This Week on NeuroScientistNews: 14 -18 September
News Sep 18, 2015
Cocoa and Alzheimer's disease; see-through brains; antidepressants and pregnancy, and more.
Researchers in Japan have shown that several different classes of antidepressants increase early growth responses in astrocytes, the star-shaped glial cells, which could help develop new treatments.
The potential benefits of dietary cocoa extract and/or its final product in the form of chocolate have been extensively investigated in regard to several aspects of human health. Cocoa extracts contain polyphenols, which are micronutrients that have many health benefits, including reducing age-related cognitive dysfunction and promoting healthy brain aging, among others.
Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have developed a new technique for creating transparent tissue that can be used to illuminate 3D brain anatomy at very high resolutions. Published in Nature Neuroscience, the work showcases the new technology and its practical importance in clinical science by showing how it has given new insights into Alzheimer’s disease plaques.
Scientists at Duke University have released a highly detailed model of connections in the mouse brain that could provide generations of neuroscientists new insights into brain circuits and origins of mental illness, such as depression and schizophrenia. The findings are published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.
The use of antidepressants during pregnancy has no long term neurodevelopmental or behavioral effects on the child, however they may be associated with an increased risk of postpartum hemorrhage, suggests the findings from three studies published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Neurons in the human brain receive electrical signals from thousands of other cells, and long neural extensions called dendrites play a critical role in incorporating all of that information. Using hard-to-obtain samples of human brain tissue, MIT neuroscientists have now discovered that human dendrites have different electrical properties from those of other species.