Super-sized memory is trainable and long lasting

The ability to perform astonishing feats of memory, such as remembering lists of several dozen words, can be learned, researchers report. After 40 days using a strategic memory improvement technique, individuals who had typical memory skills at the start and no previous memory training more than doubled their memory capacity, going from recalling an average of 26 words from a list of 72 to remembering 62. Four months later, recall performance remained high.

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Super-sized memory is trainable and long lasting

The ability to perform astonishing feats of memory, such as remembering lists of several dozen words, can be learned, researchers report. After 40 days using a strategic memory improvement technique, individuals who had typical memory skills at the start and no previous memory training more than doubled their memory capacity, going from recalling an average of 26 words from a list of 72 to remembering 62. Four months later, recall performance remained high.

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New insights into how inhibitory neurons contribute to functional networks in the cortex

Networks consist of many types of neurons, including some that send excitatory signals, increasing the likelihood of other neurons firing, and some that send inhibitory signals, decreasing the likelihood of other neurons firing. Researchers have now demonstrated that inhibitory neurons participate in finely-tuned, functionally-specific networks, similarly to excitatory neurons. Researchers suspect that abnormalities in these networks may play a role in a variety of brain disorders.

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New insights into how inhibitory neurons contribute to functional networks in the cortex

Networks consist of many types of neurons, including some that send excitatory signals, increasing the likelihood of other neurons firing, and some that send inhibitory signals, decreasing the likelihood of other neurons firing. Researchers have now demonstrated that inhibitory neurons participate in finely-tuned, functionally-specific networks, similarly to excitatory neurons. Researchers suspect that abnormalities in these networks may play a role in a variety of brain disorders.

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Molecule shown to repair damaged axons

A foray into plant biology led one researcher to discover that a natural molecule can repair axons, the thread-like projections that carry electrical signals between cells. Axonal damage is the major culprit underlying disability in conditions such as spinal cord injury and stroke.

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Controversial ‘liberation therapy’ fails to treat multiple sclerosis

Opening up narrowed veins from the brain and spinal cord is not effective in treating multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study. The conclusions about the so-called ‘liberation therapy,’ which thousands of people with MS have undergone since 2009, represent the most definitive debunking of the claim that patients could achieve dramatic improvements from a one-time medical procedure.

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Promising lead reduces autism symptoms and more

Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of autism. A team of researchers, however, has provided a promising lead in battling this disease. The scientists identified a single protein that appears to be the culprit in causing many behavioral symptoms as well as molecular and cellular abnormalities related to Fragile X.

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Microwave helmet yields fast, safe evaluation of head injuries

Microwave measurements can be used for a rapid detection of intracranial bleeding in traumatic brain injuries, results from a clinical study demonstrate. A recently published scientific paper shows that health care professionals get vital information and can quickly decide on appropriate treatment if patients are examined using a microwave helmet.

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