Tag Archives: Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology

Newly discovered windows of brain plasticity may help with treatment of stress-related disorders

Newly discovered windows of brain plasticity may help with treatment of stress-related disordersEven under repeated stress, the brain maintains the potential to adapt and recover. Researchers have shown how changes in gene expression cause these transitory opportunities to open up. Their results suggest well-timed treatment could change the trajectory of a brain suffering from depression or other disorder. More »

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‘Round-the-clock’ lifestyle could disrupt metabolism, brain and behavior

The modern world twists our ancient and natural sleep cycles with ubiquitous electric lighting, shift-work and the like. Now new research in mice suggests that the disturbance could have a serious impact on the body and brain, from weight gain and cognitive inflexibility to poor impulse control. More »

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Donald W. Pfaff and Bruce S. McEwen will share 2010 Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity Prize

Donald W. Pfaff and Bruce S. McEwen share the 2010 Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity Prize for their studies on the neuroendocrine control of behavior. The French foundation presents the award to researchers who publish remarkable, pioneering studies. More »

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Research identifies gene that changes the brain’s response to stress

Brains change. They change throughout life, responding to developmental but also environmental cues, like stress. Scientists know of several important proteins that play a role in what brains do with new experience. Now they have identified one, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which must be present at a certain level to enable the brain’s “adaptive plasticity,” particularly in response to stress. More »

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Research identifies gene with likely role in premenstrual disorder

Some women are especially sensitive to the natural flux of hormones in the menstrual cycle. New research points to a gene that likely influences how women respond to swings in estrogen levels and could help diagnose and treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a condition marked by extreme mood swings and irritability. The work also provides insight into the historically understudied area of medically relevant differences between men and women. More »

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First evidence that the brain’s native dendritic cells can muster an immune response

Since their initial discovery in 1973, dendritic cells, the sentinels of the immune system, have turned up in a number of places other than the immune organs. They stand guard in the heart, for instance, and in 2008, the first population native to the brain was identified. New research shows that dendritic cells are not only present in the brain, but active, too. They confront foreign substances and seem to form a barrier between healthy and stricken brain tissue following a stroke. More »

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Acute stress leaves epigenetic marks on the hippocampus

Scientists are learning that the dynamic regulation of genes — as much as the genes themselves — shapes the fate of organisms. Now the discovery of a new epigenetic mechanism regulating genes in the brain under stress is helping change the way scientists think about psychiatric disorders and could open new avenues to treatment. More »

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Disrupting sleep causes problems for the body and brain

Modern life disrupts our natural sleep cycles with shift-work, jet lag and ubiquitous electric lighting, among other things. New research in mice suggests that the resulting disturbance of nature’s circadian rhythms could have major effects on the body and brain, from a slowing of metabolism to impaired thinking and poor impulse control. More »

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