Tag Archives: Neuron

A “dead salmon moment” for tDCS?

23 May

Another account of  György Buzsáki’s tDCS experiment:

“Buzsáki set up the system on a cadaver and measured how much of the current penetrated the skull and made it into the brain. Not much, so it would seem. He is still writing up his results for peer review, but presented an outline at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society in New York early last month. In his talk, he explained that so little electrical charge gets through the skull and into the brain that stimulating neurons to fire would require applying roughly twice the current that most commercial devices supply.”

Here are the counterarguments:

“Buzsáki’s critics have two responses. First, they suggest that living tissue has fundamentally different electrical characteristics, and so experiments on dead tissue tell us nothing. Buzsáki disagrees: if anything, more current will make it into the inactive tissue of a cadaver’s brain than into the brain of a live person, he says.

Second, critics argue that there need not be enough current to make neurons fire, just enough to bring them closer to the threshold for firing.”

You can read about dead salmons here.

Deep brain stimulation for dementia

18 Apr

Science Daily has the details:

“Their research has shown that new brain cells, or neurons, can be formed by stimulating the front part of the brain which is involved in memory retention using minute amounts of electricity.
The increase in brain cells reduces anxiety and depression, and promotes improved learning, and boosts overall memory formation and retention.
The research findings open new opportunities for developing novel treatment solutions for patients suffering from memory loss due to dementia-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s and even Parkinson’s disease.”

You can find the original paper here. From the paper:

“Overall, these findings suggest that chronic ventromedial prefrontal cortex high-frequency stimulation may serve as a novel effective therapeutic target for dementia-related disorders.”



The cognitive effects of exercise and intermittent fasting.

9 Jan

Deric’s Mindblog points to this paper on the cognitive effects of exercise and intermittent fasting. From the abstract:

“Emerging findings elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms by which exercise and energy intake modify the plasticity of neural circuits in ways that affect brain health. By enhancing neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity and neuronal stress robustness, exercise and intermittent energy restriction/fasting may optimize brain function and forestall metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, brain-centered glucoregulatory and immunomodulating systems that mediate peripheral health benefits of intermittent energetic challenges have recently been described. A better understanding of adaptive neural response pathways activated by energetic challenges will enable the development and optimization of interventions to reduce the burden of disease in our communities.”



The cognitive benefits of walking

11 Sep

A nice piece from The New Yorker by Ferris Jabr on the cognitive benefits of walking:

“Many experiments have shown that after or during exercise, even very mild exertion, people perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking on a regular basis also promotes new connections between brain cells, staves off the usual withering of brain tissue that comes with age, increases the volume of the hippocampus (a brain region crucial for memory), and elevates levels of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new neurons and transmit messages between them.”

Here’s a video about one woman’s 10,000 step project.


And here is Dr. Greger’s video on walking:


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