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Tag: "neurotransmitter" at biology news

Nicotine rush hinges on sugar in neurons

...he receptor. “They serve as the link between the neurotransmitter binding site and the membrane region where the gate is located,” Chen said. “The sugar is kind of like a hinge. It’s pulling the door open and closed.” Cutting the sugar chains stopped the gate’s operation, according to Chen, who said, “The sugar...

Gene therapy study shows safety and statistically significant improvement in Parkinson's disease

...BA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Increasing GAD causes more GABA to be synthesized, thus helping to calm the STN over-activity. The value of this strategy has been demonstrated in previous human studies where reducing STN activity by either electrical stimulation or le...

Common treatment for methamphetamine overdose may damage brain cells

...utamate, which proves toxic to cells producing the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Their results are published in the May 30 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience . "This work in laboratory animals raises immediate concerns that a standard treatment for methamphetamine overdose in humans might wor...

'Personality-gene' makes songbirds curious

...the brain, which forms the docking station for the neurotransmitter dopamine. Birds with a specific variant of this dopamine receptor D4 gene show a stronger exploratory behaviour than individuals with other variants (Proceedings of the Royal Society London B, 2 May 2007). There is already evidence that variations...

Brain's white matter -- More 'talkative' than once thought

...e found to have electrical signals produced by the neurotransmitter glutamate, similar to the signals used as the principle means of cell-to-cell communication and information processing in the gray matter. The phenomenon was unlikely, they said, because in the mouse brain, OPCs in the myelin-rich white matter are fa...

Newborn neurons like to hang with the 'in' crowd

...g equipment. The NMDA receptor is activated by the neurotransmitter glutamate, a chemical released by neurons in order to transmit information to neighboring cells. Whenever the receptor picks up a glutamate signal it is stimulated and relays the signal. For young neurons that signal means survival. As a matter of...

Chemical maps hint at drug's effects on schizophrenia

...en that schizophrenia is caused by an imbalance in neurotransmitter molecules that help send messages between nerve cells in the brain, scientists recently have begun to investigate whether lipids, small fatty molecules such as cholesterol and triglycerides, also may play a role in the disease and in response to ther...

Fast and slow -- How the spinal cord controls the speed of movement

...In Parkinson’s disease, researchers believe that a neurotransmitter released by brain cells may contribute to activating a system of nerves and muscles that allow for faster movement. They suspect that damage to these brain cells may disrupt the release of dopamine, further complicating free movement. Fetcho and his ...

Mechanism of nicotine's learning effects explored

... enhances learning by activating receptors for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Such neurotransmitters are the chemical signals that one neuron launches at another to trigger a nerve impulse in the receiving neuron. In their studies, Mansvelder and colleagues found that by activating acetylcholine receptors, ni...

How appetite-stimulating brain cells work overtime during fasting

... said. "It's possible that heat may act like a neurotransmitter of a sort," Diano said. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that relay signals to and from neurons. "Changes in temperature could have a strong effect on brain function." The findings emphasize the complexity of the feeding circuitry, which ...

Bisexual fruit flies show new role for neurochemical

...amate that most neuroscientists think about -- the neurotransmitter that moves in message packets across the synapse. ..., scientists failed to identify glutamate as a key neurotransmitter precisely because there was so much of it. "It made no sense," said Featherstone. "People figured...

Common gene version optimizes thinking -- but with a possible downside

...cal systems for processing by the cortex. Both the neurotransmitter that it works through, dopamine, and the chromosomal site of its gene have been implicated in schizophrenia. "Although several groups have looked for possible clinical relevance of DARPP-32, they have not met with great success," noted Greengard....

Autism gene identified by researchers at Yale working with a global research consortium

...rt of a family of genes that plays a role with the neurotransmitter glutamate, which has been previously linked to autism. They also found a gene on chromosome 11 that may be linked to autism susceptibility. That gene has not yet been pinpointed. Researchers speculate that there may be five or six major genes and...

Prenatal cocaine's lasting cellular effects

...pecific alterations in brain circuits that use the neurotransmitter dopamine. Additionally, these cocaine-exposed offspring showed attention problems as well as insensitivity to stimulants like amphetamine, suggesting that cocaine exposure had altered the development of the dopamine pathways in the brain. "In coll...

Largest genomic search finds genes that may contribute to autism

...rt of a family of genes that plays a role with the neurotransmitter glutamate, and a still-to-be-pinpointed gene on ch... we know neurexin 1 is involved at sites where the neurotransmitter glutamate is released. Glutamate is a brain chemical that has been previously implicated in autism. ...

NIH announces phase III clinical trial of creatine for Parkinson's disease

...symptoms of PD result from the loss of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps to control movement. Half of the participants will receive creatine and half will receive a placebo. Neither the participants nor their doctors will know which treatment they receive. "We are studying a stage of the disease that usual...

Drug treatment improves learning in mice with Down syndrome symptoms, Stanford/Packard study shows

...e fact that PTZ blocks the action of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called GABA. Normal brains maintain a precise ratio between neuronal excitation and inhibition that allows efficient learning. In contrast, it’s thought that Down syndrome patients have too much GABA-related inhibition, making it difficult to process...

Brain works more chaotically than previously thought

...The trigger for this damage is our old friend, the neurotransmitter glutamate. "Nobody knew until now where the glutam...tors of the insulating cells are stimulated by the neurotransmitter ?another starting point for developing new drugs. Yet, why can glutamate sometimes be so dangerou...

Decoy pill saves brain cells

...ars. Scientists have known for decades that the neurotransmitter glutamate, which tells neurons to fire, can also destroy them. If over-activated, glutamate receptors start a chain reaction that raises the concentration of calcium and activates calpain, among other toxic enzymes. But Baudry and Xu observed that...

Dopamine used to prompt nerve tissue to regrow

...ciences (PNAS). "We showed that you could use a neurotransmitter as a building block of a polymer," said Wang. "Once integrated into the polymer, the transmitter can still elicit a specific response from nerve tissues." The "designer" polymer was recognized by the neurons when used on a small piece of nerve ti...

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