Researchers uncover mechanisms of overhydration leading to hyponatremia – a common condition in patients after a traumatic brain injury
Discovery of a pathway linking Alzheimer’s disease and Type 2 Diabetes leads to new strategies to preserve brain health.
Fernanda De Felice at Queen’s University has discovered a disease mechanism common to Alzheimer’s disease and Type 2 Diabetes. This mechanism, which consist of a pathway leading to inflammation in different parts of the brain, leads to glucose intolerance, memory impairments and degeneration of the connections between neurons, called synapses. This discovery can lead the way to new therapies to preserve brain health. These results were presented at the 2018 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, in Vancouver, May 16th, 2018.
Researchers at UBC show that two types of cells, astrocytes and pericytes, cooperate to regenerate cerebral blood vessels to restore blood flow in brain regions damaged by stroke.
Stroke is one of three leading causes of death in Canada and leads to permanent disability in about half of survivors. During an ischemic stroke, there is a blockage of blood flow which results in cell death in a specific area or the brain. Dr. Brian MacVicar and Dr. Louis-Philippe Bernier at the University of British Columbia has recently discovered how two types of cells, called astrocytes and pericytes, work together to regenerate blood flow in the areas affected by these strokes (called ischemic areas). These results were presented at the 2018 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, in Vancouver, May 16th, 2018.
Understanding how the brain is built during development leads to new therapeutic approaches for repairing brain injury.
Research by Dr. Freda Miller and her team at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto has determined how brain stem cells and the environment they live within collaborate to build brain circuits during development, discoveries that have led to a better understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders in children. The Miller lab and her basic research collaborators work closely with their clinical colleagues to harness this information and develop new approaches for treating brain injury. These results were presented at the 2018 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, in Vancouver, May 15th, 2018.
Rats eating a “cafeteria-diet” show changes in the brain regions that integrate information about food and determines eating behaviour.
Research by Stephanie Borgland at the University of Calgary shows that giving rats unrestricted access to unhealthy foods for extended periods not only leads to obesity, but also to brain changes that makes food more attractive to them, even when their hunger should be satisfied. Specifically, Dr. Borgland’s research identified modifications in endocannabinoid signalling in a brain region called the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) of these obese rats. These unpublished results were presented at the 2018 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, in Vancouver, May 15th, 2018.
Cellular and molecular modifications in the brain of child abuse victims could explain their increased vulnerability to stress-related psychiatric disorders, including depression and suicide
Psychiatrists have long known that child abuse increases a person’s lifetime risk of psychiatric illness, including depression and suicide. New research by Naguib Mechawar and Gustavo Turecki from the McGill Group for Suicide Studies offers some explanation of the process through which abuse lastingly modifies brain wiring. Their research, which compare the brains of depressed suicides with or without a history of severe child abuse, and of healthy controls, identified important modifications in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC), a brain region critical for the regulation of moods and emotions. These findings were presented at the 2018 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, in Vancouver, May 14th, 2018.