CHRNA5 Gene Mutation Contributing Factor To COPD Predisposition

Substituting a single nucleotide in the gene coding for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor can lead to functional changes in airway cells and result in symptoms similar to COPD, independent of smoking, new research1 has found. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive chronic respiratory disease characterized by permanently obstructed airways. Symptoms include a chronic…

Synaptic Vesicles Drive Energy Consumption In Inactive Neurons

The process of packaging neurotransmitters may be responsible for the brain’s consumption of energy when its neurons are not active, researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine have found. Pound for pound, the brain consumes vastly more energy than other organs – using ~20% of the body’s fuel intake but making up only ~2 to 2.5% of…

Thalamocortical Interactions Have Key Role In Primary Visual Cortex Alpha Waves

Seemingly random brain signals may actually help the brain switch between states of inattention or disengagement and states of optimal performance, according to new research from University of Oregon scientists. Neuroscientists have been studying an oscillating background wave called the alpha rhythm in the human brain for decades. This signal appears to reflect whether a…

NGFR Molecule Promotes Early Metastasis In Melanoma

Nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) drives the process of early metastasis in melanoma, work from an international team of scientists has found. Additionally, blocking the molcule reduces metastasis in animal models. The reduction was achieved using THX-B. This molecule is being tested for the treatment of other pathologies, which will accelerate its possible use in…

Music’s Potential As A Treatment For Parkinson’s, Stroke, And Brain Injury

You probably don’t realise it when you’re listening to your favourite song, but music has an incredibly powerful effect on the human brain. Singing, playing an instrument or listening to music have all been shown to activate numerous areas of the brain that control speech, movement and cognition, memory and emotion – often all at…

An Alternate Organization For The Secondary Visual Cortex

The brain’s maps of visual space are thought to retain the topology of the retina, but a new study1 has found that visual maps in the secondary visual cortex of tree shrews challenge this assumption. Neuroscientists who specialize in vision are the cartographers of the brain, exploring and mapping out how our brain represents what…

Alzheimer’s Biomarkers Elevate Following Major Cardiac Surgery

Blood levels of a substance proven to be highly predictive of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease rose markedly during cardiac surgery and remained elevated for two days post-surgery, which was when levels were last measured, a small study has found. Heart surgery, a lengthy operation typically involving substantial tissue injury, is particularly stressful and causes…

RNA Methylation Can Be Reversed At Synapses

Reversing the modification of molecular messages at synapses in the human brain may contribute to reversible mental health conditions such as anxiety, and memory diseases such as dementia, University of Nottingham researchers have revealed. The findings1 are a major step in our understanding how brain cells communicate, and could help to identify new treatments for…