Weekly Neuroscience Update

Early-diagnosis-staging-of-Alzheimers-disease-seen-in-PET-scans

Dr. William Jagust explains how tau and beta amyloid, two proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, develop in the aging brain, which his research team has visualized using positron emission tomography, or PET, scans. Photo by Stephen McNally/University of California Berkeley

Researchers have visualized the development of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain in living people using positron emission tomography, or PET scans, which they say will aid with its diagnosis and treatment. 

Researchers have  also identified a drug that targets the first step in the toxic chain reaction leading to the death of brain cells, suggesting that treatments could be developed to protect against Alzheimer’s disease, in a similar way to how statins are able to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

new study shows that a variety of physical activities from walking to gardening and dancing can improve brain volume and cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 50%.

In another study jointly led by King’s College London and the University of Southampton has found a link between gum disease and greater rates of cognitive decline in people with early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Women may have a better memory for words than men despite evidence of similar levels of shrinkage in areas of the brain that show the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in Neurology.

Refugees face a substantially higher risk of psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia, compared to non-refugee migrants from the same regions of origin, finds a study published in The BMJ

Research on decision-making bias found that interactive training exercises using video games improved participants’ general decision-making abilities when used alongside other traditional training methods.

Reducing a person’s calorie intake can protect against the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease.  Meanwhile, researchers may be closer to unraveling the underlying causes of Parkinson’s disease, after identifying the point at which alpha-synuclein – a protein believed to play a key role in the condition – becomes toxic to the brain.

Scientists have developed a 3D micro-scaffold technology that promotes reprogramming of stem cells into neurons, and supports growth of neuronal connections capable of transmitting electrical signals.

Finally this week, researchers in Japan have found that repetitive movements in slow-learning stages can alter an area of the brain responsible for movement, and help individuals retain these motor skills.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s