Cocoa Flavanols Improve Speed of Memory Tasks in Older Adults

A new study finds that dietary cocoa flavanols — naturally occurring bioactive molecules in cocoa — can improve the speed of a memory task in healthy older adults.

Dietary cocoa flavanols

The Brain’s GPS System and the Nobel Prize for Medicine

nobel medal in medicine

On Monday, the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was announced [1]. The prize was awarded to a team of scientists for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system — an “inner GPS” —in the brain that makes it possible to orient ourselves in space, demonstrating a cellular basis for higher cognitive function.

The prize of 8-million-Swedish-krona ($1.2-million USD) was divided, with one half to Dr. John O´Keefe, age 75, at at University College London and the other half jointly to a husband-and-wife team, Dr. May-Britt Moser, age 51, and Dr. Edvard I. Moser, age 52, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, for discovering how the brain creates a map of the space around us and how we can navigate our way through a complex environment.

Protein Overload May Kill Brain Cells as Parkinson’s Progresses

Scientists may have discovered how the most common genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease destroys brain cells and devastates many patients worldwide.

Nerve cells, ribosomal protein

Disorganized Patches in the Brain Suggest Prenatal Origin of Autism

The architecture of the autistic brain is speckled with patches of abnormal neurons, according to research partially funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. Recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study suggests that brain irregularities in children with autism can be traced back to prenatal development [1].

Patch-like areas of disrupted neurons

Brain-mapping Projects to Collaborate, Share Data

Two ambitious and controversial government-backed initiatives that aim to decode the brain are poised to join forces.

Brain mapping projects to collaborate