synapse

New evidence that glioma, a lethal form of brain cancer, alters the activity of neighboring neurons, accelerating a vicious cycle that drives tumor-associated epilepsy and tumor progression, has been found by scientists at Baylor College of Medicine. The findings[1] show that several variants of the PIK3CA gene drive tumor progression and that two variants in… Read more

Neurons in the striatum, a brain area involved in controlling movement, require the huntingtin gene for regulating the body’s movements, maintaining cell health during aging, and developing functioning connections between cells, according to new work from a Duke University research team. Addressing the gene’s role in maintaining those neural connections may provide a new avenue… Read more

Synapses allow neurons to communicate with one another. In the synapse, one neuron emits chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, and an adjacent neuron receives them using tiny structures called receptors. A specific type of receptor, the AMPA receptor, plays a crucial role in learning and memory processes. However, scientists don’t yet fully understand how these AMPA… Read more

Our brains contain millions of synapses — the connections that transmit messages from neuron to neuron. Within these synapses are hundreds of different proteins, and dysfunction of these proteins can lead to conditions such as schizophrenia and autism. Researchers at MIT and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT have now devised a new way… Read more

Exposure to heroin sharply reduces levels of the protein necessary for developing and maintaining the brain’s synapses, a preclinical study[1] by University at Buffalo researchers has found. The development of addiction relapse is directly related to the impact that reductions in this protein, called drebrin, have on specific cells involved in the brain’s pleasure-seeking/reward pathways… Read more