Neuroplasticity Studies Reveal Your Brain’s Amazing Malleability

Story at-a-glance 

Your brain is malleable, continually changing in response to your lifestyle, physiology, emotions, and environment; this is called neuroplasticity

Your choices and habits today profoundly influence how healthy your brain remains and how well it continues to function as you age 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

Sodium Buildup in Brain Linked to Disability in Multiple Sclerosis

A buildup of sodium in the brain detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be a biomarker for the degeneration of nerve cells that occurs in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

The study found that patients with early-stage MS showed Continue reading

What is Auriculotherapy?

Auriculotherapy is the stimulation of the auricle of the external ear for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions in other parts of the body. It is also known as ear acupuncture or auricular acupuncture when the stimulation is achieved by the insertion of acupuncture needles, whereas the term auriculotherapy often refers to electrical stimulation of the surface of ear reflex points. Specific points on the ear can also be stimulated by manual pressure, referred to as auricular acupressure or ear reflexology. Acupuncture points on the ear Continue reading

How to Stop Your Brain from Shrinking

Do you know why you lose some of your memory function when you age? It’s because the brain actually shrinks. This, you are no doubt thinking, is something that most definitely can’t be reversed. Everyone should just accept that an agile brain and an excellent memory are things of the past once they hit middle age. But not so, according to a recent study done by researchers in Columbus, Ohio. Results show that a one-year period of exercise doesn’t only slow down brain shrinkage — it could also actually reverse it! For the study, Continue reading

Vitamin K2: New Hope for Parkinson’s Patients?

Neuroscientist Patrik Verstreken, associated with VIB and KU Leuven, succeeded in undoing the effect of one of the genetic defects that leads to Parkinson’s using vitamin K2. Continue reading

Gene Therapy for Hearing Loss: Potential and Limitations

Researchers can induce the generation of extra sensory hair cells in the cochlea.

Mature sensory hair cells are red, while immature hair cells are green.

The arrows indicate locations where hair cells are usually not found.

Regenerating Continue reading

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Show how a Gene Duplication Helped our Brains Become ‘Human’

Extra copy of brain-development gene allowed neurons to migrate farther and develop more connections; findings may offer clue to autism and schizophrenia

What genetic changes account for the vast behavioral differences between humans and other primates? Researchers so far have catalogued Continue reading

The Hidden Key to Optimal Brain Performance

Story at-a-glance Continue reading

Flipping a Light Switch in the Cell: Quantum Dots Used for Targeted Neural Activation

New technique holds promise for better understanding of brain disorders

IMAGE: Optically excited quantum dots in close proximity to a cell control the opening of ion channels.

By harnessing quantum dots—tiny light-emitting semiconductor particles a few billionths of a meter across—researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have developed a new and vastly more targeted way to stimulate neurons in the brain. Being able to switch neurons on and off Continue reading

New Fluorescent Dyes Highlight Neuronal Activity

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have created a new generation of fast-acting fluorescent dyes that optically highlight electrical activity in neuronal membranes. The work is published in this week’s online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The ability to visualize these small, fast-changing voltage differences between the interior and exterior of neurons – known as transmembrane potential – is considered a powerful method for deciphering how brain cells function and interact.

However, current monitoring methods fall short, said the study’s first author Evan W. Miller, a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Roger Tsien, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, UC San Diego professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry Continue reading

Cut Calories to Expand Your Brain

The search for a pill to save the memory power of the aging brain is driving scientists to track the microscopic ways that nerve tissue changes with time. But until researchers devise a reliable way to block cognitive deterioration, you can take a simple natural measure to protect your mind: Eat less food. Lab tests show that eating 30 percent less food may keep you mentally sharper.

Memory Essence

Memory is an essential part of our existence. Without the ability to learn new tasks, remember basic things or put events into correct perspective, you cannot live a normal or productive life. Stress, aging and various viruses harm brain health, often leading to mental illness and diseases like Alzheimer’s. Researchers hope that they can soon devise a pill to fight these undesirable changes. In the meantime, a change of diet may provide a modicum of help.

According to Baylor University scientists, a so-called “memory pill” and perhaps even a cure for Alzheimer’s may be achievable in the near future. In fact, a recent Baylor research study, led by Maura Costa-Mattioli, Continue reading

Salk Scientists Map the Frontiers of Vision

Pioneering vision study in mice will help revolutionize the study of brain function and mental disease

There’s a 3-D world in our brains. It’s a landscape that mimics the outside world, where the objects we see exist as collections of neural circuits and electrical impulses.

Now, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies are using new tools they developed to chart that world, a key step in revolutionizing research into Continue reading