Genetic legacy from the Ottoman Empire: Single mutation causes rare brain disorder
Thursday, April 24, 2014 · Posted by Yale University
An international team of researchers have identified a previously unknown neurodegenerative disorder and discovered it is caused by a single mutation in one individual born during the height of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey about 16 generations ago.The genetic cause of the rare disorder was discovered during a massive analysis of the individual genomes of thousands of Turkish children suffering from neurological disorders.
Turning science on its head
Friday, April 18, 2014 · Posted by Harvard University
The fact that it is the most evolved neurons, the ones that have expanded dramatically in humans, suggest that what we’re seeing might be the ‘future.’ As neuronal diversity increases and the brain needs to process more and more complex information, neurons change the way they use myelin to achieve more.
Here’s Why You Should Donate Your Brain to Science
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 · Posted by Wired
Scientists studying autism and other brain disorders have only a few good tools at their disposal. Any scientific technique has pros and cons, but sometimes there’s no substitute for studying human brain tissue.
A new cell type is implicated in epilepsy caused by traumatic brain injury
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 · Posted by Tufts University
A new study in mice identifies increased levels of a specific neurotransmitter as a contributing factor connecting traumatic brain injury (TBI) to post-traumatic epilepsy. The findings suggest that damage to brain cells called interneurons disrupts neurotransmitter levels and plays a role in the development of epilepsy after a traumatic brain injury.
Internal Logic: Whole-Brain Atlas of Neural Networks Reveals Eight Distinct Subnetworks in Mouse Cerebral Cortex
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 · Posted by University of Southern California
Researchers have identified eight distinct neural subnetworks that together form the connectivity infrastructure of the mammalian cortex, the part of the brain involved in higher-order functions such as cognition, emotion and consciousness. This study is the first comprehensive mapping of the most developed region of the mammalian brain: the cerebral cortex. The cortex is highly complex and made up of many densely interconnected structures, but when you strip it down, is organized into a small number of subnetworks
Brain development – the pivotal role of the stem cell environment
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 · Posted by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
A combination of ECM and thyroid hormones thus appears necessary for basal progenitors to proliferate and produce enough neurons for brain development. Human brain stem cells produce the suitable environment naturally.
Scientists discover two proteins that control chandelier cell architecture
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 · Posted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Chandelier cells are neurons that use their unique shape to act like master circuit breakers in the brain’s cerebral cortex. These cells have dozens, often hundreds, of branching axonal projections – output channels from the cell body of the neuron – that lend the full structure of a chandelier-like appearance. Each of those projections extends to a nearby excitatory neuron. The unique structure allows just one inhibitory chandelier cell to block or modify the output of literally hundreds of other cells at one time.
Ultrasound directed to the human brain can boost sensory performance
Monday, January 13, 2014 · Posted by Virginia Tech
“That means we can use ultrasound to target an area of the brain as small as the size of an M&M,” Tyler said. “This finding represents a new way of noninvasively modulating human brain activity with a better spatial resolution than anything currently available.”
Researchers map brain areas vital to understanding language
Thursday, November 21, 2013 · Posted by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“Discourse comprehension is a hallmark of human social behavior,” Barbey said. “By studying the mechanisms that underlie these abilities, we’re able to advance our understanding of the remarkable cognitive and neural architecture from which language comprehension emerges.”
CSHL neuroscientists identify class of cortical inhibitory neurons that specialize in disinhibition
Thursday, October 3, 2013 · Posted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
The cerebral cortex contains two major types of neurons: principal neurons that are excitatory and interneurons that are inhibitory, all interconnected within the same network. New research now reveals that one class of inhibitory neurons – called VIP interneurons — specializes in inhibiting other inhibitory neurons in multiple regions of cortex, and does so under specific behavioral conditions.