We all have them, we all need them, our brains! What a vital organ or organization depending on your perspective.
Every minute of every day, the billions of cells in our brains send and receive signals that influence everything from the memories we form to the emotions we feel. Upon receiving new information, a nerve cell transmits an electrical signal, triggering the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters at special locations called synapses. These chemicals act as messengers, passing along instructions that switch nearby cells on or off. By studying the everyday chatter between nerve cells, researchers hope to better understand communication breakdowns that might contribute to brain disorders. New tools and technologies in molecular and cellular biology are helping scientists track cell communication. Ongoing studies in animals and humans are linking deficits in neurotransmitter production and release to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. excerpted brainfacts.org
Should I say “talking heads” or talking brains?
Brain scans are now starting to peer down to the molecular level, revealing what brain cells are telling one another, researchers say.
This new technique could illuminate the behavior of the human brain at its most fundamental level, yielding insights on disorders such as addiction, the scientists added.
[…] The research team is now working on sensor proteins that bind to other neurotransmitters such as serotonin. However, there is currently no way to use several of these sensor proteins at the same time to track multiple neurotransmitters simultaneously. Essentially, these sensor proteins all look the same to fMRI, so researchers have no way of distinguishing the effects of one from another.
“You can think of them as not being different colors, but all the same color, so you can’t tell them apart if you use more than one at once,” Jasanoff said.
The researchers now aim to improve the sensitivity of their technique. “This can’t be used on humans yet,” Jasanoff said.
Ultimately, “we hope to use these sensors to study and help develop better models of the brain, such as models of how the brain behaves when learning a task, or better models of addiction,” Jasanoff said. “Once we have better models of addiction, perhaps we can test treatments for addictions to different drugs.” Excerpted livescience.com/45276-brain-cells-viewed-at-molecular-level
What is your brain telling you? Something positive?
Any of us, peers, coping/overcoming addictions and our loved ones–would do well to read “proven” research on our brains. Any accurate information that can offer us practical insights and help is worth our time and effort to read and study. We, individually and collectively, need greater/progressive insight to make wiser decisions that lead to better brain health. (May be we need more brain books?)
All of us can enhance our intelligence the most natural way: reading! Read well (and often on topics of health interest)…is mind food to live well!
What can you do today to stay brain healthy? What can you do today to encourage family and friends to stay brain healthy?