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  • News in Brief

    Zaps to a certain spot in the brain may ease depression

    Precisely placed zaps to the brain swiftly improved the moods of people with signs of depression. The results, achieved with implanted electrodes, bring scientists closer to understanding the nature of depression — and point to ways to treat it.

    Neurologist Vikram Rao and neuroscientist Kristin Sellers, both of the University of California, San Francisco, and their colleagues studied 25...

    11/29/2018 - 11:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Brain implants let paralyzed people use tablets to send texts and stream music

    Devices that eavesdrop on neural activity can help paralyzed people command computer tablets to stream music, text friends, check the weather or surf the internet.

    Three people with paralysis below the neck were able to navigate off-the-shelf computer tablets using an electrode array system called BrainGate2. The results, published November 21 in PLOS One, are the latest to show that...

    11/21/2018 - 14:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Marijuana may change the decision-making part of teen brains

    SAN DIEGO — Marijuana use during teenage years may change the brain in key decision-making areas, a study in rats suggests.

    “Adolescence is a dangerous time to be insulting the brain, particularly with drugs of abuse,” study coauthor Eliza Jacobs-Brichford said November 7 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

    Jacobs-Brichford and colleagues gave adolescent male and...

    11/07/2018 - 16:05 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    A lack of sleep can induce anxiety

    SAN DIEGO — A sleepless night can leave the brain spinning with anxiety the next day.

    In healthy adults, overnight sleep deprivation triggered anxiety the next morning, along with altered brain activity patterns, scientists reported November 4 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

    People with anxiety disorders often have trouble sleeping. The new results uncover...

    11/06/2018 - 11:51 Neuroscience
  • News

    Loneliness is bad for brains

    SAN DIEGO — Mice yanked out of their community and held in solitary isolation show signs of brain damage.

    After a month of being alone, the mice had smaller nerve cells in certain parts of the brain. Other brain changes followed, scientists reported at a news briefing November 4 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

    It’s not known whether similar damage happens in...

    11/06/2018 - 06:00 Neuroscience
  • Editor's Note

    Screen time to heal, and perhaps to harm

    In any given year, nearly 20 percent of U.S. adults, more than 40 million people, have to contend with a mental illness. Getting treatment is often a struggle; fewer than half of those affected get any sort of care, which can be especially hard to find in rural and underserved communities.

    Virtual reality may seem like the least likely technology to address the lack of mental health...

    11/04/2018 - 06:15 Science & Society, Technology, Neuroscience
  • News

    Stimulating the spinal cord helps 3 more paralyzed people walk

    Paralysis is becoming less permanent — at least for some.

    There’s now more evidence that stimulating the spinal cord can restore voluntary movement in paralyzed patients who haven’t recovered after other treatments. After five months of training coupled with targeted stimulation of nerve cells in the spinal cord, three people who had a severe spinal cord injury regained the ability to...

    10/31/2018 - 14:48 Neuroscience
  • News

    Young people’s memories improved when they stopped using marijuana

    Taking a monthlong break from pot helps clear away young people’s memory fog, a small study suggests. The results show that not only does marijuana impair teenagers’ and young adults’ abilities to take in information, but that this memory muddling may be reversible.

    Scientists have struggled to find clear answers about how marijuana affects the developing brain, in part because it’s...

    10/30/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Messing with fruit flies’ gut bacteria turns them into speed walkers

    Researchers have found a new link between gut and brain.

    By signaling to nerve cells in the brain, certain microbes in the gut slow a fruit fly’s walking pace, scientists report. Fruit flies missing those microbes — and that signal — turn into hyperactive speed walkers.

    With the normal suite of gut microbes, Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies on foot cover an average of about 2.4...

    10/24/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    To unravel autism’s mysteries, one neuroscientist looks at the developing brain

    WASHINGTON — As the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder increases, so too has research on the complex and poorly understood disorder. With powerful genetic tools, advanced brain-imaging methods and large groups of children to study, the field is poised to make big contributions in understanding — and potentially treating — autism.

    Neuroscientist Kevin Pelphrey, who...

    10/16/2018 - 12:00 Neuroscience