News

Long-term treatment that involves electrically stimulating the spinal cord has improved symptoms of Parkinson's disease in rats. Publishing the results of their study in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from Duke Medicine are hopeful their findings could help human Parkinson's patients.
The influence that different areas of the brain may have over eating behaviors is a contentious debate in neurobiology. "Researchers tend to be either in a camp that believes the control of eating is all regulated from the top down, or from the bottom up," says Ralph DiLeone, senior author of the paper, referring to whether it is "higher" decision-making areas of the brain or more "primitive" brain functions that regulate eating behaviors. "Both are…
We are all familiar with the saying "older but wiser." And new research may prove this to be true. A new study published in the journal Topics in Cognitive Science suggests that as we age, our brain functions slow down as a result of greater experience, not because of cognitive decline. According to the research team, led by Dr. Michael Ramscar of the University of Tuebingen in Germany, the reason why brains of older adults…
Friday, 15 April 2016 11:46

Nerve Cells Responding to Pain

Nerves in mouse skin that are actively responding to the painful stimulus capsaicin have been genetically engineered to glow green. Hairs appear in yellow. In their new research, the scientists focused on a system of pain-sensing nerves within the faces of mice, known collectively as the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is a large bundle of tens of thousands of nerve cells. Each cell is a long "wire" with a hub at its center; the…
Setting the stage for possible advances in pain treatment, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland report they have pinpointed two molecules involved in perpetuating chronic pain in mice. The molecules, they say, also appear to have a role in the phenomenon that causes uninjured areas of the body to be more sensitive to pain when an area nearby has been hurt. A summary of the research was published in the…
Infants born prematurely are at elevated risk for cognitive, motor, and behavioral deficits - the severity of which was, until recently, almost impossible to accurately predict in the neonatal period with conventional brain imaging technology. But physicians may now be able to identify the premature infants most at risk for deficits as well as the type of deficit, enabling them to quickly initiate early neuroprotective therapies, by using highly reliable 3-D MRI imaging techniques developed…
Your religious inclinations may have as much if not more to do with some networks in your brain as your social upbringing, a new study argues. Published in Brain Connectivity, a bimonthly peer-reviewed journal, the paper investigates scientific evidence showing that religious belief involves cognitive activity linked to specific brain regions and concludes that “causal, directional connections between brain networks can be linked to differences in religious thought.” Dimitrios Kapogiannis and colleagues from the National…
Why do men forget important dates? Why do they forget their wives’ birthdays and their wedding anniversaries despite knowing that such acts might spell marital disaster for them? Are they suicidal, insensitive or simply born that way? The study conducted by Prof. Jostein Holmen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology proves that the forgetfulness associated with men is not merely a stigma vended by the popular entertainment industry – it is a scientific…
The structure of the human brain is complex, reminiscent of a circuit diagram with countless connections. But what role does this architecture play in the functioning of the brain? To answer this question, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, in cooperation with colleagues at the Free University of Berlin and University Hospital Freiburg, have for the first time analysed 1.6 billion connections within the brain simultaneously. They found the highest…
New genetic insights into brainstem glioma, a rare and deadly form of childhood and young adult brain cancer, have been published jointly by researchers and neurosurgeons in Duke Medicine and their collaborators in China. Their publication says that a genetic mutation, which occurs in the tumor cells, contributes to the growth and the death of cells and also to the tumour's resistance to radiation. The findings have both immediate and long-term implications. Straight away, patients…