Tag: Neuroscience

Female leadership affects wage-gap and firm performance

A new paper in The Economic Journal, published by Oxford University Press, finds that female executives decrease the wage-gap for women at the top of a firm while widening it at the bottom. This study also finds that the lack of women at the executive level has a negative impact on firm performance, especially in

Differences in MS patients’ cerebrospinal fluid may be key to drugs that halt progression

The disability burden for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) can vary significantly depending on whether they have a relapsing/remitting form of the disease, where they experience periods of clinical remission, or a progressive form, where they have continued neurological deterioration without clinical remission. Effective therapies exist for managing relapsing/remitting MS, but treatment for progressive MS

How a popular antidepressant drug could rewire the brain

Prozac®, the trade name for the drug fluoxetine, was introduced to the U.S. market for the treatment of depression in 1988. Thirty years later, scientists still don’t know exactly how the medication exerts its mood-lifting effects. Now, researchers report that, in addition to the drug’s known action on serotonin receptors, fluoxetine could rearrange nerve fibers

Exercise improves brain function in overweight and obese individuals

New findings out of the University of Tübingen show that, on top of its benefits for metabolism, mood, and general health, exercise also improves brain function. In recent studies, researchers learned that obese and overweight individuals are prone to insulin resistance in the brain, where it provides information about current nutritional status, as well as

Looking at how the brain reacts to boredom could help people cope

Boredom is a common human experience. But how people cope with or handle being bored is important for mental health. “Everybody experiences boredom,” said Sammy Perone, Washington State University assistant professor in the Department of Human Development. “But some people experience it a lot, which is unhealthy. So, we wanted to look at how to

How inhaled fungal spores cause fatal meningitis

Pathogenic fungal spores capitalize on host immune cells to escape the lung and gain access to the brain to cause fatal disease in mice, according to a study published June 27 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Christina Hull of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and colleagues. These insights into the interactions between pathogenic fungal

ALS patients may benefit from more glucose

Increased glucose, transformed into energy, could give people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, improved mobility and a longer life, according to new findings by a University of Arizona-led research team. Physicians have long known that people with ALS experience changes in their metabolism that often lead to rapid weight loss in a process called

Molecular scissors stabilize the cell’s cytoskeleton

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Villigen, Switzerland, have for the first time elucidated the structure of important enzymes in human cells that alter essential building blocks of the cellular cytoskeleton. This reveals the missing part of a cycle that regulates the build-up or breakdown of supporting elements of the cell. The enzymes

One step closer to chronic pain relief

Sortilin, which is a protein expressed on the surface of nerve cells, plays a crucial role in pain development in laboratory mice — and in all likelihood in humans as well. This is the main conclusion of the study ‘Sortilin gates neurotensin and BDNF signalling to control peripheral neuropathic pain’, which has just been published

Broken brain cells repaired in dementia mouse model: If translated to humans, results suggest new directions for combating cognitive decline in elderly

Dysfunctional neurons in the hippocampus of adult female mice modeling dementia can be repaired and reconnected to distant parts of the brain, reports a new study published in JNeurosci. The similarity between the mouse model and the human condition underscores the therapeutic potential of targeting these cells in dementia patients. The hippocampus generates new brain

Detecting dementia’s damaging effects before it’s too late

Scientists might have found an early detection method for some forms of dementia, according to new research by the University of Arizona and the University of Toronto’s Baycrest Health Sciences Centre. According to the study published in the journal Neuropsychologia last month, patients with a rare neurodegenerative brain disorder called Primary Progressive Aphasia, or PPA,

Why creative experts may be better at imagining the future

Humans use imagination a lot, whether it be thinking about what’s for dinner later tonight or trying to imagine what someone else on the other side of the world may be experiencing after reading the news. As situations become farther away from reality and more distal, imagining a situation becomes more difficult. The limits to

Connecting neurons in the brain

The brain consists of a large collection of interconnected neurons. How complex patterns of neuronal cells grow into functioning circuits during development has fascinated researchers for decades. A team of scientists at VIB and KU Leuven has now uncovered a new signaling mechanism in fruit flies that specifies the formation of neuronal circuits in the

Early lipids boost brain growth for vulnerable micro-preemies

Dietary lipids, already an important source of energy for tiny preemies, also provide a much-needed brain boost by significantly increasing global brain volume as well as increasing volume in regions involved in motor activities and memory, according to research presented during the Pediatric Academic Societies 2019 Annual Meeting. “Compared with macronutrients like carbohydrates and proteins,

Study shows promise in repairing damaged myelin: Potential ‘game-changer’ for people with multiple sclerosis

A scientific breakthrough provides new hope for millions of people living with multiple sclerosis. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have developed a compound that stimulates repair of the protective sheath that covers nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The discovery, involving mice genetically engineered to mimic multiple sclerosis, published in the

Blue Brain solves a century-old neuroscience problem

A team led by Lida Kanari now reports a new system for distinguishing cell types in the brain, an algorithmic classification method that the researchers say will benefit the entire field of neuroscience. Blue Brain founder Professor Henry Markram says, “For nearly 100 years, scientists have been trying to name cells. They have been describing

Scientists hunt down the brain circuit responsible for alcohol cravings: Study may open the door to developing drug therapies or even gene therapies for alcohol addiction

Scientists at Scripps Research have found that they can reverse the desire to drink in alcohol-dependent rats — with the flip of a switch. The researchers were able to use lasers to temporarily inactivate a specific neuronal population, reversing alcohol-seeking behavior and even reducing the physical symptoms of withdrawal. “This discovery is exciting — it