An absence of sleep can cause stress and anxiety

An absence of sleep can cause stress and anxiety

SAN DIEGO — A sleepless night can leave the brain spinning with anxiety the next day. In healthy adults, overnight sleep deprivation triggered anxiety the next morning, along with altered brain activity patterns, scientists reported November 4 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. People with anxiety disorders often have trouble sleeping. The…
Isolation is bad for brains

Isolation is bad for brains

SAN DIEGO — Mice yanked out of their community and held in solitary isolation show signs of brain damage. After a month of being alone, the mice had smaller nerve cells in certain parts of the brain. Other brain changes followed, scientists reported at a news briefing November 4 at the annual meeting of the…
Promoting the spine assists 3 more paralyzed individuals stroll

Promoting the spine assists 3 more paralyzed individuals stroll

Paralysis is becoming less permanent — at least for some. There’s now more evidence that stimulating the spinal cord can restore voluntary movement in paralyzed patients who haven’t recovered after other treatments. After five months of training coupled with targeted stimulation of nerve cells in the spinal cord, three people who had a severe spinal…
Youths’s memories enhanced when they stopped utilizing cannabis

Youths’s memories enhanced when they stopped utilizing cannabis

Taking a monthlong break from pot helps clear away young people’s memory fog, a small study suggests. The results show that not only does marijuana impair teenagers’ and young adults’ abilities to take in information, but that this memory muddling may be reversible. Scientists have struggled to find clear answers about how marijuana affects the…
Tinkering fruit flies’ gut germs turns them into speed walkers

Tinkering fruit flies’ gut germs turns them into speed walkers

Researchers have found a new link between gut and brain. By signaling to nerve cells in the brain, certain microbes in the gut slow a fruit fly’s walking pace, scientists report. Fruit flies missing those microbes — and that signal — turn into hyperactive speed walkers. With the normal suite of gut microbes, Drosophila melanogaster…
To decipher autism’s secrets, one neuroscientist takes a look at the establishing brain

To decipher autism’s secrets, one neuroscientist takes a look at the...

WASHINGTON — As the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder increases, so too has research on the complex and poorly understood disorder. With powerful genetic tools, advanced brain-imaging methods and large groups of children to study, the field is poised to make big contributions in understanding — and potentially treating — autism. Neuroscientist…
Individuals who have a common sense of odor are likewise excellent navigators

Individuals who have a common sense of odor are likewise excellent...

We may truly be led by our noses. A sense of smell and a sense of navigation are linked in our brains, scientists propose. Neuroscientist Louisa Dahmani and colleagues asked 57 young people to navigate through a virtual town on a computer screen before being tested on how well they could get from one spot…
How your brain resembles a movie editor

How your brain resembles a movie editor

The brain’s hippocampi may be the film editors of our lives, slicing our continuous experiences into discrete cuts that can be stored away as memories. That’s the idea raised by a new study that analyzed brain scan data from people watching films such as “Forrest Gump.” “Research like this helps us identify ‘What is an…
Study raises stress over how screen time impacts kids’ brains

Study raises stress over how screen time impacts kids’ brains

Nearly two out of three U.S. kids spend more than two hours a day looking at screens, a new analysis of activity levels finds. And those children perform worse on memory, language and thinking tests than kids who spend less time in front of a device, the study of over 4,500 8- to 11-year-olds shows.…
A paralyzed male makes terrific strides with spine stimulation and rehabilitation

A paralyzed male makes terrific strides with spine stimulation and rehabilitation

With the help of a spine stimulator and intensive training, a formerly paralyzed man can command his legs to step again. This achievement, described online September 24 in Nature Medicine, inches researchers closer to restoring movement to paraplegic people. The therapy allows 29-year-old Jered Chinnock to control his leg movements with his thoughts. “This is…
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