According to an exploratory study, those who consume more foods high in omega-3 fatty acids in midlife may have higher cognitive abilities and even better brain structure than those who consume less of these foods. The research is published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, on October 5, 2022, online. Fish including salmon, sardines, lake trout, and albacore tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids. They can also be found in supplements or foodstuffs that have been fatty acid-fortified.
Recently, a study conducted by scientists on mice revealed to them the action of serotonin in individually promoting patience in the specific areas of the brain. Researchers in Japan found that the mice became more patient in waiting for food when the hormone was artificially triggered in them during the lab experiment. "Serotonin is one of the most famous neuromodulators of behavior, helping to regulate mood, sleep-wake cycles and appetite," the author said.
In the study, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 39 pairs of participants had a conversation with each other while wearing headsets that tracked brain activity. Researchers found that among pairs of people who had very different socioeconomic backgrounds - calculated according to education level and family income - there was a higher level of activity in an area of the frontal lobe called the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In a questionnaire following their task, participants paired with people of different backgrounds reported a slightly higher level of anxiety and effort during their conversation than those in similar-background pairs.
The study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The researchers focused on the area of the brain called hippocampus, which plays an important role in learning and social interactions; and synapses, which are specialized contacts between neurons. "We found the changes in the E/I balance are regulated by astrocytes in the developing brain through the ephrin protein," said Iryna Ethell, a professor of biomedical sciences in the UCR School of Medicine who led the mouse study.
Publishing their work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers show that brain regions with high neural flexibility appear consistent with the core brain regions that support cognitive flexibility processing in adults, whereas brain regions governing basic brain functions, such as motor skills, exhibit lower neural flexibility in adults, demonstrating the emergence of functionally flexible brains during early infancy. The research found that neural flexibility increased with age across the whole brain, and specifically in brain regions that control movement, potentially enabling infants to learn new motor skills.
The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer`s Disease. One of the largest studies linking obesity with brain dysfunction, scientists analysed over 35,000 functional neuroimaging scans using single-photon emission computerised tomography (SPECT) from more than 17,000 individuals to measure blood flow and brain activity.
Another finding is that their areas of the motor brain are more efficiently organised. The findings of the study were published in the journal Brain and Behavior. The research was carried out by Dr Lara Schlaffke from the Bergmannsheil university clinic in Bochum and Dr Sebastian Ocklenburg, Associate Professor from the biopsychology research unit at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum.
For the analysis, the research team focused on the relationships between social contact at age 50, 60 and 70, and subsequent incidence of dementia, and whether social contact was linked to cognitive decline, after accounting for other factors such as education, employment, marital status and socioeconomic status.