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02/27/2017 01:00 PM
How your brain makes articles go viral
It is a question that has mystified countless people: Why does one article spread like wildfire through social media and another—seemingly similar—doesn't? How does your brain decide what is valuable enough to read and share?
02/01/2017 06:00 PM
Study reveals public resistance toward workplace standing guidelines
A new King's College London study reveals significant public resistance and misunderstanding surrounding the UK's first health guidelines on sedentary behaviour at work, which were a response to mounting evidence on the health risks of prolonged sitting, including higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
01/25/2017 12:00 PM
Hypoxia due to CHD linked to abnormal neurogenesis and impaired cortical growth
The subventricular zone (SVZ) in normal newborns' brains is home to the largest stockpile of neural stem/progenitor cells, with newly generated neurons migrating from this zone to specific regions of the frontal cortex and differentiating into interneurons. When newborns experience disruptions in cerebral oxygen supply due to congenital heart disease, essential cellular processes go awry and this contributes to reduced cortical growth. The preliminary findings derived from a preclinical model by a research team led by Children's National Health System point to the importance of restoring these cells' neurogenic potential, possibly through therapeutics, to lessen children's long-term neurological deficits.
01/24/2017 07:29 AM
Clinical trial for first-ever treatment of radiation necrosis
Radiation therapy saves countless lives, but in rare cases, it can cause a debilitating, long-term complication when used on the brain. Around three to five percent of patients who receive radiation for brain tumors, or arteriovenous malformations (AVM), develop radiation necrosis, where the brain tissue around the targeted lesion becomes injured and dies.
11/14/2016 03:58 PM
Compound suggests pain treatment without opioid or medical marijuana side effects
Indiana University neuroscientist Andrea Hohmann took the stage at a press conference Nov. 14 in San Diego to discuss research conducted at IU that has found evidence that the brain's cannabis receptors may be used to treat chronic pain without the side effects associated with opioid-based pain relievers or medical marijuana.
05/25/2016 11:00 AM
Out of tune: Mismatch of vascular and neural responses suggests limits of fMRI
In an article published online ahead of print on May 25, 2016 in Nature, investigators at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) report that, during sensory stimulation, increases in blood flow are not precisely "tuned" to local neural activity, challenging the long-held view that vascular and local neural responses are tightly coupled.
03/29/2016 10:11 AM
Are stem-cell therapies for Parkinson's disease ready for clinical trials?
As stem cell-based therapies are moving rapidly towards clinical trials, treatments for Parkinson's Disease (PD), an incurable condition, may be on the horizon. A recent announcement of a Phase I/IIa clinical trial involving transplantation of stem cells into the first human subjects has raised hope among patients and sparked discussions in the research community. In a commentary published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, authors propose five key questions that should be addressed as this trial begins.
12/08/2015 08:40 AM
Lack of sleep tampers with your emotions
Cranky or grumpy after a long night? Your brain's ability to regulate emotions is probably compromised by fatigue. This is bad news for 30 percent of American adults who get less than six hours of sleep per night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
11/17/2015 07:38 AM
Can you think yourself into a different person?
For years she had tried to be the perfect wife and mother but now, divorced, with two sons, having gone through another break-up and in despair about her future, she felt as if she'd failed at it all, and she was tired of it. On 6 June 2007 Debbie Hampton, of Greensboro, North Carolina, took an overdose of more than 90 pills – a combination of ten different prescription drugs, some of which she'd stolen from a neighbour's bedside cabinet. That afternoon, she'd written a note on her computer: "I've screwed up this life so bad that there is no place here for me and nothing I can contribute." Then, in tears, she went upstairs, sat on her bed, swallowed her pills with some cheap Shiraz and put on a Dido CD to listen to as she died. As she lay down, she felt triumphant.
10/18/2015 01:52 PM
Premature birth appears to weaken brain connections
Babies born prematurely face an increased risk of neurological and psychiatric problems that may be due to weakened connections in brain networks linked to attention, communication and the processing of emotions, new research shows.
08/25/2015 05:51 AM
Researcher discusses neuroscience history and new hope for autistic people
To mark the publication of the book NeuroTribes (Aug 25, 2015; Avery/Penguin Random House) by Steve Silberman, whose blog of the same name has been hosted on the PLOS BLOGS Network since 2010, we invited independent science writer Emily Willingham, PhD to review the book and conduct an in-depth interview with the author. Willingham's review and interview follow, with her full bio at the bottom of this post.
07/14/2015 03:46 AM
Intellectual pursuits may buffer the brain against addiction
Challenging the idea that addiction is hardwired in the brain, a new UC Berkeley study of mice suggests that even a short time spent in a stimulating learning environment can rewire the brain's reward system and buffer it against drug dependence.