May 2014

US News & World Report: Schizophrenia May Raise Dementia Risk in Older Adults

Older adults who have schizophrenia appear to face a higher risk of getting dementia, new research suggests. “The rates of dementia in those with schizophrenia in the study were twice that of non-schizophrenic patients,” said lead researcher Hugh Hendrie, a Regenstrief Institute investigator and a scientist at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research. On […]

JConline: Parents, coaches grapple with concussion risk in youth football

After years of mounting evidence that professional football players can suffer debilitating brain damage as a result of multiple concussions suffered during their playing years, concern now is spreading at the high school and youth levels regarding the safety of America’s beloved gridiron tradition. Last week, the National Academy of Sciences issued an alarming report […]

The Globe and Mail: Therapeutic benefits of music being used to treat Alzheimer’s, addiction, and depression

Music therapy became a clinical profession in the 1940s, after doctors and nurses noticed that war veterans suffering emotional and physical trauma responded well to musicians who gave volunteer performances in hospitals. Nevertheless, the profession spent decades on the fringes of medical science, until the early 1990s when advances in neuro-imaging technologies confirmed that musical […]

Discover Magazine: At The Right Hand of Sleep

When we’re drowsy, and on the point of falling asleep, our awareness of the outside world tends to dim. But a fascinating new paper reports that, for most people, it’s the left side of the world that dims the most. The study comes from neuroscientists Corinna Bareham and colleagues from the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, UK. Sleepy participants […]

Medical Xpress: High-frequency nerve signals let mice remember how to make the right move

Information processing in the brain is complex and involves both the processing of sensory inputs and the conversion of those inputs into behavior. The passing of electrical oscillations between networks of neurons in different parts of the brain is thought to be a critical component of cognition as well as conscious perception and awareness, but […]

The Guardian: Obama: US must change ‘suck-it-up’ culture on concussion and head injuries

America must change its “suck-it-up culture” when it comes to responding to head injuries, President Barack Obama said at a White House event on Thursday, during which he revealed his suspicion that he himself sustained concussions as a young athlete. As the Department of Defense and National Collegiate Athletic Association announced a $30m research programme into the effects of […]

Psych Central: Study Probes Brain Regions Tied to Compulsive Actions

As published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers show that people who are affected by disorders of compulsivity have lower grey matter volumes in the brain regions involved in keeping track of goals and rewards. In order to understand what happens when the decision-making processes malfunction, researchers from the University of Cambridge compared almost 150 individuals […]

MotherBoard: Scientists Hacked Monkey Brains to Electronically Control Their Decisions

While your brain should still be safe from hackers for some time yet, a new study, in which macaques had their choices controlled by electrical impulses, adds to a growing body of work that suggests brains can be manipulated with a surprising degree of precision. Using electrodes implanted in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a region deep in the brain associated […]

The Atlantic: The Military Is Building Brain Chips to Treat PTSD

Now the Pentagon is developing a new, innovative brain chip to treat PTSD in soldiers and veterans that could bring sweeping new changes to the way depression and anxiety is treated for millions of Americans. With $12 million (and the potential for $26 million more if benchmarks are met), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, wants to […]

The Economist: Muscled Out

Human brains are greedy. Though they constitute only 2% of an adult’s body weight, they consume a fifth of his or her metabolic energy. Indeed, according to a school of thought led by Richard Wrangham of Harvard University, keeping the brain running is so demanding that only the invention of cooking, which makes more nutrients […]