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Mitochondrial and Brain Stuff....New Discoveries and ?????

Discussion in 'The Epi-Paleo Diet' started by chocolate, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/08/study-uncovers-brains-code-for-pronouncing-vowels-13494



     
  2. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/08/alzheimer-protein-seems-to-slow-down-neurotransmitter-production-13508



     
  3. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/08/intense-prep-for-law-school-admission-test-alters-brain-structure-13533

    Intense prep for law school admission test alters brain structure





    Intensive preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) actually changes the microscopic structure of the brain, physically bolstering the connections between areas of the brain important for reasoning, according to neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley.



    The results suggest that training people in reasoning skills – the main focus of LSAT prep courses – can reinforce the brain’s circuits involved in thinking and reasoning and could even up people’s IQ scores.



    “The fact that performance on the LSAT can be improved with practice is not new. People know that they can do better on the LSAT, which is why preparation courses exist,” said Allyson Mackey, a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute who led the study. “What we were interested in is whether and how the brain changes as a result of LSAT preparation, which we think is, fundamentally, reasoning training. We wanted to show that the ability to reason is malleable in adults.”



    The new study shows that reasoning training does alter brain connections, which is good news for the test prep industry, but also for people who have poor reasoning skills and would like to improve them. The findings are reported today (Wednesday, Aug. 22) in the open access journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.



    “A lot of people still believe that you are either smart or you are not, and sure, you can practice for a test, but you are not fundamentally changing your brain,” said senior author Silvia Bunge, associate professor in the UC Berkeley Department of Psychology and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. “Our research provides a more positive message. How you perform on one of these tests is not necessarily predictive of your future success, it merely reflects your prior history of cognitive engagement, and potentially how prepared you are at this time to enter a graduate program or a law school, as opposed to how prepared you could ever be.”



    John D. E. Gabrieli, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the research, noted that researchers in the past have shown anatomical changes in the brain from simpler tasks, such as juggling or playing a musical instrument, but not for tasks as complex and abstract as thinking or reasoning, which involve many areas of the brain.



    “I think this is an exciting discovery,” he said. “It shows, with rigorous analysis, that brain pathways important for thinking and reasoning remain plastic in adulthood, and that intensive, real-life educational experience that trains reasoning also alters the brain

    pathways that support reasoning ability.”



    Harnessing brain’s spatial areas improves deductive reasoning



    The results also suggest that LSAT training improves students’ reasoning ability by strengthening the connections between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. According to Bunge, director of the Building Blocks of Cognition Laboratory, deductive reasoning, such as language comprehension, taxes a predominantly left-hemisphere brain network, whereas spatial cognition taxes a predominantly right-hemisphere network.



    “You could argue that, to the extent that you can employ spatial cognition to think through a verbal problem, you would have the edge,” she said.



    The structural changes were revealed by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans of the brains of 24 college students or recent graduates before and after 100 hours of LSAT training over a three-month period. When compared with brain scans of a matched control group of 23 young adults, the trained students developed increased connectivity between the frontal lobes of the brain, and between frontal and parietal lobes.



    “A lot of data on reasoning has suggested that it is left-hemisphere dominant,” Mackey said. “But what we thought originally was that this kind of reasoning training would require repeated co-activation of frontal and parietal cortices on both sides of the brain. Our data are consistent with the idea that, while reasoning is left-hemisphere dominant, with training you learn to compensate; if you are not very good at reasoning, you start bringing on the right side.”



    The study focused on fluid reasoning –- that is, the ability to tackle a novel problem, which is central to IQ tests and has been shown to predict academic performance and performance in demanding careers, Bunge said.



    “People assume that IQ tests measure some stable characteristic of an individual, but we think this whole assumption is flawed,” Bunge said. “We think that the skills measured by an IQ test wax and wane over time depending on the individual’s level of cognitive activity.” One fascinating question, Gabrieli noted, is whether the brain changes observed in this study persist for months or longer after the training.



    For the past decade, Bunge has studied the ability to integrate multiple pieces of information, “which we see as central to all tests of reasoning,” she said.



    LSAT prep students are highly motivated study group



    Mackey and Bunge showed several years ago that children can improve their reasoning skills by regularly playing commercially available games that involve reasoning, though the researchers did not have the opportunity to test for actual physical changes in the brain. In searching for a program that provides adults with intensive reasoning training, they hit upon the idea of recruiting aspiring lawyers preparing for the LSAT. Allyson discovered that the company Blueprint Test Preparation offered 100 hours of class time, including 70 hours of reasoning training. With the company’s cooperation, she recruited students as they signed up for a Blueprint LSAT course. This arrangement allowed her to test whether training changes brain structure in a group of highly motivated young adults.



    Mackey and Bunge tested for changes in the white matter of the brain, the brain tissue that contains the connections between the brain’s neurons. These connections, called axons, are surrounded by a variety of support cells called glia, some of which form myelin that insulates the axons and speeds the passage of signals. In animal studies, increased myelination and glial support cells are associated with learning, and a recent study found that some of these glial cells provide energy to the axons.



    Using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), they followed water movement in the white matter and found differences, on average, between the trained group and the control group. Specifically, the trained group showed a change in the directionality of water diffusion that is consistent with increased myelination. Also, near the boundary between the white matter and gray matter, the trained group showed a reduction in water diffusion, possibly because of more densely packed glial cells. While the real cause of the changes in water diffusion is unclear, the researchers said, it reflects an alteration in the microstructure of the brain associated with a change in cognitive activity.



    “One thing that gives us confidence in these data is that a lot of these changes are in the tracts that connect frontal and parietal cortex, or between different hemispheres in those areas, and frontal and parietal regions are absolutely essential for reasoning,” Bunge said. “So, we are seeing the changes exactly where we would expect to see them. And we think that they reflect strengthening of the connections between them.”



    “This work could inspire further research in non-human animals, because there seems to be a resurgence of interest in environmental influences on the brain,” Bunge said, noting that, in the 1960s and ’70s, UC Berkeley Professors Mark Rosenzweig and Marion Diamond conducted landmark research on the effects of environmental enrichment on behavior and brain anatomy in rats.
     
  4. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://esciencenews.com/articles/2012/08/23/nanoparticles.reboot.blood.flow.brain?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+eScienceNews%2Fpopular+%28e!+Science+News+-+Popular%29&utm_content=FaceBook

    Nanoparticles reboot blood flow in brain

    Published: Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 16:07 in Health & Medicine

     
  5. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/09/researchers-show-protein-linked-to-hunger-also-implicated-in-alcoholism-13938

    Researchers show protein linked to hunger also implicated in alcoholism



    Scripps Research Institute | September 16, 2012 | Alcoholism / 0

     
  6. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://esciencenews.com/articles/2012/10/01/homolog.mammalian.neocortex.found.bird.brain?



     
  7. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/10/melatonin-and-exercise-work-against-alzheimers-in-mice-14245Melatonin and exercise work against Alzheimer’s in mice



    Plataforma SINC | October 6, 2012 | Alzheimer's disease & Dementia / 0



    digg



    redditstumblefark



    MiceThe combination of two neuroprotective therapies, voluntary physical exercise, and the daily intake of melatonin has been shown to have a synergistic effect against brain deterioration in rodents with three different mutations of Alzheimer’s disease.



    A study carried out by a group of researchers from the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute (IIBB), in collaboration with the University of Granada and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, shows the combined effect of neuroprotective therapies against Alzheimer’s in mice.



    Daily voluntary exercise and daily intake of melatonin, both of which are known for the effects they have in regulating circadian rhythm, show a synergistic effect against brain deterioration in the 3xTg-AD mouse, which has three mutations of Alzheimer’s disease.



    “For years we have known that the combination of different anti-aging therapies such as physical exercise, a Mediterranean diet, and not smoking adds years to one’s life,” Coral Sanfeliu, from the IIBB, explains to SINC. “Now it seems that melatonin, the sleep hormone, also has important anti-aging effects”.



    The experts analysed the combined effect of sport and melatonin in 3xTg-AD mice which were experiencing an initial phase of Alzheimer’s and presented learning difficulties and changes in behaviour such as anxiety and apathy.



    The mice were divided into one control group and three other groups which would undergo different treatments: exercise –unrestricted use of a running wheel–, melatonin –a dose equivalent to 10 mg per kg of body weight–, and a combination of melatonin and voluntary physical exercise. In addition, a reference group of mice were included which presented no mutations of the disease.



    “After six months, the state of the mice undergoing treatment was closer to that of the mice with no mutations than to their own initial pathological state. From this we can say that the disease has significantly regressed,” Sanfeliu states.



    The results, which were published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, show a general improvement in behaviour, learning, and memory with the three treatments.



    These procedures also protected the brain tissue from oxidative stress and provided good levels of protection from excesses of amyloid beta peptide and hyperphosphorylated TAU protein caused by the mutations. In the case of the mitochondria, the combined effect resulted in an increase in the analysed indicators of improved performance which were not observed independently.



    Treatment not easily transferable to humans



    “Transferring treatments which are effective in animals to human patients is not always consistent, given that in humans the disease develops over several years, so that when memory loss begins to surface, the brain is already very deteriorated,” the IIBB expert points out.




    However, several clinical studies have found signs of physical and mental benefits in sufferers of Alzheimer’s resulting from both treatments. The authors maintain that, until an effective pharmacological treatment is found, adopting healthy living habits is essential for reducing the risk of the disease appearing, as well as reducing the severity of its effects.



    The melatonin debate



    The use of melatonin, a hormone synthesized from the neurotransmitter serotonin, has positive effects which can be used for treating humans. With the approval of melatonin as a medication in the European Union in 2007, clinical testing on this molecule has been increasing. It has advocates as well as detractors, and the scientific evidence has not yet been able to unite the differing views.



    According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, melatonin is probably effective in sleeping disorders in children with autism and mental retardation and in blind people; and possibly effective in case of jet-lag, sunburns and preoperative anxiety.



    “However, other studies which use melatonin as medication show its high level of effectiveness,” Darío Acuña-Castroviejo explains to SINC. He has been studying melatonin for several years at the Health Sciences Technology Park of the University of Granada.



    The expert points out that international consensus already exists, promoted by the British Association for Psychopharmacology –also published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2010–, which has melatonin as the first choice treatment for insomnia in patients above the age of 55. This consensus is now being transferred to cases of insomnia in children.



    Its use in treating neurodegenerative diseases is acquiring increasing scientific support in lateral amyotrophic sclerosis, in Alzheimer’s, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.



    “Even though many more studies and clinical tests are still required to assess the doses of melatonin which will be effective for a wide range of diseases, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of melatonin mean that its use is highly recommended for diseases which feature oxidative stress and inflammation,” Acuña-Castroviejo states.



    This is the case for diseases such as epilepsy, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and even the aging process itself, where data is available pointing to the benefits of melatonin, though said data is not definitive.
     
  8. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/10/new-evidence-on-easing-inflammation-of-brain-cells-for-alzheimers-disease-14267

    I guess it would be smart to figure out what minozac is similar to phyto-wise. I keep thinking its magnesium. Its the one that goes in when your glucose is below 87. You dang near have to be keto. If you burn fat at 83 or below.... c'mon. I still can't believe how hard it is to eat enough fat.
     
  9. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/10/researchers-discover-that-the-sleeping-brain-behaves-as-if-its-remembering-something-14290
     
  10. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/10/scientists-identify-biological-mechanism-that-plays-key-role-in-early-onset-dementia-14288



    Scientists identify biological mechanism that plays key role in early-onset dementia





    Brain MRI scanUsing animal models, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered how a protein deficiency may be linked to frontotemporal dementia (FTD)—a form of early-onset dementia that is similar to Alzheimer’s disease. These results lay the foundation for therapies that one day may benefit those who suffer from this and related diseases that wreak havoc on the brain.



    As its name implies, FTD is a fatal disease that destroys cells, or neurons, that comprise the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain—as opposed to Alzheimer’s which mainly affects brain’s memory centers in the hippocampus. Early symptoms of FTD include personality changes, such as increased erratic or compulsive behavior. Patients later experience difficulties speaking and reading, and often suffer from long-term memory loss. FTD is usually diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 65, with death occurring within 2 to 10 years after diagnosis. No drug exists to slow, halt or reverse the progression of FTD.



    A new study led by Gladstone Senior Investigator Robert V. Farese, Jr., MD, offers new hope in the fight against this and other related conditions. In the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, available today online, Dr. Farese and his team show how a protein called progranulin prevents a class of cells called microglia from becoming “hyperactive.” Without adequate progranulin to keep microglia in check, this hyperactivity becomes toxic, causing abnormally prolonged inflammation that destroys neurons over time—and leads to debilitating symptoms.



    “We have known that a lack of progranulin is linked to neurodegenerative conditions such as FTD, but the exact mechanism behind that link remained unclear,” said Dr. Farese, who is also a professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), with which Gladstone is affiliated. “Understanding the inflammatory process in the brain is critical if we are to develop better treatments not only for FTD, but for other forms of brain injury such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS)—which are likely also linked to abnormal microglial activity.”



    Microglia—which are a type of immune cells that reside in the CNS—normally secrete progranulin. Early studies on traumatic CNS injury found that progranulin accumulates at the injury site alongside microglia, suggesting that both play a role in injury response. So, Dr. Farese and his team designed a series of experiments to decipher the nature of the relationship between progranulin and microglia. First, the team generated genetically modified mice that lack progranulin. They then monitored how the brains of these mice responded to toxins, comparing this reaction to a control group.



    “As expected, the toxin destroys neurons in both sets of mice—but the progranulin-deficient mice lost twice as many neurons as the control group,” said Lauren Herl Martens, a Gladstone and UCSF graduate student and the study’s lead author. “This showed us that progranulin is crucial for neuron survival. We then wanted to see whether a lack of progranulin itself would injure these cells—even in the absence of toxins.”



    In a petri dish, the researchers artificially prevented microglia from secreting progranulin and monitored how these modified microglia interacted with neurons. They observed that a significantly greater number of neurons died in the presence of the progranulin-deficient microglia when compared to unmodified microglia. Other experiments revealed the process’ underlying mechanism. Microglia are the CNS’s first line of defense. When the microglia sense toxins or injury, they trigger protective inflammation—which can become toxic to neurons if left unchecked. Dr. Farese’s team discovered that progranulin works by tempering the microglia’s response, thereby minimizing inflammation. Without progranulin, the microglia are unrestricted—and induce prolonged and excessive inflammation that leads to neuron damage—and can contribute to the vast array of symptoms that afflict sufferers FTD and other fatal forms of brain disease.









    “However, we found that boosting progranulin levels in microglia reduced inflammation—keeping neurons alive and healthy in cell culture,” explained Dr. Farese. “Our next step is to determine if this method could also work in live animals. We believe this to be a therapeutic strategy that could, for example, halt the progression of FTD. More broadly, our findings about progranulin and inflammation could have therapeutic implications for devastating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MS.”








    Chewing ability linked to reduced dementia risk

    Chewing ability linked to reduced dementia risk









    October 8, 2012 | 0



    New study reveals bitter taste receptors regulate the upper respiratory defense system

    New study reveals bitter taste receptors regulate the upper respiratory defense system



    October 8, 2012 | 0



    Maths sheds light on what delays in getting pregnant means for prospects of having a baby

    Maths sheds light on what delays in getting pregnant means for prospects of having a baby
     
  11. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/10/challenging-parkinsons-dogma-14628



     
  12. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    sounds like something I mentioned in a blog no?
     
  13. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    yeah, we're back to stomach acid. I'm sure getting boggled.
     
  14. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    Scientists reveal key protein interactions involved in neurodegenerative disease

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/11/scientists-reveal-key-protein-interactions-involved-in-neurodegenerative-disease-14887

     
  15. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/11/link-found-between-child-prodigies-and-autism-14858

    Scientists reveal key protein interactions involved in neurodegenerative disease



     
  16. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.psypost.org/2012/11/feel-good-hormone-helps-to-jog-the-memory-14889

    Feel-good hormone helps to jog the memory


    I don't know if this is tyrosine or what.
     
  17. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.nature.com/news/infant-stress-affects-teen-brain-1.11786

    Nature | News

    Infant stress affects teen brain



    Two-decade study reveals neural connection between early stress and anxiety and depression in girls.



     
  18. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110517/full/news.2011.298.html



    Stress can shorten telomeres in childhood



    Children in orphanages have chromosome changes that could affect future health.

     

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