brain

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Study of Rare, Terrible Brain Disease Yields Huge Find

Multiple system atrophy quickly destroys the brain

(Newser) - Multiple system atrophy, or MSA, is a rare and horrible disease that will destroy your brain and inevitably kill you, and the study of it has now yielded a major breakthrough in our understanding of brain diseases. Researchers have discovered that MSA is caused by a prion, a kind of... More »

Daydreaming May Be Why Neurotics Are So Creative

So, does this explain Woody Allen?

(Newser) - Is there a reason neurotic people tend to be bigger worriers but also more creative than the rest of us? A newly published theory says yes, and it has to do with daydreaming. Neurotics—famous ones include Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill, and, of course, Woody Allen—get anxious and obsessed... More »

Whistled Language Brings Surprising Brain Discovery

People must use both sides of their brain to understand it, a first

(Newser) - The rapidly disappearing "bird language" that is spoken—or whistled, actually—by about 10,000 residents in the mountains of Turkey is changing the way scientists think about language and the brain. The left hemisphere has always been dominant when interpreting language, be it spoken, written, signed, or even... More »

One Man Lost Most of His Brain and Didn't Even Notice

Doctors astounded as married father of two goes about life with very little brain matter

(Newser) - As it turns out maybe the Scarecrow didn't need that brain after all. Real Clear Science revisits a bizarre case from 2007 in which a relatively normal 44-year-old man—married, two kids, job—turned out to have been going about his life without most of his brain. In fact,... More »

More Kids in Poverty Now Than in Recession: Report

And it could have detrimental effects on brain development, researchers say

(Newser) - The Great Recession may be long over, but things didn't pick up for everyone in the years immediately after, especially not for US children: A new report from the nonprofit Annie E. Casey Foundation says that while 18% of American kids lived below the poverty line in 2008, that... More »

Scientists Figure Out How That Idea Pops in Your Head

Study tracks changes in brain through learning

(Newser) - Scientists using cutting-edge brain imaging technology finally know how that new idea pops into your head and may even be able to read the thought by looking at your brain. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University observed 16 participants' brains as they learned about the habitat and eating habits of eight... More »

Tribe Became Immune to Brain Disease— by Eating Brains

The cannibalistic practice spread disease that some managed to resist

(Newser) - When members of the Fore tribe in Papua New Guinea ate the brains of their extended kin at funerals, it was their way of paying respect. Unfortunately, the ritual also helped spread kuru prion disease, a form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)—a rare but fatal brain disease that can lead... More »

MRIs May Be Leaving Toxins in Our Brains

New research raises more questions about contrasting agents

(Newser) - Could some MRIs be doing more harm than good? It's too early to say definitively, but ProPublica points to new research in the journal Radiology showing that a potentially toxic metal is ending up in the brains of patients. The concern revolves contrasting agents, drugs used to make the... More »

Discovery of Hidden Vessel in Brain Called 'Stunning'

It may rewrite textbooks on immune system, has implications for Alzheimer's

(Newser) - It may not sound like much to those without neuroscience degrees: A researcher at the University of Virginia spotted a lymphatic vessel while studying the brain of a mouse. But the reason words like " stunning ," " dazzling ," and " landmark " are being used to describe the... More »

Small-Town Mystery: 9 Brains Found on Street

Officials in Gouverneur, NY probe grisly find

(Newser) - Nothing like walking outside your door one day, and stumbling on ... nine brains. That's the grisly sight that baffled residents of a village in upstate New York this week, the Post-Standard reports. People discovered the brains on a street near railroad tracks in Gouverneur, NY, and called the cops,... More »

Bats Are Like Humans in One Remarkable Way

Both species listen with both hemispheres of their brains

(Newser) - Humans were thought to be unique as a species in that we use both halves of our brains to "distinguish different aspects of sound," as Georgetown neuroscientist Stuart Washington puts it. Turns out we're not as special as we thought. A type of bat also displays this... More »

What It's Like to Live Life 'in the Third Person'

People with a little-understood disorder struggle to recall experiences

(Newser) - A new study is providing insight into a mysterious memory condition: For people with lifelong severely deficient autobiographical memory, a researcher says, "it's as if their past was experienced in the third person." Those with SDAM don't have "personal recollection," Dr. Brian Levine notes... More »

BPA Alternative Might Be Even Worse

Study suggests it affects brain development

(Newser) - A new study is lending more support to the idea that BPA-free products aren't necessarily safe products. Bisphenol S, or BPS, an alternative to BPA, appears to cause problems in the brain growth of animal embryos, researchers say. After studying zebra fish, whose brain development is seen as similar... More »

Case of Missing Brains Takes Another Twist

Now school says they were destroyed

(Newser) - First came yesterday's reports that about 100 human brains had gone missing from the University of Texas at Austin . Then followed the news that they had been located, with psych professor Tim Schallert telling the LA Times that UT San Antonio called him to say, "We got those... More »

100 Brains Go Missing at University of Texas

It's a mystery ...

(Newser) - The University of Texas at Austin has a macabre mystery on its hands: It's missing brains, about a hundred of them—potentially among them one belonging to clock tower sniper Charles Whitman. The brains were those of patients at the Austin State Hospital, formerly the Texas State Lunatic Asylum.... More »

Source of Man's Headaches: Tapeworm in Brain

Tapeworm was in there for 4 years

(Newser) - A UK resident who suffered headaches and seizures for four years was ultimately handed an unusual explanation for his woes: There was a worm in his brain, reports the Guardian . Specifically, doctors removed a 1-centimeter-long tapeworm called Spirometra erinaceieuropaei. Based on scans taken over several years, the worm traveled about... More »

Brain Pathway Science Forgot Is Rediscovered

Vertical occipital fasciculus is involved in visual perception, attention, etc.

(Newser) - In 2012, a team of researchers out of the University of Washington's Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences thought they'd stumbled upon a new pathway in the brain associated with reading that had somehow been glossed over by their predecessors. "We couldn't find it in any... More »

Chronic Pot Smokers Have Different Brains

It remains unclear if marijuana causes the difference

(Newser) - A new study out of the University of Texas' Center for BrainHealth and the Mind Research Network is showing brain differences in regular pot users—differences that have already been reported in lab mice. The study, published in PNAS , found that 48 "chronic" users who smoked at least four... More »

Curiosity Changes Brain, Helps You Learn Better

Once the brain gets in gear, it absorbs information of all kinds better, says study

(Newser) - Curiosity isn't just the sign of a healthy mind—a new study suggests it actually helps the mind get stronger. Researchers in Australia found that people were better able to remember something if they were naturally curious about the subject, reports LiveScience . That wasn't too surprising. The more... More »

24-Year-Old Discovers She's Missing Key Part of Brain

Doctors stunned to find patient's cerebellum missing

(Newser) - The cerebellum is a pretty important part of the brain—it plays a key role in walking, among other movements—so doctors in China were more than a little surprised when a 24-year-old patient who lives a relatively normal life turned out not to have one. A CT scan revealed... More »

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