Brains of people at risk of psychosis exhibit a pattern that can help predict whether they will go on to develop full-fledged schizophrenia, a new Yale-led study shows. The findings could help doctors begin early intervention therapies for those most likely to develop the disabling disorder. (more…)
Tag Archives: brain function
Drinking concentrated blueberry juice improves brain function in older people, according to research by the University of Exeter.
In the study, healthy people aged 65-77 who drank concentrated blueberry juice every day showed improvements in cognitive function, blood flow to the brain and activation of the brain while carrying out cognitive tests. There was also evidence suggesting improvement in working memory. (more…)
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the world’s first hospital to introduce a remote-presence robot into its neurological intensive-care unit in 2005, now welcomes the RP-VITA, the first robot able to navigate the hospital on its own.
UCLA staff affectionately dubbed the 5’5″, 176-pound robot “EVA,” for executive virtual attending physician. Unlike earlier models that physicians steered via a computer-linked joystick, this version drives on auto-pilot, freeing doctors to devote more time to patient care. (more…)
Sleep plays an important role in the brain’s ability to consolidate learning when two new potentially competing tasks are learned in the same day, research at the University of Chicago demonstrates.
Other studies have shown that sleep consolidates learning for a new task. The new study, which measured starlings’ ability to recognize new songs, shows that learning a second task can undermine the performance of a previously learned task. But this study is the first to show that a good night’s sleep helps the brain retain both new memories. (more…)
TORONTO, ON — New work by University of Toronto Scarborough researchers gives the best description yet of the neural circuits that underlie a severe mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and could lead to better treatments and diagnosis.
The work shows that brain regions that process negative emotions (for example, anger and sadness) are overactive in people with BPD, while brain regions that would normally help damp down negative emotions are underactive. (more…)
Training human volunteers to control their own brain activity in precise areas of the brain can enhance fundamental aspects of their visual sensitivity, according to a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience.
This non-invasive ‘neurofeedback’approach could one day be used to improve brain function in patients with abnormal patterns of activity, for example stroke patients. (more…)
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Moderate exercise may help people cope with anxiety and stress for an extended period of time post-workout, according to a study by kinesiology researchers in the University of Maryland School of Public Health published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
“While it is well-known that exercise improves mood, among other benefits, not as much is known about the potency of exercise’s impact on emotional state and whether these positive effects endure when we’re faced with everyday stressors once we leave the gym,” explains J. Carson Smith, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology. “We found that exercise helps to buffer the effects of emotional exposure. If you exercise, you’ll not only reduce your anxiety, but you’ll be better able to maintain that reduced anxiety when confronted with emotional events.” (more…)
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have zeroed in on a set of neurons in the part of the brain that controls hunger, and found that these neurons are not only associated with overeating, but also linked to non-food associated behaviors, like novelty-seeking and drug addiction.
Published in the June 24 online issue of Nature Neuroscience, the study was led by Marcelo O. Dietrich, postdoctoral associate, and Tamas L. Horvath, the Jean and David W. Wallace Professor of Biomedical Research and chair of comparative medicine at Yale School of Medicine.
In attempts to develop treatments for metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes, researchers have paid increasing attention to the brain’s reward circuits located in the midbrain, with the notion that in these patients, food may become a type of “drug of abuse” similar to cocaine. Dietrich notes, however, that this study flips the common wisdom on its head. (more…)