Brain

Dramatic growth of grafted stem cells in rat spinal cord injuries

Dramatic growth of grafted stem cells in rat spinal cord injuries

Building upon previous research, scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veteran's Affairs San Diego Healthcare System report that neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and grafted into rats after a spinal cord injury produced cells with tens of thousands of axons extending virtually the entire length of the animals' central nervous system.

NIH and Italian scientists develop nasal test for human prion disease

NIH and Italian scientists develop nasal test for human prion disease

A nasal brush test can rapidly and accurately diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), an incurable and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder, according to a study by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and their Italian colleagues.

Up to now, a definitive CJD diagnosis requires testing brain tissue obtained after death or by biopsy in living patients. The study describing the less invasive nasal test appears in the Aug. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Slowing brain functions linked to increased risk of stroke, death

Cognitive abilities such as memory and attention are not only important after a stroke but also before; according to research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Previous studies have shown poor cardiovascular health can increase the risk of cognitive impairment such as problems in memory and learning. However, the opposite idea that cognitive impairment may impact cardiovascular health, specifically stroke, was not established before.

Neck manipulation may be associated with stroke

Treatments involving neck manipulation may be associated with stroke, though it cannot be said with certainty that neck manipulation causes strokes, according to a new scientific statement published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke.

Elderly with depression, mild cognitive impairment more vulnerable to accelerated brain aging

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 7, 2014 – People who develop depression and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) after age 65 are more likely to have biological and brain imaging markers that reflect a greater vulnerability for accelerated brain aging, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings were published online in Molecular Psychiatry.

Human skin cells reprogrammed as neurons regrow in rats with spinal cord injuries

While neurons normally fail to regenerate after spinal cord injuries, neurons formed from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that were grafted into rats with such injuries displayed remarkable growth throughout the length of the animals' central nervous system. What's more, the iPSCs were derived from skin cells taken from an 86-year-old man. The results, described in the Cell Press journal Neuron, could open up new possibilities in stimulating neuron growth in humans with spinal cord injuries

Notch developmental pathway regulates fear memory formation

Nature is thrifty. The same signals that embryonic cells use to decide whether to become nerves, skin or bone come into play again when adult animals are learning whether to become afraid.

Researchers at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have learned that the molecule Notch, critical in many processes during embryonic development, is also involved in fear memory formation. Understanding fear memory formation is critical to developing more effective treatments and preventions for anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Part of the brain stays 'youthful' into older age

At least one part of the human brain may be able to process information the same way in older age as it does in the prime of life, according to new research conducted at the University of Adelaide.

A study compared the ability of 60 older and younger people to respond to visual and non-visual stimuli in order to measure their "spatial attention" skills.

Spatial attention is critical for many aspects of life, from driving, to walking, to picking up and using objects.

Adult myelination -- Wrapping up neuronal plasticity

Single-cell analysis holds promise for stem cell and cancer research

UC San Francisco researchers have identified cells' unique features within the developing human brain, using the latest technologies for analyzing gene activity in individual cells, and have demonstrated that large-scale cell surveys can be done much more efficiently and cheaply than was previously thought possible.