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How insulin calms brain activity

Insulin has long been known as the hormone which controls the body’s sugar levels: humans who lack or are insensitive to insulin develop diabetes. Although insulin is also made and released in the brain, its effects there have remained unclear.

Published: 30Jun2015

Impact of video gaming on the brain

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B by the teams of Dr. Gregory West (Assistant Professor at the Université de Montréal) and Dr. Véronique Bohbot (Douglas Institute researcher and associate Professor at McGill University and the Douglas Research Institute of the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île de Montréal) shows that while video game players (VGPs) exhibit more efficient visual attention abilities, they are also much more likely to use navigation strategies that rely on the brain’s reward system (the caudate nucleus) and not the brain’s spatial memory system (the hippocampus). Past research has shown that people who use caudate nucleus-dependent navigation strategies have decreased grey matter and lower functional brain activity in the hippocampus. 

Published: 20May2015

Finding the body clock’s molecular reset button

An international team of scientists has discovered what amounts to a molecular reset button for our internal body clock. Their findings reveal a potential target to treat a range of disorders, from sleep disturbances to other behavioral, cognitive, and metabolic abnormalities, commonly associated with jet lag, shift work and exposure to light at night, as well as with neuropsychiatric conditions such as depression and autism. 

Published: 27Apr2015

Understanding the barrier protecting the brain

The brain is a privileged organ in the body. So vital to life, the brain is protected from alterations elsewhere in the body by a highly regulated gateway known as the blood-brain barrier, which allows only selected molecules to pass through.

Published: 22Apr2015

Tango could benefit Parkinson's disease patients

Dancing the Argentine tango could have potential benefits for people at certain stages in the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to findings in a new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The Neuro, McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

Published: 14Apr2015