Mouse models of Zika in pregnancy show how fetuses become infected

Mouse models of Zika in pregnancy show how fetuses become infected

Two mouse models of Zika virus infection in pregnancy have been developed by a team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. In them, the virus migrated from the pregnant mouse's bloodstream into the placenta, where it multiplied, then spread into the fetal circulation and infected the brains of the developing pups.

The models provide a basis to develop vaccines and treatments, and to study the biology of Zika virus infection in pregnancy.

The research is published May 11 in Cell.

PET scans reveal that tau predicts Alzheimer's disease progression

PET scans reveal that tau predicts Alzheimer's disease progression

Thanks to positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of tau, which has only recently become available, researchers now report that tau tangles provide a good indication of cognitive decline in later stages of the disease. The study, performed in 10 patients, suggests that while ß-amyloid remains a critical marker for early detection of Alzheimer's, tau may be more useful for tracking disease progression and, potentially, patient response to therapies.

Major clinical trials on the agenda of the European Stroke Organisation Conference

Major clinical trials on the agenda of the European Stroke Organisation Conference

Platelet Transfusion in Intracerebral Hemorrhage (PATCH)

Principal Investigators: Prof Yvo Roos, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands; Prof Charlotte Cordonnier, INSERM, the University of Lille, France; Prof Rustam Al-Shahi, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, UK

A 'communication breakdown' during general anesthesia

A 'communication breakdown' during general anesthesia

It's a topic that has long captivated doctors, scientists and the public -- what exactly happens in your brain when you're oblivious on the operating table?

Some anesthesia drugs work in a straightforward manner by dampening down neurons in the brain. The mechanism of one anesthetic, however, has proved elusive: ketamine.

Certain doses of ketamine induce general anesthesia, though brain activity can still be robust, says Cynthia Chestek, Ph.D., co-senior author of a new study in NeuroImage.

Self-harm, unintentional injury in bipolar disorder for patients on lithium, other drugs

Taking lithium was associated with reduced rates of self-harm and unintentional injury in patients with bipolar disorder compared with other commonly prescribed maintenance treatments, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Social objects in the brain

A new study from IMC researchers Kristian Tylén, Riccardo Fusaroli, and Andreas Roepstorff, published in the scientific journal NeuroImage, used LEGO bricks to investigate the neurocognitive underpinnings of our engagements with symbolic objects. The study suggests that we experience symbolic objects as social entities.

New brain research may help treat single-sided deafness

A new discovery could help people suffering with single-sided deafness (SSD) find a treatment quicker - and could potentially lead to a cure.

SSD affects around 9,000 people per year in the UK, and around 60,000 per year in the US. It can be caused by a number of things - from viral infections to brain tumours - and is currently incurable and difficult to treat. Symptoms of SSD include impaired hearing, difficulty filtering out background noise, and difficulty determining sound direction.

Zika virus in Brazil kills brain cell, impairs intra uterine growth of mice fetuses

The Zika virus strain circulating in Brazil was shown to be able to infect and cause damage to mice fetuses. In stem cell cultures of the human nervous system, the virus infection resulted in the cell death. Compared to the virus circulating in Africa, the Brazilian version appears more lethal to cells that later in development would give rise to the variety that makes up the brain.

Are Italians or Swedes more likely to cheat on their taxes?

Wide variations can be seen in how far citizens from different countries evade tax. While this can be attributed to how well institutions deter tax avoidance through audits and fines, cultural differences may also play a part.

Abstinence may not be the best policy for avoiding online risk

The online world is full of risky situations for teens, but allowing them to gradually build their own coping strategies may be a better parental strategy than forbidding internet use, according to ateam of researchers.