Will smoking really reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease? 

By Themis Halka  Alzheimer’s disease is a preoccupying neurodegenerative disease, and the leading cause of dementia. Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease can only relieve symptoms and slow down neuronal death – there is no cure available to restore the loss of neural tissue. Therefore, acting on the risk factors and finding new neuroprotective agents that couldContinue reading Will smoking really reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease? 

Flowers or flores: The neuroscience underpinning bilingualism

By Laima Susta It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him. German and Spanish are accessible to foreigners: English is not accessible even to Englishmen.1 The above musings on the complexity of language originate from “Pygmalion”, Bernard Shaw’s play in which he explores theContinue reading Flowers or flores: The neuroscience underpinning bilingualism

“The hallmarks of ageing”

By Pia Skok Ageing is defined as a functional decline and deterioration in organism’s lifetime.1 We often associate ageing with decrease in cognitive function, mobility issues and less elastic, more fragile skin. But what are the biochemical reasons behind these commonly observed ageing symptoms? There are nine molecular and cellular hallmarks of ageing that togetherContinue reading ““The hallmarks of ageing””

How DMT Mimics the Near-Death Experience

By Isabelle Hall N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a component of the psychoactive drink ayahuasca (meaning ‘vine of the dead’ or ‘vine of the soul’ in Quechua) , made by boiling or steeping Banisteriopsis caapi vineand Pyschotria viridis leaves.1 The latter contains DMT, with the Banisteriopsis included as a source of β-carbolines such as harmine, which reversibly inhibitContinue reading “How DMT Mimics the Near-Death Experience”

Emotional hijacking: emotions overtaking reason

By Andrea Flores Esparza We have all probably experienced situations where what we are saying does not exactly match with how we are feeling. It is in those situations when say “I am okay” with tears in our eyes or “I am not mad” with a tightening feeling throughout our body that our reasoning clashesContinue reading “Emotional hijacking: emotions overtaking reason”

Understanding Impulsivity: Male vs Female Brain

By Easha Vigneswaran Impulsivity is defined as the acting without forethought. Neurobiologists have been trying to find out what causes such behaviours in humans and how knowledge of this can help clinicians understand disorders such as delinquency, antisocial behaviour associated with suicide and aggression. Scientists have also furthered the question to find out whether thereContinue reading “Understanding Impulsivity: Male vs Female Brain”

Neuromesodermal Progenitors: Function and Significance

By Daniella Gimbosh Stem cells are a revolutionary and controversial area of science that often, understandably, overshadow other aspects of developmental biology. Stem cells are able to divide over and over again, producing more copies of identical stem cells with the same properties, or giving rise to many different types of cells in the body.Continue reading Neuromesodermal Progenitors: Function and Significance

Mechanisms underlying polyglutamine diseases

By Jessica Lu Polyglutamine diseases are a group of nine inherited neurodegenerative diseases: Huntington’s disease (HD), Dentato-rubral pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA), spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), and spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) type 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 17. The onset of these diseases typically occurs in midlife and they slow to progress.1 Although the genesContinue reading Mechanisms underlying polyglutamine diseases

The wandering mind

By Ayoush Srivastava Human brains are prone to losing focus to spontaneous and self-generated thought – this concept is termed mind-wandering. Mind-wandering (MW) can be defined as the change in attention away from an external task to self-generated internal thoughts, often unrelated to the task.1 However, the definition of MW remains highly contested due toContinue reading The wandering mind

Bipolar disorder 

By Gio Chang  Bipolar disorder is a condition which all of us have probably heard about but don’t understand very much about. Many people think of them simply as mood swings that we experience in our day to day lives. However, it is a type of mental illness that, surprisingly, impacts quite a large portion of populations. In fact, around 2.8% of theContinue reading “Bipolar disorder “