Myelin: An unknown saviour for the brain

By Sakaorna Jeyanathan  During my final year of my degree in neuroscience, I have delved into the function of myelin in a lot of detail1. Myelin is an important membrane structure of the brain which is made from fats and acts as an insulating and protective layer for neurones2. It also increases the speed of …

Physical exercise improves mental health disorders: stigma or advances?

Written by María Ángeles Jiménez Sigstad Nowadays, is a common knowledge that exercise has an impact on mental health. Most researchers suggest that it is a positive one rather than negative. However, autistic people and individuals with an introvert personality could potentially feel pressured by this knowledge. They could be socially rejected by their peers …

Chronic Pain Research: Are new developments driven by luck or motivation?

In Conversation with Gareth Hathway Written by María Ángeles Jiménez Sigstad As animals, we have evolved to recognise Pain before the site of injury is experiencing an actual damaging experience. Therefore, we have learned to prevent events that could seriously damage us or even cause our death. This is one of our survival mechanisms. However, …

Computational Neuroscience: GPCRs and Bioinformatics

In Conversation with Professor Dmitry Veprintsev Written by María Ángeles Jiménez Sigstad G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are membrane proteins which are highly relevant due to a large number of drugs that activate them. The classical mechanism of activation of GPCRs is comprised by the binding of agonists, a type of ligand or drug, leading to …

How bad is air pollution for our brain?

Written by Sakaorna Jeyanathan Nobody can deny that we are globally subjected to air pollution on a daily basis. Although it may not be as drastic as the pollution in China(1), we have unknowingly become accustomed to the fumes produced by cars, factories and agriculture(2). Presumably, this can have severe implications on our respiratory system …

How exercise can help overcome stress

Written by Lucy Tyler   According to mental health charity Mind, it is estimated that there will be approximately 2 million more adults experiencing poor mental health by 2030, compared to 2013 in the UK1. According to the Mental Health Foundation, around 45% of adults in the UK report having poor mental health and medication …

Altered gene expression in neurotransmitter pathways observed in Schizophrenia

Written by Vaishali Gursal (3rd year BSc Neuroscience)   Schizophrenia is a severe, long-term debilitating neuropsychiatric disorder whereby an individual is unable to separate their own thoughts from reality. The exact causes of schizophrenia are unknown, although environmental and genetic factors combined can enable susceptibility to trigger the condition. Positive and negative symptoms of the …

Physical exercise can improve memory in later life

Written by Lucy Tyler There is a large body of evidence indicating a self-renewing population of neurons throughout life in the human brain, but if that is the case why do people suffer from age related neurodegenerative disease and memory deficits? This is likely to be because the number of cells that can form new …

The role of Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) in diabetes and obesity

Written by Vaishali Gursal (3rd Year BSc Neuroscience) Diabetes and obesity are arguably the most serious health problems of the 21st century. Tackling both serious health problems is a priority in the scientific and health communities, hence there has been a lot of ongoing research observing processes, proteins, hormones and specific tissues in the body …