This Week on NeuroScientistNews: 2 February – 6 February
News Feb 06, 2015
New sleep recommendations; the brain’s social network; understanding autism and more.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), along with a multi-disciplinary expert panel, issued its new recommendations for appropriate sleep durations. The report recommends wider appropriate sleep ranges for most age groups. The results are published in Sleep Health: The Official Journal of the National Sleep Foundation.
Neurons in the brain are wired like a social network, report researchers from Biozentrum, University of Basel. Each nerve cell has links with many others, but the strongest bonds form between the few cells most similar to each other. The results are published in the journal Nature.
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have succeeded in peering into the brains of live mice with such precision that they were able to see how the position of specific proteins changed as memories were forged. The technique has broad applications for future studies on learning and on what goes wrong in disorders like autism, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.
A meta-analysis of 193 brain-imaging studies shows similar gray-matter loss in the brains of people with diagnoses as different as schizophrenia, depression and addiction.
New research could lead to a better understanding of how the brain works in people with autism. There is an enormous disease burden from autism, and little is known about the cognitive processes involved. Researchers from Monash University and Deakin University in Australia looked at new theories of autism that focused on the way in which the brain combines new information from its senses with prior knowledge about the environment.
Researchers who sequenced the fecal samples of over 3,000 healthy volunteers recently described the so-called B2 enterotype, which is deficient in some anti-inflammatory bacteria. Today, they published more data, showing the high prevalence of this particular enterotype across multiple disease diagnoses.READ MORE
New research may explain why an antioxidant that protects the brain is also associated with deterioration in areas susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. The antioxidant, superoxide dismutase or SOD1, improves cognition, but an Iowa State University research team found SOD1’s protective benefits dramatically weaken when levels of tau proteins – a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease – increase.