See news releases about NINDS-supported research from across the U.S.
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Manipulation of Specific Neurons Helps to Erase Bad Memories, Enhance Good Ones
May 6 | Stony Brooker University
Imagine if memory could be tuned in such a way where good memories are enhanced for those suffering from dementia or bad memories are wiped away for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder. A Stony Brook University research team has taken a step toward the possibility of tuning the strength of memory by manipulating one of the brain’s natural mechanisms for signaling involved in memory, a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.
New Pathway Leading to Alzheimer’s Disease Identified
May 5 | Boston University School of Medicine
A newly discovered pathway leading to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may unlock the door to new approaches for treating the disease.
Research findings reveal potential to reverse cancer-related nerve pain
May 5 | MD Anderson Cancer Center
A study providing new information about neuropathic pain afflicting some 90 percent of cancer patients who have had nerve damage caused by tumors, surgery, chemotherapy or radiation indicates gene therapy as a possible treatment.
Trapping individual cell types in the mouse brain
May 4 | Brandeis University
The complexity of the human brain depends upon the many thousands of individual types of nerve cells it contains. Even the much simpler mouse brain probably contains 10,000 or more different neuronal cell types.
Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis is reduced in a rat model using a cell-signaling inhibitor drug
May 3 | University of Alabama, Birmingham
University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers report the first documentation that suppressing a key cell-signaling pathway in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease reduces pathogenesis.
New finding on elusive brain receptor sheds light on what may kill neurons after stroke
April 29 | University of Buffalo
Strokes, seizures, traumatic brain injury and schizophrenia: these conditions can cause persistent, widespread acidity around neurons in the brain.
Subtle Chemical Changes in Brain Can Alter Sleep-Wake Cycle
April 28 | University of Rochester Medical Center
A study out today in the journal Science sheds new light on the biological mechanisms that control the sleep-wake cycle. Specifically, it shows that a simple shift in the balance of chemicals found in the fluid that bathes and surrounds brain cells can alter the state of consciousness of animals.
Tiny microscopes reveal hidden role of nervous system cells
April 28 | Salk Institute
A microscope about the size of a penny is giving scientists a new window into the everyday activity of cells within the spinal cord.
Grow those dendrites
April 27 | University of Iowa
When you think of a neuron, imagine a tree.
Powerful Brain Signals Between Seizures May Explain Memory Problems in People with Epilepsy
April 25 | NYU Langone Medical Center
Between seizures and continually, brain cells in people with epilepsy send signals that make “empty memories,” perhaps explaining the learning problems faced by up to 40 percent of those with the disorder.
Towards a new theory of sleep
April 25 | Brandeis University
Even though slumber consumes about a third of the day for many life forms, we know very little about why it’s needed. The need for sleep remains one of the great mysteries of biology.
Transfer of Gut Bacteria Affects Brain Function and Nerve Fiber Insulation
April 20 | Mount Sinai
Specific combinations of gut bacteria produce substances that affect myelin content and cause social avoidance behaviors in mice, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published today in the medical journal eLife.
Scripps Florida Study Identifies Memory Suppressor Gene That Could Hold Key to New Alzheimer’s Disease Treatments
April 14 | Scripps Research Institute
While research has identified hundreds of genes required for normal memory formation, genes that suppress memory are of special interest because they offer insights into how the brain prioritizes and manages all of the information, including memories, that it takes in every day.
New Gene Responsible for Stroke Discovered
April 8 | Boston University School of Medicine
Researchers have identified a new set of genes that may be responsible for the two most common and disabling neurological conditions, stroke and dementia.
In times of energy stress, brain turns to emergency generator
April 7 | Yale University
The human brain takes up only 2% of our body weight but uses 20% of the body’s energy budget to power the communication between neurons.
UCI study finds safer stem cell-derived therapy for brain radiation recovery
April 7 | University of California, Irvine
While stem cells have shown promise for treating brain regions damaged by cancer radiation treatments, University of California, Irvine researchers have found that microscopic vesicles isolated from these cells provide similar benefits without some of the risks associated with stem cells.
Brain guardians remove dying neurons
April 6 | Salk Institute
Salk scientists show how immune receptors clear dead and dysfunctional brain cells and how they might be targets for treating neurodegenerative diseases
Neuroscientist Discovers Potential New Source for Pain Inhibition
April 4 | University of Texas at Dallas
A UT Dallas scientist has found a new neurological mechanism that appears to contribute to a reduction in pain.
Breathing is a Rhythm for Life, and More
April 1 | University of California, San Diego
Respiration is more than just an essential rhythm for life. A new study has found that rhythmic neural patterns that control breathing also coordinate movements of muscles on the mouth and face that serve a variety of sensory, ingestive and social behaviors.
Penn Study Describes the Molecular Cause of Common Cerebrovascular Disease
March 30 | University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Findings could lead to new treatments and preventive measures
GI Tract Bacteria Helps Decrease Stroke
March 28 | Weill Cornell Medical College
Certain types of bacteria in the gut can leverage the immune system to decrease the severity of stroke, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine. This finding can help mitigate stroke — which is the second leading cause of death worldwide.
Neuron type-specific gene loss linked to Angelman syndrome seizures
March 24 | University of North Carolina
The results suggest further lines of research related to the effects of neurodevelopmentally critical genes on other kinds of neurons.
Huntington's disease gene dispensable in adult mice
March 8 | Emory
Adult mice don’t need the gene that, when mutated in humans, causes the inherited neurodegenerative disorder Huntington’s disease.
A toxic byproduct of hemoglobin could provide clues for possible treatments for cerebral hemorrhage and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
March 7 | Case Western Reserve University
Scientists at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have identified a novel mechanism that could be used to protect the brain from damage due to stroke and a variety of neurodegenerative conditions, including sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
New Research Offers Insight into Age-Old Scientific Question: How Many Types of Neurons are there in the Brain?
March 3 | Columbia University
Innovative method identifies spinal cord cells in unprecedented detail; could be expanded to map cellular diversity in any part of the nervous system.
Study Hints at Regeneration of Nerve Insulation to Treat CHARGE Birth Defects
March 1 | Cincinnati Children's Medical Center
Research in Nature Neuroscience suggests the possibility of treating a group of genetic birth defects with molecular therapy that would regenerate malformed nerve insulation in the central nervous system.
Study Finds Only a Small Portion of Synapses May Be Active During Neurotransmission
February 25 | Columbia University
New optical technique, used in mice, offers detailed look at how dopamine works in the brain.
Caltech Biologists Identify Gene That Helps Regulate Sleep
February 17 | Caltech
Caltech biologists have performed the first large-scale screening in a vertebrate animal for genes that regulate sleep, and have identified a gene that when overactivated causes severe insomnia.
A Penny for Our Thoughts? Copper Influx Key to Brain Cell Development
February 16 | Johns Hopkins University
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have used a precision sensor in a chicken embryo to find dramatic differences in the use of copper between developing and fully mature neurons.
TAxI shuttles protein cargo into spinal cord
February 16 | University of Washington
A small peptide, TAxI, holds hope for administering treatments for motor neuron disorders via a muscle injection.
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Moves Individual ‘Fingers’
February 15 | Johns Hopkins University
Physicians and biomedical engineers from Johns Hopkins report what they believe is the first successful effort to wiggle fingers individually and independently of each other using a mind-controlled artificial “arm” to control the movement.
Scripps Florida Scientists Identify a Memory Suppressor that May Play a Role in Autism
February 11 | The Scripps Research Institute
Discovered only in the 1990s, microRNAs are short molecules that work within virtually all cells. Typically, each one functions as a “dimmer switch” for the expression of one or more genes, regulating a wide variety of cellular processes, including learning and memory.
Predicting Who Will Develop Multiple Sclerosis
February 8 | Brigham Women's Hospital
A team of investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has launched a study of individuals at risk for multiple sclerosis (MS). By focusing on first-degree family members of MS patients, the research team seeks to better understand the sequence of events that leads some people to develop the disease.
Scientists more effectively control pain by targeting nerve cell’s interior
February 4 | Washington University in St. Louis
Blocking receptors stems chronic pain, suggests options for pain relief with fewer side effects.
Brain Formation Patterns in Mice Suggest How Trauma May Cause Disease But Leave No Clues
February 3 | NYU Langone Medical Center
Some of the earliest nerve cells to develop in the womb shape brain circuits that process sights and sounds, but then give way to mature networks that convert this sensory information into thoughts. This is the finding of a study led by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and published in the February 3 edition of Neuron.
New drug target for Rett syndrome
February 2 | Harvard University
Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have identified a faulty signaling pathway that, when corrected in mice, ameliorates the symptoms of Rett syndrome, a devastating neurological condition.
"Gene Fusion" Mutation Uses Three-Way Mechanism To Drive Childhood Brain Cancers
February 2 | University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Study co-led by Penn scientists highlights potential targets for future cancer therapies.
TSRI Study Reveals Workings of Mysterious 'Relief Valve' that Protects Cells from Swelling
January 28 | The Scripps Research Institute
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has solved a long-standing mystery in cell biology by showing essentially how a key “relief-valve” in cells does its job.
Scientists decode brain signals nearly at speed of perception
January 28 | University of Washington
Electrodes in patients’ temporal lobes carry information that, when analyzed, enables scientists to predict what object patients are seeing.
Treating Parkinson’s Disease by Solving the Mysteries of Movement
January 28 | Gladstone Institute
Two secrets of one of the brain’s most enigmatic regions have finally been revealed. In a pair of new studies, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered a specific neural circuit that controls walking, and they found that input to this circuit is disrupted in Parkinson’s disease.
New therapy halts progression of Lou Gehrig’s disease in mice
January 28 | Oregon State
Researchers at Oregon State University announced today that they have essentially stopped the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, for nearly two years in one type of mouse model used to study the disease – allowing the mice to approach their normal lifespan.
Newly Identified Pathway Links Fetal Brain Development to Adult Social and Repetitive Behavior
January 26 | Case Western Reserve University
Model outlines novel potential mechanism for the establishment of common neurodevelopment disorders.
Breaking the brain’s garbage disposal: New study shows even a small problem causes big effects
January 26 | University of Michigan
Rare find in two Turkish children leads to discovery about autophagy.
Why Are Habits So Hard to Break?
January 21 | Duke University School of Medicine
New research by Duke University scientists suggests that a habit leaves a lasting mark on specific circuits in the brain, priming us to feed our cravings.
Columbia Neuroscientists Develop New Tools to Safely Trace Brain Circuits
January 21 | Columbia University
Neutered strain of rabies virus maps brain activity in real time; can shed light on how brain cells guide behavior.
Memory capacity of brain is 10 times more than previously thought
January 20 | Salk Institute
Data from the Salk Institute shows brain’s memory capacity is in the petabyte range, as much as entire Web.
New data show blacks are at higher risk for first stroke
January 20 | The University of Alabama at Birmingham
A first-of-its-kind study found that young blacks, age 45, are at a three times greater risk of having a first stroke than their white counterparts. However, they may not be at a higher risk for the second stroke.
New Memory Test Bridges Gap between Human and Animal Research
January 19 | Gladstone Institute
Study seeks to improve translation of Alzheimer’s disease studies with virtual version of the Morris water maze—the most commonly used memory assessment in mice.
“Bursting” Cells Gain the Brain’s Attention for Life-or-Death Decisions
January 14 | Georgia Institute of Technology
The brain’s ability to quickly focus on life-or-death, yes-or-no decisions, then immediately shift to detailed analytical processing, is believed to be the work of the thalamus, a small section of the midbrain through which most sensory inputs from the body flow.
Brain Receptor Regulates Fat Burning in Cells
January 12 | Gladstone Institute
Decreasing levels of p75 neurotrophin receptor prevented obesity and metabolic diseases in mice fed a high-fat diet.
Immune System Cells Key to Maintaining Blood-Brain Barrier
January 11 | University of Rochester Medical Center
New research shows that the cells responsible for protecting the brain from infection and inflammation are also responsible for repairing the system of defenses that separates the brain from the rest of the body.
‘Window of Recovery’ Can Reopen after Stroke
January 7 | Johns Hopkins University
Researchers show that stroke conditions may increase brain plasticity and recovery in some cases.
Slow Stem Cell Division May Cause Small Brains
January 7 | Duke University School of Medicine
Delayed neural stem cells make the wrong cells during development.