VR experiment with rats offers new insights about how neurons enable learning

Scientists have long understood that the region of the brain called the hippocampus is important for memory, learning and navigation.Now, scientists in a UCLA lab led by neurophysicist Mayank Mehta are gaining a deeper understanding of how the hippocampus works on a circuit level — that is, functions involving networks of millions of neurons. That knowledge could be an important step toward the development of treatments for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and epilepsy, all of which are related to dysfunction in the hippocampus.In their latest study, published in the journal Nature, the scientists studied rats in a virtual reality maze. While observing the activities of large numbers of individual neurons in each animal ’s hippocampus, the scientists discovered responses in those neurons that revealed a specific mechanism for navigation.“The hippocampus is one of the first regions to be affected in memory-based diseases like Alzheimer’s,” said the study’s lead author, Jason Moore, a former UCLA postdoctoral scholar who is now at New York University. “So it is crucial to understand its functionality, flexibility and limits .”The study could help explain why people with damage to the hippocampus struggle not just with so-called spatial tasks, like finding their way home or locating a lost set of keys, but also with memory tasks, such as recalling what they had for lunch or whether they took t...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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Source: Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Allergy Agents in Medicinal Chemistry - Category: Allergy & Immunology Authors: Tags: Miscellaneous Source Type: research
Speaker Danielle S. Bassett ’ s group studies the structure and function of networks, predominantly in physical and biological systems. Her interests lie in using and developing tools and theories from complex systems science, statistical mechanics, and applied mathematics to study dynamic changes in network architecture, the interaction between topological properties of networks and physical or other constraints, and the influence of network topology on signal propagation (mechanical, electrical, informational) and system function. In physical systems, her group conducts research in dynamical systems as well as gran...
Source: Videocast - All Events - Category: General Medicine Tags: Upcoming Events Source Type: video
We present a case study of a 17-year-old female student suffering from schizophrenia who was scheduled for ECT due to prior treatment inefficacy. Seizures had occurred a few days before the first ECT session. Nevertheless, the patient received the ECT course, combined with clozapine at 125 mg/day, after neurological diagnosis and treatment modification because the illness became life-threatening. The patient's clinical outcome was satisfactory without any seriously adverse events and further improvements were observed in the mental state following long-term psychosocial treatment at our inpatient unit. A few months later, ...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
We report an unusual case of an elderly man who presented with AIWS, focal impaired awareness seizures, ictal tachyarrhythmia, multiple episodes of transient visual disturbances of macropsia and transient loss of consciousness. During those symptoms, telemetry showed self-limited supraventricular tachycardia several times which could not be regulated with heart rate-controlled medication. The electroencephalography was later tested and showed rhythmic theta activity over the right cerebral hemisphere. He was treated with levetiracetam, and all his symptoms and tachyarrhythmias were gradually resolved thereafter. Refractory...
Source: Case Reports in Neurology - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
Gene. 2021 Oct 18:146021. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2021.146021. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe GABA receptors represent the main inhibitory system in the central nervous system that ensure synaptogenesis, neurogenesis, and the regulation of neuronal plasticity and learning. GABAA receptors are pentameric in structure and belong to the Cys-loop superfamily. The GABRB2 gene, located on chromosome 5q34, encodes the β2 subunit that combines with the α and γ subunits to form the major subtype of GABAA receptors, which account for 43% of all GABAA receptors in the mammalian brain. Each subunit probably consists of...
Source: Gene - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Source Type: research
AbstractMolecules that selectively act on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors may have a multidirectional effect by modulating the activity of NMDARs, affecting their active sites as well as by changing the composition of their subunits. The results of the clinical trials conducted so far in mood disorders and schizophrenia indicate that such agents may become new effective drugs for the treatment of these diseases. Number of spider neurotoxins e.g. ctenitoxins extracted fromPhoneutria sp. venom act as potent and selective NMDAR blockers that do not disturb cortical and hippocampal glutamate signaling, LTP generation and...
Source: NeuroMolecular Medicine - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
Neuropharmacology. 2021 Sep 21:108805. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2021.108805. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTConsiderable genetic variation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) has recently become apparent, with many hundreds of de novo variants identified through widely available clinical genetic testing. Individuals with GRIN variants present with neurological conditions such as epilepsy, autism, intellectual disability (ID), movement disorders, schizophrenia and behavioral disorders. Determination of the functional consequence of genetic variation for NMDARs should lead to precision therapeutics. Furthermore, genet...
Source: Neuropharmacology - Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Authors: Source Type: research
CONCLUSION: Our results have shown that, amongst other things, AQoL-8D presents better ability to discriminate between known-groups and shows no ceiling effect. Based on our results, we would recommend use of AQoL-8D in addition to EQ-5D-5L in trials assessing patient's quality of life in patients with epilepsy or schizophrenia.PMID:34553651 | DOI:10.1080/14737167.2021.1981861
Source: Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research - Category: Health Management Authors: Source Type: research
CONCLUSION: Our results have shown that, among other things, AQoL-8D presents better ability to discriminate between known-groups and shows no ceiling effect. Based on our results, we would recommend the use of AQoL-8D in addition to EQ-5D-5L in trials assessing patient's quality of life in patients with epilepsy or schizophrenia.PMID:34553651 | DOI:10.1080/14737167.2021.1981861
Source: Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research - Category: Health Management Authors: Source Type: research
In conclusion, antagonism between psychosis and epileptic seizures in a later stage of active epilepsy seems not to be realized without reorganization of the nervous system promoted during an earlier stage. Both genetic predisposition and the summated effects of epileptic activity must be taken into consideration as part of a trial to explain interictal psychosis. Interictal psychosis is an aggregate of miscellaneous disorders, that is, co-morbid schizophrenia, AED-induced psychotic disorders, forced normalization, and "epileptic" interictal psychosis. Data are lacking to conclude whether differences exist betwee...
Source: Epilepsy Curr - Category: Neurology Authors: Source Type: research
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