Unravelling how the Brain Works

Perineuronal nets and schizophrenia: the role of neuronal coatings

Introduction: Schizophrenia is a complex neuropsychiatric illness which typically emerges in early adulthood. It is characterised by both psychotic (positive) and depressive (negative) symptoms. Traditional theories have postulated that the condition arises from a combination of neurodevelopmental abnormalities and dysregulation of dopaminergic neurotransmission. Recent research has the sought to examine the role of structures known […]

An alternative mechanism of action for antidepressants: neuroplasticity

Introduction: The monoamine hypothesis has long remained the predominant theory for the pathophysiology of depression. It postulates that depression is caused by diminished levels of serotonin in the brain – a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating functions such as mood, sleep, and appetite. The most commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are believed […]

An integrated hypothesis for schizophrenia

Introduction to schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is a complex, long-term mental illness that typically develops in early adulthood. The psychiatric symptoms associated with the condition are classified separately into positive and negative symptoms. The positive symptoms describe a change in a person’s ideas and perceptions of the world around them – examples can include hallucinations, delusions, paranoia […]

An overview of visual agnosia

Introduction: Agnosia is a rare neurological disorder that arises due to an impairment in sensory processing. Sufferers of the condition typically fail to recognise previously known stimuli such as objects, faces, or sounds – despite sensory perception and intellect remaining fully intact. This review will focus more specifically on visual agnosia, including its different subtypes […]

Fatal Familial Insomnia

Introduction: Insomnia is typically described as a state of hyperarousal which interferes with a person’s ability to fall asleep or maintain sleep. It is the most common sleep related condition and can significantly impact a person’s overall quality of life. Some individuals may suffer from an extremely rare form of the condition known as fatal […]

Scientists discover new variant linked to Autism

I’ve recently developed a keen interest in the field of neurogenetics and have been keeping up to date with recent developments in this highly exciting area of research. In this article, I will outline the discovery of a new genetic variant which has been implicated in abnormal neurodevelopment, and the subsequent onset of Autism Spectrum […]

Consciousness may be explained by quantum mechanics

I recently came across an article published in ‘The Conversation’ suggesting that quantum theory may be a possible new explanation for the origins of human consciousness. For years, quantum theory was often dismissed in favour of classical mechanics when it came to discussing biological phenomena, however, recent research has shone a new light on the […]

Researchers reverse stem cell aging

Researchers at the University of Cambridge recently embarked on a study with the aim of seeing whether the ageing process in oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC’s) could be reversed. OPC’s are responsible for regenerating myelin (the fatty sheath surrounding nerve cells which increases the speed of conductance of electrical impulses). As we age, OPC’s are known […]

Overactive mitochondria may fuel brain cancer

Glioblastoma is the most common form of brain cancer in adults and is thought to originate from cells known as astrocytes (a type of glial cell within the CNS). The highly aggressive nature of the cancer means that patients typically only live for up to 15 months after diagnosis. Treatment options are often limited, with […]

Parkinson’s disease may originate in the gut

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive neurological disorder primarily characterised by motor symptoms such as tremor, muscle stiffness, slowness of movement, and loss of balance/coordination. Most cases of Parkinson’s appear after the age of 65, however, early-onset forms of the disease can also occur. If lest untreated, symptoms typically worsen over time and significantly impair […]

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