Genetic legacy from the Ottoman Empire: Single mutation causes rare brain disorder

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

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

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

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

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

Scientists discover two proteins that control chandelier cell architecture

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.

CSHL neuroscientists identify class of cortical inhibitory neurons that specialize in disinhibition

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.