Is music therapy the key to treat dementia?

By Luciano Marinelli Dementia affects more than 50 million people, and this number is expected to triple by 2050 (World Health Organization, 2017), thus constituting a big challenge in healthcare and research. It involves significant cognitive deficits in memory and language as well as behavioural impairments such as depression. While most of the current treatmentsContinue reading “Is music therapy the key to treat dementia?”

Are Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease caused by prion-like mechanisms?

By Helen Luojia Zhang Neuronal dysfunction and brain damage due to accumulation and aggregation of misfolding proteins is a hallmark event in neurodegenerative diseases (Soto & Pritzkow, 2018). Although many different proteins are involved in different neurodegenerative disorders, the process of protein misfolding and aggregation remains similar. It has been suggested that misfolded protein aggregatesContinue reading “Are Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease caused by prion-like mechanisms?”

Dissecting Fear and Anxiety: Why Do We Feel Scared?

By MingMing Yang Have you ever wondered how this feeling is generated? Fear is an inevitable experience that everyone will go through at some point in life. As unpleasant as it feels sometimes, it is what keeps us away from danger, an important emotion to have for survival. Imagine an animal who does not runContinue reading “Dissecting Fear and Anxiety: Why Do We Feel Scared?”

Music-Making and its Relationship with Neural Plasticity

By Ayoush Srivastava The structure of the brain is everchanging throughout its lifespan. In response to various stimuli, the neural networks that compose the brain can reorganise their connections with one another to maintain the robustness of the nervous system against similar stimuli (Wan and Schlaug, 2010). This reorganisation of functional structure is termed neuralContinue reading “Music-Making and its Relationship with Neural Plasticity”

The importance of smell: anosmias and other disorders

By Vakare B. Kucinskaite Olfaction is a chemical sense empoyed to detect food sources or noxious substances in the environment or aid the selection of potential mates. Its importance for humans has been overlooked due to a general consensus that in comparison with other animals humans have a poor sense of smell. However, it isContinue reading “The importance of smell: anosmias and other disorders”

Parkinson’s disease: current and future treatments

By Sabino Méndez Pastor Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. It is a progressive motor disorder characterised by resting tremors, rigidity, difficulty in walking (Parkinsonian gait) and a decrease in movement known as hypokinesia that ranges from bradykinesia (slowness in the initiation of voluntary movements) to akinesia (lossContinue reading “Parkinson’s disease: current and future treatments”

The Neurobiology of Depression

By Marina Artemiou Unhappiness and sadness are emotions that we all have felt. In fact most people often go through periods of feeling down, but depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. When someone is depressed, they persistently feel sad for weeks or months on end, rather thanContinue reading “The Neurobiology of Depression”

Language learning and the brain

By Anastasia Alenova Due to globalisation, many cultures and languages are mixing, leading to an inevitable rapid rise of bilingualism. Nowadays, the majority of people speak more than one language over their lifetime, with many sources claiming that bilingual language learning confers unique patterns of neurofunctional activity and anatomical changes. Such a claim is unsurprising,Continue reading “Language learning and the brain”

Downregulation of sensory information during sleep

By Iulia-Teodora Vermesan  Across the animal kingdom, there are several behavioural characteristics that help define sleep. These include a reversible state of immobility with increased arousal thresholds (which distinguishes sleep from coma or hibernation), as well as protected place preference and following specific rituals before sleeping. Circadian regulation ensures following a 24-hour rhythm — providedContinue reading “Downregulation of sensory information during sleep”

Necroptosis: how cells die after intracerebral hemorrhage

By Sarah Choi There are a number of ways in which cells can die, morbid as that may seem. This includes the more commonly known apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death. Slightly more unknown is necrosis, which is, in many ways, thought to be the opposite of apoptosis. For example, unlike apoptosis, necrosis isContinue reading “Necroptosis: how cells die after intracerebral hemorrhage”