Neuroscience

Neurotopia

Category archives for Neuroscience

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a devastating disease that claims the upper and lower motor neurons, and ultimately the lives of most patients within 3-5 years of diagnosis, usually from respiratory failure. Patients lose control of voluntary muscles as the pathways that innervate them degenerate. Lou Gehrig and Stephen Hawking are two famous ALS patients. Now…

Mixing Memory brings up some excellent points regarding mirror neurons in primates, and Frontal Cortex follows up with his thoughts. To both of them I say “bravo, but your skepticism probably doesn’t go far enough”. We give Rizzolatti et al too much credit with their conclusions. After all, they’ve only demonstrated the existence of mirror…

The difficulty with treating spinal cord injuries arises from a number of factors. Firstly there is the primary damage to the axons of the spinal cord itself, resulting in mechanical damage that can inhibit neurotransmission and transport of cellular material to and from the distal cord. The damaged cord must also compensate for secondary damage…

Unfortunately I’m stuck with the press release on this one, my government-access VPN doesn’t seem good enough to get me this article at home. Face blindness, or prosopagnosia, is a condition where a person is unable to recognize another person by their face and must rely on other features, such as gait, hair, voice, or…

Shelley mentioned a study last week that suggested more and more young people are getting Parkinson’s Disease, and she wondered whether there was any utility in blaming our industrialized society based on the fact that certain compounds we produce can induce Parkinsonian symptoms. Let’s start by giving a brief overview of the systems involved before…

We seem to have a plethora of posts pertaining to Pure Pedantry’s penchant for peroratory punditry. I found a recent press release that I fear will only encourage him.

I know Tara is going to kick me for this post, because as one of the resident D.I.N.K.s here at ScienceBlogs my parenting advice doesn’t extend into the realm of “ethical” so much as “practical”. Specifically, I’ve advised her on numerous occasions to just give the toddlers a “pharmacological sleep aid” of sorts. Ok, ok,…

A highly conserved set of genes known as the sirtuin family are known to be activated by caloric restriction (CR) and extend the lifespan of a number of species. CR may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, and can prevent the formation of amyloid plaques in transgenic mouse models of AD. The question, then,…

Following up on Leptin

Pure Pedantry found this paper on leptin’s effects in the hippocampus, and then went on to wonder I have never heard of a link between leptin and memory. They also make this link between ABeta mice and leptin. ABeta is a protein whose accumulation has been linked to Alzheimer’s. Mice that create to much ABeta…

…you might not know what to do you might have to think of how you got started sittin’ in your little room –The White Stripes