Rats, reasoning, and rehabilitation: Neuroscientists are uncovering how we reason

Even rats can imagine: A new study finds that rats have the ability to link cause and effect such that they can expect, or imagine, something happening even if it isn’t. The findings — which are being presented today at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society conference in San Francisco — are important to understanding human reasoning, especially in older adults, as aging degrades the ability to maintain information about unobserved events. —> Read More

New compounds could offer therapy for multitude of diseases

An international team of more than 18 research groups has demonstrated that the compounds they developed can safely prevent harmful protein aggregation in preliminary tests using animals. The findings raise hope that a new class of drugs may be on the horizon for the more than 30 diseases and conditions that involve protein aggregation, including diabetes, cancer, spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). —> Read More

New genetic link found for alcohol-related liver cirrhosis

In most people, any liver damage that might occur from drinking alcohol is reversible. However, in 25 to 30 percent of alcoholics what begins as accumulation of fat in the liver progresses to inflammation, fibrosis and ultimately irreversible cirrhosis, for which the only treatment is a liver transplant. A new study indicates that specific gene mutations might predispose some people to irreversible liver cirrhosis. —> Read More

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