A rare and baffling neurological disorder called Bálint syndrome, which badly impairs a patient’s ability to make sense of what he or she sees is discussed. The article describes, in novelistic detail, the difficult adjustments two patients have had to make in their lives.
Researchers have discovered how to store diverse forms of artificial short-term memories in isolated brain tissue. Using isolated pieces of rodent brain tissue, the researchers demonstrated that they could form a memory of which one of four input pathways was activated.
Frequently, as many as one thousand signals rain down on a single neuron simultaneously. To ensure that precise signals are delivered, the brain possesses a sophisticated inhibitory system. Scientists have now illuminated how this system works.
The experimental treatment method allows small therapeutic agents to safely cross the blood-brain barrier in laboratory rats by turning off P-glycoprotein, one of the main gatekeepers preventing medicinal drugs from reaching their intended targets in the brain.
Scientists found that adverse listening situations are difficult for the brain, partly because they draw on the same, limited resources supporting our short-term memory. The new findings are particularly relevant to understanding the cognitive consequences of hearing damage, a condition that affects an increasing number of people.
Professional football players in this study were three times more likely to die as a result of diseases that damage brain cells compared to the general population. A player’s risk of death from Alzheimer’s disease or ALS was almost four times higher than the general population.
Researchers have discovered two gene variants that raise the risk of the pediatric cancer neuroblastoma. This is the first study to link known cancer-related genes HACE1 and LIN28B to neuroblastoma. The study broadens understanding of how gene changes may make a child susceptible to this early childhood cancer, as well as causing a tumor to progress.
By increasing the signaling activity of a protein called muscle skeletal receptor tyrosine-protein kinase (MuSK), researchers were able to keep nerve cells attached to muscle longer into the progression of the disease in a mouse model of ALS.
Researchers identified a potential medical treatment for cognitive effects of stress-related disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study, conducted in a PTSD mouse model, shows that an experimental drug called S107, one of a new class of small-molecule compounds called Rycals, prevented learning and memory deficits associated with stress-related disorders.