Social Interactions Possibly Linked to Cerebellum

By Mariam Malik ‘22 The cerebellum, a five-centimeter wide part of the hindbrain, was initially thought of as having one major function: coordinating motor functions and balance. But new research on mice from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City shows that the remarkable cerebellar cortex may play a part in our social interactions as well. Kamran Khodakhah and colleagues were aware … Continue reading Social Interactions Possibly Linked to Cerebellum

Fibrinogen Plays a Neurodegenerative Role in Alzheimer’s Disease

By Natalie Lo ‘21 Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is characterized by the formation of β-amyloid plaques Aβ, microglial activation, and inflammation in the brain. Microglia are immune cells found in the central nervous system (CNS). In AD, the blood-brain barrier is disrupted, which leads to bleeding, vascular damage, and an increase in blood proteins. Currently, there is an unknown relationship between vascular dysfunction, proteins like fibrinogen … Continue reading Fibrinogen Plays a Neurodegenerative Role in Alzheimer’s Disease

Coenzyme Q10 Has Protective Effects in Alzheimer’s Disease

By Natalie Lo ‘21 Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most prevalent type of dementia with links to memory impairment and behavioral issues in those diagnosed. Although the cause of AD is unknown, molecular characteristics of the disease include the growth of β-amyloid oligomers, which form plaques that result in brain atrophy. Previous studies have shown that oxidative stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of … Continue reading Coenzyme Q10 Has Protective Effects in Alzheimer’s Disease

Lymphatic Vessels Can Improve Cognition Relative to Age

Caleb Sooknanan ‘20 Aging is often associated with increased neurological problems among humans, and more research is needed to understand how lymphatic vessels connecting the brain and the immune system affect conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Doctor Jonathan Kipnis and researchers from the University of Virginia enhanced the lymphatic vessels of aging mice and significantly improved their abilities to learn and retain memory. The researchers … Continue reading Lymphatic Vessels Can Improve Cognition Relative to Age

Traveling Waves in the Cortex May Hold the Key to Understanding Human Cognition

Rachel Kogan ’19 “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” This age old phrase serves as the foundation for neuroscience, commenting not only on neuron synchronicity, but also proposing a biological scaffold for behavior and thought. The greater the number of oscillating electrical impulses, or brain waves, fired by a group of neurons, the stronger the signal and potential for action. In the past few years, … Continue reading Traveling Waves in the Cortex May Hold the Key to Understanding Human Cognition

Scientists Are Growing Human Brains in Mice

By Marcia-Ruth Ndege ‘21 Human pluripotent stem cells can differentiate into nearly any cell in the human body. Recently, geneticist Abed AlFatah Mansour and other scientists from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies used them to build human brains in mice. The differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells gave rise to small brain-like structures known as brain organoids about the size of a lentil. Researchers … Continue reading Scientists Are Growing Human Brains in Mice

Visualizing the Impacts of Age and Disease on the Brain

By Fatin Chowdhury ‘19 Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a common neurodegenerative disorder, has previously been found to increase atrophy rate of the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with learning and memory. In relation to this issue, Dr. Daniel H. Adler and researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recently examined specific structural details of the human hippocampus as relevant to advanced age and AD. Thirty-one … Continue reading Visualizing the Impacts of Age and Disease on the Brain

Using Hunger to Suppress Pain

By Marcia-Ruth Ndege ‘21 Much is known about how the brain communicates needs such as thirst, hunger, pain, and fear. However, little is known about how the brain prioritizes such needs. In the context of pain, researchers must examine both acute and inflammatory pain. Acute pain is a reflexive response, while inflammatory pain is mediated by central mechanisms. In research funded by the University of … Continue reading Using Hunger to Suppress Pain

Disease Development Modelled by Induced Pluripotent Cells in 3D Brain Structures

By Marcia-Ruth Ndege ‘21 The rise of three-dimensional brain structures is improving and personalizing medicine by allowing neuroscientists to closely examine the intricacies of the brain. This promising approach is centered around obtaining region-specific 3D brain cultures from individuals and assembling circuits and pathways in the samples. Sergiu Pasca, an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, … Continue reading Disease Development Modelled by Induced Pluripotent Cells in 3D Brain Structures

Ultraconserved Elements Found to Affect Brain Development

By Marcia-Ruth Ndege ’21 In human embryos, the brain begins to develop during the first trimester of pregnancy. Proper brain development is critical at its early stages and could have detrimental effects if something goes awry. Scientists and researchers have investigated and familiarized themselves with the basics of brain development. A new study has shown that an unexpected participant plays a major role in this … Continue reading Ultraconserved Elements Found to Affect Brain Development