Impairments in axonal transport identified in multiple sclerosis

[fbshare type=”button” width=”100″] [hr] [twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”] [hr] [stumbleupon design=”horizontal_large”] [hr]   The complex and elaborate morphology of many types of neurons presents a problem for these cells: how can neurons deliver the appropriate molecules to the appropriate places, sometimes to regions many inches away from the site of production located in the cell body? … Read more

A modulator of social behavior identified in frontotemporal dementia

[fbshare type=”button” width=”100″] [twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”] [hr][google_plusone size=”standard” annotation=”none” language=”English (UK)”] [hr][stumbleupon design=”horizontal_large”] [hr] When we think of dementia, we normally jump straight to Alzheimer’s disease; the constant forgetting, the failure to recognize loved ones, changes in mood, etc. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a large health concern and was even featured in this year’s Google … Read more

How does the brain represent rhythm?

[twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”][fbshare type=”button”][stumbleupon design=”horizontal_large”] [hr] Humans are drawn to rhythms as demonstrated by our love for all different types of music. Despite this and despite the fact that we are able to follow and generate many different patterns of rhythmic behavior, the brain-related mechanisms underlying the representation of such rhythm remains unknown. On the … Read more

Experience can shape blood vessel development in the brain

[fbshare type=”button”] [twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”] [stumbleupon design=”horizontal_large”] [hr] Each and every second we are experiencing the world around us. Our sensory systems are constantly bombarded by the variety of environmental stimuli that surround us wherever we go — sounds, sights, smells, itches, thoughts —our brains are constantly processing this information, drawing our attention to the things … Read more

Patient-derived stem cells can traverse spinal cord injury and reach the brain

[twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”] [fbshare type=”button”] [stumbleupon design=”horizontal_large”] [hr] An article published this week in Neuron shows that neurons derived from patient-specific stem cells can be transplanted to an injured rat spinal cord and can extend thousands of processes past the site of injury. Though numerous studies of this type have been published,  many with promising results, this … Read more

Astrocytes and Alzheimer’s

[twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”] [fbshare type=”button”] [stumbleupon design=”horizontal_large”] In the August issue of Nature Medicine,  researchers report on the role of astrocytes in memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease. Astrocytes, a type of glial cell in the brain, have been mostly thought of as a supporting cell in the nervous system, supporting neurons and acting as a glue for surrounding … Read more

New risk loci identified for Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that is characterized by a resting tremor, slow movement, muscle rigidity, and stooped posture. For this reason, it has been classified as a “movement” disorder, placing it in the same category as Huntington’s disease, another devastating movement disorder. Similar to Huntington’s, PD affects  neurons that secrete the neurotransmitter dopamine. … Read more

New insights into major depressive disorder and treatment response

[twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”] [fbshare type=”button”] [stumbleupon design=”horizontal_large”] Psychiatric and mood disorders are some of the hardest to treat, probably because they are also some of the hardest to understand in terms of underlying disease mechanisms. Though the treatment for many of these disorders has certainly improved, there remains room for further improvement. For instance, when … Read more

Changes in DNA methylation linked to traumatic memories and PTSD

[stumbleupon design=”horizontal_large”] [fbshare type=”button”] [twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”] In my first post I touched on a few things including an MS drug, memory, changes in DNA, and epigenetics. Well, here is another related post about a research paper published today in Journal of Neuroscience discussing epigenetics and how it again relates to memory, but this time to the memory … Read more

A gene that helps create diversity in the brain

[stumbleupon design=”horizontal_large”] In a very basic sense, the brain is composed of 2 kinds of cells: neurons and glia. Neurons are the brain cells that you usually see or think about when you open a science textbook. Glia, on the other hand, are so named because they were originally thought to be the “glue” of … Read more