Long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to physical changes in the brain, as well as learning and memory problems and even depression, new research in mice suggests. While other studies have shown the damaging effects of polluted air on the heart and lungs, this is one of the first long-term studies to show the negative impact on the brain, said Laura Fonken, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in neuroscience at Ohio State University.
Tag Archives | Memory
Scientists at the University of Michigan Health System have for the first time demonstrated how memory circuits in the brain refine themselves in a living organism through two distinct types of competition between cells. Their results, published today in Neuron, mark a step forward in the search for the causes of neurological disorders associated with abnormal brain circuits, such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism and schizophrenia.
A yet unidentified component of coffee interacts with the beverage’s caffeine, which could be a surprising reason why daily coffee intake protects against Alzheimer’s disease. A new Alzheimer’s disease mouse study by researchers at the University of South Florida found that this interaction boosts blood levels of a critical growth factor that seems to fight off the Alzheimer’s disease process.
Picture a menacing drill sergeant, a gory slaughterhouse, a devastating scene of a natural disaster. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found that viewing such emotion-laden images immediately after taking a test actually enhances people’s retention of the tested material. The data the researchers gathered in recent studies are the first to show that negative arousal following successful retrieval of information enhances later recall of that information.
Scientists and educators alike have long known that cramming is not an effective way to remember things. With their latest findings, researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan, studying eye movement response in trained mice, have elucidated the neurological mechanism explaining why this is so. Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, their results suggest that protein synthesis in the cerebellum plays a key role in memory consolidation, shedding light on the fundamental neurological processes governing how we remember.
Scientists have developed a way to turn memories on and off — literally with the flip of a switch. Using an electronic system that duplicates the neural signals associated with memory, they managed to replicate the brain function in rats associated with long-term learned behavior, even when the rats had been drugged to forget. “Flip the switch on, and the rats remember. Flip it off, and the rats forget,” said Theodore Berger of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.
When people finish treatment for cancer, they want to bounce back to their former vital selves as quickly as possible. But a new Northwestern Medicine study — one of the largest survivor studies ever conducted – shows many survivors still suffer moderate to severe problems with pain, fatigue, sleep, memory, and concentration three to five years after treatment has ended.
University of Pittsburgh researchers have reproduced the brain’s complex electrical impulses onto models made of living brain cells that provide an unprecedented view of the neuron activity behind memory formation. The team fashioned ring-shaped networks of brain cells that were not only capable of transmitting an electrical impulse, but also remained in a state of persistent activity associated with memory formation, said lead researcher Henry Zeringue [zuh-rang], a bioengineering professor in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering.