New research shows that light can be used to detect what is going on inside someone’s head and identify what image they are seeing. The study1 demonstrates that high-density diffuse optical tomography (HD-DOT) - a noninvasive, wearable, light-based brain imaging technology - is sufficiently sensitive and precise to be potentially useful in applications such as augmented communication that are not well suited to other imaging methods. MRI could be used for decoding, but it requires a scanner, and you can’t expect someone to go lie in a scanner every time they want to communicate.
Silencing BAF complex function results in almost a total loss of chromatin accessibility at BAF-controlled sites, a new paper1 has found. When human cells need to acclimate to a various external influences, the BRG1/BRM-associated factor (BAF) complex is central to the process - it regulates the accessibility of the DNA and the information stored in it. In one out of five human cancers, a mutation is found in one of the BAF complex genes.
A possible way to address loss of cognitive function due to Alzheimer’s disease by targeting protein synthesis has been identified by researchers. The findings1 show that synthetic pharmaceuticals could rescue the activity of brain cells needed for memory formation. This work is the first to show that reversing impaired protein synthesis in brains afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease through a pharmacological approach is not only feasible, but also effective, says lead author Mauricio Martins-Oliveira, a postdoctoral researcher at New York University’s Center for Neural Science.
Immune cells fill pockets in the outer layer of the meninges — the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord — where they sample cerebrospinal fluid as it washes out of the brain, a new study finds. If the cells detect signs of infection, disease, or injury, they are prepared to initiate an immune response to confront the problem, the researchers say. The findings1 open up the possibility of targeting immune cells at such surveillance sites as a means of treating conditions driven by brain inflammation.
A new neuroimaging study investigates how psychotherapy for people with PTSD changes the brain areas responsible for generating emotional responses to threats used. Trauma-focused psychotherapy is considered the best available treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the ways in which this method affects the brain to promote recovery from PTSD are not well understood. We know that psychotherapy works. But we don’t have a lot of good data to explain how it works, how the brain is changed by going through this process.
The signaling protein mTOR (Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin) is a sensor for nutrients such as amino acids and sugars. When sufficient nutrients are available, mTOR boosts metabolism and ensures that sufficient energy and cellular building blocks are available. Since mTOR is a central switch for metabolism, errors in its activation lead to serious diseases. Cancers and developmental disorders of the nervous system leading to behavioral disorders and epilepsy can be the result if mTOR is malfunctioning.
Lack of a specific fatty acid in fat tissue can trigger the abnormal immune system response that causes multiple sclerosis (MS) by attacking and damaging the central nervous system, according to a new study1. Fat tissue in patients diagnosed with MS were found to have abnormal levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid found at high levels in cooking oils, meats (beef, chicken, and pork), cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, eggs, pasta, milk, olives, and avocados.
Gefitinib, sold under the brand name Iressa by AstraZeneca and Teva, is a medication used for certain breast, lung and other cancers. Gefitinib is an EGFR inhibitor, interrupting signaling through the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in target cells. As such, it is only effective in cancers with mutated and overactive EGFR, but resistances to gefitinib can arise through other mutations. Getfitinib Clinical Applications The FDA approved gefitinib in May 2003 for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).