Brain

How machine learning can help with voice disorders

How machine learning can help with voice disorders

There's no human instinct more basic than speech, and yet, for many people, talking can be taxing. 1 in 14 working-age Americans suffer from voice disorders that are often associated with abnormal vocal behaviors - some of which can cause damage to vocal cord tissue and lead to the formation of nodules or polyps that interfere with normal speech production.

Use it or lose it: UMD study shows that stopping exercise decreases brain blood flow

We all know that we can quickly lose cardiovascular endurance if we stop exercising for a few weeks, but what impact does the cessation of exercise have on our brains? New research led by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers examined cerebral blood flow in healthy, physically fit older adults (ages 50-80 years) before and after a 10-day period during which they stopped all exercise. Using MRI brain imaging techniques, they found a significant decrease in blood flow to several brain regions, including the hippocampus, after they stopped their exercise routines.

Dogs understand both vocabulary and intonation of human speech

Dogs understand both vocabulary and intonation of human speech

Dogs have the ability to distinguish vocabulary words and the intonation of human speech through brain regions similar to those that humans use, a new study reports. Attila Andics et al. note that vocabulary learning "does not appear to be a uniquely human capacity that follows from the emergence of language, but rather a more ancient function that can be exploited to link arbitrary sound sequences to meanings." Words are the basic building blocks of human languages, but they are hardly ever found in nonhuman vocal communications.

Parkinson's study could pave way for early detection test

A test that can detect Parkinson's disease in the early stages of the illness has moved a step closer.

Scientists have developed a way of detecting a molecule linked to the condition in samples of spinal fluid from patients.

Experts say that the test needs to be validated with a larger sample group but they are optimistic that it could one day help to improve diagnosis of the disease.

FSU research team makes Zika drug breakthrough

FSU research team makes Zika drug breakthrough

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A team of researchers from Florida State University, Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health has found existing drug compounds that can both stop Zika from replicating in the body and from damaging the crucial fetal brain cells that lead to birth defects in newborns.

One of the drugs is already on the market as a treatment for tapeworm.

Ode to recall: To remember events in order, we rely on the brain's 'symphony'

To remember events in the order they occur, the brain's neurons function in a coordinated way that is akin to a symphony, a team of New York University scientists has found. Their findings offer new insights into how we recall information and point to factors that may disrupt certain types of memories.

Single gene mutation causes severely debilitating disease of brain blood vessels

The cause of a disease that targets blood vessels in the brain - leading to multiple debilitating symptoms and, often, to early death - has been tracked to a single mutated gene, opening up the immediate possibility of improved patient care through genetic testing, and of future treatments.

A new window to understanding the brain

Scientists in recent years have made great strides in the quest to understand the brain by using implanted probes to explore how specific neural circuits work.

Though effective, those probes also come with their share of problems as a result of rigidity. The inflammation they produce induces chronic recording instability and means probes must be relocated every few days, leaving some of the central questions of neuroscience - like how the neural circuits are reorganized during development, learning and aging- beyond scientists' reach.

Less than one-third of adults with depression receive treatment

NEW YORK, NY (August 29, 2016)-- New findings suggest that most Americans with depression receive no treatment, while raising the possibility that overtreatment of depression is also widespread. Less than a third of American adults who screened positive for depression received treatment for their symptoms, whereas over two-thirds of adults receiving treatment for depression did not report symptoms of depression or serious psychological distress, according to a study from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the University of Pennsylvania.

The brain performs feats of math to make sense of the world

The brain performs feats of math to make sense of the world

Even if we find it difficult to calculate complicated probabilities on the spot, our brains constantly carry out these sorts of computations without our awareness -- and they're remarkably good at it.