Sleep Laterally Each Day to Keep Dementia Away?

Neuroradiological study links sleep position with waste removal from the brain, including amyloid beta (implicated in dementia).

Lee, H., Xie, L., Kang, H., Feng, T., Deane, R., Logan, J., Nedergaard, M. & Benveniste, H. (2015). The effect of body posture on brain glymphatic transport. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(31), 11034-11044.

Sleep Apnea Affects Blood-Brain Barrier?

UCLA researchers connect obstructive sleep apnea to compromised blood-brain barrier, possibly introducing neural damage.

Palomares, J.A., Tummala, S., Wang, D.J.J., Park, B., Woo, M.A., Kang, D.W., St Lawrence, K.S., Harper, R.M. & Kumar, R. (2015). Water exchange across the blood-brain barrier in obstructive sleep apnea: An MRI diffusion-weighted pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling study. Journal of Neuroimaging. doi: 10.1111/jon.12288

Brain Correlates of Automaticity and Learning Disability

Harvard scientists link verbal automaticity to cerebellar abnormalities and motor (or combined motor and verbal) automaticity to white matter abnormalities.

Urion, D.K., Huff, H.V. & Carullo, M.P. (2015). MRI in assessing children with learning disability, focal findings and reduced automaticity. Neurology. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001849

Epigenetics and Neuroplasticity

Researchers identify a mechanism of epigenetics (gene-environment interaction) and plasticity in the brain.

Maze, I., Wenderski, W., Noh, K.M., Bagot, R.C., Tzavaras, N., Purushothaman, I., Elsässer, S.J., Guo, Y., Ionete, C., Hurd, Y.L., Tamminga, C.A., Halene, T., Farrelly, L., Soshnev, A.A., Wen, D., Rafii, S., Birtwistle, M.R., Akbarian, S., Buchholz, B.A., Blitzer, R.D., Nestler, E.J., Yuan, Z.F.,  Garcia, B.A., Shen, L., Molina, H., Allis, C.D. (2015). Critical role of histone turnover in neuronal transcription and plasticity. Neuron. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2015.06.014

Sensory Overresponsivity in Autism

Youth with autism and sensory overresponsivity show brain-based sensorilimbic hyperresponsivity and difficulty habituating to stimuli; those without overresponsivity may regulate via prefrontal downregulation of amygdala activity.

 Green, S.A., Hernandez, L., Tottenham, N., Krasileva, K., Bookheimer, S.Y. & Dapretto,  M. (2015). Neurobiology of sensory overresponsivity in youth with autism spectrum disorders. JAMA Psychiatry. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.0737

Connectivity in Preemies

Thalamic (relay) connections to heteromodal (integrative) cortex limited by premature birth, predisposing infants to executive deficits.

Toulmin, H., Beckmann, C.F., O’Muircheartaigh, J., Ball, G., Nongena, P., Makropoulos, A., Ederies, A., Counsell, S.J., Kennea, N., Arichi, T., Tusor, N., Rutherford, M.A., Azzopardi, D., Gonzalez-Cinca, N., Hajnal, J.V. & Edwards, A.D. (2015). Specialization and integration of functional thalamocortical connectivity in the human infant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1422638112

Storytime Sets Foundation for Reading Comprehension

Parent-child reading increases activation of brain networks supporting emergent literacy in 3-5 year-old children.

Hutton, J.S., Horowitz-Kraus, T., DeWitt, T. & Holland, S. (April, 2015). Parent-child reading increases activation of brain networks supporting emergent literacy in 3-5 year-old children: An fMRI study. Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Epigenetic Markers of Cognitive Ability

Perinatal epigenetic processes mark later neurocognitive function and behavior.

Lillycrop, K.A.,  Costello, P.M., Teh, A.L., Murray, R.J., Clarke-Harris, R., Barton, S.J., Garratt, E.S., Ngo, S., Sheppard, A.M., Wong, J., Dogra, S., Burdge, G.C., Cooper, C., Inskip, H.M., Gale, C.R., Gluckman, P.D., Harvey, N.C., Chong, Y.S., Yap, F., Meaney, M.J., Rifkin-Graboi, A., Holbrook, J.D. & Godfrey, K.M. (2015). Association between perinatal methylation of the neuronal differentiation regulator HES1 and later childhood neurocognitive function and behaviour. International Journal of Epidemiology. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv052

Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy

Norwegian cohort study links antidepressant use during pregnancy to anxiety in toddlers.

Finland cohort study finds treatment of maternal psychiatric disorders with SSRIs may lower risk of preterm birth and cesarean section but raise risk of neonatal complications.

Brandlistuen, R.E., Ystrom, E.,  Eberhard-Gran, M., Nulman, I., Koren, G. & Nordeng, H. (2015). Behavioural effects of fetal antidepressant exposure in a Norwegian cohort of discordant siblings. International Journal of Epidemiology. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv030

Malm, H., Sourander, A., Gissler, M., Gyllenberg, D., Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, S., McKeague, I.W., Artama, M. & Brown A.S. (2015). Pregnancy complications following prenatal exposure to SSRIs or maternal psychiatric disorders: Results from population-based national register data. American Journal of Psychiatry. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2015.1412157

Connectivity in Autism

Neuroimaging findings indicate that sensorimotor regions of the brain become overconnected in autism at the expense of later-developing higher-order functions.

Amanda, J.K., Nair, A., Keown, C.L., Datko, M.C., Lincoln, A.J. & Müller, R.A. (2015). Cerebro-cerebellar resting state functional connectivity in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Biological Psychiatry. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.03.024