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It appears that when the nervous system is developing, only the most viable neurons survive, while immature neurons are weeded out and die. This is shown in a groundbreaking discovery by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The results indicate that the longstanding neurotrophic theory, which states that chance determines which cells will form the nervous system, needs to be revised.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor subjects' brain activity as they were shown images of art, architecture or natural landscapes, the team found that in the visual parts of the brain, these different types of images led to very different patterns of activity, even across images all judged by subjects to be aesthetically pleasing.
With football season underway, media and news outlets are sure to publish articles discussing the head injury epidemic that has loomed over the sport for decades. However, while many may believe that brain injuries like Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) are exclusively a football problem, researchers at the University of South Florida say that isn't the case and explain media framing is to blame for that overwhelming public perception.
During high stress situations such as making a goal in soccer, some athletes experience a rapid decline in performance under pressure, known as "choking." Now, Salk Institute researchers have uncovered what might be behind the phenomenon: one-way signals from the brain's emotion circuit to the movement circuit. The study, which was published online on September 6, 2019, in eLife, could lead to new strategies for treating disorders with disrupted movement, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression, along with aiding in recovery from spinal cord injuries or physical performance under pressure.
The Undiagnosed Diseases Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently found a previously unknown genetic variant that is believed to account for a severe movement disorder in a young woman. In a case study published in the Sept. 9, 2019 issue of Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the research team reports on the discovery of the variant, and describes the steps taken to unlock this medical mystery.
Scientists at Trinity College Dublin today announced a significant advance in our understanding of mild head trauma (concussive brain injury) and how it may be managed and treated in the future. It seems that repetitive impacts—as opposed to single events—cause the all-important damage to blood vessels in the brain.

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