Brain

Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease (GIND) have discovered that reducing levels of the protein tau can prevent seizures and neurological deficits related to Alzheimer's disease. The findings, reported today in the journal Science, demonstrate that when tau is removed from mice genetically engineered to simulate Alzheimer's disease, their memory function is retained and they live a normal lifespan. Reducing tau levels also made mice more resistant to epileptic seizures.

As a group, young ADHD drivers are two to four times more likely to have a car accident than non-ADHD drivers. Daniel Cox, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and neurosciences at the University of Virginia Health System, has conducted research aimed at improving those odds. His team's newest study will look at the effects of methylphenidate (MPH), a controlled-release stimulant, on young ADHD drivers facing real-life distractions.

Scientists at CNRS and the Pasteur Institute, collaborating with physicians in Gabon, have just undertaken a study on cerebral malaria in children living in an endemic region. This study, which was published in PLoS ONE, should allow us to better understand this severe form of malaria which affects 20 to 40 percent of people infected by the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, and is fatal in 30 to 50 percent of cases. The study also provides a lead on how to perfect a diagnostic test, which should allow for better patient care.

Drinking heavy amounts of alcohol over a long period of time may decrease brain volume, according to a new study.

The study involved MRI scans of 1,839 people from the Framingham Offspring study, ages 34 to 88, who were classified as non-drinkers, former drinkers, low drinkers (one to seven drinks per week), moderate drinkers (eight to 14 drinks per week), or high drinkers (more than 14 drinks per week). MRI scans were performed and used to measure brain volume, which can be thought of as a measure of brain aging.

Great Tits are, of course, songbirds - specifically Parus major. An international team of researchers have now found evidence for the existence of a "curiosity-gene" in our feathered friends.

Eating disorders may be overlooked in some groups - boys and some ethnicities - by physicians accustomed to diagnosing the condition in white teenage girls, say researchers at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The problem is compounded when the sufferers don't display the typical symptoms of disordered eating.

Research shows that when soy consumption goes up, weight goes down. A new University of Illinois study may help scientists understand exactly how that weight loss happens.

"We wanted to compare the effects of soy protein hydrolysates and soy peptides with those of leptin because we hypothesized that soy might behave in the body in a similar way. Leptin is a hormone produced in our adipose tissue that interacts with receptors in the brain and signals us that we’re full so we stop eating," said Elvira de Mejia, a U of I assistant professor of food science and human nutrition.

Copper is an essential part of our lives. From copper pipes and wires - to important copper-containing proteins in the body, copper is necessary for healthy growth and neurological development. Researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University are studying how copper is processed in our bodies and its distinct role in early development. Their findings, published in a recent edition of the journal Cell Metabolism, identify a new role for two proteins involved with copper regulation.

Was Chris De Burgh's sexy "Lady in Red," perhaps, ovulating? A new UCLA and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire study finds evidence that women put more effort into their clothing and grooming during their most fertile periods.

"Near ovulation, women dress to impress, and the closer women come to ovulation, the more attention they appear to pay to their appearance," said Martie Haselton, the study's lead author and a UCLA associate professor of communication studies and psychology. "They tend to put on skirts instead of pants, show more skin and generally dress more fashionably."

When four forensic pathologists tell physiologists about the deaths that puzzle them, they will do so with the hope of sparking laboratory research to help define the cause of these deaths and prevent more of them.