes information is crucial to preventing and reversing the memory failures associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of late-life dementia.

Targeting upper motor neurons to treat ALS

CHICAGO --- Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to specifically modify gene expression in diseased upper motor neurons, brain cells that break down in ALS.

The new Northwestern Medicine study, published in Nature Gene Therapy, provides evidence that lays a foundation for developing future gene replacement therapies to treat patients with the fatal neuromuscular disorder.

VUMC study may offer answers for treating depression in alcoholics

A study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is offering a glimmer of hope to alcoholics who find it hard to remain sober because their abstinence is hounded by stubborn, difficult-to-treat depression.

Using an anesthetic drug that also has antidepressant properties, and another drug that raises levels of a mood-enhancing natural chemical in the brain, the researchers found that they could alleviate depressive-like symptoms in a mouse model of alcoholism.