EVERY YEAR, GREAT white sharks travel over 12,000 miles from South Africa to Australia, charting a nearly perfect straight line across the ocean. And every year, they turn around and travel back. There are no street signs to guide them and, for much of the journey, no stable landmarks by which they can set their course. Currents and water temperatures change. The sun sets at night, the stars disappear during the day. But the sharks carry on.
A team of neurologists are raising a red flag over risky and unproven stem cell therapies. Their new study suggests that their fellow doctors are frequently asked about these controversial procedures by desperate patients. Many doctors are also seeing patients with serious complications from stem cell therapy, including seizures, infections, and spinal tumors. Continue reading Shady Stem Cell Therapies Can Cause Tumors, Infections, and Death, Doctors Report
Scientists have long been divided over whether neurogenesis—a process involving the growth of new neurons—continues into adulthood. Last year, a controversial study published in the journal Nature posited that humans stop generating new cells in the learning- and memory-centered hippocampus region long before reaching adolescence. Now, research published in Nature Medicine shifts the debate back in favor of late-in-life neurogenesis: As Sharon Begley reports for STAT, the latest findings suggest humans are actually capable of producing fresh cells well into their 90s. Continue reading The Brain May Actually Keep Generating New Cells Well Into Old Age
When a mosquito lands and your arm and starts taking a drink, it’s not just an unhappy accident. Mosquitoes use an array of chemical neuroreceptors to track down their next blood meal. Now, researchers have identified a key receptor that detects the lactic acid in human sweat, a finding that could eventually help people avoid becoming fast food for the insects. Continue reading Mosquitoes Can Smell Your Sweat
New research suggests women have the competitive edge over men—at least when it comes to the brain’s relative youthfulness, as represented by a measure called metabolic brain age. Continue reading Women’s Metabolic Brain Age Is Around Three Years Younger Than Men’s
For many people who suffer from neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, there are no viable treatment options. In our latest research, we developed an implantable device that may one day offer relief. We show that the implant can treat problems in the brain, such as epileptic seizures, by delivering brain chemicals – known as neurotransmitters – directly to the cells in the brain that cause the problem. Continue reading Could This Brain Implant Stop Epilepsy Seizures?
A new study published Thursday in Cell Stem Cell is set to further stoke the debate over whether our brain can actually grow back neurons as we age. The research found that people, even into their golden years, are regenerating their stock of neurons right up until the point of death—seemingly contradicting the results of a major study released just last month. Continue reading Maybe Our Brains Actually Can Grow Back Neurons