Brain Health

TIME: Playing youth tackle football is linked to earlier symptoms of brain disease

Playing football professionally has been linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease. But what happens to children who start the sport early, before they even turn 12? That’s the question neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, whose groundbreaking work on CTE has uncovered the neurological risks of playing football, set out to answer in […]

Medical Xpress: Brain cells record their activity in gene expression, new study finds

From burning your palm on a hot pan handle to memorizing the name of a new acquaintance, “anytime you experience something, your neurons are active,” says Kelsey Tyssowski, a graduate student in genetics at Harvard Medical School. Different experiences stimulate different patterns of activity in brain cells. (April 27, 2018) Read the full article here

U.S. News & World Report: Soda during pregnancy may not help baby’s brain

Pregnant women may want to skip all soft drinks while they’re expecting if they want their child’s learning and memory skills to be sharper, new research suggests. The study found that when moms-to-be had more sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened sodas, their children had poorer nonverbal problem-solving abilities and verbal memory. (April 27, 2018) Read the […]

Science News for Students: Dirty air can harm your brain and stress the body

Air pollution tends to pose the biggest risk to the very old, to the very young and to people already suffering from some chronic ailments. What types? Asthma (a breathing disorder) and heart disease are two major conditions that put people at risk. But scientists are learning that air pollution can pose serious risks to […]

Medical Xpress: Early childhood interventions show mixed results on child development

Early childhood interventions may have some efficacy in boosting measures of child health and development in low income countries, but more work is needed to sort out how to implement these interventions, according to a new set of studies published this week in PLOS Medicine. Previous work has suggested that early childhood interventions—those focused on […]

Medical News Today: Having an audience makes your brain perform better

What do you do when you’re asked to make a speech or give a presentation? Do you freeze or do you thrive in the spotlight? Most people are afraid of speaking in public because they think having an audience will cause them to “mess up,” but a new study shows that, if anything, knowing that […]

Science Daily: Dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation

New research shows there might be health benefits to eating certain types of dark chocolate. Findings from two studies being presented today at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting in San Diego show that consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao (minimally 70% cacao, 30% organic cane sugar) has positive effects on […]

Nature: Hunger is a gatekeeper of pain in the brain

The body’s basic needs include a timely supply of nutrients and the avoidance of tissue damage, which are signalled in the brain by hunger and pain, respectively. But these needs cannot be fulfilled simultaneously, because their resolution involves mutually exclusive behaviours. How does the brain prioritize the more urgent need? (April 23, 2018) Read the […]

Medical Xpress: Culture shapes the brain: How reading changes the way we think

From a research perspective, reading and writing is a fascinating phenomenon. After all, the first writing systems date back less than 6,000 years – the blink of an eye in the timescale of human evolution. How the human brain is nonetheless able to master this complex task is a key question. (April 23, 2018) Read […]

Science Daily: How your brain learns to expect mud puddles in the park (and other things)

Whenever there’s a mismatch between what you expect to experience and what you actually experience, the brain has to register the error and update your expectation. These changing expectations are fundamental for making decisions. A new study is the first to show how your midbrain responds to the error, and the orbitofrontal cortex updates the […]