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Scientists find ‘hidden brain signatures’ of consciousness in vegetative state patients

Scientists find ‘hidden brain signatures’ of consciousness in vegetative state patients

Scientists in Cambridge have found hidden signatures in the brains of people in a vegetative state, which point to networks that could support consciousness even when a patient appears to be unconscious and unresponsive. Continue reading

New mechanism that can lead to blindness discovered

New mechanism that can lead to blindness discovered

An important scientific breakthrough by a team of IRCM researchers led by Michel Cayouette, PhD, is being published by The Journal of Neuroscience . The Montréal scientists discovered that a protein found in the retina plays an essential role in the function and survival of light-sensing cells that are required for vision. These findings could have a significant impact on our understanding of retinal degenerative diseases that cause blindness Continue reading

Scientists sniff out unexpected role for stem cells in the brain

Scientists sniff out unexpected role for stem cells in the brain

For decades, scientists thought that neurons in the brain were born only during the early development period and could not be replenished. More recently, however, they discovered cells with the ability to divide and turn into new neurons in specific brain regions. The function of these neuroprogenitor cells remains an intense area of research Continue reading

Neural stem cell overgrowth, autism-like behavior linked, mice study suggests

Neural stem cell overgrowth, autism-like behavior linked, mice study suggests

People with autism spectrum disorder often experience a period of accelerated brain growth after birth. Continue reading

Myasthenia gravis: Efficacy of potential therapy for autoimmune disorder of muscle weakness

Myasthenia gravis: Efficacy of potential therapy for autoimmune disorder of muscle weakness

Nearly 60,000 Americans suffer from myasthenia gravis (MG), a non-inherited autoimmune form of muscle weakness. The disease has no cure, and the primary treatments are nonspecific immunosuppressants and inhibitors of the enzyme cholinesterase. Now, a pair of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a fast-acting “vaccine” that can reverse the course of the disease in rats, and, they hope, in humans Continue reading

Stroke-fighting drug offers potential treatment for traumatic brain injury

Stroke-fighting drug offers potential treatment for traumatic brain injury

The only drug currently approved for treatment of stroke’s crippling effects shows promise, when administered as a nasal spray, to help heal similar damage in less severe forms of traumatic brain injury. In the first examination of its kind, researchers Ye Xiong, Ph.D, Zhongwu Liu, Ph.D., and Michael Chopp, Ph.D., Scientific Director of the Henry Ford Neuroscience Institute, found in animal studies that the brain’s limited ability to repair itself after trauma can be enhanced when treated with the drug tPA, or tissue plasminogen activator. Continue reading

‘Frenemy’ in Parkinson’s disease takes to crowdsourcing

‘Frenemy’ in Parkinson’s disease takes to crowdsourcing

The protein alpha-synuclein is a well-known player in Parkinson’s disease and other related neurological conditions, such as dementia with Lewy bodies. Continue reading

Brain chemical potential new hope in controlling Tourette Syndrome tics

Brain chemical potential new hope in controlling Tourette Syndrome tics

A chemical in the brain plays a vital role in controlling the involuntary movements and vocal tics associated with Tourette Syndrome (TS), a new study has shown. Continue reading

How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression

How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression

Physical exercise has many beneficial effects on human health, including the protection from stress-induced depression. However, until now the mechanisms that mediate this protective effect have been unknown Continue reading

Dying brain cells cue new brain cells to grow in songbird

Dying brain cells cue new brain cells to grow in songbird

Brain cells that multiply to help birds sing their best during breeding season are known to die back naturally later in the year. For the first time researchers have described the series of events that cues new neuron growth each spring, and it all appears to start with a signal from the expiring cells the previous fall that primes the brain to start producing stem cells. If scientists can further tap into the process and understand how those signals work, it might lead to ways to exploit these signals and encourage replacement of cells in human brains that have lost neurons naturally because of aging, severe depression or Alzheimer’s disease, said Tracy Larson, a University of Washington doctoral student in biology Continue reading