Meldonium, Tennis Star Maria Sharapova’s Performance-enhancing Drug Explained

Tennis star Maria Sharapova has admitted to using the performance-enhancing drug meldonium, which boosts brain and body power and endurance. Here’s how it works.

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Posted in by Douglas Fields, Chemicals, Diet and Exercise, Diseases & Disorders, In Society, Injury, Learning and Memory, Neuroethics, Stress and Anxiety, Uncategorized
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The Taste of Thanksgiving

I took a sip of sugary Coke and was struck by a hideous intense blast of aluminum.  I rushed to the sink and spit out the tainted drink.  Poison!  What’s wrong with this Coke!  I took another tentative sip.  I was slammed again by the overwhelming metallic taste.  I spat out the poison by rapid reflex.  This can of Coke must have been contaminated during manufacturing!  Or, had the likes of the Tylenol Killer switched to soft drinks?  Then I remembered. . .  the taste of Thanksgiving and mountain climbing!

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Posted in Aging, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Chemicals, Diet and Exercise, Diseases & Disorders, Mood, Neuroanatomy, Senses and Perception, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving
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How the Neurotoxin in Dungeness Crab Causes Brain Damage

The California Fish and Game Commission has banned crab fishing until further notice after detecting high levels of a neurotoxin in Dungeness and rock crabs. The toxin, domoic acid, is produced by certain types of planktonic algae, and it becomes concentrated in tissue of crabs and other marine organisms during plankton blooms. People who consume sufficient quantities of the toxin develop amnesic shellfish poisoning, so named because it kills neurons in a part of the brain that is critical for memory. Here’s how it works.

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Posted in Animal Research, by Douglas Fields, Cell Communication, Chemicals, Diet and Exercise, Diseases & Disorders, Epilepsy, Learning and Memory, Policymakers, Uncategorized
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New discovery explains why binge drinking leads to alcohol dependence and suggests new treatments

“Why can’t you stop drinking?” This week at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago announced a new finding that provides a fresh answer to this persistent question that plagues people addicted to alcohol. The discovery offers an entirely new approach to treatment.

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Posted in Addiction, by Douglas Fields, Cell Communication, Diet and Exercise, Learning and Memory, Neuroanatomy, Psychiatric Disorders
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Poisoned Synapses not Crocodile Bile the Likely Killer of Mozambique Beer Drinkers

On January 11, 2015 news swept the globe reporting that scores of people died and 200 were sickened by drinking beer poisoned with crocodile bile in Mozambique.  Thinking is now shifting to the possibility of poisoned synapses, not reptilian bile as the cause of these deaths.

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Posted in About Neuroscience, by Douglas Fields, Cell Communication, Chemicals, Childhood, Childhood Disorders, Diet and Exercise, Injury, Pregnancy and Parenting
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Big Brain Stories of 2014

As we turn the page on 2014, here’s a list of some of the year’s highlights in neuroscience – along with a heavy dose of speculation about what they might mean for the future of the brain.

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Posted in About Neuroscience, Aging, Animal Research, Brain Basics, Brain Development, by Dwayne Godwin, Childhood, Degenerative Disorders, Diet and Exercise, Diseases & Disorders, Epilepsy, Movement Disorders, Neuroeconomics, Policymakers, Sensing, Thinking & Behaving, Sleep, Stress and Anxiety, Technologies
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The Brain’s White Matter–Learning beyond Synapses

Recently scientists have been exploring part of the brain that has been relatively unexplored in learning–white matter, comprising half of the human brain.  Here new research is detecting cellular changes during learning that are entirely different from the synaptic changes between neurons in gray matter.  A new study shows that learning a new motor skill requires generation of new myelin, the electrical insulation on nerve axons.

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Posted in Aging, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Cell Communication, Diet and Exercise, Learning and Memory, Neural Network Function, Uncategorized
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