What’s the role of testosterone in humans? The infantile testes in humans a surge of testosterone as it does in rats. But, unlike rats, this occurs during early pregnancy – during the end of the first trimester and the beginning of the second (that is, 10-20 weeks). This is a time when the brain is developing, so it can easily be influenced by hormones such as testosterone. Of course, we have no way of interfering with this in humans, as we can in rats. But there are other ways of trying to understand whether testosterone plays a major role in human development. … [Read more...] about Sex Differences in the Brain: Do They Exist or Matter?
Reading does to your brain
Together, these studies offer new hope for Parkinson’s patients. One makes a compelling case for Parkinson’s starting in the gut, providing some specific microbes to monitor or target. The other two studies point to a way to repair the resulting damage by growing new neurons. All three studies are quite promising, but there is a lot of work to be done before they can be put into clinical practice. Questions include the practicality of brain injections and the possibility of health issues resulting from a depletion of the glial cells that are converted into neurons. … [Read more...] about New Hope for Parkinson’s Patients
The next step is for researchers around the country who are participating in a series of randomized clinical "deprescribing" studies to gather more empirical evidence pertaining to the hypothesis that curbing the use of anticholinergics may curtail the incidence of MCI in healthy adults and decreases Alzheimer's risk in vulnerable populations. … [Read more...] about Drugs That Block “Vagusstoff” May Speed Up Cognitive Decline
In their study, Dr. Valorie Salimpoor and her colleagues (at Montreal’s McGill University in Canada), measured dopamine release in response to music that elicited "chills". Participants in their experiments were asked to listen to their favourite songs while their brains were being observed using a neuro-imaging technique known as Position Emission Tomography (PET). They found that changes in heart rate, skin conductance, temperature, and breathing, were correlated with how pleasurable the music was. Furthermore, their findings suggested that dopamine release was greater for pleasurable music when compared to “neutral” music. In newspaper interviews, Dr Salimpoor said: … [Read more...] about Going For a Song
“I was riding my bicycle home from the swimming pool where I swam almost daily, and a car coming from the other direction turned left in front of me and cut me off. I do not remember what happened next, but I fell to the ground hitting my head on the curb of the sidewalk. I was not wearing a helmet, so the impact of my head on the cement must have been considerable. I was able to get up, but the paramedics noticed that one of my eyes had started blinking erratically, so they decided to take me to a local hospital. The MRI showed that a hematoma had developed in my brain; I underwent surgery to remove it, but a second MRI showed that I had another hematoma developing deeper in my brain, so I underwent another brain surgery. After that second surgery, I was in a coma for six weeks.” … [Read more...] about Living Purposefully After Trauma