Neuroplasticity Redefines Our Understanding of the Brain

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Documentary about neuroplasticity illustrates your brain’s amazing ability to change and adapt to your thoughts, emotions, experiences, and injuries Continue reading

Real Science: Almost Half the Population May Be Infected with a Mysterious Virus that Makes People Stupid

Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medical School have identified a mysterious virus that literally makes people stupid, and it has so far been found in about 45% of the people tested. The discovery of the “stupid” virus, normally found in algae, was revealed at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, entitled “Chlorovirus ATCV-1 is part of Continue reading

Essential Oils Support Physical and Emotional Well-Being

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Your sense of smell is your most primal sense and exerts surprising influence over your thoughts, emotions, moods, memories, and behaviors

Aromatherapy Continue reading

B12 and Choline Will Keep Brain Buzzing

Twenty years ago, I’d sit down in front of the daily crossword puzzle each morning with a pen in one hand and a stopwatch in the other. Nowadays, I sometimes feel like I could time myself with a sundial. Continue reading

Vitamin D and Omega-3 for Brain and Heart Health

For years every major drug company in the world has been locked in a bitter battle to bring the first Alzheimer’s disease cure to the market — with a profit potential that’s been estimated at more than $20 billion a year.

Well, that market may have suddenly just shrunk to ZERO. That’s because a team of remarkable California researchers may have discovered the first great Alzheimer’s breakthrough of Continue reading

A 3-D Light Switch for the Brain

 

 

New device for delivering light to individual IMAGE:This is an optical image of the 3-D array with individual light ports illuminated. The array looks like a series of fine-toothed combs laid next to each other with their…neurons could one day help treat Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy; aid understanding of consciousness, how memories form Continue reading

Ants Remember their Enemy’s Scent

Weaver ant “major workers” aggressively defend their colony from intruders

Ant colonies – one of nature’s most ancient and efficient societies – are able to form a “collective memory” of their enemies, say scientists.

When one ant fights with an intruder from another colony it retains that enemy’s odour: passing it on to the rest of the colony.

This enables any of its nest-mates to identify an ant from the offending colony.

The findings are reported in the journal Naturwissenschaften.

For many ant species, chemicals are key to functioning as a society. Insects identify their nest-mates by the specific “chemical signature” that coats the body of every member of that nest.

The insects are also able to sniff out any intruder that might be attempting to invade.

This study, carried out by a team from the University of Melbourne in Australia, set out to discover if ants were able to retain memories of the odors they encounter. Continue reading

Memories Can now be Modified with New Mind-Altering Drug

Changing bad memories into good ones could be just a pill away, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Researchers from the University of Montreal in Canada say that metyrapone, a drug that blocks the “stress hormone” cortisol, also appears to alter patients’ memories and minimizing their recollection of negative events — but is this actually a good thing?

For their study, Marie-France Marin and her team evaluated the effects of metyrapone on a group of young men shown a slide show that documented the serious injury of a young girl. In it, the girl is building a birdhouse with her grandparents until a serious accident lands her in the emergency room.  Continue reading

Nigerian Government Trains Herbal Medicine Practitioners

Nigerian Government Trains Herbal Medicine Practitioners

ABUJA — Nigeria’s Ministry of Health has started training herbal medicine practitioners on drug preparation and management, said a representative of the practitioners here on Thursday.

    “We are grateful to the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Ministry of Science and Technology for taking us to seminars to teach us how to prepare drugs, the dosage and preservation,” Ayaba Otoce, chairman of National Association of Herbal Medicine Practitioners, was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as saying.

    She said there were some diseases, including acute staphylococcus, syphilis and candidiasis, that the orthodox medicine could not cure, but were curable by herbal medicine.

Noisy Roads Ups High Blood Pressure Risk

STOCKHOLM – Individuals living near noisy roads are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, according to a new study.

The study has been published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Environmental Health.

Theo Bodin worked with a team or researchers from Lund University Hospital, Sweden, to investigate the association between living close to noisy roads and having raised blood pressure.

He said, “Road traffic is the most important source of community noise. Non-auditory physical health effects that are biologically plausible in relation to noise exposure include changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of stress hormones.

“We found that exposure above 60 decibels was associated with high blood pressure among the relatively young and middle-aged, an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke”.

To reach the conclusion, Bodin and his colleagues used health survey questionnaires for 27,963 people living in Scania in southern Sweden and related this information to how close the respondents lived to busy roads. Modest exposure effects were generally noted in all age groups at average road noise levels below 60 dB(A). More marked effects were seen at higher exposure levels among relatively young and middle-aged people, whereas no effects at higher levels were discerned in the oldest age group (60 – 80 years old).

Speaking about this age-effect, Bodin said, “The effect of noise may become less important, or harder to detect, relative to other risk factors with increasing age. Alternatively, it could be that noise annoyance varies with age”

Forgotten Memories Still Exist in the Brain

IRVINE – A new research by UC Irvine neuroscientists suggests that memories exist even when forgotten.

With the help of advanced brain imaging techniques, the study’s scientists discovered that a person’s brain activity while remembering an event is very similar to when it was first experienced, even if specifics can’t be recalled.

“If the details are still there, hopefully we can find a way to access them,” said Jeff Johnson, postdoctoral researcher at UCI’s Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and lead author of the study, appearing Sept. 10 in the journal Neuron.

“By understanding how this works in young, healthy adults, we can potentially gain insight into situations where our memories fail more noticeably, such as when we get older,” he said.

“It also might shed light on the fate of vivid memories of traumatic events that we may want to forget,” he added.

In collaboration with scientists at Princeton University, Johnson and colleague Michael Rugg, CNLM director, used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the brain activity of students.

Inside an fMRI scanner, the students were shown words and asked to perform various tasks: imagine how an artist would draw the object named by the word, think about how the object is used, or pronounce the word backward in their minds. The scanner captured images of their brain activity during these exercises.

About 20 minutes later, the students viewed the words a second time and were asked to remember any details linked to them. Again, brain activity was recorded.

Utilizing a mathematical method called pattern analysis, the scientists associated the different tasks with distinct patterns of brain activity. When a student had a strong recollection of a word from a particular task, the pattern was very similar to the one generated during the task.

When recollection was weak or nonexistent, the pattern was not as prominent but still recognizable as belonging to that particular task.

“The pattern analyzer could accurately identify tasks based on the patterns generated, regardless of whether the subject remembered specific details,” Johnson said.

“This tells us the brain knew something about what had occurred, even though the subject was not aware of the information,” the expert added.