Weekly Neuroscience Update

researchers have developed a method to map the circuitry of the brain with a “Neuronal Positioning System” (NPS) similar to how a Global Positioning System (GPS) triangulates our location on the planet. Image credit: Dr. Shlomo Tsuriel and Dr. Alex Binshtok, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

researchers have developed a method to map the circuitry of the brain with a “Neuronal Positioning System” (NPS) similar to how a Global Positioning System (GPS) triangulates our location on the planet. Image credit: Dr. Shlomo Tsuriel and Dr. Alex Binshtok, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In new research scientists have announced a “Neuronal Positioning System” (NPS) that maps the circuitry of the brain, similar to how a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver triangulates one’s location on the planet.

EPFL scientists have developed a new method that can accurately simulate the chemical modification of the protein behind Parkinson’s disease. The technique, has opened a new way of understanding Parkinson’s, and can be expanded to other proteins and diseases as well.

Neuroscientists have found a way to activate opioid receptors with light.

New research shows that chemotherapy can lead to excessive mind wandering and an inability to concentrate. Dubbed ‘chemo-brain,’ the negative cognitive effects of the cancer treatment have long been suspected, but the study is the first to explain why patients have difficulty paying attention.

A study provides new evidence that book sharing in early childhood may promote brain development supporting reading readiness.

An international team of scientists has discovered what amounts to a molecular reset button for our internal body clock. Their findings reveal a potential target to treat a range of disorders, from sleep disturbances to other behavioral, cognitive, and metabolic abnormalities, commonly associated with jet lag, shift work and exposure to light at night, as well as with neuropsychiatric conditions such as depression and autism.

New findings provide potential explanations for the very high percentage of post-traumatic disorders in combat.

Scientists have discovered that neurons are risk takers: They use minor “DNA surgeries” to toggle their activity levels all day, every day. Since these activity levels are important in learning, memory and brain disorders, the researchers think their finding will shed light on a range of important questions.

Women may have a more difficult time than men in recovering from concussion, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

Finally this week, researchers report a previously unappreciated phenomenon in which the location of injury to a neuron’s communication wire in the spinal cord — the axon — determines whether the neuron simply stabilizes or attempts to regenerate. The study, published by Neuron, demonstrates how advances in live-imaging techniques are revealing new insights into the body’s ability to respond to spinal cord injuries.

 

 

Saving Brains, A Grand Challenge

Food for thought about investing in the future of our children, in this video by Dr. Mike Evans, founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital.