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Making Temporary Changes To Brain Could Speed Up Learning

In a breakthrough that may aid treatment of learning impairments, strokes, tinnitus and chronic pain, UT Dallas researchers have found that brain nerve stimulation accelerates learning in laboratory tests. Another major finding of the study, published in the April 14 issue of Neuron, involves the positive changes detected after stimulation and learning were complete.

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Autism Speaks Awards $770,000 For Gastrointestinal Research In Autism Spectrum Disorders

Recognizing that gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction affects many children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, today announced a major Suzanne and Bob Wright Trailblazer Award for research into the biological mechanisms of GI disorders in ASD.

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Treating High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, And Diabetes May Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other vascular risk factors may help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in people who already show signs of declining thinking skills or memory problems. The research is published in the April 13, 2011, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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MRI brain scan with a senior citizen women

Brain Structure Changes Indicate Risk For Developing Alzheimer’s Disease

Subtle differences in brain anatomy among older individuals with normal cognitive skills may be able to predict both the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the following decade and how quickly symptoms of dementia would develop. In their analysis of magnetic resonance (MR) images from two separate study groups, researchers from Rush University Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) found that among individuals in whom specific brain structures were thinnest, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was three times greater than in those with above-average thickness.

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Patients’ Own Stem Cells Yield New Insights Into The Biology Of Schizophrenia

After a century of studying the causes of schizophrenia – the most persistent disabling condition among adults – the cause of the disorder remains unknown. Now induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated from schizophrenic patients have brought researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies a step closer to a fundamental understanding of the biological underpinnings of the disease.

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Aerobic Exercise May Improve Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Walking on a treadmill for one hour a day may slow the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in obese people with prediabetes by jump-starting their metabolism and slowing the oxidative damage wrought by the condition, say researchers at the Cleveland Clinic. A study of 15 obese people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease revealed that the daily walks not only increase insulin sensitivity, but improve the liver’s polyunsaturated lipid index (PUI), which is thought to be a marker of liver health.

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Vitamin B

Modest Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies May Increase Age-Related Diseases, Such As Cancer, Heart Disease, And Dementia

An analysis of the essential mineral selenium conducted by Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) scientists (1) suggests that adequate intake of essential mineral selenium could help to prevent age-related conditions, such as immune dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Selenium is present in dietary plants if the soil has adequate amounts, which is generally true in the U.S., but not in parts of China, Russia, and most of Western Europe.

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