Each breath begins with hundreds of individual neurons haphazardly firing at low levels, then quickly synchronizing. The synchronization prompts activity that signals diaphragm and chest muscles to contract, causing expansion and inhalation. As the signal subsides, exhalation occurs.
Mice lacking the autism-associated SHANK3 gene were more sensitive to sensation, including touch. The mice also had overactive excitatory neurons in the somatosensory cortex, which may account for sensory hypersensitivity.
GABA can selectively regulate the excitability of neurons.
A drug commonly prescribed for edema improves the symptoms for young children on the autism spectrum with no significant side effects. The drug, bumetanide, decreases the ratio of GABA to glutamate in the brain.
Hangxiety, the feeling of waking up with anxiety the morning after heavy drinking, is a common symptom associated with a hangover. Researchers explain how a heavy night's drinking alters neurochemistry, leaving some of us prone to waking with anxiety.
From reducing memory capability to increasing the risk of diabetes and obesity, researchers investigate how sugar affects the brain and body.
Schizophrenia is linked to alterations in pathways associated with glycosaminoglycan, neurotransmitter metabolism, and GABAergic synapses. A large percentage of genes related to schizophrenia are expressed differently between males and females. The results imply the mechanisms involved in schizophrenia development differ, at least slightly, between males and females.
A visual test may be a new tool in the diagnosis of autism. Individuals on the autism spectrum are slower to dampen neural activity in response to visual stimuli in the brain. Using EEG data collected from the visual region, researchers could predict with 87% accuracy whether or not a person had ASD.
Newly identified network in the hypothalamus alters feeding behaviors on a shorter timescale. The pathway affects food intake and body weight by releasing GABA, which may occur due to the detection, and not the consumption of food.
Genetic mutations, which occur in both the brain and gut, could be a main cause of autism. Using mouse models of ASD, researchers discovered the neuroligin-3 R451C mutation affects neural communication in the brain and causes dysfunction in the gut. The findings strengthen the gut-brain hypothesis of autism.