Published News Neuroscience

Scientists have figured out how our brains sharpen our memories while we sleep

We all know that if we want what we've studied during the day to stick, it's best to get a good night's sleep. And while scientists have long understood that our memories rely on connections being built between neurons in our brains, it's not been clear how sleep actually helps to consolidate that information.

Now, two new studies have found biological evidence that expains the age-old wisdom that if we want to remember, we need to sleep to forget.

Alliance Mounts Comprehensive ALS Research Program | Science and Enterprise

A coalition of three medical centers in the U.S. is leading a comprehensive research initiative to find treatments and eventually cures for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. The collaboration, known as Answer ALS, plans to amass a coordinated knowledge base about ALS across a range of disciplines, and make their findings freely available to colleagues worldwide to speed development of therapies.

Neurons Constantly Rewrite Their DNA | Neuroscience News

Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that neurons are risk takers: They use minor “DNA surgeries” to toggle their activity levels all day, every day. Since these activity levels are important in learning, memory and brain disorders, the researchers think their finding will shed light on a range of important questions. A summary of the study will be published online in the journal Nature Neuroscience on April 27.

High blood sugar could worsen effects of spinal injury | Science News

Controlling blood sugar in people with spinal cord injuries might aid in recovery and improve their movement and sensory functions. If such trauma patients arrive in emergency rooms with high blood glucose, they fare worse on average than those with normal levels, Japanese researchers find. And in lab tests, mice with spinal cord damage recover faster if their high blood glucose is regulated with insulin within eight hours of the injury, the team reports in the Oct. 1 Science Translational Medicine.

The findings should clear the way for a study in which patients with a spinal...

Link between depression, abnormal brain response to visceral pain in patients with IBS -- ScienceDaily

High rates of anxiety and depression amongst patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have led many researchers to believe there could be a causal relationship between psychological factors and IBS symptoms. Now, scientists have found clear evidence that patients with IBS process pain signals from the gut abnormally, and that disturbed brain responses to pain are particularly pronounced in patients with more depression symptoms.

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