Archive for the ‘neuroscience’ category

May 7, 2023

Foods to avoid with pituitary tumors

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Pituitary tumors grow in the pituitary gland, the pea-sized structure just behind the eyes at the base of the brain. These tumors are almost always noncancerous, but they can cause problems if they create an overproduction of hormones in the body or grow large enough to press against the brain and optic nerves.

If you have a pituitary tumor, you may be wondering if there are any lifestyle changes you should make, such as your diet. We spoke with our clinical dietitians to learn more about diet and nutrition for people with pituitary tumors.

May 7, 2023

How the Human Brain Project Built a Mind of its Own

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, robotics/AI

“A human brain model can simulate an experiment a million times for many different conditions, but the actual human experiment can be performed only once or a few times,” said Viktor Jirsa, a professor at Aix-Marseille University.

Responding to such critiques, the HBP worked to restructure the effort in its early days with new leadership, organization, and goals that were more flexible and attainable. “The HBP got a more versatile, pluralistic approach,” said Viktor Jirsa, a professor at Aix-Marseille University and one of the HBP lead scientists. He believes that these changes fixed at least some of HBP’s issues. “The project has been on a very productive and scientifically fruitful course since then.”

After restructuring, the HBP became a European hub on brain research, with hundreds of scientists joining its growing network. The HBP created projects focused on various brain topics, from consciousness to neurodegenerative diseases. HBP scientists worked on complex subjects, such as mapping out the brain, combining neuroscience and robotics, and experimenting with neuromorphic computing, a computational technique inspired by the human brain structure and function—to name just a few.

May 6, 2023

How menopause reshapes the brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

For Rance and others in the field, fezolinetant’s progress to this point is a sign that research into the causes and effects of menopausal symptoms is finally being taken seriously. In the next few years, the global number of postmenopausal women is expected to surpass one billion. But many women still struggle to access care related to menopause, and research into how best to manage such symptoms has lagged behind. That is slowly changing. Armed with improved animal models and a growing literature on the effects of existing treatments, more researchers are coming into the field to fill that gap.

They increasingly recognize that menopause and the transition to it, a phase labelled perimenopause, could set the stage for brain health in later life, and there are even hints that it could correlate with the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Fezolinetant and similar drugs in the pipeline also represent a shift in thinking: from menopause as a condition of the female reproductive organs, to one that focuses on neurological causes and effects. “We think of menopause as being driven by changes in the ovary,” says Hadine Joffe, who studies mental health and ageing in women at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “The notion of the brain at the helm of menopause, that is a different concept.”

May 6, 2023

This Brain Activity Decoder Translates Ideas Into Text Using Only Brain Scans

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Language and speech are how we express our inner thoughts. But neuroscientists just bypassed the need for audible speech, at least in the lab. Instead, they directly tapped into the biological machine that generates language and ideas: the brain.

Using brain scans and a hefty dose of machine learning, a team from the University of Texas at Austin developed a “language decoder” that captures the gist of what a person hears based on their brain activation patterns alone. Far from a one-trick pony, the decoder can also translate imagined speech, and even generate descriptive subtitles for silent movies using neural activity.

Here’s the kicker: the method doesn’t require surgery. Rather than relying on implanted electrodes, which listen in on electrical bursts directly from neurons, the neurotechnology uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a completely non-invasive procedure, to generate brain maps that correspond to language.

May 6, 2023

A Newly Developed Hydrogel Can Wipe Out Brain Cancer in Mice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Glioblastoma is one of the most common and aggressive forms of brain cancer, and it’s one of the hardest to treat. There may be good news on the horizon, however.

A newly developed hydrogel, tested on mice, cleaned up traces of glioblastoma tumors and stopped them from returning. The hydrogel was so effective that there was a “striking” 100 percent survival rate in the animals.

Continue reading “A Newly Developed Hydrogel Can Wipe Out Brain Cancer in Mice” »

May 6, 2023

New study finds long-term musical training alters brain connectivity networks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, mathematics, neuroscience

A new study published in Human Brain Mapping revealed that long-term musical training can modify the connectivity networks in the brain’s white matter.

Previous research has shown that intense musical training induces structural neuroplasticity in different brain regions. However, previous studies mainly investigated brain changes in instrumental musicians, and little is known about how structural connectivity in non-instrumental musicians is affected by long-term training.

To examine how the connections between different parts of the brain might be affected by long-term vocal training, the researchers of the study used graph theory and diffusion-weighted images. Graph theory is a mathematical framework used to study the networks’ architecture in the human brain, while diffusion-weighted imaging is an MRI technique that measures the diffusion of water molecules in tissues, providing information on the structural connectivity of the brain.

May 6, 2023

The Founding Father of Neuroscience on Solitude, the Importance of Science in a Nation’s Greatness, and the Ideal Social Environment for Intellectual Achievement

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, science

Oh comforting solitude, how favorable thou art to original thought!

May 5, 2023

Simple Tests Predict Dementia Risk in Older Women Years in Advance

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Dementia is a brain disease that affects around 55 million people worldwide and is characterized by the loss of cognitive functions like memory and reasoning.

The classic, early cognitive symptoms of dementia – like misplacing valuable objects, forgetting names, and finding planning difficult – can creep up slowly over time.

But there are other, more noticeable changes to the body that correlate with dementia risk and can be picked up over a decade before diagnosis. Recent research has found that hearing difficulties may be a warning sign of dementia that arises years before other symptoms of the disease.

May 5, 2023

Mind-reading technology has arrived

Posted by in category: neuroscience

An AI-powered ‘brain decoder’ can now read your thoughts with surprising accuracy.

May 4, 2023

Deep sleep may mitigate Alzheimer’s memory loss, research shows

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A deep slumber might help buffer against memory loss for older adults facing a heightened burden of Alzheimer’s disease, new research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests.

Deep sleep, also known as non-REM , can act as a “cognitive reserve factor” that may increase resilience against a protein in the brain called that is linked to caused by dementia. Disrupted sleep has previously been associated with faster accumulation of beta-amyloid protein in the brain. However, the new research from a team at UC Berkeley reveals that superior amounts of deep, slow-wave sleep can act as a protective factor against decline in those with existing high amounts of Alzheimer’s disease —a potentially significant advance that experts say could help alleviate some of dementia’s most devastating outcomes.

“With a certain level of brain pathology, you’re not destined for cognitive symptoms or memory issues,” said Zsófia Zavecz, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley’s Center for Human Sleep Science. “People should be aware that, despite having a certain level of pathology, there are certain lifestyle factors that will help moderate and decrease the effects.

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