Brain

Exposure to endocrine disruptors while pregnant affects brain two generations later

Prenatal exposure to low doses of the environmental contaminants polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, change the developing brain in an area involved in metabolism, and some effects are apparent even two generations later, a new study finds. Performed in rats, the research will be presented Friday at the Endocrine Society's 97th annual meeting in San Diego.

Hereditary effects included increased body weight, but only in descendants of females--and not males--exposed to PCBs in the womb, said study co-author Andrea Gore, PhD, professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Human brains age less than previously thought

Older brains may be more similar to younger brains than previously thought.

In a new paper published in Human Brain Mapping, BBSRC-funded researchers at the University of Cambridge and Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit demonstrate that previously reported changes in the ageing brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) may be due to vascular (or blood vessels) changes, rather than changes in neuronal activity itself.

Reliance on smartphones linked to lazy thinking

Our smartphones help us find a phone number quickly, provide us with instant directions and recommend restaurants, but new research indicates that this convenience at our fingertips is making it easy for us to avoid thinking for ourselves.

Antibodies to brain proteins may trigger psychosis

Antibodies defend the body against bacterial, viral, and other invaders. But sometimes the body makes antibodies that attack healthy cells. In these cases, autoimmune disorders develop.

Immune abnormalities in patients with psychosis have been recognized for over a century, but it has been only relatively recently that scientists have identified specific immune mechanisms that seem to directly produce symptoms of psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions.

Male images seen by left side of the brain, says study

A new study published today in the journal Laterality, has found that people are quicker to categorise a face as being male when it is shown to the left side of the brain.

Gout linked to lower chances of developing Alzheimer's disease

Gout appears to have a protective effect for the brain, possibly thanks to uric acid, the chemical in a person's blood that can crystallize, leading to gout, said a team of researchers from north America.

Gout, the most common inflammatory arthritis, is linked to a higher risk of heart and kidney problems and their resulting health issues, but previous studies have theorised that the antioxidant properties of uric acid may protect against the development or progression of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease (PD).

Heritability of autism spectrum disorder studied in UK twins

Substantial genetic and moderate environmental influences were associated with risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and broader autism traits in a study of twins in the United Kingdom, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Much of the evidence to date highlights the importance of genetic influences on the risk of autism and related traits. But most of these findings are drawn from samples of individuals which may miss people with more subtle manifestations and may not represent the broader population, according to the study background.

The brain works as a 'cyclops,' compensating the optical differences between the eyes

The eyes differ in their optical properties what results in a blur projected in each retina, despite we see sharp images because the visual system calibrates itself. An international research performed by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas has discovered that when each eye separately has a different level of blur, our brain uses as sharp reference the image projected through the less aberrated eye. The research has been published in Current Biology.

Teenager with stroke symptoms actually had Lyme disease

A Swiss teenager, recently returned home from a discotheque, came to the emergency department with classic sudden symptoms of stroke, only to be diagnosed with Lyme disease. The highly unusual case presentation was published in "Acute Lyme Neuroborreliosis with Transient Hemiparesis and Aphasia", Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Brain waves and moving toward a unified theory of consciousness control

Like musical sounds, different states of mind are defined by distinct, characteristic waveforms, recognizable frequencies and rhythms in the electrical field of the brain. When the brain is alert and performing complex computations, the cerebral cortex, the wrinkled outer surface of the brain, thrums with cortical band oscillations in the gamma wavelength; in some neurological disorders like schizophrenia, these waves are out of tune and the rhythm is out of sync.