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May 10, 2017

Neuroscience – SciPol Daily, 10 May 2017

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Medical News Today – Can wine protect your neurons? Study investigates

Excessive alcohol consumption has a wide range of harmful health effects, but some previous research has indicated that a moderate intake of wine can have positive cognitive effects. A new study investigates why that may be the case.

Medical News Today – Low oxygen reverses neurodegenerative disease in mice

When the cells' mitochondria do not work properly, the human body can develop a mitochondrial disease. New research paves the way for treating mitochondrial diseases that affect the brain, showing that oxygen deprivation has unexpected therapeutic benefits - at least in mice.

Nature – Former US mental-health chief leaves Google for start-up

Eighteen months after leaving the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for Google’s health-sciences division, psychiatrist Tom Insel is on the move again. The former NIMH director, who left Google on 5 May, is starting his own company. Insel’s group, called Mindstrong, will try to infer a person’s mental-health status by analysing how they use smartphones.

STAT – As they fight the opioid crisis, addiction counselors see a grave new threat: the GOP health plan

When the Republicans’ first effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act collapsed earlier this spring, Mary Aldred-Crouch, an addiction counselor here, saw that failure as a victory. “It was Snoopy dance time,” she said. But the Republicans didn’t give up. And when the House passed a more conservative version of the GOP health plan last week, Aldred-Crouch felt her anxiety spike. West Virginia, like other states afflicted by the opioid crisis, lately has seen so many more patients with drug addiction find treatment.

The Guardian – Project to map human brain from womb to birth releases stunning images

A landmark project to map the wiring of the human brain from womb to birth has released thousands of images that will help scientists unravel how conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and attention deficit disorders arise in the brain. The first tranche of images come from 40 newborn babies who were scanned in their sleep to produce stunning high-resolution pictures of early brain anatomy and the intricate neural wiring that ferries some of the earliest signals around the organ.

The Times of Israel – Israeli study finds missing protein may contribute to Alzheimer’s

Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) say they have verified the absence of a protein in Alzheimer’s disease patients, and that absence likely contributes to the onset of the debilitating disease. The common consensus is that aging is the result of DNA damage accumulation — essentially the body’s failure to implement processes to completely repair its DNA.