The molecules of the neurotransmitter glutamate released when a signal is transferred between two brain cells has been counted, for the first time, by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Gothenburg University in Swedenby. With a novel analysis method, they demonstrated that the brain regulates its signals using glutamate in more ways than previously… Read more

To find food and avoid danger in changing environments, animals need to be able to learn to associate specific sensory stimuli, such as odors, with reward or punishment. Such memories must also adapt to reflect new circumstances. How is such memory flexibility achieved? An excellent model system for studying these questions is the fruit fly… Read more

Prefrontal cortex cholinergic stimulation causes wake-like behavior in anesthetized rats, researchers in the University of Michigan Medical School Center for Consciousness Science report. In the search for what controls our overall level of consciousness, researchers have traditionally focused on structures in the lower part of the brain. These structures include the brainstem (which regulates vital… Read more

Most medicines are fairly blunt devices, which means that clinicians are often unable to account for the uniqueness of a patient when treating a specific ailment. A drug that could be modified to achieve different aims – like a Swiss army knife – would help to address this problem. The cells of the nervous system… Read more

An important mechanism behind the neural hyperactivity observed in mice with Alzheimer’s has been explained by researchers at the University of Tübingen. At the contact points between nerve cells, there is a malfunction in the intracellular calcium storage which is needed for signal transfer. As a result, too many signal chemicals (neurotransmitters) are released into… Read more