Lipid Metabolism Regulates Brain Stem Cell Activity

A lipid metabolism enzyme regulates the lifelong activity of brain stem cells, an international research team led by Sebastian Jessberger, professor at the Brain Research Institute at the University of Zurich has shown[1]. The enzyme, known as fatty acid synthase (FASN) - is responsible for the formation of fatty acids. A specific mutation in the enzyme’s genetic information causes cognitive deficits in affected patients. The researchers studied the genetic change of FASN in the mouse model as well as in human cerebral organoids - organ-like cell cultures of the brain that are formed from human embryonic stem cells.

Flavonoid-rich Foods May Have Protective Benefits Against Alzheimer's

Older adults who consumed small amounts of flavonoid-rich foods, such as berries, apples and tea, were two to four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias over 20 years compared with people whose intake was higher, according to a new study led by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University. The epidemiological study[1] of 2,800 people aged 50 and older examined the long-term relationship between eating foods containing flavonoids and risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD).

The Science Of Why Music Helps Us Connect In Isolation

“Don’t hold back, sing with all of your heart,” said our colleague Simon Baron-Cohen on a Zoom meeting the other night with his fellow band members. Simon is director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University by day and bass player of the blues and funk group Deep Blue by night. His band and many others are taking to the Zoom airways to play music together. One of the most encouraging phenomena we have begun to see in response to social distancing laws are the innovative ways that people are starting to bond with each other, particularly musically.

Fear Memory Extinction Depends On Flexibility Of DNA

The ability to extinguish fearful memories relies on a change in DNA structure: from Z-DNA to B-DNA, new research shows. The findings suggest that the more easily you can switch between DNA these structures, the more plastic your memory is. “DNA can adopt a variety of different structures. The most common and most widely recognized form is the ‘B-DNA’ double helix, which twists in a clockwise direction. But, with a slight rearrangement of how DNA base-pairs connect with one another, DNA can form other helical structures, such as Z-DNA," says Dr Paul Marshall, a researcher at University of Queensland’s Queensland Brain Institute and lead author of the study[1].

People Aged 95 And Over Show Stronger Brain Connectivity

People aged 95 and over demonstrated more activation between the left and ride side of their brain than their younger counterparts, according to new research. Given the prevalence of dementia increases with age, near-centenarians and centenarians without dementia are generally considered as models of successful aging and resistance against age-related cognitive decline. “We wanted to see if there was something particularly special about the brain’s functional connectivity of those aged 95 and older that helps them preserve brain function into the 11th decade of their life," said study leader Dr.

Nanoparticles Enter Living Cells To Gather Cancer Clues

A new imaging technique sends nanoparticles into living cells to reveal important information about cell structure, including how tumor cells physically change as they form a tumor. The technique captures mechanical properties in living subjects that probe fundamental relationships between physics and in vivo (in a living organism) biology. “We engineered the ability to measure and quantify the nanomechanical properties of individual living cells within the body of a living animal for the first time,” says Bryan Smith, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Michigan State University, who worked with colleagues to develop the particles.

Think Of Mental Disorders As The Mind’s ‘Sticky Tendencies’

What exactly are mental disorders? The answer to this question is important because it informs how researchers should go about trying to explain mental disorders, how the public responds to people who experience them, and how we should go about developing treatments for them. Despite the importance of this question, there’s little consensus on the answer. Some hold that mental disorders are brain diseases. Others argue that they’re social constructs used to medicalise aberrant behaviour.

Exercise Steps Up Motor Skill Learning Through Neurotransmitter Changes

Key neurological modifications following sustained exercise have been identified by scientists at University of California San Diego. “This study provides new insight into how we get good at things that require motor skills and provides information about how these skills are actually learned," said Professor Nick Spitzer, the Atkinson Family Chair in the Biological Sciences Section of Neurobiology and a director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind.