Early life experiences biologically and functionally mature the brain

Experiences early in life have an impact on the brain’s biological and functional development, shows a new study by a team of neuroscientists. Its findings, which centered on changes in mice and rats, reveal how learning and memory abilities may vary, depending on the nature of individual experiences in early life. Continue reading “Early life experiences biologically and functionally mature the brain”

Aerobic exercise training linked to enhanced brain function

Individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) because of family history or genetic predisposition who engaged in six months of aerobic exercise training improved their brain glucose metabolism and higher-order thinking abilities (e.g., planning and mental flexibility) called executive function; these improvements occurred in conjunction with increased cardiorespiratory fitness. The results of this study are published in a special issue of Brain Plasticity devoted to Exercise and Cognition. Continue reading “Aerobic exercise training linked to enhanced brain function”

Length of pregnancy alters the child’s DNA

Researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have together with an international team mapped the relationship between length of pregnancy and chemical DNA changes in more than 6,000 newborn babies. For each week’s longer pregnancy, DNA methylation changes in thousands of genes were detected in the umbilical cord blood. The study is published in Genome Medicine. Continue reading “Length of pregnancy alters the child’s DNA”

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