Weekly Neuroscience Update

scientists develop video game for stroke

Scientists have developed a therapeutic at-home 3D gaming programme to help stroke patients overcome motor weakness, which affects 80 per cent of survivors.

Using a video game in which people navigate through a virtual town delivering objects to specific locations, a team of neuroscientists has discovered how brain cells that encode spatial information form “geotags” for specific memories and are activated immediately before those memories are recalled.

Establishing links between genes, the brain and human behavior is a central issue in cognitive neuroscience research, but studying how genes influence cognitive abilities and behavior as the brain develops from childhood to adulthood has proven difficult. Now, an international team of scientists has made inroads to understanding how genes influence brain structure and cognitive abilities and how neural circuits produce language.

Stanford University School of Medicine neuroscientists have discovered a new role played by a common but mysterious class of brain cells.

A new study using brain imaging has shown the effect of the chronic pain drug pregalbin on the brain, giving researchers new insight on the treatment of fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders.

A study published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience points, for the first time, to the gene trkC as a factor in susceptibility to panic disorder. The researchers define the specific mechanism for the formation of fear memories which will help in the development of new pharmacological and cognitive treatments.

Finally, in the largest study on the topic to date, research shows that speaking a second language may delay the onset of three types of dementias.  The study found that people who spoke two languages developed dementia four and a half years later than people who only spoke one language.

 

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