How Our Body "Hears" VibrationsNews
Researchers have observed what happens in the brains of mice whose forepaws perceive vibrations. They discovered that neurons in the somatosensory cortex are activated in a manner similar to those in the sound-reactive auditory cortex. These results suggest that feeling a phone vibrate or hearing it ring is ultimately based on the same brain codes.READ MORE
Hunting the Brain Circuits Behind Alcohol CravingsNews
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.
BRAIN Scientists Make Strides in Mapping the Mouse CortexNews
Researchers have outlined a way to classify neurons based not only on how they look, but on with which other neurons they are capable of communicating.READ MORE
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Spravato (esketamine) nasal spray, in conjunction with an oral antidepressant, for the treatment of depression in adults who have tried other antidepressant medicines but have not benefited from them.READ MORE
Menstrual cycle may influence addiction risk in women, according to a new study. In female rats, craving for cocaine during abstinence from the drug was stronger during estrus—the phase in which ovulation occurs—than non-estrus, and female rats were more prone to relapse of cocaine use than male rats.READ MORE
Through the use of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, reproducible brain connectivity patterns were identified in people with autism. However, as these phenotypes were only moderately linked to clinical symptoms, the usability of this imaging alone is limited as a diagnostic tool.READ MORE
The growing popularity of microdosing – taking tiny amounts of psychedelic drugs to boost mood and mental acuity – is based on anecdotal reports of its benefits. Now, a study in rats by researchers at the University of California, Davis suggests microdosing can provide relief for symptoms of depression and anxiety, but also found potential negative effects.READ MORE
A new study has shown how the Foxg1 gene, already involved in numerous processes of cerebral development and in rare disorders like Rett and West syndromes, plays a fundamental role in piloting the differentiation of stem cells, guaranteeing that neurons and glial cells are produced in the right quantity and at the right moment.READ MORE
New research has devised a way to track tiny message-carriers in the brain that could prove useful in diagnosing and treating injuries, infections or diseases. The study uses a glowing mouse – appropriately dubbed the “TIGER mouse” – to trace the movement of information-rich particles found in bodily fluids throughout the body, called extracellular vesicles.READ MORE
Scientists have shown for the first time that the brain is involved in the development of a heart condition called Takotsubo syndrome (TTS). They found that regions of the brain responsible for processing emotions and controlling the unconscious workings of the body, such as heart beat, breathing and digestion, do not communicate with each other as well in TTS patients as in healthy people.
A large multi-centre study of more than 1,200 patients provides important predictors of Parkinson’s disease progression, which hopefully will allow better candidate selection for clinical trials and more effective therapy development.READ MORE