Growing a brain: Two-step control mechanism identified in mouse stem cells

Scientists have identified two distinct control mechanisms in the developmental transition of undifferentiated stem cells into healthy brain cells. This fundamental research using mice may inform regenerative medicine treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and spinal cord injuries, in the future. When an embryo develops, stem cells differentiate into all the types of cells that the adult will need. Neural stem cells […]

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Researchers identify widespread brain alterations in children with callousness

Children with elevated levels of callous traits—such as a lack of remorse and disregard for other people’s feelings—show widespread differences in brain structure compared with children with lower levels of the traits, according to a new study published in Biological Psychiatry. The differences, which included large- and small-scale structural alterations, support the idea of callous traits as a neurodevelopmental condition. […]

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Researchers find the cause of and cure for brain injury associated with gut condition

Using a mouse model of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)—a potentially fatal condition that causes a premature infant’s gut to suddenly die—researchers at Johns Hopkins say they have uncovered the molecular causes of the condition and its associated brain injury. The discovery enabled the team to combine efforts with colleagues studying brain inflammation and to identify potential drugs that reverse the brain […]

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Major data release set for early 2019 as recruitment wraps up for nation’s largest adolescent brain study

Research teams all across the globe are eagerly awaiting a major release of data from the largest study ever attempted on the adolescent brain. FIU is one of 21 sites studying nearly 11,874 participants collectively, including 2,100 twins or triplets. Researchers will follow the children, currently between the ages of 9 and 10, through young adulthood. Recruitment for participants wrapped […]

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Adolescent cannabis use alters development of planning, self-control brain areas

Adolescent marijuana use may alter how neurons function in brain areas engaged in decision-making, planning and self-control, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The findings, which were presented at Neuroscience 2018, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, are the result of an animal model study focused on the structural development of the prefrontal cortex, […]

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New study finds evidence of brain injuries in football players at surprisingly young age

There have been more and more cases confirming that repeated hits to the head have lifelong consequences for professional football players, but a new study by Orlando Health in collaboration with the Concussion Neuroimaging Consortium finds evidence of lasting effects from head injuries at a much younger age than expected. The study tested biomarkers in the blood called microRNA’s and […]

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Heart health’s impact on brain may begin in childhood

A child’s blood pressure could indicate cognition problems into adulthood, according to a new study suggesting the cardiovascular connection to cognitive decline could begin much earlier in life than previously believed. The findings may provide a window into the roots of dementia, for which high blood pressure is considered a risk factor. “We wondered is there perhaps some signal early […]

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The reward system in the brain affects our judgments

We make judgements quite rationally or “by the gut.” Not only experience and relevant information play an important role, but also our preferences. A study by the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne shows how the reward system in the brain conveys judgements affected by one’s own desires. “In complex, confusing situations, we run the risk of making […]

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