Press Releases & News Articles: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Copyright 2014, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke en Press Release Saturday Sunday Scientists plug into a learning brain Learning is easier when it only requires nerve cells to rearrange existing patterns of activity than when the nerve cells have to generate new patterns, a study of monkeys has found. The scientists explored the brain’s capacity to learn through recordings of electrical activity of brain cell networks. The study was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health. Wed, 27 Aug 2014 00:00:00 EDT Monthly blood transfusions reduce sickle cell anemia-related brain injury in children Regular blood transfusions prevent recurrent blockage of brain blood vessels, a serious neurological side effect that occurs in one third of children with sickle cell anemia, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings appear in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:00:00 EDT Scientists use lasers to control mouse brain switchboard Ever wonder why it’s hard to focus after a bad night’s sleep? Using mice and flashes of light, scientists show that just a few nerve cells in the brain may control the switch between internal thoughts and external distractions. The study, partly funded by the National Institutes of Health, may be a breakthrough in understanding how a critical part of the brain, called the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN), influences consciousness. Thu, 14 Aug 2014 00:00:00 EDT NIH scientists find six new genetic risk factors for Parkinson’s A new international study has taken number crunching to the extreme. Using data from over 18,000 patients, scientists identified more than two dozen genetic risk factors involved in Parkinson’s disease, including six that had not been previously reported. The study, published in Nature Genetics, was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and led by scientists working in NIH laboratories. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 00:00:00 EDT Brain tumor invasion along blood vessels may lead to new cancer treatments Invading glioblastoma cells may hijack cerebral blood vessels during early stages of disease progression and damage the brain’s protective barrier, a study in mice indicates. This finding could ultimately lead to new ways to bring about the death of the tumor, as therapies may be able to reach these deadly cells at an earlier time point than was previously thought possible. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:00:00 EDT NIH scientists take totally tubular journey through brain cells In a new study, scientists at the National Institutes of Health took a molecular-level journey into microtubules, the hollow cylinders inside brain cells that act as skeletons and internal highways. They watched how a protein called tubulin acetyltransferase (TAT) labels the inside of microtubules. The results, published in Cell, answer long-standing questions about how TAT tagging works and offer clues as to why it is important for brain health. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 00:00:00 EDT NIH embraces bold, 12-year scientific vision for BRAIN Initiative A federal report calls for $4.5 billion in funding for brain research over the next 12 years. The long-term scientific vision of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative was presented today to National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., by his Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD). Dr. Collins accepted the recommendations, calling the report bold and game changing. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:00:00 EDT Shining a light on memory Using a flash of light, scientists have inactivated and then reactivated a memory in genetically engineered rats. The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, is the first cause-and-effect evidence that strengthened connections between neurons are the stuff of memory. Sun, 01 Jun 2014 00:00:00 EDT Federal pain research database launched The Interagency Pain Research Portfolio (IPRP), a database that provides information about pain research and training activities supported by the federal government, has been launched by six federal agencies. Tue, 27 May 2014 00:00:00 EDT Scientists take a close-up of key pain-sensing molecule A revolutionary microscopy technique could help design better treatments for chronic pain Fri, 16 May 2014 00:00:00 EDT Worms surprise scientists with hints that stress can guard nerves Taut springs guard worm’s sensory neurons during flexing and help respond to touch, an NIH-funded study reports Fri, 16 May 2014 00:00:00 EDT Longevity gene may boost brain power Scientists showed that people who have a variant of a longevity gene, called KLOTHO, have improved brain skills such as thinking, learning and memory regardless of their age, sex, or whether they have a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Increasing KLOTHO gene levels in mice made them smarter, possibly by increasing the strength of connections between nerve cells in the brain. Fri, 09 May 2014 00:00:00 EDT