Shedding Light on Oxytocin, the Happy Hormone

Summary: A newly developed fluorescent sensor is able to detect oxytocin in living animals. Source: Osaka University Twinkling lights make a city view all the more beautiful at night, and may evoke feelings of romance and happiness. But what do ...

COVID-19 Infections Increase Risk of Long-Term Brain Problems

Summary: COVID-19 infection has been linked to a range of lasting neurological and psychological disorders, including depression, memory problems, and Parkinson’s-like disorders, within the first year following infection. Source: WUSTL If you’ve had COVID-19, it may still be messing with ...

Johns Hopkins Scientists Have Developed a Nanobody That May Treat Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a brain condition that causes uncontrollable or unintended movements. The nanobody can also punch through tough brain cells. The immune system uses proteins referred to as antibodies to detect and attack invading pathogens. Mini versions of antibodies, ...

A Consistent Lack of Sleep Negatively Impacts Immune Stem Cells, Increasing Risk of Inflammatory Disorders and Heart Disease

Summary: Sleep deprivation alters the structure of DNA inside immune cells and increases the number of immune cells, which causes them to overreact and spark inflammation. The study found catching up on sleep does not reverse this effect. Source: Mount ...

New Research Provides Theory on Why Women Stopped Menstruating Upon Arrival at Nazi Death Camps

Summary: 98% of women imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust experienced amenorrhea, or the absence of menstruation. A new theory proposes the sudden cessation of menstruation of these women was too uniform to be the effect of trauma ...

Deep Brain Stimulation Effective for Severe OCD

Summary: Deep brain stimulation can improve symptoms of OCD by up to 50% and provide substantial improvements in two out of three sufferers. Source: BMJ Deep brain stimulation can halve the symptoms of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD as it ...

Newly Discovered Protein Connected to Alzheimer’s Disease Risk

Summary: A mutation in the newly discovered SHMOOSE small protein is associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Source: USC A mutation in a newly discovered small protein is connected to a significant increase in the risk for ...

Rare Human Gene Variant in ADHD, Autism Exposes Fundamental Sex Differences

Summary: Female mice show effects of the DAT mutation in brain regions unaffected in males, and vice versa. The findings reveal surprising differences in dopamine synapses between males and females controlling attention, pleasure, and motivation Source: FAU The prevalence, age ...

Do Sleep Timing and Duration Affect Dementia Risk?

Summary: Dementia risk was 69% higher in older adults who slept for more than 8 hours per night, and 2 times higher for those who went to bed before 9 pm. Source: Wiley New research published in the Journal of the ...

Common Alzheimer’s Gene Variant Linked to COVID Mortality

Summary: Mice with the Alzheimer’s disease-associated APOE4 and the APOE2 genes were more likely to die from COVID-19 than those with the APOE3 gene. Those with APOE4 and APOE2 genes had more virus replication in the lungs, higher inflammation, and ...

Does Stress Make It More Difficult to Become Pregnant?

Summary: Stress can reduce a woman’s ability to become pregnant during her menstrual cycle, a new study reports. Source: Wiley New research in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica suggests that stress may affect a woman’s fecundability, or her probability of achieving a ...

How Fear Memories Get Stuck in Some Brains

Summary: Down-regulation of the PRDM2 protein increases the consolidation of fear-related memories in the brain. Source: Linkoping University Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have discovered a biological mechanism that increases the strength with which fear memories are stored in the ...

Nightmares in Middle Age Linked to Dementia Risk

Summary: Middle-aged people who experience at least one nightmare a week are four times more likely to experience cognitive decline during the following decade. Older adults who experience weekly nightmares are twice as likely to develop dementia. The association is ...

Looking at Images of People Smiling at You Extends Antidepressant Effects of Ketamine

Summary: Automated computer-based training that focuses on positive words and images helps prolong the antidepressant effects of ketamine for those with treatment-resistant depression. Source: University of Pittsburg Simple computer-based neurocognitive training—using positive words and pictures designed to boost self-worth—prolongs the ...

Study Shows Neflamapimod Has Potential To Improve Cognitive Function in Patients With Neurodegenerative Diseases

EIP Pharma publishes translational data of preclinical and phase 2a results for Neflamapimod in dementia with Lewy bodies. Neflamapimod demonstrates that it reverses the neurodegenerative process in the basal forebrain cholinergic system in animal models. Phase 2a data in ...

Nightmares in Middle Age Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

According to new research, people who experience frequent nightmares in middle age are more likely to be diagnosed with dementia later in life. Most of us consider nightmares pretty harmless, but apparently, they can be a bad sign. According ...

A “golden era” to study the brain

“We can’t think of the brain only as neurons,” says PhD student Mitch Murdock, who explores the cellular basis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Might Not Be Primarily a Brain Disease: A New Theory Suggests It’s an Autoimmune Condition

Summary: Rather than being simply a brain disease, researchers propose Alzheimer’s disease could be a disorder of the immune system within the brain. Source: The Conversation The pursuit of a cure for Alzheimer’s disease is becoming an increasingly competitive and ...

How the Brain Develops: A New Way to Shed Light on Cognition

Summary: A new computational neuroscience study sheds light on how the brain’s cognitive abilities develop and could help shape new AI research. Source: University of Montreal A new study introduces a new neurocomputational model of the human brain that could ...

Wolves Can Show Attachment Toward Humans

Summary: Wolves, like dogs, prefer the presence of a familiar person over that of a stranger. Familiarity with a human has a positive and calming impact on a wolf’s social behavior. Source: Stockholm University When it comes to showing affection ...

Globally, Diets Are Not Much Healthier Today Than They Were Thirty Years Ago

Summary: While the incorporation of healthier legumes and fruits into diets improved over time, dietary quality was offset by the consumption of unhealthy components, such as processed meats and sugar-sweetened drinks. Source: Tufts University On a scale from 0 to ...

Molecular Changes in the Brain in the Aftermath of a Traumatic Event May Help Explain Long-Term Susceptibility or Resilience

Summary: In mice genetically more susceptible to PTSD following a stressful event, researchers found an increased expression of cortisol receptors on neurons in the CA1 region of the dorsal hippocampus. Those increased receptors enabled an elevated expression of the HCN1 ...

Understanding the Connection Between the Immune System and Regeneration

Summary: Using zebrafish, researchers investigated the timing and genetic programming of macrophages that help repair and regenerate the sensory organs within the fish. The findings could help pave the way for regenerative treatments for spinal cord injuries, hearing loss, and ...

Observations in Macaques Provide New Insights Into How Mothers Form Attachments to Their Newborns

Summary: Female macaques appear to form an attachment to their infants via tactile sensations of their soft textures rather than on other cues, including sight and sound. Source: Harvard Neurobiologist Margaret Livingstone never expected to publish a study on maternal ...

How Can Infants Learn About Sounds in Their Native Language?

Summary: Researchers investigate how infants learn the speech contrasts of their native languages, identifying the necessary signals are presented in naturalistic speech. Source: University of Maryland Infants can differentiate most sounds soon after birth, and by age 1, they become ...

Heart Medication Shows Potential as Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Summary: Spironolactone, a medication commonly used to lower blood pressure and for treating heart-related problems, shows potential for the treatment of alcohol use disorder. Source: NIH A medication for heart problems and high blood pressure may also be effective for treating ...

‘Night Owls’ Could Have Greater Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease Than Those Who Are ‘Early Birds’

Summary: Early birds use more fat for energy during both rest and exercise than night owls. Those who wake early are also more insulin sensitive, while those who stay up late are more insulin resistant, meaning they require more insulin ...

Genetic Link to Moving to the Beat of Music

Summary: Researchers have discovered 69 genetic variants associated with musical beat synchronization, or the ability to move in sync with the beat of music. Source: Vanderbilt University The first large-scale genomic study of musicality — published on the cover of ...

Nearly One in Ten in the US Reports Having Depression

Summary: A new study finds that the prevalence of depression is highest in women, adolescents, and young adults. Source: Columbia University Increases in depression without commensurate increases in treatment are widespread, reports a study conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of ...

How the Circadian Clock Helps the Brain Recover After Injury

Summary: NG2-glia, a newly discovered type of brain cell that can renew itself is regulated by circadian rhythms. The findings shed new light on how the body’s circadian clock can promote healing following a traumatic brain injury. Source: Children’s National ...

Four New Brain Areas Involved in Many Cognitive Processes Mapped

Summary: Researchers have mapped four new areas of the human anterior prefrontal cortex that play critical roles in cognitive processing. Two of these newly mapped areas are larger in females than in males. Source: Human Brain Project Researchers of the ...

Social Touch and Its Newly Discovered Neural Pathway

Summary: A neural pathway that leads directly from the thalamus to the hypothalamus plays a critical role in processing touch information, a new study reveals. Source: ETLE Touch plays an important role in social behavior. A kind gesture, a hug, ...

Multitude of Stressful Events in 2020 May Have Harmed Social Development of Young Adults

Summary: The stressful events of 2020 may have harmed the social development of young people at a crucial point in their lives, a new study reports. Source: Society for Personality and Social Psychology 2020 was a uniquely stressful year – ...

Don’t Look at Me Like That: Integration of Gaze Direction and Facial Expression

Summary: The emotional expressions of faces influence how their gazes shape our attention. Source: University of Würzburg Does eye contact always attract attention? Not in every case, as a research team at the University of Würzburg’s Institute of Psychology has ...

2 in 3 Parents Say Their Child Is Self-Conscious About Their Appearance

Summary: 1 in 3 parents say their children have been treated unkindly due to their appearance, and 1 in 5 parents say their children avoid certain activities based upon insecurities about their appearance. Source: University of Michigan The majority of ...

Fit for Work at Over 50

Summary: Workers over 50 often benefit from better mental performance, self-confidence, psychological resilience, and a greater sense of well-being, especially if exposed to specific training sessions. Source: University of Bonn Am I over the hill? This question comes up regularly ...

Teen Alcohol Misuse Is a Driver of Poorer Health and Dissatisfaction in Midlife

Summary: Teenagers with problematic alcohol use are more likely to experience poorer health and worse life satisfaction during their mid-thirties. Source: Research Society on Alcoholism Alcohol misuse in adolescence affects physical health and life satisfaction over multiple decades, outcomes that ...

Discovery of the Causes of Brain Dysfunction in Patients With Huntington’s Disease

Summary: Researchers discovered decreased function in a protein critical for synaptic function in those with Huntington’s disease. Source: KIST Huntington’s disease (HD) is a hereditary brain disease caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene. HD is a neurodegenerative disease ...

Drinking Plenty of Tea May Reduce the Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

Summary: Drinking four or more cups of black, green, or oolong tea daily was associated with a 17% lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Source: Diabetologia A systematic review and meta-analysis of 19 cohort studies involving more than 1 ...

Adults Show Poorer Cognition, Better Well-Being with Age

Summary: Significantly worse symptoms of depression, anxiety, and loneliness were seen in younger people, while older people showed greater mental well-being. However, when it came to cognition, task performance was worse in older adults. Source: UCSD The young and old ...

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