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Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form new connections—as well as eliminate old ones—throughout life. In previous generations, people often believed that the neural connections of the brain were fixed by a certain age. We now know that the brain continues to develop and rewire itself throughout life and that experience can change the brain’s structure and functioning.

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Scientists open the ‘black box’ of schizophrenia with dramatic genetic discovery

Scientists have discovered a gene variant involved in synaptic pruning puts individuals at higher risk for developing schizophrenia.

Scientists open the ‘black box’ of schizophrenia with dramatic genetic discovery

Scientists open the ‘black box’ of schizophrenia with dramatic genetic discovery - The Washington Post

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Pruning starts near the time of birth & is completed at end of adolescents. At birth, the brain consists of ~86 billion neurons. The infant brain will grow 5x in size by adulthood. 2 factors contribute to this: the growth of synaptic connections between neurons, & the myelination of nerve fibers. A decrease in synapses is seen after adolescence (synaptic pruning), & ~50% do not survive until adulthood. Pruning is influenced by environmental factors and is widely thought to represent…

'During the preschool period, the brain grows four times in size and reaches almost 90 percent of its adult volume by the age of 6. As children, our brains produce an excess of synaptic connections between neurons. During adolescence, the brain continues to morph into its adult form by discarding these unnecessary synapses. However, a new study suggests that growth in size, not synaptic pruning, is what helps the brain to mature.' Brain area keeps growing in adulthood, scientists find:

Learn about the concept of synaptic pruning and its effects on auditory processing disorder in children. Support can be offered to help children.

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Scientists open the ‘black box’ of schizophrenia with dramatic genetic discovery

For the first time, scientists have pinned down a molecular process in the brain that helps to trigger schizophrenia. The researchers involved in the landmark study, which was published Wednesday in the journal Nature, say the discovery of this new genetic pathway probably reveals what goes wrong neurologically in a young person diagnosed with the devastating disorder

Your Brain Has A "Delete" Button--Here's How To Use It

Your Brain Has A "Delete" Button. Here's How To Use It - This is the fascinating way that your brain makes space to build new and stronger connections so you can learn more.

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#Schizophrenia: Ancient Scrolls, #Genomic Sequencing and Synaptic Pruning (NHGRI, March 18, 2016)

'Two Northwestern University neuroscientists have identified the neurochemical signal likely missing in Parkinson’s disease by being the first to discover two distinctly different kinds of neurons that deliver dopamine to an important brain region responsible for both movement and learning/reward behavior. '' Our findings will likely help answer many questions about Parkinson’s disease and other neurological mysteries.” said Daniel A. Dombeck, the study’s senior author.'