Patients with dementia may actually die sooner if their family caregivers are mentally stressed, according to a new UC Berkeley study. From 2007 until 2016, UC Berkeley researchers tracked the mortality of 176 patients with neurodegenerative diseases that are corrosive to brain function. They also measured the mental health of the family members who took care of them. Their findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, indicate that patients tended by caregivers with depression, anxiety and other symptoms of mental illness typically died sooner than those being looked after by caregivers in good mental health. For example, compared to patients whoRead More →

Many cognitive processes, such as decision-making, take place within seconds or minutes. Neuroscientists have longed to capture neuron activity during such tasks, but that dream has remained elusive — until now. A team of MIT and Stanford University researchers has developed a way to label neurons when they become active, essentially providing a snapshot of their activity at a moment in time. This approach could offer significant new insights into neuron function by offering greater temporal precision than current cell-labeling techniques, which capture activity across time windows of hours or days. “A thought or a cognitive function usually lasts 30 seconds or a minute. That’sRead More →