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NINDS Grantees in the News

See news releases about NINDS-supported research from across the U.S. 

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What Really Causes Brain Problems After Traumatic Brain Injury in Football and Elsewhere? University of Maryland School of Medicine Researchers Have a Surprising Answer
January 15 | University of Maryland
New Study Finds That Brain Inflammation Is a Major Treatable Cause.

Blood Test for Brain Injury May Not Be Feasible
January 13 | University of Rochester
Complications involving the brain’s unique waste removal system – the existence of which has only recently been brought to light – may thwart efforts to identify biomarkers that detect traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Breakthrough on chronic pain: New imaging study paves way for potential new treatments
January 12 | Harvard Gazette
For the first time, scientists have found evidence of neuroinflammation in key regions of the brains of patients with chronic pain, according to a new study from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard affiliate.

Brain Scientists Figure Out How A Protein Crucial To Learning And Memory Works
January 7 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found out how a protein crucial to learning works: by removing a biochemical “clamp” that prevents connections between nerve cells in the brain from growing stronger.

Study Pinpoints Autism-Linked Protein for Sculpting Brain Connections
January 6 | Duke University
A new study by Duke researchers provides a close-up of synapse refinement and identifies a protein that is crucial in this process. Disruptions in the protein, called hevin, have previously been linked to autism, depression and suicide, but the molecule’s role in the developing brain was mostly unknown until now.

Animal Study Points to a Treatment for Huntington's Disease -- CHOP Gene Therapy Expert Fine-Tunes Protein Signals, Improves Motor Function and Reduces Brain Shrinkage in a Neurological Disorder
January 5 | The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
By adjusting the levels of a key signaling protein, researchers improved motor function and brain abnormalities in experimental animals with a form of Huntington’s disease, a severe neurodegenerative disorder. The new findings may lay the groundwork of a novel treatment for people with this fatal, progressive disease.


TSRI Scientists Find Drug That Helps Huntington's Disease-Afflicted Mice-and Their Offspring
December 22 | The Scripps Research Institute
Famine, drug abuse and even stress can “silence” certain genes, causing health problems in generations to come. Now scientists are wondering—could therapies that change gene expression in parents help their children?

First Successful Vaccination Against “Mad Cow”-like Wasting Disease in Deer
December 22 | NYU Langone Medical Center
Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere say that a vaccination they have developed to fight a brain-based, wasting syndrome among deer and other animals may hold promise on two additional fronts: protecting U.S. livestock from contracting the disease, and preventing similar brain infections in humans.

Lost memories might be able to be restored, new UCLA study indicates
December 19 | UCLA
New UCLA research indicates that lost memories can be restored. The findings offer some hope for patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Healthy brain development balanced on edge of a cellular ‘sword’
December 17 | Yale School of Medicine
A new Yale-led study of children with neurodevelopmental abnormalities of the brain identifies a “cutting” enzyme crucial to the shaping and division of brain cells as well as the replenishment of neural stem cells.

‘Microlesions’ in epilepsy discovered by novel technique
December 16 | University of Illinois at Chicago
Using an innovative technique combining genetic analysis and mathematical modeling with some basic sleuthing, researchers have identified previously undescribed microlesions in brain tissue from epileptic patients.

New imaging technique helps predict how vision recovers after brain tumor removal
December 10 | University of Rochester
An interdisciplinary team of University neuroscientists and neurosurgeons has used a new imaging technique to show how the human brain heals itself in just a few weeks following surgical removal of a brain tumor.

Multiple, short learning sessions strengthen memory formation in fragile X syndrome
December 9 | University of California, Irvine
A learning technique that maximizes the brain’s ability to make and store memories may help overcome cognitive issues seen in fragile X syndrome, a leading form of intellectual disability, according to UC Irvine neurobiologists.

Paying Attention Makes Touch-Sensing Brain Cells Fire Rapidly and in Sync
December 9 | Johns Hopkins University
A step toward cracking the code of how brains work.

Salk and Harvard scientists chart spinal circuitry responsible for chronic pain
December 4 | Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Findings could lead to new therapeutics for disorders such as fibromyalgia and phantom limb pain.

Study Shows More Patients With Lou Gehrig’s Disease Have Genetic Origin Than Previously Thought
December 4 | Cedars Sinai Medical Center
Cedars-Sinai and Washington University Investigators Also Find That ALS Patients With Mutations in Multiple Genes Experience Earlier Disease Onset.

Blows to Head Damage Brain’s ‘Garbage Truck,’ Accelerate Dementia
December 2 | University of Rochester Medical Center
A new study out today in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that traumatic brain injury can disrupt the function of the brain’s waste removal system.

Researchers Identify Chemical Compound That Decreases Effects of Multiple Sclerosis
December 2 | University of California, Riverside
UC Riverside-led mouse study shows the ligand indazole chloride improves motor function, imparting therapeutic benefits even when treatment is initiated at the peak of disease.

Penn Researchers Identify Protein Elevated in Blood That Predicts Post-Concussion Symptom Severity in Professional Athletes
November 25 | Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
New Penn Medicine research has found that elevated levels in the blood of the brain-enriched protein calpain-cleaved αII-spectrin N-terminal fragment, known as SNTF, shortly after sports-related concussion can predict the severity of post-concussion symptoms in professional athletes. The complete findings were released today in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

New Tools in Fight Against Virus that Attacks the Brain
November 17 | University of Rochester Medical Center
Researchers have developed new insight into a rare but deadly brain infection, called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

Humans’ Big Brains Might Be Due in Part to Newly Identified Protein
November 12 | University of California, San Francisco
A protein that may partly explain why human brains are larger than those of other animals has been identified by scientists from two stem-cell labs at UC San Francisco, in research published in the November 13, 2014 issue of Nature.

Smokers with new back pain less likely to recover likely to develop chronic pain
November 3 | Northwestern
If you want to avoid chronic back pain, put out the cigarette. A new Northwestern Medicine study has found that smokers are three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop chronic back pain, and dropping the habit may cut your chances of developing this often debilitating condition.

See-Through, One-Atom-Thick, Carbon Electrodes are a Powerful Tool for Studying Epilepsy, Other Brain Disorders, Penn Study Finds
October 20 | University of Pennsylvania
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine and School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have used graphene -- a two-dimensional form of carbon only one atom thick -- to fabricate a new type of microelectrode that solves a major problem for investigators looking to understand the intricate circuitry of the brain.

Damage to brain ‘hubs’ causes extensive impairment
October 13 | Washington University
Injuries to six brain areas are much more devastating to patients’ abilities to think and adapt to everyday challenges than damage to other parts of the brain, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have learned.

Brains in the balance: New $11.5M grant fuels U-M Parkinson’s disease research center to aid patients
October 6 | University of Michigan
Deep in the brains of the million Americans with Parkinson’s disease, changes to their brain cells put them at high risk of dangerous falls -- a problem that resists even the most modern treatments.

'Disease in a dish' approach could aid Huntington's disease discovery efforts
September 5 | Emory University
Creating induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells allows researchers to establish "disease in a dish" models of conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to diabetes.

Kessler Foundation researchers publish first study of brain activation in MS using fNIRS
August 27 | Kessler Foundation
Using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), Kessler Foundation researchers have shown differential brain activation patterns between people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls. This is the first MS study in which brain activation was studied using fNIRS while participants performed a cognitive task.

Gene technique identifies hidden causes of brain malformation
August 20 | Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Single gene controls jet lag
August 13 | University of Missouri
Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified a gene that regulates sleep and wake rhythms.

MU Researcher Develops and Proves Effectiveness of New Drug for Spinal Muscular Atrophy
July 31 | University of Missouri
According to recent studies, approximately one out of every 40 individuals in the United States is a carrier of the gene responsible for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a neurodegenerative disease that causes muscles to weaken over time.

Competition Seeks Experts in Science and Machine Learning to Predict and Detect Seizures
July 28 | University of Pennsylvania
Epilepsy affects more than 50 million people worldwide. The disorder is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain that can bring about seizures, changes in awareness or sensation and behavior. Despite multiple attempts to control seizure activity with medication, three million Americans suffer from recurrent, spontaneous epileptic seizures, the onset of which cannot be predicted or detected in advance.

Scientists find new clues to brain’s wiring
July 18 | Washington University
New research provides an intriguing glimpse into the processes that establish connections between nerve cells in the brain. These connections, or synapses, allow nerve cells to transmit and process information involved in thinking and moving the body.

Gene inhibitor, salmon fibrin restore function lost in spinal cord injury
July 13 | University of California Irvine
A therapy combining salmon fibrin injections into the spinal cord and injections of a gene inhibitor into the brain restored voluntary motor function impaired by spinal cord injury, scientists at UC Irvine’s Reeve-Irvine Research Center have found.

Huntington’s Disease Protein Helps Wire the Young Brain
July 8 | Duke University
The protein that is mutated in Huntington’s disease is critical for wiring the brain in early life, according to a new Duke University study.

Could boosting brain cells' appetites fight disease? New research shows promise
July 3 | University of Michigan
Deep inside the brains of people with dementia and Lou Gehrig’s disease, globs of abnormal protein gum up the inner workings of brain cells – dooming them to an early death.

Scientists Pinpoint How Genetic Mutation Causes Early Brain Damage
June 30 | Scripps Research Institute
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have shed light on how a specific kind of genetic mutation can cause damage during early brain development that results in lifelong learning and behavioral disabilities. The work suggests new possibilities for therapeutic intervention.

Novel biomarker predicts febrile seizure-related epilepsy, UCI study finds
June 24 | University of California, Irvine
A newly discovered biomarker – visible in brain scans for hours after febrile seizures – predicts which individuals will subsequently develop epilepsy, according to UC Irvine researchers. This diagnostic ability could lead to improved use of preventive therapies for the disorder.

Fatal cell malfunction ID’d in Huntington’s disease
June 23 | Washington University, St Louis
Researchers believe they have learned how mutations in the gene that causes Huntington’s disease kill brain cells, a finding that could open new opportunities for treating the fatal disorder. Scientists first linked the gene to the inherited disease more than 20 years ago.

Boost for dopamine packaging protects brain in Parkinson's model
June 17 | Emory University
Researchers from Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health discovered that an increase in the protein that helps store dopamine, a critical brain chemical, led to enhanced dopamine neurotransmission and protection from a Parkinson’s disease-related neurotoxin in mice.

A new twist on neurological disease: U-M discovery could aid patients with dystonia, Parkinson's & more
June 17 | University of Michigan

Brain traffic jams that can disappear in 30 seconds
June 5 | University of Buffalo
Scientists have found that cellular blockages, the molecular equivalent to traffic jams, in nerve cells of the insect’s brain can form and dissolve in 30 seconds or less. - See more at:

Neuron Tells Stem Cells to Grow New Neurons
June 2 | Duke University
Duke researchers have found a new type of neuron in the adult brain that is capable of telling stem cells to make more new neurons. Though the experiments are in their early stages, the finding opens the tantalizing possibility that the brain may be able to repair itself from within.

How to Erase a Memory – And Restore It
June 1 | UC San Diego
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have erased and reactivated memories in rats, profoundly altering the animals’ reaction to past events.

A new model to understand neural self-regulation
May 21 | Brandeis University
Neurons live for many years but their components, the proteins and molecules that make up the cell, are continually being replaced. How this continuous rebuilding takes place without affecting our ability to think, remember, learn or otherwise experience the world is one of neuroscience’s biggest questions.

Optical brain scanner goes where other brain scanners can’t
May 19 | Washington University
Scientists have advanced a brain-scanning technology that tracks what the brain is doing by shining dozens of tiny LED lights on the head.

Studies Identify Spinal Cord Neurons that Control Skilled Limb Movement
May 7 | Columbia University
Researchers have identified two types of neurons that enable the spinal cord to control skilled forelimb movement.

Nearly Two Thousand Brain Cells Recorded at One Time
April 28 | Duke University
A milestone in a neuroscience experiment was announced this week by researchers at the laboratory of Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., PhD, at the Duke University Center for Neuroengineering, with the recording of close to 2,000 brain cells at work in a primate.

Researchers Discover New Genetic Brain Disorder in Humans OK
April 24 | UC San Diego
A newly identified genetic disorder associated with degeneration of the central and peripheral nervous systems in humans, along with the genetic cause, is reported in the April 24, 2014 issue of Cell.

Commonly available blood-pressure drug prevents epilepsy after brain injury
April 22 | Berkeley
Between 10 and 20 percent of all cases of epilepsy result from severe head injury, but a new drug promises to prevent post-traumatic seizures and may forestall further brain damage caused by seizures in those who already have epilepsy.

New Type Of Protein Action Found To Regulate Development
April 22 | Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins researchers report they have figured out how the aptly named protein Botch blocks the signaling protein called Notch, which helps regulate development

Neuroscientists find that limiting a certain protein in the brain reverses Alzheimer's symptoms in mice
April 21 | MIT
Limiting a certain protein in the brain reverses Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice, report neuroscientists at MIT’s Picower Intitute for Learning and Memory.

Is Parkinson’s an autoimmune disease?
April 17 | Brigham and Women’s Hospital
The cause of neuronal death in Parkinson’s disease is still unknown, but a new study proposes that neurons may be mistaken for foreign invaders and killed by the person’s own immune system, similar to the way autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis attack the body’s cells. The study was published April 16, 2014, in Nature Communications.

Cancer drugs block dementia-linked brain inflammation, UCI study finds
April 16 | UC Irvine
A class of drugs developed to treat immune-related conditions and cancer – including one currently in clinical trials for glioblastoma and other tumors – eliminates neural inflammation associated with dementia-linked diseases and brain injuries, according to UC Irvine researchers.

Scientists explain how memories stick together
April 16 | Salk Institute
Scientists at the Salk Institute have created a new model of memory that explains how neurons retain select memories a few hours after an event.

Mutant Protein in Muscle linked to neuromuscular disorder
April 16 | UC San Diego
Sometimes known as Kennedy’s disease, spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a rare inherited neuromuscular disorder characterized by slowly progressive muscle weakness and atrophy. Researchers have long considered it to be essentially an affliction of primary motor neurons – the cells in the spinal cord and brainstem that control muscle movement.

Gene variant puts women at higher risk of Alzheimer’s than it does men, study finds
April 15 | Stanford University
Carrying a copy of a gene variant called ApoE4 confers a substantially greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease on women than it does on men, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Neuroscientists Brain activity may mark beginning of memories
April 14 | John's Hopkins
By tracking brain activity when an animal stops to look around its environment, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University believe they can mark the birth of a memory.

Bone marrow stem cells promise in stroke treatment, UCI team finds
April 9 | UCI
Stem cells culled from bone marrow may prove beneficial in stroke recovery, scientists at UC Irvine’s Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center have learned.

USF study: Blood-brain barrier repair after stroke may prevent chronic brain deficits
March 25 | University of South Florida
Following ischemic stroke, the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which prevents harmful substances such as inflammatory molecules from entering the brain, can be impaired in cerebral areas distant from initial ischemic insult. This disruptive condition, known as diaschisis, can lead to chronic post-stroke deficits, University of South Florida researchers report.

Bedside Optical Monitoring of Cerebral Blood Flow, Using Penn-designed Device, Shows Promise for Individualized Care in Stroke Patients
March 20, 2014 | University of Pennsylvania
Using a University of Pennsylvania-designed device to noninvasively and continuously monitor cerebral blood flow (CBF) in acute stroke patients, researchers from Penn Medicine and the Department of Physics & Astronomy in Penn Arts and Sciences are now learning how head of bed (HOB) positioning affects blood flow reaching the brain.

Scientists Create Most Detailed Picture Ever of Membrane Protein Linked to Learning, Memory, Anxiety, Pain and Brain Disorders
March 6, 2014 | The Scripps Research Institute
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Vanderbilt University have created the most detailed 3-D picture yet of a membrane protein that is linked to learning, memory, anxiety, pain and brain disorders such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and autism.

Brain Circuits multitask to Detect, Discriminate the Outside World
March 5, 2014 | Georgia Tech
Imagine driving on a dark road. In the distance you see a single light. As the light approaches it splits into two headlights. That’s a car, not a motorcycle, your brain tells you.

ALS-Linked Gene Causes Disease By Changing Genetic Material’s Shape
March 5, 2014 | Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have found one way that a recently discovered genetic mutation might cause two nasty nervous system diseases. While the affected gene may build up toxic RNA and not make enough protein, the researchers report, the root of the problem seems to be snarls of defective genetic material created at the mutation site.

Experimental stroke therapeutic developed at Keck Medicine of USC also shows promise for people with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
March 3, 2014 | Keck School of Medicine of USC
Keck School of Medicine of USC neuroscientists have unlocked a piece of the puzzle in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s disease, a debilitating neurological disorder that robs people of their motor skills.

Many Stroke Patients on 'Clot-Busting' tPA May Not Need Long Stays in the ICU
February 12, 2014 | Johns Hopkins
A Johns Hopkins study of patients with ischemic stroke suggests that many of those who receive prompt hospital treatment with "clot-busting" tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) therapy can avoid lengthy, restrictive monitoring in an intensive care unit (ICU).

Optogenetic toolkit goes multicolor
February 9, 2014 | MIT
Optogenetics is a technique that allows scientists to control neurons’ electrical activity with light by engineering them to express light-sensitive proteins. Within the past decade, it has become a very powerful tool for discovering the functions of different types of cells in the brain.

Mechanism discovered for how amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mutations damage nerve function
February 5, 2014 | St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists led a study showing that mutations in a gene responsible for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disrupt the RNA transport system in nerve cells. The findings appear in the current issue of the scientific journal Neuron and offer a new focus for efforts to develop effective treatments.

Mouse study shows gene therapy may be possible cure for hurler syndrome
February 5, 2014 | Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Researchers used blood platelets and bone marrow cells to deliver potentially curative gene therapy to mouse models of the human genetic disorder Hurler syndrome – an often fatal condition that causes organ damage and other medical complications.

Researchers ID more pesticides linked to Parkinson's, gene that increases risk
February 3, 2014 | UCLA
Studies have shown that certain pesticides can increase people's risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Now, UCLA researchers have found that the strength of that risk depends on an individual's genetic makeup, which, in the most pesticide-exposed populations, could increase a person's chance of developing the debilitating disease two- to six-fold.

Stanford Researchers Discover How Parts of the Brain Work Together, or Alone
January 30, 2014 | Stanford University
Stanford researchers may have solved a riddle about the inner workings of the brain, which consists of billions of neurons, organized into many different regions, with each region primarily responsible for different tasks.

Scientists Discover New Genetic Forms of Neurodegeneration
January 30, 2014 | UC San Diego Health System

Researchers find epileptic activity spreads in new way
January 24, 2014 | Case Western Reserve University
Researchers in the biomedical engineering department at Case Western Reserve University have found that epileptic activity can spread through a part of the brain in a new way, suggesting a possible novel target for seizure-blocking medicines.

Molecular Basis of Memory Watching Molecules Morph into Memories
January 23, 2014 | Albert Einstein College Of Medicine

Brain Uses Serotonin to Perpetuate Chronic Pain Signals in Local Nerves OK
January 21, 2014 | Johns Hopkins
Setting the stage for possible advances in pain treatment, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland report they have pinpointed two molecules involved in perpetuating chronic pain in mice.

Findings Could Help Explain Origins of Human Limb Control Zebrafish study connects data between fish and mammalian locomotion
January 9, 2014 | Northwestern
We might have more in common with a lamprey than we think, according to a new Northwestern University study on locomotion. At its core, the study of transparent zebrafish addresses a fundamental evolution issue: How did we get here?

Yale researchers find rare genetic cause of Tourette syndrome
January 9, 2014 | Yale University
Yale researchers find rare genetic cause of Tourette syndrome A rare genetic mutation that disrupts production of histamine in the brain is a cause of the tics and other abnormalities of Tourette syndrome, according to new findings by Yale School of Medicine researchers.

Unique Protein Interaction May Drive Most Common Genetic Cause of Parkinson’s Disease
January 7, 2014 | Gladstone Institutes

Some brain regions retain enhanced ability to make new connections
January 7, 2014 | Washington University
In adults, some brain regions retain a “childlike” ability to establish new connections, potentially contributing to our ability to learn new skills and form new memories as we age, according to new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle.

Tiny Proteins Have Outsized Influence On Nerve Health
January 6, 2014 | Johns Hopkins
Mutations in small proteins that help convey electrical signals throughout the body may have a surprisingly large effect on health, according to results of a new Johns Hopkins study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in December using spider, scorpion and sea anemone venom.



Penn Team Reduces Toxicity Associated With Lou Gehrig’s Disease in Animal Models
December 16, 2013 | University of Pennsylvania
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating illness that gradually robs sufferers of muscle strength and eventually causes a lethal, full-body paralysis. The only drug available to treat the disease extends life spans by a meager three months on average. In a new study published in Nature Genetics, University of Pennsylvania researchers and colleagues have made inroads into the mechanism by which ALS acts.

Researchers develop molecular sensor to detect early signs of MS; could one day serve as an indicator of disease
December 5, 2013 | Gladstone Institute
For some, the disease multiple sclerosis (MS) attacks its victims slowly and progressively over a period of many years. For others, it strikes without warning in fits and starts. But all patients share one thing in common: the disease had long been present in their nervous systems, under the radar of even the most sophisticated detection methods. But now, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have devised a new molecular sensor that can detect MS at its earliest stages—even before the onset of physical signs.

Structure of Key Pain-Related Protein Unveiled
December 4, 2013 | University of California San Francisco
In a technical tour de force, UC San Francisco scientists have determined, at near-atomic resolution, the structure of a protein that plays a central role in the perception of pain and heat.

Monkey thoughts move virtual arms — human-machine mind-meld next?
November 6, 2013 | Duke

Experimental drug reduces brain damage, eliminates brain hemorrhaging in rodents afflicted by stroke
October 24, 2013 | USC
An experimental drug called 3K3A-APC appears to reduce brain damage, eliminate brain hemorrhaging and improve motor skills in older stroke-afflicted mice and stroke-afflicted rats with comorbid conditions such as hypertension, according to a new study from Keck Medicine of USC.

Keeping it Local: Protecting the Brain Starts at the Synapse
October 22, 2013 | University of California San Francisco
New research by UC San Francisco scientists shows that one of the brain’s fundamental self-protection mechanisms depends on coordinated, finely calibrated teamwork among neurons and non-neural cells knows as glial cells, which until fairly recently were thought to be mere support cells for neurons.

Humans and rats think alike after making mistakes
October 20, 2013 | Brown University
People and rats may think alike when they’ve made a mistake and are trying to adjust their thinking.

'Individualized' Therapy for the Brain Targets Specific Gene Mutations Causing Dementia and ALS
October 16, 2013 | Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins scientists have developed new drugs that — at least in a laboratory dish — appear to halt the brain-destroying impact of a genetic mutation at work in some forms of two incurable diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and dementia.

Breakthrough Offers First Direct Measurement of Spinal Cord Myelin in Multiple Sclerosis
September 23, 2013 | Case Western
Researchers have made an exciting breakthrough – developing a first-of-its-kind imaging tool to examine myelin damage in multiple sclerosis (MS). An extremely difficult disease to diagnose, the tool will help physicians diagnose patients earlier, monitor the disease’s progression, and evaluate therapy efficacy.

Building the best brain: U-M researchers show how brain cell connections get cemented early in life
September 20, 2013 | University of Michigan

How old memories fade away
September 18, 2013 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
If you got beat up by a bully on your walk home from school every day, you would probably become very afraid of the spot where you usually met him. However, if the bully moved out of town, you would gradually cease to fear that area. Neuroscientists call this phenomenon “memory extinction”: Conditioned responses fade away as older memories are replaced with new experiences.

Scripps Florida Scientists Pinpoint Proteins Vital to Long-Term Memory
September 12, 2013 | Scripps Research Institute
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a group of proteins essential to the formation of long-term memories.

Alzheimer's: newly identified protein pathology impairs RNA splicing
September 10, 2013 | Emory
Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center have identified a previously unrecognized type of pathology in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Experimental Compound Reverses Down Syndrome-Like Learning Deficits In Mice
September 4, 2013 | Johns Hopkins
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health have identified a compound that dramatically bolsters learning and memory when given to mice with a Down syndrome-like condition on the day of birth. As they report in the Sept. 4 issue of Science Translational Medicine, the single-dose treatment appears to enable the cerebellum of the rodents’ brains to grow to a normal size.

Brain Wiring Quiets the Voice Inside Your Head
September 3, 2013 | Duke University

UC Davis team "spikes" stem cells to generate myelin
August 28, 2013 | University of California Davis
Stem cell technology has long offered the hope of regenerating tissue to repair broken or damaged neural tissue. Findings from a team of UC Davis investigators have brought this dream a step closer by developing a method to generate functioning brain cells that produce myelin — a fatty, insulating sheath essential to normal neural conduction.

Drug blocks light sensors in eye that may trigger migraine attacks
August 26, 2013 | Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Drug blocks light sensors in eye that may trigger migraine attacks Salk Institute For many migraine sufferers, bright lights are a surefire way to exacerbate their headaches. And for some night-shift workers, just a stroll through a brightly lit parking lot during the morning commute home can be enough to throw off their body's daily rhythms and make daytime sleep nearly impossible. But a new molecule that selectively blocks specialized light-sensitive receptors in the eyes could help both these groups of people, without affecting normal vision according to a study published August 25, 2013 in Nature Chemical Biology.

Receptor may aid spread of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in brain
August 22, 2013 | Washington University School of Medicine
Receptor may aid spread of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in brain Washington University Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found a way that corrupted, disease-causing proteins spread in the brain, potentially contributing to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other brain-damaging disorders.

Effects of Parkinson’s Disease Mutation Reversed in Cells
August 19, 2013 | University of California San Francisco
UC San Francisco scientists working in the lab used a chemical found in an anti-wrinkle cream to prevent the death of nerve cells damaged by mutations that cause an inherited form of Parkinson’s disease.

Johns Hopkins Researchers Find Sympathetic Neurons Engage in “Cross Talk” With Cells in the Pancreas During Early Development
August 15, 2013 | Johns Hopkins University
The human body is a complicated system of blood vessels, nerves, organs, tissue and cells each with a specific job to do. When all are working together, it’s a symphony of form and function as each instrument plays its intended roles.

Newly discovered ‘switch’ plays dual role in memory formation
August 13, 2013 | Johns Hopkins
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have uncovered a protein switch that can either increase or decrease memory-building activity in brain cells, depending on the signals it detects. Its dual role means the protein is key to understanding the complex network of signals that shapes our brain’s circuitry, the researchers say.

How Neurons Get Wired
August 13, 2013 | Arizona University
University of Arizona scientists have discovered an unknown mechanism that establishes polarity in developing nerve cells. Understanding how nerve cells make connections is an important step in developing cures for nerve damage resulting from spinal cord injuries or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Johns Hopkins researchers suggest neural stem cells may regenerate after anti-cancer treatment
August 12, 2013 | Johns Hopkins University
Scientists have long believed that healthy brain cells, once damaged by radiation designed to kill brain tumors, cannot regenerate. But new Johns Hopkins research in mice suggests that neural stem cells, the body’s source of new brain cells, are resistant to radiation, and can be roused from a hibernation-like state to reproduce and generate new cells able to migrate, replace injured cells and potentially restore lost function.

Stroke declines dramatically, still higher among Mexican Americans
August 12, 2013 | University of Michigan
The incidence of ischemic stroke -- the most common type of stroke caused by a clot in the blood vessels of the brain -- has declined over the past decade among non-Hispanic Whites and Mexican Americans over age 60.

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Find Key Signal that Guides Brain Development
August 7, 2013 | Scripps Research Institute
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have decoded an important molecular signal that guides the development of a key region of the brain known as the neocortex. The largest and most recently evolved region of the brain, the neocortex is particularly well developed in humans and is responsible for sensory processing, long-term memory, reasoning, complex muscle actions, consciousness and other functions.

Treadmill Training After Spinal Cord Injury Promotes Recovery When Inflammation is Controlled
August 6, 2013 | Ohio State
New research suggests that treadmill training soon after a spinal cord injury can have long-lasting positive effects on recovery – as long as the training is accompanied by efforts to control inflammation in the lower spinal cord.

Potential Nutritional Therapy for Childhood Neurodegenerative Disease
August 1, 2013 | UC San Diego
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified the gene mutation responsible for a particularly severe form of pontocerebellar hypoplasia, a currently incurable neurodegenerative disease affecting children. Based on results in cultured cells, they are hopeful that a nutritional supplement may one day be able to prevent or reverse the condition.

Study finds evidence of nerve damage in around half of fibromyalgia patients
July 30, 2013 | Massachusetts General Hospital
About half of a small group of patients with fibromyalgia – a common syndrome that causes chronic pain and other symptoms – was found to have damage to nerve fibers in their skin and other evidence of a disease called small-fiber polyneuropathy (SFPN).

Study Shows Combination Stroke Therapy Safe and Effective
July 30, 2013 | University of Cincinnati
The combination of the clot-busting drug tPA with an infusion of the antiplatelet drug eptifibatide dissolves blood clots safely and more quickly than tPA alone, a study led by University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers has found.

"Epilepsy in a dish": Stem cell research reveals clues to disease's origins and may aid search for better drugs
July 25, 2013 | University of Michigan
A new stem cell-based approach to studying epilepsy has yielded a surprising discovery about what causes one form of the disease, and may help in the search for better medicines to treat all kinds of seizure disorders.

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Find a Potential Cause of Parkinson’s Disease that Points to a New Therapeutic Strategy
July 24, 2013 | Scripps Research Institute
Biologists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have made a significant discovery that could lead to a new therapeutic strategy for Parkinson’s disease.

A new weapon against stroke: UC Davis stem cell study uncovers the brain-protective powers of astrocytes
July 23, 2013 | University of California Davis
One of regenerative medicine’s greatest goals is to develop new treatments for stroke. So far, stem cell research for the disease has focused on developing therapeutic neurons — the primary movers of electrical impulses in the brain — to repair tissue damaged when oxygen to the brain is limited by a blood clot or break in a vessel. New UC Davis research, however, shows that other cells may be better suited for the task.

High-resolution mapping technique uncovers underlying circuit architecture of the brain
June 27, 2013 | Gladstone Institutes
The power of the brain lies in its trillions of intercellular connections, called synapses, which together form complex neural "networks." While neuroscientists have long sought to map these complex connections to see how they influence specific brain functions, traditional techniques have yet to provide the desired resolution.

Study Appears to Overturn Prevailing View of How the Brain is Wired
June 27, 2013 | Columbia University
A series of studies conducted by Randy Bruno, PhD, and Christine Constantinople, PhD, of Columbia University’s Department of Neuroscience, topples convention by showing that sensory information travels to two places at once: not only to the brain’s mid-layer (where most axons lead), but also directly to its deeper layers. The study appears in the June 28, 2013, edition of the journal Science.

A Protein Linked to Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Identified
June 25, 2013 | Columbia University
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have demonstrated that a protein called caspase-2 is a key regulator of a signaling pathway that leads to cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. The findings, made in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s, suggest that inhibiting this protein could prevent the neuronal damage and subsequent cognitive decline associated with the disease. The study was published this month in the online journal Nature Communications.

Study Shows a Solitary Mutation Can Destroy Critical ‘Window’ of Early Brain Development
June 21, 2013 | Scripps Research University
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have shown in animal models that brain damage caused by the loss of a single copy of a gene during very early childhood development can cause a lifetime of behavioral and intellectual problems.

Animal study shows promising path to prevent epilepsy
June 20, 2013 | Duke University
Duke Medicine researchers have identified a receptor in the nervous system that may be key to preventing epilepsy following a prolonged period of seizures.

Jammed molecular motors may play role in development of ALS
June 12, 2013 | University of Illinois at Chicago

Slowdowns in the transport and delivery of nutrients, proteins and signaling molecules within nerve cells may contribute to the development of the neurodegenerative disorder ALS, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

The researchers showed how a genetic mutation often associated with inherited ALS caused delays in the transport of these important molecules along the long axons of neurons.

New tasks become as simple as waving a hand with brain-computer interfaces
June 11, 2013 | University of Washington
Small electrodes placed on or inside the brain allow patients to interact with computers or control robotic limbs simply by thinking about how to execute those actions. This technology could improve communication and daily life for a person who is paralyzed or has lost the ability to speak from a stroke or neurodegenerative disease.

Scientists Map Process by Which Brain Cells Form Long-Term Memories
June 9, 2013 | Gladstone Institute
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have deciphered how a protein called Arc regulates the activity of neurons – providing much-needed clues into the brain’s ability to form long-lasting memories.

Salk scientists discover previously unknown requirement for brain development
June 7, 2013 | Salk Institute
Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have demonstrated that sensory regions in the brain develop in a fundamentally different way than previously thought, a finding that may yield new insights into visual and neural disorders.

Seeing our errors keeps us on our toes
June 4, 2013 | Johns Hopkins
If people are unable to perceive their own errors as they complete a routine, simple task, their skill will decline over time, Johns Hopkins researchers have found — but not for the reasons scientists assumed. The researchers report that the human brain does not passively forget our good techniques, but chooses to put aside what it has learned.

Common gene known to cause inherited autism now linked to specific behaviors
June 3, 2013 | UCLA
The genetic malady known as Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited autism and intellectual disability. Brain scientists know the gene defect that causes the syndrome and understand the damage it does in misshaping the brain's synapses — the connections between neurons. But how this abnormal shaping of synapses translates into abnormal behavior is unclear.

OHSU Vollum Institute scientists advance understanding of brain receptor
May 28, 2013 | Oregon Health & Science University
For several years, the pharmaceutical industry has tried to develop drugs that target a specific neurotransmitter receptor in the brain, the NMDA receptor. This receptor is present on almost every neuron in the human brain and is involved in learning and memory. NMDA receptors also have been implicated in several neurological and psychiatric conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and depression.

Down syndrome neurons grown from stem cells show signature problems
May 27, 2013 | University of Wisconsin
Down syndrome, the most common genetic form of intellectual disability, results from an extra copy of one chromosome. Although people with Down syndrome experience intellectual difficulties and other problems, scientists have had trouble identifying why that extra chromosome causes such widespread effects.

The secret lives (and deaths) of neurons
May 23, 2013 | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
UNC Neuroscience Center As the human body fine-tunes its neurological wiring, nerve cells often must fix a faulty connection by amputating an axon — the “business end” of the neuron that sends electrical impulses to tissues or other neurons. It is a dance with death, however, because the molecular poison the neuron deploys to sever an axon could, if uncontained, kill the entire cell.

Stanford researchers identify genetic suspects in sporadic Lou Gehrig's disease
May 21, 2013 | Stanford University
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified mutations in several genes that may be associated with the development of spontaneously occurring cases of the neurodegenerative disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, the progressive, fatal condition, in which the motor neurons that control movement and breathing gradually cease to function, has no cure.

U of M researchers develop model for better testing, targeting of MPNST
May 20, 2013 | University of Minnesota
Researchers from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, and the University’s Brain Tumor Program, have developed a new mouse model of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST) that allow them to discover new genes and gene pathways driving this type of cancer.

Gene Involved in Neurodegeneration Keeps Clock Running
May 16, 2013 | Northwestern University
Northwestern University scientists have shown a gene involved in neurodegenerative disease also plays a critical role in the proper function of the circadian clock. In a study of the common fruit fly, the researchers found the gene, called Ataxin-2, keeps the clock responsible for sleeping and waking on a 24-hour rhythm. Without the gene, the rhythm of the fruit fly’s sleep-wake cycle is disturbed, making waking up on a regular schedule difficult for the fly.

Nerve stimulation for severe depression changes brain function
May 7, 2013 | Washington University

Neuroscience research brief: Rats take high-speed multisensory snapshots
May 7, 2013 | Cold Spring Harbor

Restless legs syndrome, insomnia and brain chemistry: a tangled mystery solved?
May 7, 2013 | Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins researchers believe they may have discovered an explanation for the sleepless nights associated with restless legs syndrome (RLS), a symptom that persists even when the disruptive, overwhelming nocturnal urge to move the legs is treated successfully with medication.

Geneticists Find Causes for Severe Childhood Epilepsies
May 6, 2013 | University of Arizona
Researchers at the University of Arizona have successfully determined the genetic mutations causing severe epilepsies in seven out of 10 children for whom the cause of the disorder could not be determined clinically or by conventional genetic testing.

New perspective needed for role of major Alzheimer’s gene
May 6, 2013 | Washington University
Scientists’ picture of how a gene strongly linked to Alzheimer’s disease harms the brain may have to be revised, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found.

Genetic Mutation Linked with Typical Form of Migraine
May 1, 2013 | University of California San Francisco
In a paper published on May 1 in Science Translational Medicine, the team linked the mutation with evidence of migraine in humans, in a mouse model of migraine and in cell culture in the laboratory.

Scientists Create Novel Approach to Find RNAs Involved in Long-term Memory Storage
April 25, 2013 | Columbia University
Melatonin injections delayed symptom onset and reduced mortality in a mouse model of the neurodegenerative condition amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In a report published online ahead of print in the journal Neurobiology of Disease, the team revealed that receptors for melatonin are found in the nerve cells, a finding that could launch novel therapeutic approaches.

Pitt Team Finds Melatonin Delays ALS Symptom Onset and Death in Mice
April 25, 2013 | University of Pittsburgh

Study: Teen Years May Be Critical in Later Stroke Risk
April 24, 2013 | University of Alabama Birmingham
The teenage years may be a key period of vulnerability related to living in the “stroke belt” when it comes to future stroke risk, according to a new study published in the April 24, 2013, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Science surprise: Toxic protein made in unusual way may explain brain disorder, U-M team finds
April 18, 2013 | University of Michigan
A bizarre twist on the usual way proteins are made may explain mysterious symptoms in the grandparents of some children with mental disabilities.

Scientists reverse memory loss in animal brain cells
April 16, 2013 | University of Texas
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Neuroscientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have taken a major step in their efforts to help people with memory loss tied to brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Autism Model in Mice Linked With Genetics
April 15, 2013 | University of California, San Francisco
For the first time, researchers have linked autism in a mouse model of the disease with abnormalities in specific regions of the animals’ chromosomes.

Scientists learn what makes nerve cells so strong
April 15, 2013 | University of Illinois

Tiny wireless device shines light on mouse brain, generating reward
April 11, 2013 | Washington University
Washington University Using a miniature electronic device implanted in the brain, scientists have tapped into the internal reward system of mice, prodding neurons to release dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure.

A new approach to spinal atrophy
April 9, 2013 | Brown University

Genetic markers ID second Alzheimer’s pathway
April 4, 2013 | Washington University
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a new set of genetic markers for Alzheimer’s that points to a second pathway through which the disease develops.

Accused of complicity in Alzheimer’s, amyloid proteins may be getting a bad rap, Stanford study finds
April 3, 2013 | Stanford
Amyloids — clumps of misfolded proteins found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders — are the quintessential bad boys of neurobiology. They’re thought to muck up the seamless workings of the neurons responsible for memory and movement, and researchers around the world have devoted themselves to devising ways of blocking their production or accumulation in humans.

Researchers discover new clues about how amyotrophic lateral sclerosis develops
March 31, 2013 | Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins scientists say they have evidence from animal studies that a type of central nervous system cell other than motor neurons plays a fundamental role in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal degenerative disease. The discovery holds promise, they say, for identifying new targets for interrupting the disease’s progress.

Pinning Down pain
March 27, 2013 | University of California San Diego
Schwann cell protein plays major role in neuropathic pain

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, says a key protein in Schwann cells performs a critical, perhaps overarching, role in regulating the recovery of peripheral nerves after injury. The discovery has implications for improving the treatment of neuropathic pain, a complex and largely mysterious form of chronic pain that afflicts over 100 million Americans.

New mechanism for long-term memory formation discovered
March 25, 2013 | University of California Irvine
UC Irvine neurobiologists have found a novel molecular mechanism that helps trigger the formation of long-term memory. The researchers believe the discovery of this mechanism adds another piece to the puzzle in the ongoing effort to uncover the mysteries of memory and, potentially, certain intellectual disabilities.

Unraveling the molecular roots of Down syndrome
March 24, 2013 | Stanford-Burnham Institute

Gladstone scientists discover that DNA damage occurs as part of normal brain activity
March 24, 2013 | Gladstone Institutes
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered that a certain type of DNA damage long thought to be particularly detrimental to brain cells can actually be part of a regular, non-harmful process.

Astrocyte signaling sheds light on stroke tufts
March 18, 2013 | Tufts
New research published in The Journal of Neuroscience suggests that modifying signals sent by astrocytes, our star-shaped brain cells, may help to limit the spread of damage after an ischemic brain stroke. The study in mice, by neuroscientists at Tufts University School of Medicine, determined that astrocytes play a critical role in the spread of damage following stroke.

Using fat to fight brain cancer
March 13, 2013 | Johns Hopkins
In laboratory studies, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have found that stem cells from a patient’s own fat may have the potential to deliver new treatments directly into the brain after the surgical removal of a glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain tumor.

Sleep loss precedes Alzheimer's symptoms
March 11, 2013 | Washington University
Sleep is disrupted in people who likely have early Alzheimer’s disease but do not yet have the memory loss or other cognitive problems characteristic of full-blown disease, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report March 11 in JAMA Neurology.

Neural synchrony may be key to understanding how the human OK
March 11, 2013 | Georgia Tech
Despite many remarkable discoveries in the field of neuroscience during the past several decades, researchers have not been able to fully crack the brain’s “neural code.” The neural code details how the brain’s roughly 100 billion neurons turn raw sensory inputs into information we can use to see, hear and feel things in our environment.

New clues to causes of peripheral nerve damage
March 11, 2013 | Washington University
Anyone whose hand or foot has “fallen asleep” has an idea of the numbness and tingling often experienced by people with peripheral nerve damage. The condition also can cause a range of other symptoms, including unrelenting pain, stinging, burning, itching and sensitivity to touch.

Researchers discover workings of brain’s ‘GPS system’
March 7, 2013 | Princeton
Just as a global posi­tion­ing sys­tem (GPS) helps find your loca­tion, the brain has an inter­nal sys­tem for help­ing deter­mine the body’s loca­tion as it moves through its surroundings.

Parkinson’s Disease Brain Rhythms Detected
March 5, 2013 | UC San Francisco
A team of scientists and clinicians at UC San Francisco has discovered how to detect abnormal brain rhythms associated with Parkinson’s by implanting electrodes within the brains of people with the disease.

Adding to the List of Disease-Causing Proteins in Brain Disorders
March 3, 2013 | Penn Medicine
A multi-institution group of researchers has found new candidate disease proteins for neurodegenerative disorders. James Shorter, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Paul Taylor, M.D., PhD, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and colleagues describe in an advanced online publication of Nature that mutations in prion-like segments of two RNA-binding proteins are associated with a rare inherited degeneration disorder affecting muscle, brain, motor neurons and bone (called multisystem proteinopathy) and one case of the familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Scientists Identify ‘Clean-Up’ Snafu that Kills Brain Cells in Parkinson’s
March 3, 2013 | Einstein College of Medicine
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered how the most common genetic mutations in familial Parkinson's disease damage brain cells. The study, which published online today in the journal Nature Neuroscience, could also open up treatment possibilities for both familial Parkinson's and the more common form of Parkinson's that is not inherited.

Right target, but missing the bulls-eye for Alzheimer's
February 23, 2013 | UCLA
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of late-life dementia. The disorder is thought to be caused by a protein known as amyloid-beta, or Abeta, which clumps together in the brain, forming plaques that are thought to destroy neurons. This destruction starts early, too, and can presage clinical signs of the disease by up to 20 years.

Shedding New Light on Infant Brain Development
February 20, 2013 | Columbia University
A new study by Columbia Engineering researchers finds that the infant brain does not control its blood flow in the same way as the adult brain. The findings, which the scientists say could change the way researchers study brain development in infants and children, are published in the February 18 Early Online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Fragile X makes brain cells talk too much
February 20, 2013 | Washington University
The most common inherited form of mental retardation and autism, fragile X syndrome, turns some brain cells into chatterboxes, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.

Some autism behaviors linked to altered gene
February 12, 2013 | Washington University
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a genetic mutation that may underlie common behaviors seen in some people with autism, such as difficulty communicating and resistance to change.

Potential treatment prevents damage from prolonged seizures
February 11, 2013 | Emory
A new type of prophylactic treatment for brain injury following prolonged epileptic seizures has been developed by Emory University School of Medicine investigators.

Pitt/UPMC Team Describes Technology that Lets Spinal Cord-Injured Man Control Robot Arm with Thoughts
February 8, 2013 | University of Pittsburgh
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC describe in PLoS ONE how an electrode array sitting on top of the brain enabled a 30-year-old paralyzed man to control the movement of a character on a computer screen in three dimensions with just his thoughts. It also enabled him to move a robot arm to touch a friend’s hand for the first time in the seven years since he was injured in a motorcycle accident.

Cells Forged from Human Skin Show Promise in Treating MS, Myelin Disorders
February 7, 2013 | University of Rochester
A study out today in the journal Cell Stem Cell shows that human brain cells created by reprogramming skin cells have the potential to be highly effective in treating myelin disorders, a family of diseases that includes multiple sclerosis and rare childhood disorders called pediatric leukodystrophies.

Study Points to Possible Cause of, and Treatment for, Non-familial Parkinson’s
February 7, 2013 | Columbia University
Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have identified a protein trafficking defect within brain cells that may underlie common non-familial forms of Parkinson’s disease. The defect is at a point of convergence for the action of at least three different genes that had been implicated in prior studies of Parkinson’s disease. Whereas most molecular studies focus on mutations associated with rare familial forms of the disease, these findings relate directly to the common non-familial form of Parkinson’s. The study was published today in the online edition of the journal Neuron.

Brain research provides clues to what makes people think and behave differently
February 6, 2013 | Massachusetts General Hospital
Differences in the physical connections of the brain are at the root of what make people think and behave differently from one another. Researchers reporting in the February 6 issue of the Cell Press journal Neuron shed new light on the details of this phenomenon, mapping the exact brain regions where individual differences occur. Their findings reveal that individuals' brain connectivity varies more in areas that relate to integrating information than in areas for initial perception of the world.

Study findings suggest physical and pharmacological solutions for human stroke victims
February 5, 2013 | Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins researchers have found that mice can recover from physically debilitating strokes that damage the primary motor cortex, the region of the brain that controls most movement in the body, if the rodents are quickly subjected to physical conditioning that rapidly “rewires” a different part of the brain to take over lost function.

Human brain is divided on fear and panic: New study contends different areas of brain responsible for external versus internal threats
February 5, 2013 | University of Iowa
When doctors at the University of Iowa prepared a patient to inhale a panic-inducing dose of carbon dioxide, she was fearless. But within seconds of breathing in the mixture, she cried for help, overwhelmed by the sensation that she was suffocating.

Damaged Blood Vessels Loaded with Amyloid Worsen Cognitive Impairment in Alzheimer's Disease
February 4, 2013 | Weil Cornell Medical College
A team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College has discovered that amyloid peptides are harmful to the blood vessels that supply the brain with blood in Alzheimer's disease — thus accelerating cognitive decline by limiting oxygen-rich blood and nutrients. In their animal studies, the investigators reveal how amyloid-ß accumulates in blood vessels and how such accumulation and damage might be ultimately prevented.

Genome-wide atlas of gene enhancers in the brain on-line
January 31, 2013 | University of California Berkley

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Uncover a Previously Unknown Mechanism of Memory Formation
January 30, 2013 | Scripps Research Institute

In-brain monitoring shows memory network
January 29, 2013 | University of California Davis
Working with patients with electrodes implanted in their brains, researchers at the University of California, Davis, and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have shown for the first time that areas of the brain work together at the same time to recall memories.

New Brain Circuit Sheds Light on Development of Voluntary Movements
January 24, 2013 | Duke

UCI neuroscientists create fiber-optic method of arresting epileptic seizures
January 24, 2013 | University of California Irvine
UC Irvine neuroscientists have developed a way to stop epileptic seizures with fiber-optic light signals, heralding a novel opportunity to treat the most severe manifestations of the brain disorder.

Astrocytes Identified as Target for New Depression Therapy
January 23, 2013 | Tufts University
Neuroscience researchers from Tufts University have found that our star-shaped brain cells, called astrocytes, may be responsible for the rapid improvement in mood in depressed patients after acute sleep deprivation.

Study findings have potential to prevent, reverse serious disabilities affecting children born prematurely
January 16, 2013 | Oregon Health and Sciences University
Physician-scientists at Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital are challenging the way pediatric neurologists think about brain injury in the pre-term infant. In a study published online in the Jan. 16 issue of Science Translational Medicine, the OHSU Doernbecher researchers report for the first time that low blood and oxygen flow to the developing brain does not, as previously thought, cause an irreversible loss of brain cells, but rather disrupts the cells’ ability to fully mature. This discovery opens up new avenues for potential therapies to promote regeneration and repair of the premature brain.

Study finds a new culprit for epileptic seizures
January 15, 2013 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Epileptic seizures occur when neurons in the brain become excessively active. However, a new study from MIT neuroscientists suggests that some seizures may originate in non-neuronal cells known as glia, which were long believed to play a mere supporting role in brain function.

New Discovery in Autism-Related Disorder Reveals Key Mechanism in Brain Development and Disease
January 14, 2013 | Stanford
A new finding in neuroscience for the first time points to a developmental mechanism linking the disease-causing mutation in an autism-related disorder, Timothy syndrome, and observed defects in brain wiring, according to a study led by scientist Ricardo Dolmetsch and published online yesterday in Nature Neuroscience. These findings may be at the heart of the mechanisms underlying intellectual disability and many other brain disorders.

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Discover Structure of Protein Essential for Quality Control, Nerve Function
January 14, 2013 | Scripps Research
Using an innovative approach, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have determined the structure of Ltn1, a recently discovered “quality-control” protein that is found in the cells of all plants, fungi and animals.

Study: Model for Brain Signaling Flawed
January 10, 2013 | University of Rochester
A new study out today in the journal Science turns two decades of understanding about how brain cells communicate on its head. The study demonstrates that the tripartite synapse – a model long accepted by the scientific community and one in which multiple cells collaborate to move signals in the central nervous system – does not exist in the adult brain.

Scripps Florida Scientists Uncover Potential Drug Target to Block Cell Death in Parkinson’s Disease
January 10, 2013 | Scripps Research
Oxidative stress is a primary villain in a host of diseases that range from cancer and heart failure to Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Now, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that blocking the interaction of a critical enzyme may counteract the destruction of neurons associated with these neurodegenerative diseases, suggesting a potential new target for drug development.

Newly Found "Volume Control" in the Brain Promotes Learning, Memory
January 9, 2013 | Georgetown University
Scientists have long wondered how nerve cell activity in the brain’s hippocampus, the epicenter for learning and memory, is controlled — too much synaptic communication between neurons can trigger a seizure, and too little impairs information processing, promoting neurodegeneration. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center say they now have an answer. In the January 10 issue of Neuron, they report that synapses that link two different groups of nerve cells in the hippocampus serve as a kind of "volume control," keeping neuronal activity throughout that region at a steady, optimal level.

First Oral Drug for Spinal Cord Injury Improves Movement in Mice, Study Shows
January 8, 2013 | Ohio State University
An experimental oral drug given to mice after a spinal cord injury was effective at improving limb movement after the injury, a new study shows.

USF and VA researchers find long-term consequences for those suffering traumatic brain injury
January 4, 2013 | University of South Florida
USF and VA researchers find long-term consequences for those suffering traumatic brain injury University of South Florida Researchers from the University of South Florida and colleagues at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital studying the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) using rat models, have found that, overtime, TBI results in progressive brain deterioration characterized by elevated inflammation and suppressed cell regeneration. However, therapeutic intervention, even in the chronic stage of TBI, may still help prevent cell death.

Study Refutes Accepted Model of Memory Formation
January 2, 2013 | Johns Hopkins
A study by Johns Hopkins researchers has shown that a widely accepted model of long-term memory formation — that it hinges on a single enzyme in the brain — is flawed. The new study, published in the Jan. 2 issue of Nature, found that mice lacking the enzyme that purportedly builds memory were in fact still able to form long-term memories as well as normal mice could.

Itchy Wool Sweaters Explained
January 2, 2013 | Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins researchers have uncovered strong evidence that mice have a specific set of nerve cells that signal itch but not pain, a finding that may settle a decades-long debate about these sensations, and, if confirmed in humans, help in developing treatments for chronic itch, including itch caused by life-saving medications.



MRI Can Screen Patients for Alzheimer's Disease or Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration, Using Penn-designed Model
December 26, 2012 | University of Pennsylvania
When trying to determine the root cause of a person's dementia, using an MRI can effectively and non-invasively screen patients for Alzheimer's disease or Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), according to a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Using an MRI-based algorithm effectively differentiated cases 75 percent of the time, according to the study, published in the December 26th, 2012, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The non-invasive approach reported in this study can track disease progression over time more easily and cost-effectively than other tests, particularly in clinical trials testing new therapies.

Brake on nerve cell activity after seizures discovered
December 19, 2012 | University of Texas Health Science Center
Given that epilepsy impacts more than 2 million Americans, there is a pressing need for new therapies to prevent this disabling neurological disorder. New findings from the neuroscience laboratory of Mark S. Shapiro, Ph.D., at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, published Dec. 20 in the high-impact scientific journal, Neuron, may provide hope.

Protein Creates Paths For Growing Nerve Cells
December 18, 2012 | Johns Hopkins
Working with mice, Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that a particular protein helps nerve cells extend themselves along the spinal cord during mammalian development. Their results shed light on the subset of muscular dystrophies that result from mutations in the gene that holds the code for the protein, called dystroglycan, and also show how the nerve and muscle failings of the degenerative diseases are related.

Even the Smallest Possible Stroke Can Damage Brain Tissue and Impair Cognitive Function
December 17, 2012 | University of California San Diego
Blocking a single tiny blood vessel in the brain can harm neural tissue and even alter behavior, a new study from the University of California, San Diego has shown. But these consequences can be mitigated by a drug already in use, suggesting treatment that could slow the progress of dementia associated with cumulative damage to minuscule blood vessels that feed brain cells.

Intracranial pressure monitoring for traumatic brain injury questioned
December 12, 2012 | University of Washington

First measurements made of key brain links
December 4, 2012 | Brown University
Until now, brain scientists have been almost completely in the dark about how most of the nonspecific thalamus interacts with the prefrontal cortex, a relationship believed to be key in such fundamental functions as maintaining consciousness and mental arousal. Brown University researchers performed a set of experiments, described in the Journal of Neuroscience, to explore and measure those circuits for the first time.

Buck Scientists Publish Genome-Scale Study Identifying Hundreds of Potential Drug Targets for Huntington's Disease
November 30, 2012 | Buck Institute
Scientists searching for ways to develop treatments for Huntington’s disease (HD) just got a roadmap that could dramatically speed their discovery process. Researchers at the Buck Institute have used RNA interference (RNAi) technology to identify hundreds of “druggable” molecular targets linked to the toxicity associated with the devastating, ultimately fatal disease.

Enzyme inhibition protects against Huntington's disease damage in two animal models
November 29, 2012 | Massachusetts General Hospital
Treatment with a novel agent that inhibits the activity of SIRT2, an enzyme that regulates many important cellular functions, reduced neurological damage, slowed the loss of motor function and extended survival in two animal models of Huntington's disease. The study led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers will appear in the Dec. 27 issue of Cell Reports and is receiving advance online release.

Myelination Exhibits Plasticity, Links to Behavior in Adult Brain
November 29, 2012 | Virginia Common Wealth
Multiple sclerosis is perhaps the best known of the demyelinating disorders, where loss of the insulating sheath surrounding neurons makes high-speed communication impossible

An antidote for hypersomnia
November 21, 2012 | Emory University
Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have discovered that dozens of adults with an elevated need for sleep have a substance in their cerebrospinal fluid that acts like a sleeping pill.

Stanford researchers advance the performance of thought-controlled computer cursors
November 18, 2012 | Stanford
When a paralyzed person imagines moving a limb, cells in the part of the brain that controls movement activate, as if trying to make the immobile limb work again.

Parkinson's Disease Protein Causes Disease Spread and Neuron Death in Healthy Animals
November 16, 2012 | University of Pennsylvania
Understanding how any disease progresses is one of the first and most important steps towards finding treatments to stop it. This has been the case for such brain-degenerating conditions as Alzheimer's disease. Now, after several years of incremental study, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania have been able to piece together important steps in how Parkinson’s disease (PD) spreads from cell to cell and leads to nerve cell death.

Parkinson's Disease Protein Causes Disease Spread and Neuron Death in Healthy Animals
November 15, 2012 | University of Pennsylvania
Understanding how any disease progresses is one of the first and most important steps towards finding treatments to stop it. This has been the case for such brain-degenerating conditions as Alzheimer's disease. Now, after several years of incremental study, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania have been able to piece together important steps in how Parkinson’s disease (PD) spreads from cell to cell and leads to nerve cell death.

New Form of Brain Plasticity: Study Shows How Social Isolation Disrupts Myelin Production
November 12, 2012 | University of Buffalo
Animals that are socially isolated for prolonged periods make less myelin in the region of the brain responsible for complex emotional and cognitive behavior, researchers at the University at Buffalo and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine report in Nature Neuroscience online.

Stem cells + nanofibers = promising nerve research
November 7, 2012 | University of Michigan

Scientists stop rats' stroke-induced seizures with pulse of light
November 7, 2012 | Stanford University
Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have shown that a structure deep within the brain is a crucial component of recurring seizures that can arise as a delayed consequence of a cerebral stroke. This structure, called the thalamus, is known as a relay station routing inputs from the senses to the brain’s higher cognitive processing centers in the cerebral cortex. But the thalamus has never before been implicated in post-stroke seizures.

Scientists Create “Endless Supply” of Myelin-Forming Cells
November 1, 2012 | University of Rochester
In a new study appearing this month in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers have unlocked the complex cellular mechanics that instruct specific brain cells to continue to divide. This discovery overcomes a significant technical hurdle to potential human stem cell therapies; ensuring that an abundant supply of cells is available to study and ultimately treat people with diseases.

Researchers identify gene required for nerve regeneration
November 1, 2012 | Penn State

High blood pressure damages the brain in early middle age
October 31, 2012 | University of California, Davis
Uncontrolled high blood pressure damages the brain's structure and function as early as young middle-age, and even the brains of middle-aged people who clinically would not be considered to have hypertension have evidence of silent structural brain damage, a study led by researchers at UC Davis has found.

Sensory Neurons Identified as Critical to Sense of Touch
October 25, 2012 | Duke University
While studying the sense of touch, scientists at Duke Medicine have pinpointed specific neurons that appear to regulate perception. The sensory neurons are characterized by thin spikes, and based on their volume, these protrusions determine the cells' sensitivity to force.

Scientists collaborate to block toxic protein that plays key role in Lou Gehrig’s Disease
October 23, 2012 | Gladstone Institutes
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes and the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered how modifying a gene halts the toxic buildup of a protein found in nerve cells. These findings point to a potential new tactic for treating a variety of neurodegenerative conditions, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease)—a fatal disease for which there is no cure.

Clue to Alzheimer's cause found in brain samples
October 22, 2012 | Washington University
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found a key difference in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease and those who are cognitively normal but still have brain plaques that characterize this type of dementia.

Neuroscientists propose a revolutionary DNA-based approach to map wiring of the whole brain
October 22, 2012 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
A team of neuroscientists have proposed a new and potentially revolutionary way of obtaining a neuronal connectivity map (the “connectome”) of the whole brain of the mouse. The details are set forth in an essay published October 23 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology.

New fruit fly model of epilepsy reveals mechanisms behind fever induced seizures
October 17, 2012 | UC Irvine
UC Irvine and Brown University researchers have created a new fruit fly model of inherited epilepsy that’s providing insights into the mechanisms underlying temperature-dependent seizures while establishing a platform from which to develop therapies for these disorders.

Engineered flies spill secret of seizures
October 11, 2012 | Brown University
Scientists have observed the neurological mechanism behind temperature-dependent — febrile — seizures by genetically engineering fruit flies to harbor a mutation analogous to one that causes epileptic seizures in people. In addition to contributing the insight on epilepsy, their new study highlights the first use of genetic engineering to swap a human genetic disease mutation into a directly analogous gene in a fly.

Human neural stem cells study offers new hope for children with fatal brain diseases
October 10, 2012 | Oregon Health and Science University
Physician-scientists at Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital have demonstrated for the first time that banked human neural stem cells — HuCNS-SCs, a proprietary product of StemCells Inc. — can survive and make functional myelin in mice with severe symptoms of myelin loss. Myelin is the critical fatty insulation, or sheath, surrounding new nerve fibers and is essential for normal brain function.

Benjamin Warf earns MacArthur award for Hydrocephalus Research
October 2, 2012 | YouTube
Dr. Benjamin Warf has received a MacArthur Award for his contributions to hydrocephalus research. Hydrocephalus is caused by a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in brain spaces called ventricles. It is commonly treated with a shunt – a device to drain the CSF – but over time, the shunt can fail. Dr. Warf has developed an alternative procedure that involves threading a tube into the ventricles; the tube is then used to create a small drainage hole and to cauterize some of the tissue that produces CSF.

Common RNA Pathway Found in ALS and Dementia
October 1, 2012 | University of California San Diego
Two proteins previously found to contribute to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, have divergent roles. But a new study, led by researchers at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, shows that a common pathway links them.

Research Suggests Shared Genetic Link in Psychiatric and Movement Disorders
September 26, 2012 | Wake Forest University

Scientists Show Biological Mechanism Can Trigger Epileptic Seizures
September 19, 2012 | Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Scientists have discovered the first direct evidence that a biological mechanism long suspected in epilepsy is capable of triggering the brain seizures – opening the door for studies to seek improved treatments or even preventative therapies.

Songbirds Shed Light on Brain Circuits & Learning
September 17, 2012 | Duke University
By studying how birds master songs of courtship, scientists at Duke University have found that regions of the brain involved in planning and controlling complex vocal sequences may also be necessary for memorizing sounds that serve as models for vocal imitation.

Alzheimer's breaks brain networks' coordination
September 17, 2012 | University of Washington
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have taken one of the first detailed looks into how Alzheimer’s disease disrupts coordination among several of the brain’s networks. The results, reported in The Journal of Neuroscience, include some of the earliest assessments of Alzheimer’s effects on networks that are active when the brain is at rest.

Neural stem cells regenerate axons in severe spinal cord injury
September 13, 2012 | UC San Diego
In a study at the University of California, San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare, researchers were able to regenerate “an astonishing degree” of axonal growth at the site of severe spinal cord injury in rats. Their research revealed that early stage neurons have the ability to survive and extend axons to form new, functional neuronal relays across an injury site in the adult central nervous system (CNS).

How early social deprivation impairs long-term cognitive function
September 13, 2012 | Children’s Hospital Boston
A growing body of research shows that children who suffer severe neglect and social isolation have cognitive and social impairments as adults. A study from Boston Children’s Hospital shows, for the first time, how these functional impairments arise: Social isolation during early life prevents the cells that make up the brain’s white matter from maturing and producing the right amount of myelin, the fatty “insulation” on nerve fibers that helps them transmit long-distance messages within the brain.

Nutritional Supplement Offers Promise in Treatment of Unique Form of Autism
September 6, 2012 | University of California San Diego
An international team of researchers, led by scientists at the University of California, San Diego and Yale University schools of medicine, have identified a form of autism with epilepsy that may potentially be treatable with a common nutritional supplement.

Storm of 'awakened' transposons may cause brain-cell pathologies in ALS, other illnesses
September 6, 2012 | Cold Spring Harbor University
A team of neuroscientists and informatics experts at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) reports important progress in an effort to understand the relationship between transposons – sequences of DNA that can jump around within the genome, potentially causing great damage – and mechanisms involved in serious neurodegenerative disorders including ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), FTLD (frontotemporal lobar degeneration) and Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists Dramatically Reduce Plaque-Forming Substances in Mice with Alzheimer’s Disease
September 5, 2012 | Ohio State University
Scientists have found that eliminating an enzyme from mice with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease leads to a 90 percent reduction in the compounds responsible for formation of the plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Sleep loss linked to increase in Alzheimer’s plaques
September 5, 2012 | Washington University
Chronic sleep deprivation in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease makes Alzheimer’s brain plaques appear earlier and more often, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report online this week in Science Express.

University of Minnesota engineering researchers discover new non-invasive method for diagnosing epilepsy
September 3, 2012 | University of Minnesota
A team of University of Minnesota biomedical engineers and researchers from Mayo Clinic published a groundbreaking study today that outlines how a new type of non-invasive brain scan taken immediately after a seizure gives additional insight into possible causes and treatments for epilepsy patients. The new findings could specifically benefit millions of people who are unable to control their epilepsy with medication.

Leg compression may enhance stroke recovery
August 28, 2012 | Medical College of Georgia
Successive, vigorous bouts of leg compressions following a stroke appear to trigger natural protective mechanisms that reduce damage, researchers report.

Discovery points to new pathways, potential treatment for ALS
August 28, 2012 | UMass Medical School
A team of scientists, including faculty at UMass Medical School, have discovered a gene that influences survival time in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Low Oxygen Levels May Decrease Life-Saving Protein in Spinal Muscular Atrophy
August 21, 2012 | Children's Research Institute
Investigators at Nationwide Children’s Hospital may have discovered a biological explanation for why low levels of oxygen advance spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) symptoms and why breathing treatments help SMA patients live longer. The findings appear in Human Molecular Genetics.

Thinking and Choosing in the Brain
August 21, 2012 | California Institute of Technology

Sleep improves memory in people with Parkinson's disease
August 20, 2012 | Emory University
People with Parkinson's disease performed markedly better on a test of working memory after a night's sleep, and sleep disorders can interfere with that benefit, researchers have shown.

Black stroke survivors face greater risk from high blood pressure
August 15, 2012 | Georgetown
Black people who survived strokes caused by bleeding in the brain were more likely than whites to have high blood pressure a year later – increasing their risk of another stroke, according to a study in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

First genome-wide association studies of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome published
August 14, 2012 | Massachusetts General

New Study Finds External Stimulation Impacts White Matter Development in the Postnatal Brain
August 13, 2012 | Children's Research Institute
A team at Children’s National Medical Center has found that external stimulation has an impact on the postnatal development of a specific region of the brain. Published in Nature Neuroscience, the study used sensory deprivation to look at the growth and collection of NG2-expressing oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (NG2 cells) in the sensory cortex of the brain. This type of research is part of the Center for Neuroscience Research focus on understanding the development and treatment of white matter diseases.

Scripps Research Neuroscientists Find Brain Stem Cells that May Be Responsible for Higher Functions, Bigger Brains
August 9, 2012 | Scripps Research Institute
Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have identified a new stem cell population that may be responsible for giving birth to the neurons responsible for higher thinking. The finding also paves the way for scientists to produce these neurons in culture—a first step in developing better treatments for cognitive disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism, which result from disrupted connections among these brain cells.

Beating the Seizure Countdown
August 9, 2012 | University of Michigan

Epilepsy Drug Could Help with Alzheimer's-Related Memory Loss
August 6, 2012 | Gladstone Institutes
Scientists at the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institutes have discovered that an FDA-approved anti-epileptic drug reverses memory loss and alleviates other Alzheimer’s-related impairments in an animal model of the disease.

A Promising Step Forward Toward Muscular Dystrophy Treatment
August 1, 2012 | University of Rochester
Scientists have reversed symptoms of myotonic muscular dystrophy in mice by eliminating a buildup of toxic RNA in muscle cells. The work, carried out by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Genzyme, is published in the August 2 issue of Nature.

Gene Discovery Set to Help with Mysterious Paralysis of Childhood
July 31, 2012 | Duke
Alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) is a very rare disorder that causes paralysis that freezes one side of the body and then the other in devastating bouts that arise at unpredictable intervals. Seizures, learning disabilities and difficulty walking are common among patients with this diagnosis.

New Drug Could Treat Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Brain Injury
July 24, 2012 | Northwestern University
A new class of drug developed at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine shows early promise of being a one-size-fits-all therapy for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury by reducing inflammation in the brain.

Key mutations discovered for most common childhood brain cancer
July 22, 2012 | Boston Children’s Hospital
Researchers at Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center (DF/CHCC) and several collaborating institutions have linked mutations in specific genes to each of the four recognized subtypes of medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor of children.

Scientists read monkeys’ inner thoughts
July 19, 2012 | Washington University
Using a two-photon microscope capable of peering deep within living tissue, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found new evidence that alpha-synuclein protein build-up inside neurons causes them to not only become “leaky,” but also to misfire due to calcium fluxes.

Protein Build-Up Leads to Neurons Misfiring
July 18, 2012 | University of California San Diego

OHSU discovery may lead to new treatment for ALS
July 17, 2012 | Oregon Health & Science University
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry have discovered that TDP-43, a protein strongly linked to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and other neurodegenerative diseases, appears to activate a variety of different molecular pathways when genetically manipulated.

Roots of childhood brain tumors
July 14, 2012 | Vanderbilt
Identifying the cellular origins of medulloblastoma – the most common malignant brain tumor in children – may help focus treatment on cell types responsible for tumor initiation. Previous research has linked Sonic hedgehog signaling in neuronal cell precursors within the developing cerebellum to medulloblastoma.

Early-career neuroscientists sought for new UW-based diversity program
July 12, 2012 | University of Washington
Neuroscientists from around the country are invited to apply to the program, called BRAINS (Broadening the Representation of Academic Investigators in NeuroScience). The program is for underrepresented minorities in neuroscience who have their doctorate and are in postdoctoral research positions or in the first few years of a faculty job. Applications are due Aug. 15.

Blood-Brain Barrier Less Permeable in Newborns than Adults after Acute Stroke
July 10, 2012 | University of San Francisco
The ability for substances to pass through the blood-brain barrier is increased after adult stroke, but not after neonatal stroke, according to a new study the UCSF that will be published July 11 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Pediatric tumors traced to stem cells in developing brain
July 9, 2012 | Washington University
Stem cells that come from a specific part of the developing brain help fuel the growth of brain tumors caused by an inherited condition, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.

Why chronic pain is all in your head
July 1, 2012 | Northwestern
When people have similar injuries, why do some end up with chronic pain while others recover and are pain free? The first longitudinal brain imaging study to track participants with a new back injury has found the chronic pain is all in their heads –- quite literally.

Gene Mutations Cause Massive Brain Asymmetry
June 24, 2012 | University of San Diego

Penn Study Describes Molecular Machinery that Pulls Apart Protein Clumps
June 18, 2012 | University of Pennsylvania
Amyloid fibers are protein aggregates associated with numerous neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, for which there are no effective treatments.

Researchers Identify New Group of Proteins in the Brains of Alzheimer’s Patients
June 13, 2012 | Boston University

Study by UC Santa Barbara Psychologists Reveals How Brain Performs ‘Motor Chunking' Tasks
June 12, 2012 | University of California Santa Barbara

Fruit Flies Reveal Mechanism Behind ALS-Like Disease
June 11, 2012 | Johns Hopkins
Studying how nerve cells send and receive messages, Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered new ways that genetic mutations can disrupt functions in neurons and lead to neurodegenerative disease, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Sleep debt hikes risk of stroke symptoms despite healthy BMI
June 11, 2012 | University of Alabama Birmingham
Getting a good night’s rest continues to be of utmost importance to your health. New data from researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows too little sleep can increase the risk for stroke symptoms in people with a healthy body-mass index who are at low risk for obstructive sleep apnea and have no history of stroke.

Gladstone Scientists Reprogram Skin Cells into Brain Cells
June 7, 2012 | University of California San Francisco
Scientists at the UCSF-affiliated Gladstone Institutes have for the first time transformed skin cells — with a single genetic factor — into cells that develop on their own into an interconnected, functional network of brain cells.

New Brain Target for Appetite Control Identified
June 7, 2012 | Columbia
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have identified a brain receptor that appears to play a central role in regulating appetite.

Brain Cell Activity Imbalance May Account for Seizure Susceptibility in Angelman Syndrome
June 6, 2012 | University of North Carolina
New research by scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine may have pinpointed an underlying cause of the seizures that affect 90 percent of people with Angelman syndrome (AS), a neurodevelopmental disorder.

Blocking LRRK2 activity is not a simple answer to Parkinson’s disease
May 30, 2012 | Mayo Clinic
Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are the most common cause of genetic Parkinson’s disease (PD). New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Molecular Neurodegeneration demonstrates that loss of function of LRRK2 (by deletion of the kinase domain) leads to changes in motor co-ordination and causes anxiety-like behaviors and kidney degeneration in mice without affecting dopamine-mediated brain activity.

Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Shown to Impact Walking Patterns
May 30, 2012 | Kennedy Krieger Institute
In a step towards improving rehabilitation for patients with walking impairments, researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute found that non-invasive stimulation of the cerebellum, an area of the brain known to be essential in adaptive learning, helped healthy individuals learn a new walking pattern more rapidly.

A different drummer: Stanford engineers discover neural rhythms drive physical movement
May 23, 2012 | Stanford
The neurons that control movement are not a predictable bunch. Scientists working to decode how such neurons convey information to muscles have been stymied when trying to establish a one-to-one relationship between a neuron’s behavior and factors such as muscle activity or movement velocity.

Chronic Pain is Relieved by Cell Transplantation in Lab Study
May 23, 2012 | University of California, San Francisco
Chronic pain, by definition, is difficult to manage, but a new study by UCSF scientists shows how a cell therapy might one day be used not only to quell some common types of persistent and difficult-to-treat pain, but also to cure the conditions that give rise to them.

Study supports urate protection against Parkinson's disease, hints at novel mechanism
May 23, 2012 | Massachusettes General
Chronic Pain is Relieved by Cell Transplantation in Lab Study.

Reverse Engineering Epilepsy's 'Miracle' Diet
May 23, 2012 | Harvard
Study links seizure resistance to BAD protein, shedding light on the ketogenic diet and possible new therapies.

Weight Struggles? Blame New Neurons in Your Hypothalamus
May 21, 2012 | Johns Hopkins
New nerve cells formed in a select part of the brain could hold considerable sway over how much you eat and consequently weigh, new animal research by Johns Hopkins scientists suggests in a study published in the May issue of Nature Neuroscience.

UCLA researchers ID gene variants that speed progression of Parkinson's disease
May 15, 2012 | UCLA
UCLA researchers may have found a key to determining which Parkinson's disease patients will experience a more rapid decline in motor function, sparking hopes for the development of new therapies and helping identify those who could benefit most from early intervention.

Robot Reveals the Inner Workings of Brain Cells
May 6, 2012 | Georgia Tech
Gaining access to the inner workings of a neuron in the living brain offers a wealth of useful information: its patterns of electrical activity, its shape, even a profile of which genes are turned on at a given moment.

Aspirin and Warfarin Equally Effective for Most Heart Failure Patients
May 3, 2012 | Columbia University Medical Center
Neither aspirin nor warfarin is superior for preventing a combined risk of death, stroke, and cerebral hemorrhage inheart failure patients with normal heart rhythm, according to a landmark clinical trial published in the May 3, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine.

How human cells 'hold hands'
April 30, 2012 | University of Iowa
UI researchers explore how one cell binds itself to another, shedding light on neurodevelopmental disorders.

How does the immune system fight off threats to the brain?
April 30, 2012 | University of Michigan
New U-M research yields fresh insight.

Growing up a neural stem cell: The importance of clinging together and then letting go
April 24, 2012 | UCLA

Study points to potential treatment for stroke
April 24, 2012 | Stanford University
Stanford University School of Medicine neuroscientists have demonstrated, in a study published online April 24 in Stroke, that a compound mimicking a key activity of a hefty, brain-based protein is capable of increasing the generation of new nerve cells, or neurons, in the brains of mice that have had strokes. The mice also exhibited a speedier recovery of their athletic ability.

How Selective Hearing Works In the Brain
April 18, 2012 | University of California, San Francisco
The longstanding mystery of how selective hearing works — how people can tune in to a single speaker while tuning out their crowded, noisy environs — is solved this week in the journal Nature by two scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Parkinson's Protein Causes Disease Spread in Animal Model, Suggesting Way Disorder Progresses Over Time in Humans
April 17, 2012 | University of Pennsylvania
Last year, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that small amounts of a misfolded brain protein can be taken up by healthy neurons, replicating within them to cause neurodegeneration.

New MRI Technique May Predict Progress of Dementias
April 10, 2012 | University of California, San Francisco

Scientists find neural stem cell regulator
University of Colorado
Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found that lack of a specific gene interrupts neural tube closure, a condition that can cause death or paralysis.

Light switch added to gene tool opens new view of cell development in zebra fish
April 4, 2012 | University of Oregon
University of Oregon scientists collaborating with an Oregon company that synthesizes antisense Morpholinos for genetic research have developed a UV light-activated on-off switch for the vital gene-blocking molecule.

Gladstone Scientists Find Increased ApoE Protein Levels May Promote Alzheimer's Disease
April 3, 2012 | Gladstone Institute
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have enhanced our understanding of how a protein linked to Alzheimer's disease keeps young brains healthy, but can damage them later in life—suggesting new research avenues for treating this devastating disease.

Penn Biologists Identify a Key Enzyme Involved in Protecting Nerves From Degeneration
March 30, 2012 | University of Pennsylvania
A new animal model of nerve injury has brought to light a critical role of an enzyme called Nmnat in nerve fiber maintenance and neuroprotection.

How Genes Organize the Surface of the Brain
March 29, 2012 | University of California, San Diego
The first atlas of the surface of the human brain based upon genetic information has been produced by a national team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

Once Considered Mainly ‘Brain Glue,’ Astrocytes’ Power Revealed
University of Rochester
A type of cell plentiful in the brain, long considered mainly the stuff that holds the brain together and oft-overlooked by scientists more interested in flashier cells known as neurons, wields more power in the brain than has been realized, according to new research published today in Science Signaling.

USF study finds immediate skull reconstruction after traumatic brain injury worsens brain damage
March 22, 2012 | University of South Florida
Immediate skull reconstruction following trauma that penetrates or creates an indentation in the skull can aggravate brain damage inflicted by the initial injury, a study by a University of South Florida research team reports. Using a rat model for moderate and severe traumatic brain injury, the researchers also showed that a delay of just two days in the surgical repair of skull defects resulted in significantly less brain swelling and damage.

Alzheimer’s Disease Spreads Through Linked Nerve Cells, Brain Imaging Studies Suggest
March 21, 2012 | University of California, San Francisco
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia may spread within nerve networks in the brain by moving directly between connected neurons, instead of in other ways proposed by scientists, such as by propagating in all directions, according to researchers who report the finding in the March 22 edition of the journal Neuron.

Combination treatment in mice shows promise for fatal neurological disorder in kids
March 15, 2012 | Washington University

Researchers ID Gene Behind Primary Cervical Dystonia, a Neck-Twisting Disorder
March 5, 2012 | University of Tennessee
Researchers have identified a gene that causes adult-onset primary cervical dystonia, an often-painful condition in which patients' necks twist involuntarily. The discovery by a team from the Jacksonville, Fla., campus of Mayo Clinic and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center sheds light on a movement disorder that physicians previously could seldom explain. Their research appears in the Annals of Neurology.

New Alzheimer’s marker strongly predicts mental decline
March 5, 2012 | University of Washington
A new marker of Alzheimer’s disease can predict how rapidly a patient’s memory and other mental abilities will decline after the disorder is diagnosed, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found.

MGH researchers find desflurane may be safer anesthetic option for patients with Alzheimer's disease
March 1, 2012 | Massachusetts General Hospital
The association of the inhaled anesthetic isoflurane with Alzheimer's-disease-like changes in mammalian brains may be caused by the drug's effects on mitochondria, the structures in which most cellular energy is produced. In a study that will appear in Annals of Neurology and has received early online release, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers report that administration of isoflurane impaired the performance of mice on a standard test of learning and memory – a result not seen when another anesthetic, desflurane, was administered. They also found evidence that the two drugs have significantly different effects on mitochondrial function.

Study Finds New Genes that Cause Baraitser-Winter Syndrome, a Brain Malformation
February 27, 2012 | Seattle Children’s Hospital
Scientists from Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Washington, in collaboration with the Genomic Disorders Group Nijmegen in the Netherlands, have identified two new genes that cause Baraitser-Winter syndrome, a rare brain malformation that is characterized by droopy eyelids and intellectual disabilities.

Cocaine and the teen brain: Yale research offers insights into addiction
February 21, 2012 | Yale
When first exposed to cocaine, the adolescent brain launches a strong defensive reaction designed to minimize the drug’s effects, Yale and other scientists have found.

UCLA scientists report link between traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder
February 15, 2012 | UCLA
UCLA life scientists and their colleagues have provided the first evidence of a causal link between traumatic brain injury and an increased susceptibility to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Complex wiring of the nervous system may rely on just a handful of genes and proteins
February 10, 2012 | Salk Institute
Researchers at the Salk Institute have discovered a startling feature of early brain development that helps to explain how complex neuron wiring patterns are programmed using just a handful of critical genes.

New class of potential drugs inhibits inflammation in brain
February 9, 2012 | Emory University
Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have identified a new group of compounds that may protect brain cells from inflammation linked to seizures and neurodegenerative diseases.

High Triglyceride Levels Found to Independently Predict Stroke Risk in Older Women
February 2, 2012 | Albert Einstein College of Medicine
In a surprising finding with significant implications for older women, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and NYU School of Medicine have found that high levels of triglycerides (blood fats) are the strongest risk factor for the most common type of stroke in older women – more of a risk factor than elevated levels of total cholesterol or of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (known as “bad” cholesterol). The study appears online today in Stroke.

Study Shows Alzheimer’s Disease May Spread by ‘Jumping’ from One Brain Region to Another
February 1, 2012 | Columbia University
For decades, researchers have debated whether Alzheimer’s disease starts independently in vulnerable brain regions at different times, or if it begins in one region and then spreads to neuroanatomically connected areas. A new study by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers strongly supports the latter, demonstrating that abnormal tau protein, a key feature of the neurofibrillary tangles seen in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s, propagates along linked brain circuits, “jumping” from neuron to neuron.

Scientists decode brain waves to eavesdrop on what we hear
January 31, 2012 | UC Berkley
Neuroscientists may one day be able to hear the imagined speech of a patient unable to speak due to stroke or paralysis, according to University of California, Berkeley, researchers.

Disruption of biological clocks causes neurodegeneration, early death
January 10, 2012 | Oregon State University
New research at Oregon State University provides evidence for the first time that disruption of circadian rhythms – the biological “clocks” found in many animals – can clearly cause accelerated neurodegeneration, loss of motor function and premature death.

Study reveals enzyme function, could help find muscular dystrophy therapies
January 9, 2012 | University of Iowa
Researchers at the University of Iowa have worked out the exact function of an enzyme that is critical for normal muscle structure and is involved in several muscular dystrophies. The findings, which were published Jan. 6 in the journal Science, could be used to develop rapid, large-scale testing of potential muscular dystrophy therapies.



Last updated January 22, 2015