For the first time, human embryonic stem cells have been transformed into nerve cells that helped mice regain the ability to learn and remember. A study at UW-Madison is the first to show that human stem cells can successfully implant themselves in the brain and then heal neurological deficits, says senior author Su-Chun Zhang, a professor of neuroscience and neurology.
Before examinations and in critical situations, we need to be particularly receptive and capable of learning. However, acute exam stress and stage fright causes learning blockades and reduced memory function. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich have now discovered a mechanism responsible for these cognitive deficits, which functions independently of stress hormones.
In the journal PLoS Biology, a team of scientists reports experiments showing how the gene defect of Angelman syndrome disrupts neurological processes that may be needed for memory and learning. In tests in mice, the team showed that a novel compound could restore the healthy processes.
The causes of learning problems associated with an inherited brain tumor disorder are much more complex than scientists had anticipated, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.
Researchers at King’s College London have identified several cardiovascular risk factors, including smoking and high blood pressure, which may be associated with the accelerated decline of memory, learning, attention and reasoning in older adults.
Johns Hopkins researchers report the successful use of a form of MRI to identify what appears to be a key biochemical marker for cognitive impairment in the brains of people with multiple sclerosis (MS). In follow-up experiments on mice with a rodent form of MS, researchers were able to use an experimental compound to manipulate that same marker and dramatically improve learning and memory.