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This Week on NeuroScientistNews: 06 July – 10 July

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LSD-induced synesthesia; stress resiliency and susceptibility; bacterial biofilms and MS, and more.

Trippy research: chemically-induced synesthesia

Psychedelic drugs like LSD are often associated with experiences that can only be described as synesthesia—the rare neurological phenomenon in which a stimulus produces a second concurrent, involuntary experience—although scientists are still unsure if chemically-induced synesthesia is a genuine synesthetic experience.

Stress resiliency and susceptibility: The neurocircuitry underlying the detrimental effects of chronic stress

Humans are remarkably resilient when confronted with tremendous amounts of stress and trauma. While most people are able to maintain balanced psychological and physical functioning, some people are vulnerable, or susceptible, to the negative biological, psychological, and social consequences of stress. The biological factors underlying susceptibility are unknown and likely intersect with an individual’s ability to cope, among other factors.

Research team finds bacterial biofilms may play a role in lupus, MS, other auto-immune diseases

Lupus, multiple sclerosis, and type-1 diabetes are among more than a score of diseases in which the immune system attacks the body it was designed to defend. But just why the immune system begins its misdirected assault has remained a mystery. Now, researchers at Temple University School of Medicine have shown that bacterial communities that form biofilms play a role in the development of the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus -- a discovery that may provide important clues about several autoimmune ailments.

Age-related cognitive decline tied to immune-system molecule

A blood-borne molecule that increases in abundance as we age blocks regeneration of brain cells and promotes cognitive decline, suggests a new study by researchers at University of California, San Francisco and Stanford School of Medicine.

Researchers identify brain abnormalities in people with schizophrenia

Structural brain abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, providing insight into how the condition may develop and respond to treatment, have been identified in an international study. Scientists at more than a dozen locations across the United States and Europe analyzed brain MRI scans from 2,028 schizophrenia patients and 2,540 healthy controls, assessed with standardized methods at 15 centers worldwide. The findings help further the understanding of the mental disorder.