An ion channel differentiates newborn and mature neurons in the adult brain

Newborn granule cells show high excitability that disappears as the cells mature. Little has been known about the mechanisms that create low excitability in mature cells or how excitability of the newborn granule cells changes over time. Now researchers have described key roles for G protein-mediated signaling and the late maturation of an ion channel during the differentiation of granule cells.
Source: Science Daily

Why the brain system needs sleep

Sleep is essential for brain functionality and overall health but understanding how sleep delivers its beneficial effects remains largely unknown. Sleep researchers are exploring new and unbiased approaches that can take sleep to a systems level. In one such approach, referred to as ‘systems genetics’, inferences about biological phenomena can be made by linking together several levels of information from DNA to phenotype via gene expression, proteins and metabolism at the level of a population. Systems genetics offers a global and interconnected view of biological phenomena and is therefore considered critical towards predicting disease susceptibility.
Source: Science Daily

Evolutionary changes in the human brain may have led to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

The same aspects of relatively recent evolutionary changes that make us prone to bad backs and impacted third molars may have generated long, noncoding stretches of DNA that predispose individuals to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other neuropsychiatric diseases. A study identifies an unusually lengthy array of tandem repeats found only within the human version of a gene governing calcium transport in the brain.
Source: Science Daily

Reading the motor intention from brain activity within 100ms

Researchers have developed a new technique to decode motor intention of humans from electroencephalography. This technique is motivated by the well documented ability of the brain to predict sensory outcomes of self-generated and imagined actions utilizing so called forward models. The method enabled, for the first time, nearly 90 percent single trial decoding accuracy across tested subjects, within 96 ms of the stimulation, with zero user training, and with no additional cognitive load on the users.
Source: Science Daily

Origin cells for deadly brain tumors identified

A new study identified where the mutation causing glioblastoma starts. According to the study, neural stem cells away from the tumor mass are the cells of origin that contain mutation drivers for glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive brain tumor. This breakthrough research gives insights for understanding why glioblastomas almost always grow back, even after surgery, and suggests novel ways to treat glioblastoma, which was previously thought to be incurable.
Source: Science Daily

Exposure to high-frequency electromagnetic fields at work not associated with brain tumors

No clear associations were found between occupational exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) and risk of glioma or meningioma, in one of the largest epidemiological studies performed to date and led by ISGlobal, an institution supported by ‘la Caixa’ Foundation. However, the findings highlight the need for further research on radiofrequency magnetic fields and tumor promotion, as well as possible interactions with other frequencies and with chemicals.
Source: Science Daily

A brain injury diagnosed with a single drop of blood

Every year, millions of people are admitted into hospitals for suspected mild traumatic brain injury cases. Today, the only reliable diagnosis is the CT Scan, which is only available in some hospitals and exposes patients to radiation. Researchers have now developed a small device that analyzes the level of proteins in the blood and allows, using a single drop of blood, to diagnose the possibility of a mild traumatic brain injury.
Source: Science Daily