Mount Sinai Launches Neural Epigenomics Research Center

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has launched a new research center devoted to understanding how epigenomics influences the nervous system under both healthy and disease conditions. The Center for Neural Epigenome Engineering aims to dramatically expand Mount Sinai’s ability to conduct research in this field, facilitating new discoveries and the development of long-sought treatments for a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Areas of expansion include chromatin biochemistry, chemical biology, protein engineering, and single-cell “omics.”

New guideline refines care for brain bleeds: Compression socks, some meds not effective

Some treatments or preventive therapies used to manage intracerebral hemorrhages (ICH), or a bleeding stroke, are not as effective as previously believed, according to the new American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guideline for caring for people with spontaneous ICH, published today in the Association’s Stroke journal. Guidelines detail the latest, evidence-based treatment recommendations and are the Association’s official clinical practice recommendations.

Henry Ford Stroke Centers Earn Advanced Stroke Certifications from The Joint Commission

Henry Ford Medical Center – Brownstown has earned an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital advanced stroke certification from The Joint Commission, making it the first freestanding Emergency Room in the State of Michigan to do so, and Henry Ford Macomb Hospital has earned recertification as a Primary Stroke Center.

Tufts University Researchers Discover New Function Performed by Nearly Half of Brain Cells

Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine have discovered a previously unknown function performed by a type of cell that comprises nearly half of all cells in the brain.

The scientists say this discovery in mice of a new function by cells known as astrocytes opens a whole new direction for neuroscience research that might one day lead to treatments for many disorders ranging from epilepsy to Alzheimer’s to traumatic brain injury.

New brain learning mechanism calls for revision of long-held neuroscience hypothesis

In an article published today in Scientific Reports (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-10466-8), researchers from Bar-Ilan University in Israel reveal that the brain learns completely differently than has been assumed since the 20th century. The new experimental observations suggest that learning is mainly performed in neuronal dendritic trees, where the trunk and branches of the tree modify their strength, as opposed to modifying solely the strength of the synapses (dendritic leaves), as was previously thought. These observations also indicate that the neuron is actually a much more complex, dynamic and computational element than a binary element that can fire or not. Just one single neuron can realize deep learning algorithms, which previously required an artificial complex network consisting of thousands of connected neurons and synapses. The new demonstration of efficient learning on dendritic trees calls for new approaches in brain research, as well as for the generation

For Neurons, Where They Begin Isn’t Necessarily Where They End

Scientists at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Institute of Genomic Medicine describe novel methods for inferring the movement of human brain cells during fetal development by studying healthy adult individuals who have recently passed away from natural causes.

UTSW-led research identifies new imaging biomarkers that predict antidepressant response

The outcome predictive models were developed in part using data from a large multi-center National Institute of Mental Health-funded study and published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. The findings provide strong evidence that the current trial-and-error approach used in clinical practice for the selection of the right antidepressant can be replaced with this new precision medicine approach.

Mechanisms of addiction: Psychology professor receives NIH grant for brain research

A five-year, $2.59 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow a psychology professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York to study the mechanisms of addiction.

Gut-Brain Connection Research Gets Boost of $8.9 Million

Johns Hopkins Medicine is one of three research institutions with scientists awarded $8.9 million to study the growing body of evidence that Parkinson’s disease originates among cells in the gut and travels up the body’s neurons to the brain. The research aims to develop treatments to prevent or halt progression of the disease.

Old Habit-Controlling Neurons May Also Help the Brain Learn New Tricks

In a study of rodents, scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai discovered that a part of the brain traditionally thought to control typing the old habits may also play a critical role in learning the new actions. The results, published on August 25th in Nature Communications, suggest that this process involves a delicate balance in the activity of two neighboring neural circuits: one dedicated to new actions and the other to old habits

Understanding Alzheimer’s Progression with Improvements to Imaging, Image Processing, Machine Learning

Because there is no ethical way to extract brain tissue from patients to look for clues about how amyloid plaques and protein aggregates proliferate, supplementary techniques are needed to better understand the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. During ACA’s 71st annual meeting, Abdullah Al Bashit, from Northeastern University, will discuss using computational techniques to help address these challenges. His work demonstrates how using small and wide-angle scattering along with state-of-the-art detection techniques will help probe the molecular structure and proliferation.

The Brain’s Wiring Technicians

Research in mice reveals how a subset of highly specialized immune cells modulate brain wiring by precision-targeting inhibitory synapses.
The work deepens understanding of the versatile repertoire of microglia, the brain’s immune cells and resident garbage collectors.
The results set the stage for the development of therapies for neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions marked by defects in synaptic function.

Mouse brain imaged from the microscopic to the macroscopic level

Researchers at the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have leveraged existing advanced X-ray microscopy techniques to bridge the gap between MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and electron microscopy imaging, providing a viable pipeline for multiscale whole brain imaging within the same brain

Nurturing an early interest in neuroscience

Last year’s lockdowns confined most people to their homes. For teenagers on summer break, a season usually dedicated to recreation and outdoor exploration, this meant long days of boredom. But for Nikhita Kaushik, who just finished her sophomore year at Irvine’s Arnold O. Beckman High School, the free time was a blessing. It enabled her to dive into her passion for neuroscience and establish the Southern California Youth Neuroscience Association.

UCI-led meta-analysis identifies hypertension medications that help ward off memory loss

Irvine, Calif., June  21, 2021 — A large-scale meta-analysis led by University of California, Irvine researchers provides the strongest evidence yet of which blood pressure medications help slow memory loss in older adults: those that can travel out of blood vessels and directly into the brain. The findings, published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, will be of interest to the 91 million Americans whose blood pressure is high enough to warrant medication, as well as the doctors who treat them.

Brain Cell Membranes’ Lipids May Play Big Role in Alzheimer’s Progression

Links between lipid imbalance and disease have been established, in which lipid changes increase the formation of amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. This imbalance inspired researchers to explore the role of lipids comprising the cellular membranes of brain cells. In Biointerphases, the researchers report on the significant role lipids may play in regulating C99, a protein within the amyloid pathway, and disease progression.

New Finding Suggests Cognitive Problems Caused by Repeat Mild Head Hits Could Be Treated

A neurologic pathway by which non-damaging but high frequency brain impact blunts normal brain function and causes long-term problems with learning and memory has been identified. The finding suggests that tailored drug therapy can be designed and developed to reactivate and normalize cognitive function, say neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center.