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

The subiculum: what it does, what it might do, and what neuroanatomy has yet to tell us.

Take-home message: a combined review and theory, presenting some ideas on the functions of the subiculum. I argue that there is a dorso-ventral segregation of function within the subiculum: the dorsal component appears principally concerned with the processing of information about space, movement and memory, whereas the ventral component appears to play a major regulatory role… Read More

Respiratory cycle entrainment of septal neurons mediates the fast coupling of sniffing rate and hippocampal theta rhythm

Our latest paper: Respiratory cycle entrainment of septal neurons mediates the fast coupling of sniffing rate and hippocampal theta rhythm Take-home message: We suggest that the respiratory system entrains septal neurons, and this entrainment in turn results in the coupling of sniffing and hippocampal theta. Pharmacological inactivation of the medial septum  decreases both theta and… 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

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

The psychostimulant modafinil facilitates water maze performance and augments synaptic potentiation in dentate gyrus.

The psychostimulant modafinil facilitates water maze performance and augments synaptic potentiation in dentate gyrus. [download here] Neuropharmacology. 2010 Jul-Aug;59(1-2):9-19. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2010.03.010. Epub 2010 Mar 27. Tsanov M, Lyons DG, Barlow S, González Reyes RE, O’Mara SM. Source Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland. Abstract Modafinil is a psychostimulant drug used widely for the treatment of… Read More

Why no public hue and cry over neuroscience disinvestment? Does nobody care about brain diseases and brain disorders?

The past few years have seen astonishing disinvestment by the pharmaceutical industry in neuroscience research. There have been closures announced of whole research divisions by virtually all the major pharmaceutical companies. They are ceasing research in neuroscience because of its complexity, cost, and their current lack of capacity to deliver a pipeline of meaningful market… Read More

Age-related declines in delayed non-match-to-sample performance (DNMS) are reversed by the novel 5HT6 receptor antagonist SB742457.

Age-related declines in delayed non-match-to-sample performance (DNMS) are reversed by the novel 5HT6 receptor antagonist SB742457 (available here) Callaghan CK, Hok V, Della-Chiesa A, Virley DJ, Upton N, O’Mara SM. Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland. callaghc@tcd.ie Abstract Alterations in synaptic plasticity and neurocognitive function with age have been well documented in the literature. These changes are… Read More