Neuroscience

People with a sleep disorder that causes them to kick or cry out during their sleep may be at greater risk of developing dementia or Parkinson’s disease, according to a study published in Neurology

The sleep disorder is called REM sleep behavior disorder. People with the disorder do not have the normal lack of muscle tone that occurs during REM sleep, often known as the dream stage of sleep. Instead, they have excessive muscle activity such as punching, kicking, or crying out, essentially acting out their dreams. 
Group exercise programs, treadmill training and horseback riding can be healthy choices for children with developmental disabilities, a new review of studies concludes. 

With these kinds of activities, children with disorders such as autism, mental retardation and cerebral palsy can improve their coordination and aerobic fitness, according to research analyzed by Connie Johnson, PT, a physical therapist with the Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia.

The findings are encouraging, since studies show that children with developmental disabilities tend to be less fit than their peers. In many cases, the children lack the resources and community support that would encourage them to be more active, Johnson said.
Guidelines for experiment:




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  2. Best guess please.  There is no right answer.  So, don't go looking for one and




  3. Guess in order and




  4. All images are lower-case letters




  5. Images were selected at random.  Some will be very similar to each other












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Facial expressions of emotion are hardwired into our genes, according to a study published today in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The research suggests that facial expressions of emotion are innate rather than a product of cultural learning. The study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that sighted and blind individuals use the same facial expressions, producing the same facial muscle movements in response to specific emotional stimuli. 

The study also provides new insight into how humans manage emotional displays according to social context, suggesting that the ability to regulate emotional expressions is not learned through observation. 
During an autoimmune disease, the endogenous defence system (the immune system) loses the ability to distinguish between "self" and "foreign".     As a consequence, the immune system directs its defense against itself, with fatal consequences.

In the case of multiple sclerosis, a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks the protective layer encapsulating the nerve fibres: This protective layer formed by myelin works like insulation for electrical cables. If the insulation is damaged, the nerves can no longer transmit messages effectively. 
New research by a Rice University psychologist clearly identifies the parts of the brain involved in the process of choosing appropriate words during speech.

When speaking, a person must select one word from a competing set of words. For example, if the speaker wants to mention a specific animal, he has to single out "dog" from "cat," "horse" and other possibilities. If he wants to describe someone's temperament, he has to choose whether "happy," "sad," "ecstatic" or some other adjective is more appropriate.

Tatiana Schnur, assistant professor of psychology at Rice, wanted to determine whether one particular part of the brain, the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG), is necessary for resolving the competition for choosing the correct word.
A slow, chronic starvation of the brain as we age appears to be one of the major triggers of a biochemical process that causes some forms of Alzheimer's disease.

A new study from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine has found when the brain doesn't get enough sugar glucose -- as might occur when cardiovascular disease restricts blood flow in arteries to the brain -- a process is launched that ultimately produces the sticky clumps of protein that appear to be a cause of Alzheimer's.
Research done by scientists in Italy and Switzerland has shown that carbon nanotubes may be the ideal “smart” brain material. Their results in Nature Nanotechnology are a promising step forward in the search to find ways to “bypass” faulty brain wiring.

The research shows that carbon nanotubes, which, like neurons, are highly electrically conductive, form extremely tight contacts with neuronal cell membranes. Unlike the metal electrodes that are currently used in research and clinical applications, the nanotubes can create shortcuts between the distal and proximal compartments of the neuron, resulting in enhanced neuronal excitability. 
Almost anything can be considered colloquially 'addictive' if you like it enough - computer games, Reese's Peant Butter Cups, reading Scientific Blogging articles and the best science blogs on the planet.

Clinical addiction is another issue, though, and Princeton University Professor Bart Hoebel and his team in the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute say they have evidence that sugar can be an addictive substance, wielding its power over the brains of lab animals in a manner similar to many drugs of abuse.

So now sugar addiction can overtake "I have a thyroid condition" as the number one  excuse obese people use in America.
Researchers at The University of British Columbia have discovered why the brain loses its capacity to re-grow connections and repair itself, knowledge that could lead to therapeutics that “rejuvenate” the brain. 

The study, published today in The EMBO Journal, identified a set of proteins - calpain and cortactin - which regulate and control the sprouting of neurons, a mechanism known as neural plasticity.

Neurons, or nerve cells, process and transmit information by electrochemical signalling and are the core components of the brain and spinal cord. During development, growing neurons are relatively plastic and can sprout new connections, however their plasticity levels drop rapidly as they mature and become integrated into neuronal networks.