Tag Archives: brain

My work investigating the links between viruses and Alzheimer’s disease was dismissed for years – but now the evidence is building

Shutterstock/Jorm S Ruth Itzhaki, University of Oxford This article is part of the Insights Uncharted Brain series. There are many competing theories about what causes Alzheimer’s disease. Here, Ruth Itzhaki reflects on a career dedicated to one of the more controversial lines of research. Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance …

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Gambling: what happens in the brain when we get hooked – and how to regain control

The brains of gambling addicts activate in specific ways. GoodIdeas/Shutterstock Barbara Jacquelyn Sahakian, University of Cambridge; Christelle Langley, University of Cambridge; Henrietta Bowden-Jones, University of Cambridge, and Sam Chamberlain, University of Southampton Many people turned to online gambling during the pandemic. And while a large proportion of us are able to gamble recreationally, without serious negative impact, the pandemic has …

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Junk food and the brain: How modern diets lacking in micronutrients may contribute to angry rhetoric

Research reveals links between the irritability, explosive rage and unstable moods that have grown more common in recent years, and a lack of micronutrients that are important for brain function. (Shutterstock) Bonnie Kaplan, University of Calgary and Julia J Rucklidge, University of Canterbury Emotional, non-rational, even explosive remarks in public discourse have escalated in recent years. Politicians endure insults during …

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A scientist explores the mysteries of the gut-brain connection

Sacha Vega/iStock The brain in your head and the one in your gut are always exchanging info. But how do they do it? Neuroscientist Diego Bohórquez is trying to find out the answers. If you were asked where the human body’s nervous system is located, you’d probably answer “the brain” or “the spinal cord.” But besides the central nervous system, …

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Preliminary research finds that even mild cases of COVID-19 leave a mark on the brain – but it’s not yet clear how long it lasts

The new findings, although preliminary, are raising concerns about the potential long-term effects of COVID-19. Yuichiro Chino via Getty Images Jessica Bernard, Texas A&M University With more than 18 months of the pandemic in the rearview mirror, researchers have been steadily gathering new and important insights into the effects of COVID-19 on the body and brain. These findings are raising …

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Consciousness: how the brain chemical ‘dopamine’ plays a key role – new research

We know very little about the human brain. Orla/Shutterstock Barbara Jacquelyn Sahakian, University of Cambridge; Christelle Langley, University of Cambridge; Emmanuel A Stamatakis, University of Cambridge et Lennart Spindler, University of Cambridge Consciousness is arguably the most important scientific topic there is. Without consciousness, there would after all be no science. But while we all know what it is like …

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COVID linked to loss of brain tissue: but correlation doesn’t prove causation

alexialex/Shutterstock Francois Balloux, UCL Early in the pandemic, it became clear that COVID-19 wasn’t just a disease of the lungs. The heart, kidneys and liver could also be affected. Many patients also suffered from neurological problems, including “brain fog”, loss of a sense of smell and taste, and stroke. Now, a new study from the University of Oxford suggests that …

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Is it time to give up on consciousness as ‘the ghost in the machine’?

ImagesRouges/Shutterstock Peter Halligan, Cardiff University and David A Oakley, UCL As individuals, we feel that we know what consciousness is because we experience it daily. It’s that intimate sense of personal awareness we carry around with us, and the accompanying feeling of ownership and control over our thoughts, emotions and memories. But science has not yet reached a consensus on …

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