This Week on NeuroScientistNews: 16-20 November
News Nov 21, 2015
Repairing neurons with light; brain structure linked to hallucinations; nanoparticles to image brain function, and more.
The nervous system is built to last a lifetime, but diverse diseases or environmental insults can overpower the capacity of neurons to maintain function or to repair after trauma. A team led by Dr. Hernán López-Schier, head of the Research Unit Sensory Biology and Organogenesis at Helmholtz Zentrum München, has now succeeded in promoting the repair of an injured neural circuit in zebrafish.
People diagnosed with schizophrenia who are prone to hallucinations are likely to have structural differences in a key region of the brain compared to both healthy individuals and people diagnosed with schizophrenia who do not hallucinate, according to new research.
A Korean research team jointly led by Professor Chan Beum Park of the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Dr. Kwon Yu from the Bionano Center at the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology conducted research to suppress an abnormal assembly of beta-amyloids, a protein commonly found in the brain, by using photo-excited porphyrins.
Brain scans of people in a coma may help predict who will regain consciousness, according to a study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study looked at connections between areas of the brain that play a role in regulating consciousness.
Research biologists, chemists, and theoreticians at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are on pace to develop the next generation of functional materials that could enable the mapping of the complex neural connections in the brain. The ultimate goal is to better understand how the billions of neurons in the brain communicate with one another during normal brain function or dysfunction as result of injury or disease.
A recent retrospective study evaluating continuous electroencephalography (cEEG) of children in intensive care units (ICUs) found a higher than anticipated number of seizures. The work also identified several conditions closely associated with the seizures, and suggests that cEEG monitoring may be a valuable tool for helping to identify and treat neurological problems in patients who are 14 months old or younger.
Pain is a negative feeling that we want to get rid of as soon as possible. In order to protect our bodies, we react for example by withdrawing the hand. This action is usually understood as the consequence of the perception of pain. A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now shown that perception, the impulse to act and provision of energy to do so take place in the brain simultaneously and not, as was expected, one after the other.