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Light — Not Pain-killing Drugs — Used to Activate Brain’s Opioid Receptors

Neuroscientists have attached the light-sensing protein rhodopsin to opioid receptor parts to activate the receptor pathways using light from a laser fiber-optic device. They also influenced the behavior of mice using light, rather than drugs, to activate the reward response. When an opioid receptor is exposed to a pain-killing drug, it initiates activity in specific chemical pathways in the brain and spinal cord. And when the researchers shone light on the receptors that contained rhodopsin, the same cellular pathways were activated. Neurons in that part of the brain release chemicals such as dopamine that create feelings of euphoria.

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Hate to Diet? It’s How We’re Wired

If you’re finding it difficult to stick to a weight-loss diet, scientists say you can likely blame AGRP neurons — hunger-sensitive cells in your brain. New experiments show these neurons are responsible for the unpleasant feelings of hunger that make snacking irresistible. The negative emotions associated with hunger can make it hard to maintain a diet and lose weight, and these neurons help explain that struggle.

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Finding The Body Clock’s Molecular Reset Button

An international team of scientists has discovered what amounts to a molecular reset button for our internal body clock. Their findings reveal a potential target to treat a range of disorders, from sleep disturbances to other behavioral, cognitive, and metabolic abnormalities.

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Hate to Diet? It’s How We’re Wired

If you’re finding it difficult to stick to a weight-loss diet, scientists say you can likely blame AGRP neurons — hunger-sensitive cells in your brain. New experiments show these neurons are responsible for the unpleasant feelings of hunger that make snacking irresistible. The negative emotions associated with hunger can make it hard to maintain a diet and lose weight, and these neurons help explain that struggle.

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post thumbnail

Finding The Body Clock’s Molecular Reset Button

An international team of scientists has discovered what amounts to a molecular reset button for our internal body clock. Their findings reveal a potential target to treat a range of disorders, from sleep disturbances to other behavioral, cognitive, and metabolic abnormalities.

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Long-term Exposure to Air Pollution May Pose Risk to Brain Structure, Cognitive Functions

Air pollution, even at moderate levels, has long been recognized as a factor in raising the risk of stroke. A new study suggests that long-term exposure can cause damage to brain structures and impair cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults.

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Long-term Exposure to Air Pollution May Pose Risk to Brain Structure, Cognitive Functions

Air pollution, even at moderate levels, has long been recognized as a factor in raising the risk of stroke. A new study suggests that long-term exposure can cause damage to brain structures and impair cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults.

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The Autonomic Nervous System: The Regulatory Structure of The Body

He Autonomic Nervous System is always working. It is not only active during the "fight or flight" or the "rest and digest" responses. The ANS must continue working in order to maintain normal internal functions. If the ANS does stop working Autonomic failure happens.

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Symptoms of Friedrich’s Ataxia

Friedreich’s Ataxia is caused by an abnormality in one of the genes called X25. This gene is located in the ninth chromosome pair. This occurs when there is a lack of a protein called fataxin in the tissues. This lack of protein causes a degeneration of the nerve cells within the tissues of the spinal cord and its brain connections, the heart and the pancreas.

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Symptoms of Friedrich’s Ataxia

Friedreich’s Ataxia is caused by an abnormality in one of the genes called X25. This gene is located in the ninth chromosome pair. This occurs when there is a lack of a protein called fataxin in the tissues. This lack of protein causes a degeneration of the nerve cells within the tissues of the spinal cord and its brain connections, the heart and the pancreas.

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