brain

  • 177
Added a post  to  , brain

Chronic rhinosinusitis, which causes a persistent blocked nose and headaches among other symptoms, affects 11 percent of people in the US – and recent research has found a link between the condition and changes in brain activity.

The team behind the study is hoping that the link will help explain some of the other common effects of the persistent inflammation: finding it hard to focus, struggling with bouts of depression, having trouble sleeping, and dizziness.

Finding a connection between the underlying disease and the neural processing happening elsewhere could be vital in understanding the chronic condition, along with efforts to find better and more effective ways to treat it.

"This is the first study that links chronic sinus inflammation with a neurobiological change," said otolaryngologist Aria Jafari, from the University of Washington; the team's paper was published in April 2021.

"We know from previous studies that patients who have sinusitis often decide to seek medical care not because they have a runny nose and sinus pressure, but because the disease is affecting how they interact with the world. They can't be productive, thinking is difficult, sleep is lousy. It broadly impacts their quality of life. Now we have a prospective mechanism for what we observe clinically."

The researchers tapped into data from the Human Connectome Project to find 22 subjects living with chronic rhinosinusitis and 22 control subjects with no sinus inflammation. Data from fMRI scans were then used to compare blood flow and neuron activity in the brain.

Full Article >>

Added a post  to  , brain

Drinking up to three cups of coffee a day may protect your heart, a new study finds.

Among people with no diagnosis of heart disease, regular coffee consumption of 0.5 to 3 cups of coffee a day was associated with a decreased risk of death from heart disease, stroke and early death from any cause when compared to non-coffee drinkers.

The study, presented Friday at the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, examined the coffee drinking behavior of over 468,000 people who participate in the UK Biobank Study, which houses in-depth genetic and health information on more than a half a million Brits.

Full Article >>

Added a post  to  , brain

How does the human brain keep track of the order of events in a sequence?

New research suggests that 'time cells' – neurons in the hippocampus thought to represent temporal information – could be the glue that sticks our memories together in the right sequence so that we can properly recall the correct order in which things happened.

Evidence for these kinds of sequence-tracking time cells was previously found in rats, where specific neuron assemblies are thought to support the recollection of events and the planning of action sequences – but less is known about how episodic memory is encoded in the human brain.

To investigate, a team led by neuroscientist Leila Reddy from the Brain and Cognition Research Center (CerCo) in France monitored electrical activity in the brains of 15 epilepsy patients, using microelectrodes implanted in the hippocampus.

Full Article >>

Added a post  to  , brain

Scientists have discovered a unique form of cell messaging occurring in the human brain that's not been seen before. Excitingly, the discovery hints that our brains might be even more powerful units of computation than we realized.

Early last year, researchers from institutes in Germany and Greece reported a mechanism in the brain's outer cortical cells that produces a novel 'graded' signal all on its own, one that could provide individual neurons with another way to carry out their logical functions.

By measuring the electrical activity in sections of tissue removed during surgery on epileptic patients and analysing their structure using fluorescent microscopy, the neurologists found individual cells in the cortex used not just the usual sodium ions to 'fire', but calcium as well.

Full Article >>

Added a post  to  , brain

Where does the mind 'meet' the brain? While there's no shortage of research into the effects of psychedelics, drugs like LSD still have much to teach us about the way the brain operates – and can shine a light on the mysterious interface between consciousness and neural physiology, research suggests.

In a new study investigating the effects of LSD on volunteers, scientists found that the psychedelic enables the brain to function in a way beyond what anatomy usually dictates, by altering states of dynamic integration and segregation in the human brain.

"The psychedelic compound LSD induces a profoundly altered state of consciousness," explains first author and neuroscience researcher Andrea Luppi from the University of Cambridge.

"Combining pharmacological interventions with non-invasive brain imaging techniques such as functional MRI (fMRI) can provide insight into normal and abnormal brain function."

Full Article >>