Boosting Brain Function As You Age Through Singing

Singing is emerging as a solution for improving brain function and staving off age-related cognitive disease. Ask anyone in a choir why they enjoy it, and they will tell you likely about the euphoric effects singing has on their mental health. A team of neuroscientists and clinical psychologists believe these benefits could extend to improving … Read more

Three Distinct Brain Circuits Contribute to Parkinson’s Symptoms

In this image of the parafascicular (PF) thalamus, the blue cells participate in reward processing / depression, the red cells are critical for motor learning, and the green cells are important for general locomotion. The ‘fr’ stands for a fiber bundle. Credit: Ying Zhang and Dheeraj Roy Targeting these brain circuits could offer a new … Read more

What are ketogenic diets? Can they treat epilepsy and brain cancer?

Credit: CC0 Public Domain. Ketogenic diets are back in the news with claims they are a “cure-all”. Research shows that in epilepsy not controlled by current treatment, around 50% of children and adults following ketogenic diets have a reduction in seizures. For brain cancer, most research has been in animals. A number of human trials … Read more

New Drug Could Help Stop Depression, Anxiety, Brain Injury, and Cognitive Disorders

The researchers showed that the systemic administration of the new drug alters neurobehavior in mice, reducing anxiety-like behavior. It also provides a promising landscape for future studies to assess whether the drug could help combat stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, cancer, and neurodegeneration. The preclinical drug works by inhibiting the kinase Cdk5 which is found in … Read more

No Evidence of Structural Brain Change From Short-Term Meditation

Researchers found no significant differences in brain structure between the group participating in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course and either control group. A new study finds no indication of structural brain change with short-term mindfulness training New evidence revealed in the mid-twentieth century that the brain might be “plastic,” and that experience could cause changes … Read more

Being Predictable Is The Key to Nurturing Your Child’s Brain Development

Scientists have long known that the experiences you have during infancy and childhood play an important role in shaping how your brain matures and how you behave as an adult. But figuring out why this happens has been difficult. Over the past 15 years, my team and I have been studying child brain development to … Read more

Chemists Reveal How Tau Proteins Form Alzheimer’s Disease Brain Tangles

MIT chemists have used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to reveal how two different forms of the Tau protein mix to form the tangles seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Credit: Aurelio Dregni / Nadia El-Mammeri / Hong Lab at MIT Two types of tau proteins mix together in a nearly random way to … Read more

Toxic Particles Once Inhaled May Travel Directly to The Brain, Study Suggests

Air pollution does not just impact the health of your lungs and heart. Recent research has found fine particulate matter can also cause damage to the brain, and scientists think they’ve finally figured out how. In mouse models, it appears that ultra-fine particles in the air can enter the lungs, seep into the bloodstream, and … Read more