The Connected Hippocampus, 1st Edition | Shane O’Mara, Marian Tsanov | ISBN 9780444635495

The Connected Hippocampus, 1st Edition | Shane O’Mara, Marian Tsanov | ISBN 9780444635495 The purpose of this volume is to encourage researchers to situate the hippocampus as part of a network connected to the rest of the brain and not to consider it in isolation. We therefore present a selection of chapters that concentrate on… Read More

Cognition enhancement via drugs – “Smart and smarter drugs | Mosaic”

Embed from Getty Images Great piece on a topic we have dealt with here before – allegedly cognition-enhancing drugs. via Smart and smarter drugs | Mosaic. Author: Marek Kohn Editor: Giles Newton Copyeditor: Kirsty Strawbridge Fact checker: Lowri Daniels Illustrator: Mari Kanstad Johnsen Art director: Peta Bell “You know how they say that we can only access 20 per cent of our… Read More

Exploring adverse neuropsychiatric effects of interferon alpha, using a preclinical model; exploring behavioural and pharmacological pathways to amelioration of these adverse effects

Recombinant Human Interferon-Alpha Pic from the Wikimedia Commons. Interferon alpha is widely used in the treatment of a variety of non-neurological conditions (for example, hepatitis C, Kaposi’s sarcoma, among others). It is in fact currently the only FDA-approved treatment for hepatitis C. Treatment for hepatitis is limited by the striking and adverse neuropsychiatric consequences of interferon alpha… Read More

Roles for the cyclooxygenases (especially COX 2) in learning and memory, as well as in synaptic plasticity.

A pair of papers which focus on the role the inducible inflammatory regulating enzyme COX2 plays in learning and memory. These papers proceeded from earlier work of ours, showing that the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) blocked synaptic plasticity but not synaptic transmission CA1-subiculum pathway in vivo. LPS induces the expression of COX2, amongst other things, and it seemed reasonable to… Read More

Zombie Neuroscience: Shane O’Mara at TEDxDublin – YouTube

Take-home messages: (1) Get a kit, make a plan, be prepared; (2) “It’s always a source of disappointment to the family of a zombie that the zombie doesn’t love them anymore”; (3) Kill the brain. via Zombie Neuroscience: Shane O’Mara at TEDxDublin – YouTube.

Prolonged rote learning produces delayed memory facilitation and metabolic changes in the hippocampus of the ageing human brain.

Take-home message: repeated practice with material that must be remembered facilitates remembering in an aged population in whom there is expected to be a degree of age-related memory loss. This practice produces changes in the brain in structures that support learning and memory. Think of it like this: memory can be exercised via practice, much… Read More

Exploring the recollective experience during autobiographical memory retrieval in amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

Take-home message: there are greater levels of autobiographical memory (memory for the episodes and events of your life and general knowledge of the world) impairment in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI: a greater than expected deficit in cognitive function for age and education) seen than previously assumed. More on MCI, which is often thought of as being prodromal for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as a proportion of… Read More

Hippocampal-anterior thalamic pathways for memory: uncovering a network of direct and indirect actions.

Our major theoretical take and review of the extended brain systems that support explicit, declarative memory in the brain. [Download the paper.] Take-home message: there’s a lot more to memory than the hippocampal formation, and you forget (!) the connected thalamic structures at your peril, because the anterior thalamus provides a subcortical circuit supporting memory and spatial… Read More

Aerobic exercise improves hippocampal function and increases BDNF in the serum of young adult males.

Take-home message: It is becoming increasingly accepted that substantial, sustained low-impact aerobic exercise has profound effects on neurocognitive function in the aged (see, for example, this very important paper from Art Kramer’s group). We here focus on a young and sedentary population, using tasks that tap into hippocampal function. We also measure circulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as a proxy for brain BDNF. We… Read More

Risk factors for the development of depression in patients with hepatitis C taking interferon-α

Risk factors for the development of depression in patients with hepatitis C taking interferon-α Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2011;7:275-92. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S13917. Epub 2011 May 15. [Download the paper] Smith KJ, Norris S, O’Farrelly C, O’Mara SM. Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. Interferon-α, currently used for the treatment of hepatitis C, is associated with a substantially elevated risk of depression. However,… Read More