Health News

Using graphene to detect ALS, other neurodegenerative diseases

The wonders of graphene are numerous — it can enable flexible electronic components, enhance solar cell capacity, filter the finest subatomic particles and revolutionize batteries. Now, the “supermaterial” may one day be used to test for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS — a progressive, neurodegenerative disease which is diagnosed mostly by ruling out other disorders, […]

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Personality and mood affect brain response to personal choice

Personality traits and mental health affect how people value personal control in decision making, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. Our brain’s reward and motivation systems show higher activity when we feel personal control in a situation and when we receive rewards that we’ve earned, rather than been given […]

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Disrupted circadian rhythms may drive anxiety and exacerbate brain disorders: New studies reveal critical role of healthy sleep and powerful role of circadian rhythm regulation in the brain

Sleep disruptions are associated with many brain disorders, including anxiety, dementias, and traumatic brain injury. While these disruptions are sometimes viewed as a side effect of brain disorders, new findings presented today suggest that aberrant sleep-wake cycles can also drive brain pathology. The studies were presented at Neuroscience 2018, the annual meeting of the Society […]

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Losing control of gene activity in Alzheimer’s disease

Pioneering research into the mechanisms controlling gene activity in the brain could hold the key to understanding Alzheimer’s disease and might help identify effective treatments in the future. An international research team led by scientists at the University of Exeter and the University of Essex have uncovered a link between indicators of gene activity and […]

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Modifiable dementia risk factor in older adults identified

For older adults, it may seem as though the die is already cast regarding their odds of developing dementia, but new research from the University of Pittsburgh has identified a dementia risk factor among older adults that should be modifiable even well into old age. The study, which draws on data collected from following hundreds […]

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Recognizing the uniqueness of different individuals with schizophrenia: Research reveals large differences between individual patients

Schizophrenia is an extremely variable psychiatric disorder which is diagnosed based on the presence of specific symptoms. Thomas Wolfers and André Marquand of Radboud university medical center investigated how much the brains of individual patients diagnosed with schizophrenia differ from the ‘average’ patient. For this purpose, they compared brain scans of 250 healthy individuals with […]

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Making the right connections

Researchers at VIB and KU Leuven have uncovered a new molecular interaction that governs the formation of specific functional connections between two types of neurons. It gives an important clue as to how unique interactions give shape to precisely organized neuronal networks in the brain. Pyramidal neurons are named after their cell body, which is […]

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It’s not just for kids — even adults appear to benefit from a regular bedtime: Adults with varied sleep-wake times weigh more, have higher blood sugar, risk of disease

Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But it’s not just an issue of logging at least seven hours of Z’s. A new study on sleep patterns suggests that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults. […]