A new way to study the role of a critical neurotransmitter in disorders such as epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, depression, schizophrenia, and alcohol addiction has been developed. This model synapse can precisely control a variety of receptors for the neurotransmitter called GABA, which is important in brain chemistry.
Children fed healthy diets in early age may have a slightly higher IQ, while those on heavier junk food diets may have a slightly reduced IQ, according to new research.
Major step in understanding the cause of dyslexia is taken. Scientists have discovered an important neural mechanism underlying dyslexia and shown that many difficulties associated with dyslexia can potentially be traced back to a malfunction of the medial geniculate body in the thalamus.
Planarian flatworms have come under intense study for their renowned ability to regenerate any missing body part, even as adults. But now they may take on a starring role as a model system for studying eye development and eye diseases in vertebrates, including humans.
Research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that another 10 percent of individual differences in intelligence can be explained by the strength of neural pathways connecting the left lateral prefrontal cortex to the rest of the brain.
Researchers found that development of the cortical surface is delayed in frontal brain regions in children with ADHD. The typically developing children attained 50% peak area in the right prefrontal cortex at a mean age of 12.7 years, whereas the ADHD children didn’t reach this peak until 14.6 years of age.
Researchers determined how the neurons and muscles are connected in a decision-making neural network important for mating in C. elegans. The team also accurately measured the weights of those connections, i.e., an estimate of the strength with which one neuron or muscle communicates with another.
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital have identified several gene mutations responsible for the most common childhood brain tumor, called medulloblastoma, adding evidence to the theory that the diagnosis is a group of genetically distinct cancers with different prognoses. These and accompanying findings are likely to lead to less toxic, better targeted treatment approaches over the next two years, the researchers said.
A new Caltech study suggests that specific changes in an overactive immune system can indeed contribute to autism-like behaviors in mice, and that in some cases, this activation can be related to what a developing fetus experiences in the womb.
Mice born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy typically only live five to six days. University of Missouri researchers introduced the SMN gene into the mice’s central nervous systems and were able to extend their lives 10-25 days longer.