Jon Hamilton http://wuis.org en Bingeing On Bad News Can Fuel Daily Stress http://wuis.org/post/binging-bad-news-can-fuel-daily-stress If you're feeling stressed these days, the news media may be partly to blame.<p>At least that's the suggestion of <a href="http://www.rwjf.org/en/research-publications/find-rwjf-research/2014/07/the-burden-of-stress-in-america.html">a national survey </a>conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.<p>The survey of more than 2,500 Americans found that about 1 in 4 said they had experienced a "great deal" of stress in the previous month. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 07:27:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 28955 at http://wuis.org Bingeing On Bad News Can Fuel Daily Stress Your Brain's Got Rhythm, And Syncs When You Think http://wuis.org/post/your-brains-got-rhythm-and-syncs-when-you-think Even if you can't keep a beat, your brain can. "The brain absolutely has rhythm," says <a href="http://www.cmu.edu/bio/faculty/urban.html">Nathan Urban</a>, a neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.<p>When you concentrate, Urban says, your brain produces rapid, rhythmic electrical impulses called gamma waves. When you relax, it generates much slower alpha waves.<p>The internal cadences of the brain and nervous system appear to play an important role in everything from walking to thinking, Urban says. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 27449 at http://wuis.org Your Brain's Got Rhythm, And Syncs When You Think Bursts Of Light Create Memories, Then Take Them Away http://wuis.org/post/bursts-light-create-memories-then-take-them-away You can't just open up a living brain and see the memories inside.<p>So Roberto Malinow, a brain scientist at the University of California, San Diego, has spent years trying to find other ways to understand how memories are made and lost. Mon, 02 Jun 2014 20:36:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 26446 at http://wuis.org Bursts Of Light Create Memories, Then Take Them Away Pregnancy Hormone May Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms http://wuis.org/post/pregnancy-hormone-may-reduce-multiple-sclerosis-symptoms For decades, women with multiple sclerosis have noticed that they tend to do better while they are pregnant. That has led to an experimental drug for the disease that's based on a hormone associated with pregnancy.<p>The hormone is a form of estrogen called estriol. It's abundant in a woman's body only when she is pregnant. Mon, 02 Jun 2014 07:33:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 26399 at http://wuis.org Pregnancy Hormone May Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Military Plans To Test Brain Implants To Fight Mental Disorders http://wuis.org/post/military-plans-test-brain-implants-fight-mental-disorders The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is launching a $70 million program to help military personnel with psychiatric disorders using electronic devices implanted in the brain.<p>The goal of the five-year program is to develop new ways of treating problems including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which are common among service members who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan.<p>"We've seen far too many times where military personnel have neuropsychiatric disorders and there's very few options," says <a href="http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/BTO/Personnel Tue, 27 May 2014 06:08:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 25955 at http://wuis.org Military Plans To Test Brain Implants To Fight Mental Disorders Anti-Aging Hormone Could Make You Smarter http://wuis.org/post/anti-aging-hormone-could-make-you-smarter A hormone associated with longevity also appears to make people's brains work better.<p>The <a href="http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/abstract/S2211-1247(14)00287-3">finding</a> in <em>Cell Reports</em> could someday lead to drugs that improve memory and learning, researchers say.<p>"We've discovered a way to potentially boost cognition," says <a href="http://memory.ucsf.edu/ourcenter/staff/ddubal">Dena Dubal</a>, one of the study's authors who does research on aging and the brain at the University of California, San Francisco. Thu, 08 May 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 24695 at http://wuis.org Anti-Aging Hormone Could Make You Smarter Max Planck Goes To Florida, Invites Brain Scientists To Join http://wuis.org/post/max-planck-goes-florida-invites-brain-scientists-join Germany's famous Max Planck Society has opened a brain research institute in Jupiter, Fla. It's another move in the international competition to attract the best brain researchers. Mon, 05 May 2014 20:25:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 24482 at http://wuis.org Education May Help Insulate The Brain Against Traumatic Injury http://wuis.org/post/education-may-help-insulate-brain-against-traumatic-injury A little education goes a long way toward ensuring you'll recover from a serious traumatic brain injury. In fact, people with lots of education are seven times more likely than high school dropouts to have no measurable disability a year later.<p>"It's a very dramatic difference," says <a href="https://www.hopkinsresearch.org/BIO/BIO_BioPg.aspx?User_ID=37446">Eric Schneider</a>, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins and the lead author of a new study. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:36:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 23643 at http://wuis.org Education May Help Insulate The Brain Against Traumatic Injury One Scientist's Quest To Vanquish Epileptic Seizures http://wuis.org/post/one-scientists-quest-vanquish-epileptic-seizures In the early 1990s, a young brain researcher named <a href="http://www.anatomy.uci.edu/solteszres.html">Ivan Soltesz</a> heard a story that would shape his career.<p>His adviser told him about a school for children whose epileptic seizures were so severe and frequent that they had to wear helmets to prevent head injuries. The only exception to the helmet rule was for students who received an award.<p>"The big deal for them is that they can take the helmet off while they're walking across the stage," Soltesz says. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:42:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 23314 at http://wuis.org One Scientist's Quest To Vanquish Epileptic Seizures Gene Linked To Alzheimer's Poses A Special Threat To Women http://wuis.org/post/gene-linked-alzheimers-poses-special-threat-women A gene associated with Alzheimer's disease appears especially dangerous to women and may be one reason that more women than men are diagnosed with the disease.<p>The gene, known as APOE4, increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's in both sexes. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:48:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 23012 at http://wuis.org Gene Linked To Alzheimer's Poses A Special Threat To Women The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade http://wuis.org/post/forgotten-childhood-why-early-memories-fade Francis Csedrik, who is 8 and lives in Washington, D.C., remembers a lot of events from when he was 4 or just a bit younger. There was the time he fell "headfirst on a marble floor" and got a concussion, the day someone stole the family car ("my dad had to chase it down the block"), or the morning he found a black bat (the furry kind) in the house.<p>But Francis looks puzzled when his mom, Joanne Csedrik, asks him about a family trip to the Philippines when he was 3. "It was to celebrate someone's birthday," she tells him. "We took a long plane ride, two boat trips," she adds. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:46:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 22583 at http://wuis.org The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade Map Of The Developing Human Brain Shows Where Problems Begin http://wuis.org/post/map-developing-human-brain-shows-where-problems-begin A high-resolution map of the human brain in utero is providing hints about the origins of brain disorders including schizophrenia and <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/26/294446735/brain-changes-suggest-autism-starts-in-the-womb">autism</a>.<p>The map shows where genes are turned on and off throughout the entire brain at about the midpoint of pregnancy, a time when critical structures are taking shape, researchers <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13185">reported</a> Wednesday in the journal <em>Nature</em>.<p>"It's a pretty big leap," says <a href="http://www.alleninstit Wed, 02 Apr 2014 18:24:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 22165 at http://wuis.org Map Of The Developing Human Brain Shows Where Problems Begin Jump In Autism Cases May Not Mean It's More Prevalent http://wuis.org/post/higher-autism-numbers-may-not-mean-actual-increase-kids The government's latest <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6302a1.htm?s_cid=ss6302a1_w">estimate</a> shows that 1 in 68 children in the U.S. has an autism spectrum disorder. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 19:30:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 21766 at http://wuis.org Jump In Autism Cases May Not Mean It's More Prevalent Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb http://wuis.org/post/brain-changes-suggest-autism-starts-womb The symptoms of autism may not be obvious until a child is a toddler, but the disorder itself appears to begin well before birth.<p>Brain tissue taken from children who died and also happened to have autism revealed patches of disorganization in the cortex, a thin sheet of cells that's critical for learning and memory, <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1307491?query=featured_home">researchers report</a> in the <em>New England Journal of Medicine</em>. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 22:30:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 21711 at http://wuis.org Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb Alzheimer's Diagnosis Expanding To Catch Early Warning Signs http://wuis.org/post/alzheimers-estimates-draw-attention-how-disease-defined Alzheimer's disease isn't what it used to be. Wed, 19 Mar 2014 20:31:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 21206 at http://wuis.org Alzheimer's Diagnosis Expanding To Catch Early Warning Signs Alzheimer's Blood Test Raises Ethical Questions http://wuis.org/post/alzheimers-blood-test-raises-ethical-questions An experimental blood test can identify people in their 70s who are likely to develop Alzheimer's disease within two or three years. The test is accurate more than 90 percent of the time, scientists <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm.3466">reported</a> Sunday in <em>Nature Medicine.</em><p>The finding could lead to a quick and easy way for seniors to assess their risk of Alzheimer's, says <a href="http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/hjf8/">Dr. Howard Federoff</a>, a professor of neurology at Georgetown University. Sun, 09 Mar 2014 18:04:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 20487 at http://wuis.org Alzheimer's Blood Test Raises Ethical Questions Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn't So Bad After All http://wuis.org/post/maybe-bpa-your-canned-food-isnt-so-bad-after-all Maybe BPA isn't so bad after all.<p>The plastic additive has been <a href="http://www.ewg.org/New-Research-Fuels-Demand-for-BPA-Free-Food-Cans">vilified</a> by environmental advocacy groups. But the chemical had no effect on rats fed thousands of times the amount a typical person ingests, government scientists are <a href="http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/20/toxsci.kfu022.abstract">reporting</a> in the journal <em>Toxicological Sciences</em>.<p>The results "both support and extend the conclusion from the U.S. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 22:41:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 19778 at http://wuis.org Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn't So Bad After All Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain http://wuis.org/post/orphans-lonely-beginnings-reveal-how-parents-shape-childs-brain Parents do a lot more than make sure a child has food and shelter, researchers say. They play a critical role in brain development.<p>More than a decade of research on children raised in institutions shows that "neglect is awful for the brain," says <a href="http://dms.hms.harvard.edu/neuroscience/fac/Nelson.php">Charles Nelson</a>, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 08:35:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 19572 at http://wuis.org Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain Seeing Less Helps The Brain Hear More http://wuis.org/post/seeing-less-helps-brain-hear-more A few days in the dark can improve an animal's hearing, scientists report this week in the journal <em>Neuron. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 01:01:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 18393 at http://wuis.org Seeing Less Helps The Brain Hear More Stricter Autism Criteria Unlikely To Reduce Services For Kids http://wuis.org/post/stricter-autism-criteria-unlikely-reduce-services-kids The clinical definition for when a child has some form of autism has been tightened. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 17753 at http://wuis.org Stricter Autism Criteria Unlikely To Reduce Services For Kids A Growth Factor Heals The Damage To A Preemie's Brain — In Mice http://wuis.org/post/growth-factor-heals-damage-preemies-brain-mice A naturally occurring substance called epidermal growth factor appears to reverse a type of brain damage that's common in very premature infants.<p>Repeated doses of <a href="http://www-nmr.cabm.rutgers.edu/photogallery/proteins/htm/page3.htm">EGF</a> led to the complete repair of brain injuries in baby mice that didn't get enough oxygen after birth, researchers <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12880">reported</a> in the journal <em>Nature. Thu, 23 Jan 2014 01:15:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 17451 at http://wuis.org A Growth Factor Heals The Damage To A Preemie's Brain — In Mice Mild-Mannered Stingrays Can Inflict A World Of Hurt http://wuis.org/post/mild-mannered-stingrays-can-inflict-world-hurt Want to get away? Thinking about a place with warm water and soft sand? Sounds nice. But think twice before you wade into that inviting surf. Chances are there are stingrays in the area.<p>Every year, these timid, shellfish-eating cousins of the shark inflict excruciating injuries on thousands of swimmers and surfers from the Bahamas to Bahrain to both coasts of the United States.<p>One of last year's victims was Eric Stern, a doctor from Washington, D.C., who was giving a surfing lesson to his sister in August near Santa Monica, Calif. Tue, 21 Jan 2014 08:16:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 17330 at http://wuis.org Mild-Mannered Stingrays Can Inflict A World Of Hurt Can A Fruit Fly Help Explain Autism? http://wuis.org/post/can-fruit-fly-help-explain-autism For President Obama, 2013 wasn't just the year of Obamacare. It was also the year of the brain.<p>In April, Obama announced his Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies <a href="http://www.nih.gov/science/brain/%3E%3E,">(BRAIN) Initiative</a> — an effort to unlock "the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears."<p>But scientists say that in order to explain the human brain, they'll have to learn a lot more about much smaller and simpler brains, like those in mice and insects and worms. Fri, 27 Dec 2013 08:22:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 15789 at http://wuis.org Can A Fruit Fly Help Explain Autism? Experimental Tool Uses Light To Tweak The Living Brain http://wuis.org/post/experimental-tool-uses-light-tweak-living-brain When President Obama <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/04/02/176060875/obama-s-brain-map-plan-a-most-audacious-project">announced his BRAIN Initiative</a> in April, he promised to give scientists "the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action."<p>An early version of one of those tools already exists, scientists say. Thu, 26 Dec 2013 21:36:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 15777 at http://wuis.org Experimental Tool Uses Light To Tweak The Living Brain Could Pot Help Veterans With PTSD? Brain Scientists Say Maybe http://wuis.org/post/could-pot-help-veterans-ptsd-brain-scientists-say-maybe Veterans who smoke marijuana to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder may be onto something. Tue, 24 Dec 2013 20:40:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 15657 at http://wuis.org Could Pot Help Veterans With PTSD? Brain Scientists Say Maybe 'Forecast Bust:' Why 2013 Hurricane Predictions Were So Wrong http://wuis.org/post/forecast-bust-why-2013-hurricane-predictions-were-so-wrong Transcript <p>ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro. The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season ends tomorrow. It'll be remembered as one of the quietest on record. Since June, there have been just two hurricanes, both were relatively weak. As NPR's Jon Hamilton reports, forecasters were expecting something very different.<p>JON HAMILTON, BYLINE: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told Americans to expect an unusually active year with between seven and 11 hurricanes. Fri, 29 Nov 2013 19:55:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 14031 at http://wuis.org Brain Cells 'Geotag' Memories To Cache What Happened — And Where http://wuis.org/post/brain-cells-geotag-memories-cache-what-happened-and-where Think back to an important event in your life: a graduation, a birth, a special Thanksgiving dinner. Chances are you're remembering not only what happened, but also where it happened. And now scientists think they know why.<p>As we form so-called episodic memories, the brain appears to be using special cells in the hippocampus to "geotag" each event, <a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/">researchers report</a> in <em>Science</em>. Thu, 28 Nov 2013 19:03:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 13958 at http://wuis.org Brain Cells 'Geotag' Memories To Cache What Happened — And Where In Pregnancy, What's Worse? Cigarettes Or The Nicotine Patch? http://wuis.org/post/pregnancy-whats-worse-cigarettes-or-nicotine-patch Lots of studies have shown that cigarette smoke isn't good for a fetus. So many pregnant women use nicotine gum or skin patches or inhalers to help them stay away from cigarettes.<p>A few years ago, Megan Stern became one of those women. "I smoked heavily for the first seven weeks of my pregnancy because I didn't know I was pregnant," she says. "It was an accidental pregnancy, and I found out while I was in the emergency room for another issue."<p>Stern, who lives in Massachusetts, was 21 at the time and had been smoking since she was 14. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 07:54:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 13700 at http://wuis.org In Pregnancy, What's Worse? Cigarettes Or The Nicotine Patch? Federal Brain Science Project Aims To Restore Soldiers' Memory http://wuis.org/post/federal-brain-science-project-aims-restore-soldiers-memory When President Obama announced his plan to explore the mysteries of the human brain seven months ago, it was long on ambition and short on details.<p>Now some of the details are being sketched in.<p>The <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/brain-initiative">BRAIN Initiative</a> will include efforts to restore lost memories in war veterans, create tools that let scientists study individual brain circuits and map the nervous system of the fruit fly.<p>The Defense Advanced Projects Agency, or DARPA, which has committed more than $50 million to the effort, offered the clearest plan. Fri, 15 Nov 2013 21:34:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 13146 at http://wuis.org Federal Brain Science Project Aims To Restore Soldiers' Memory The Case Against Brain Scans As Evidence In Court http://wuis.org/post/brain-scans-shouldnt-get-their-day-court-scientists-say It's not just people who go on trial these days. It's their brains.<p>More and more lawyers are arguing that some defendants deserve special consideration because they have brains that are immature or impaired, says <a href="http://law.duke.edu/fac/farahany/">Nita Farahany</a>, a professor of law and philosophy at Duke University who has been studying the use of brain science in court.<p>About 5 percent of murder trials now involve some neuroscience, Farahany says. Tue, 12 Nov 2013 08:02:00 +0000 Jon Hamilton 12827 at http://wuis.org The Case Against Brain Scans As Evidence In Court