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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Brain Research: Breakthrough for electrode implants in the brain ♦ Researchers learn how to grow old brain cells ♦ How the brain controls sleep

Researchers learn how to grow old brain cells A new technique allows scientists to study diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's using cells from human patients. Historically, animal models -- from fruit flies to mice -- have been the go-to technique to study the biological consequences of aging, especially in tissues that can't be easily sampled from living humans, like the brain. Over the past few years, researchers have increasingly turned to stem cells to study various diseases in humans.
Breakthrough for electrode implants in the brain For nearly nine years, researchers at Lund University have been working on developing implantable electrodes that can capture signals from single neurons in the brain over a long period of time - without causing brain tissue damage. They are now one big step closer to reaching this goal.
Blood clotting protein triggers immune attack on brain\ A single drop of blood in the brain is sufficient to activate an autoimmune response akin to multiple sclerosis, new research shows. This is the first demonstration that introduction of blood in the healthy brain is sufficient to cause peripheral immune cells to enter the brain, which then go on to cause brain damage.
How the brain controls sleep Neuroscientists have discovered a brain circuit that can trigger small regions of the brain to fall asleep or become less alert, while the rest of the brain remains awake. The researchers believe this may help the brain consolidate new memories by coordinating slow waves between different parts of the brain, allowing them to share information more easily.
Schizophrenia symptoms linked to features of brain's anatomy? Using advanced brain imaging, researchers have matched certain behavioral symptoms of schizophrenia to features of the brain's anatomy. The findings could be a step toward improving diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia

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