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Sep 29, 2023

Cardiovascular Disease Risk May Be Increased by Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

A new review published in The Lancet Neurology by researchers at Mass General Brigham presents findings indicating that cardiovascular disease risk may be increased by traumatic brain injury (TBI). The review presented evidence of the long-term associations between TBI and cardiovascular disease noting that post-injury comorbidities, as well as neuroinflammation, and changes in the brain-gut connection may be culprits in the elevated risk compared to the general population.

“Despite decades of extensive traumatic brain-injury-focused research, surprisingly, there has been minimal progress in mitigating long-term outcomes and mortality following injuries. The cardiovascular effects of TBI may be a missing link in advancing our efforts to improve long-term quality of life and reducing mortality rates in TBI patients,” said first author Saef Izzy, MD, of the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “We have the opportunity to identify and improve targeted screening for high-risk populations, build preventative care strategies and improve outcomes for survivors of TBI.”

While past research has exhibited there is a strong link between TBI and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, decades of research has failed to understand the mechanisms that occur after a TBI that drive these diseases. Izzy and review co-authors now suggest that there may be non-neurological effects of TBI, including cardiovascular, cardiometabolic, and endocrine dysfunction that may act as intermediaries that contribute to neurological disorders that may appear decades later.

Sep 29, 2023

Consciousness theory slammed as ‘pseudoscience’ — sparking uproar

Posted by in category: neuroscience

A letter, signed by 124 scholars and posted online last week, has caused an uproar in the consciousness-research community. It argues that a prominent theory describing what makes someone or something conscious — called the integrated information theory (IIT) — should be labelled as pseudoscience. Since its publication on 15 September in the preprint repository PsyArXiv1, the letter has resulted in some researchers arguing over the label and others worrying that it will increase polarization in a field that has grappled with issues of credibility in the past.

Decades-long bet on consciousness ends — and it’s philosopher 1, neuroscientist 0

“I think it’s inflammatory to describe IIT as pseudoscience,” says neuroscientist Anil Seth, director of the Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex near Brighton, UK, adding that he disagrees with the label. “IIT is a theory, of course, and therefore may be empirically wrong,” says Christof Koch, a meritorious investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Washington, and a proponent of the theory. But he says that it makes its assumptions — for example, that consciousness has a physical basis and can be mathematically measured — very clear.

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Sep 29, 2023

Brain signals for good memory performance revealed

Posted by in category: neuroscience

University of Basel.

People differ significantly in their memory performance. Researchers at the University of Basel have now discovered that certain brain signals are related to these differences.

While it is well known that certain brain regions play a crucial role in memory processes, so far it has not been clear whether these regions exhibit different activities when it comes to storing information in people with better or worse memory performance.

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Sep 29, 2023

Saturated fat may interfere with creating memories in aged brain

Posted by in categories: food, life extension, neuroscience

New research hints at a few ways fatty foods affect cells in the brain, a finding that could help explain the link between a high-fat diet and impaired memory – especially as we age.

The Ohio State University study in cell cultures found the omega-3 fatty acid DHA may help protect the brain from an unhealthy diet’s effects by curbing fat-induced inflammation at the cellular source.

Separate experiments using brain tissue from aging mice showed a high-fat diet may lead specific brain cells to overdo cell-signaling management in a way that interferes with the creation of new memories.

Sep 29, 2023

Neuroimaging study reveals hate speech dulls brain’s empathy responses

Posted by in category: neuroscience

An experimental neuroimaging study in Poland found that exposure to hate speech diminishes the brain’s response to stories about other people suffering. The effect was present irrespective of the group membership of the person suffering in the story – whether they were Polish, like the participants, or Arab. The study was published in Scientific Reports.

Hate speech is a form of communication that involves the expression of discriminatory, hostile, or prejudiced sentiments and ideas directed towards individuals or groups based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or other characteristics.

Exposure to hate speech deteriorates neurocognitive mechanisms of the ability to understand others’ pain, was authored by Agnieszka Pluta, Joanna Mazurek, Jakub Wojciechowski, Tomasz Wolak, Wiktor Soral, and Michał Bilewicz.

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Sep 29, 2023

The brain cells linked to protection against dementia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Scientists have identified two types of brain cell linked to a reduced risk of dementia in older people — even those who have brain abnormalities that are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease1.

The finding could eventually lead to new ways to protect these cells before they die. The results were published in Cell on 28 September.

Plaques in the brain.

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Sep 29, 2023

Alzheimer’s research breakthrough

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

Restoration of lost memories.

Prof Bryce Vissel, who leads the Clinical Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine Initiative (CNRM) at St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical Research, and his team, have identified a molecule in the brain that controls loss of nerve cell connections.

This molecule we are calling ‘the switch’ is decreased in the Alzheimer’s brain but no one really understands why, or what role it plays. When ‘encouraged’ or ‘forced’ to be expressed normally again, in our laboratory tests of a mouse model, this molecule can actually rescue its memory.

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Sep 29, 2023

Researchers create novel robots that run on light and radio waves

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI

The robot can drive on various surfaces such as concrete or packed soil and carry up to three times its own weight in equipment such as a camera or sensors.

Imagine a tiny robot that can move on its own, powered by light and radio waves. It can carry a camera, a sensor, or a Bluetooth device and transmit data over long distances. It can navigate through different terrains and environments and follow light sources to keep going. It sounds like science fiction, right?

Source: Mark Stone/University of Washington.

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Sep 29, 2023

New York is simultaneously sinking and rising, but why?

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Areas of New York City are sinking while others are rising at varying rates due to both natural and man-made factors.

One of the key indicators of climate change is the rise in sea levels at a global scale, with recent rates being unprecedented in the last 2,500 years. In an exciting study published yesterday, 27 September, NASA-based scientists found that some areas of New York City are sinking while others are rising at varying rates due to natural and man-made factors.

Interesting Engineering had reported earlier on a similar study, which said that New York is sinking due to a natural phenomenon called subsidence, where heavy objects, like buildings, gradually settle over time or when… More.

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Sep 29, 2023

Brain surgery using AI will be possible within two years

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, robotics/AI

The UK government says AI could be “a real game-changer” for healthcare.

A leading neurosurgeon in the UK has said that brain surgery using artificial intelligence (AI) is possible within two years, making it safer and more effective.

“You could, in a few years, have an AI system that has seen more operations than any human has ever or could ever see,” Dr. Hani Marcus told BBC. Dr. Marcus is a consultant neurosurgeon at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and an Honorary Associate Professor at the University College (UCL) London Queen Square Institute of Neurology.

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