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Neuroscience

Genes and heart disease: Finally making the link

Polygenic risk scores — a patient’s chance, based on tiny DNA variants, of developing cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and more — are coming to clinics. But there are kinks to iron out and accuracy remains an issue.

How gut bacteria connect to Parkinson’s disease

Growing evidence suggests a link between the debilitating neurological illness and the microbes that live in our intestines. The vagus nerve may be a pathway.

The growing link between microbes, mood and mental health

New research suggests that to maintain a healthy brain, we should tend our gut microbiome. The best way to do that right now is not through pills and supplements, but better food.

Evolution of the nervous system

COMIC: When, why and how did neurons first evolve? Scientists are piecing together the ancient story.

A magnetic therapy for depression gains precision

Approved over a decade ago, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is moderately effective. Tailoring the treatment to individual brains may improve results.

Do spiders dream? What about cuttlefish? Bearded dragons?

Researchers are finding signs of multiple phases of sleep all over the animal kingdom. The ‘active’ sleep phases look very much like REM.

The neurons that make us feel hangry

Neuroscientists think a cluster of cells in the brain that stimulate appetite could be a target for eating disorder therapies

Reading the mind with machines

Researchers are developing brain-computer interfaces that would enable communication for people with locked-in syndrome and other conditions that render them unable to speak

Teens can have excellent executive function — just not all the time

Adolescents’ brains are highly capable, if inconsistent, during this critical age of exploration and development. They are also acutely tuned into rewards.

Hope for haploinsufficiency diseases

Genetic conditions like Dravet syndrome, which causes severe childhood epilepsy, are hard to tackle with traditional gene therapy. New approaches in the works include using antisense therapy to boost mRNA splicing.

How animals follow their nose

It’s not easy to find the source of a swirling scent plume. Scientists are using experiments and simulations to uncover the varied strategies that animals employ.

The mature mind: Aging resiliently

VIDEO: Connect with brain health experts about the best ways to cultivate resilience as we age, and how to support loved ones with memory loss and dementia

The baby brain: Learning in leaps and bounds

VIDEO: Learn how the baby brain changes from gestation to toddlerhood, and what parents, teachers and policymakers can do to ensure kids are set up for success

The teen brain: Mysteries and misconceptions

VIDEO: Join a conversation about the teenage brain’s strengths and vulnerabilities, how adults can support teenagers with mental health issues, and how teens can help one another

The vital crosstalk between breath and brain

The rhythm of respiration influences a wide range of behaviors, as well as cognition and emotion. Neuroscientists are piecing together how it all works.

Inside the adolescent brain

This challenging phase of life may get a bad rap, but it’s also full of opportunity. A developmental neuroscientist shares what she’s learned from studies on young people’s risk-taking behavior, reasoning and more.

Covid and the brain: A neurological health crisis

VIDEO: Even a mild SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause inflammation that disrupts neural communication, says Stanford neurologist Michelle Monje. Her concern is that Covid-19 may leave millions dealing with cognitive problems, from a loss of mental sharpness to lapses in memory, that prevent them from returning to their previous level of function.

How learning happens in the brains of sleeping babes

Neuroscientists have long known that shut-eye helps consolidate memories in adults. Napping may play an equally crucial role in infants and young children.

Could mitochondria be the key to a healthy brain?

Some researchers suspect these bacterial ancestors living within our cells may contribute to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders

Effects of the pandemic on the developing child

VIDEO: Watch the replay of our live conversation about how Covid-19 and social distancing are affecting children now, and what to expect as we emerge from the crisis

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