what's the buzz..

what's the buzz..

What hinders stroke recovery

Researchers have identified a novel molecule in the brain that, after stroke, blocks the formation of new connections between neurons.

In a mouse model, the UCLA researchers showed that blocking this molecule – called ephrin-A5 – induces axonal sprouting, that is, the growth of new connections between the brain's neurons, or cells, and as a result promotes functional recovery.
If duplicated in humans, the identification of this molecule could pave the way for a more rapid recovery from stroke and may allow a synergy with existing treatments, such as physical therapy.

Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability because of the brain’s limited capacity for repair. An important process in recovery after stroke may be in the formation of new connections, termed axonal sprouting.

The adult brain inhibits axonal sprouting and the formation of these connections.
In previous work the researchers found, paradoxically, that the brain sends mixed signals after a stroke—activating molecules that both stimulate and inhibit axonal sprouting.
In this present work, the researchers have identified the effect of one molecule that inhibits axonal sprouting and determined the new connections in the brain that are necessary to form for recovery.

Soon, ‘smart food’ that tricks brain into thinking belly full
Smart food that signal the brain that you have eaten enough could hold the key to beating obesity, a new study has revealed.

A Dutch team of researchers has already started work on the intelligent foods that could one day help the world beat obesity. They hope that these foods will contain a special chemical that mimics the message our gut sends the brain when it is full. By sending the message earlier, the brain can be fooled into not overeating.

“We know nutrients interact with gut cells, which dispatch chemical messengers – hormones– to the brain to signal ‘stomach full’,” the Daily Mail quoted endocrinologist Jens Holst of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, as telling youris.com. Scientists are now trying to decode this messaging from our food to gut to brain to fight obesity.
Holst found a small molecule in the gut, called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which acts on parts of the brain that regulate appetite.

He is now involved with a EU funded research project, Full4Health, to try and find out exactly how the gut tells the brain when it is full.

Boys’ impulsiveness may result in better math ability

Boys show more preference for solving arithmetic problems by reciting an answer from memory, whereas girls are more likely to compute the answer by counting, scientists say.
In a University of Missouri study, girls and boys started grade school with different approaches to solving arithmetic problems, with girls favouring a slow and accurate approach and boys a faster but more error prone approach. Girls’ approach gave them an early advantage, but by the end of sixth grade boys had surpassed the girls.
“The observed difference in arithmetic accuracy between the sexes may arise from the willingness to risk being wrong by answering from memory before one is sure of the correct answer,” Drew Bailey said.

“In our study, we found that boys were more likely to call out answers than girls, even though they were less accurate early in school. Over time, though, this practice at remembering answers may have allowed boys to surpass girls in accuracy,” Bailey said.

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