brain health

Extending ‘Healthspan’: Brain Scientists Tap Into The Secrets Of Living Well Longer

AUSTIN, Texas — Retired state employees Vickey Benford, 63, and Joan Caldwell, 61, are Golden Rollers, a group of the over-50 set that gets out on assorted bikes — including trikes for adults they call “three wheels of awesome” — for an hour of trail riding and camaraderie. “I love to exercise, and I like to stay fit,” said Caldwell, who tried out a recumbent bike, a low-impact option that can be easier on the…

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How is stress linked with constipation?

High levels of stress can cause or aggravate gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, stomach pain, and changes in bowel movements, which can include constipation. Researchers have identified various connections between the brain and stomach that may lead to constipation symptoms. A range of treatments and remedies can help relieve stress-related constipation. In this article, we cover some of the possible links between stress and constipation, along with potential treatments. Full story at Medical News Today

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Reading the Brain’s Map: Coordinated Brain Activation Supports Spatial Learning and Decision-Making

Specialized brain activation “replays” the possible routes that rats can take as they navigate a space, helping them keep track of the paths they’ve already taken and choose among the routes that they can take next, according to a National Institutes of Health-funded study published in the journal Neuron. “These findings reveal an internal ‘replay’ process in the brain that allows animals to learn from past experiences to form memories of paths leading toward goals, and…

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Gut instincts: Researchers discover first clues on how gut health influences brain health

New cellular and molecular processes underlying communication between gut microbes and brain cells have been described for the first time by scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell’s Ithaca campus. Over the last two decades, scientists have observed a clear link between autoimmune disorders and a variety of psychiatric conditions. For example, people with autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), psoriasis and multiple sclerosis may also have depleted gut microbiota and experience anxiety,…

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How the online world is affecting the human brain

Technology has impacted human activities monumentally. Now, scientists want to know if human brains are being affected too. The internet has been around for less than 3 decades, but the technology has already had an immense impact on the way humanity functions. This is apparent to us all in the way people communicate, foster relationships, and source information. But there is one thing that scientists are still unsure of: What effect is the online world…

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How The Brain Shapes Pain And Links Ouch With Emotion

When Sterling Witt was a teenager in Missouri, he was diagnosed with scoliosis. Before long, the curvature of his spine started causing chronic pain. It was “this low-grade kind of menacing pain that ran through my spine and mostly my lower back and my upper right shoulder blade and then even into my neck a little bit,” Witt says. The pain was bad. But the feeling of helplessness it produced in him was even worse.…

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Can scientists ‘hack’ memory?

Modern science brings us endless possibilities to help our bodies and our minds stay healthy, but some recent scientific pursuits have also been the center of controversy. One of these is researchers’ interest in manipulating memories. Is this feat possible, and if so, why would we want to achieve it? Our memories make up so much of who we are, and the things we remember can often define our experience of the world. And while…

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Psychedelic microdosing in rats shows beneficial effects

The growing popularity of microdosing — taking tiny amounts of psychedelic drugs to boost mood and mental acuity — is based on anecdotal reports of its benefits. Now, a study in rats by researchers at the University of California, Davis suggests microdosing can provide relief for symptoms of depression and anxiety, but also found potential negative effects. The work is published March 4 in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience. “Prior to our study, essentially nothing was…

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2,000 Human Brains Yield Clues to How Genes Raise Risk for Mental Illnesses

It’s one thing to detect sites in the genome associated with mental disorders; it’s quite another to discover the biological mechanisms by which these changes in DNA work in the human brain to boost risk. In their first concerted effort to tackle the latter, 15 collaborating research teams of the National Institutes of Health- (NIH-) funded PsychENCODE Consortium leveraged statistical power gained from a large sample of about 2000 postmortem human brains. The teams published their findings…

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Omega-3s help keep kids out of trouble

Something as simple as a dietary supplement could reduce disruptive, even abusive behavior, according to newly released research by a team led by a UMass Lowell criminal justice professor. Giving children omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduces disruptive behavior, which in turn had a positive effect on their parents, making them less likely to argue with each other and engage in other verbal abuse, according to Jill Portnoy, an assistant professor in UMass Lowell’s School of…

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