Neuroscience

Synapse 'protection' signal found; helps to refine brain circuits

The developing brain is constantly forming new connections, or synapses, between nerve cells. Many connections are eventually lost, while others are strengthened. In 2012, Beth Stevens, Ph.D. and her lab at Boston Children's ...

Neuroscience

Making the right connections

Researchers at VIB and KU Leuven have uncovered a new molecular interaction that governs the formation of specific functional connections between two types of neurons. It gives an important clue as to how unique interactions ...

Neuroscience

When neurons turn against themselves

Rasmussen's encephalitis is a rare autoimmune disease that primarily affects children and can lead to seizures. As the disease is resistant to drug treatments, it frequently requires surgical interventions to remove or disconnect ...

Neuroscience

Scientists discover fundamental rule of brain plasticity

Our brains are famously flexible, or "plastic," because neurons can do new things by forging new or stronger connections with other neurons. But if some connections strengthen, neuroscientists have reasoned, neurons must ...

Neuroscience

Often overlooked glial cell is key to learning and memory

Glial cells surround neurons and provide support—not unlike hospital staff and nurses supporting doctors to keep operations running smoothly. These often-overlooked cells, which include oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, ...

Neuroscience

Repeated stimulation enlarges dendritic spines

Even in adult brains, new neurons are generated throughout a lifetime. In a publication in the scientific journal PNAS, a research group led by Goethe University describes plastic changes of adult-born neurons in the hippocampus, ...

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