This week Dr. Dave talks his latest podcast #430 – Recent Findings on The Treatment of Insomnia with Barry Krakow MD
You can find the full podcast at #430 – Recent Findings on The Treatment of Insomnia with Barry Krakow MD
Barry Krakow MD is a board certified internist and sleep disorders specialist, who has studied and practiced for 30 years in the fields of internal medicine, emergency medicine, addiction medicine, and sleep medicine. Currently, he is medical director of two sleep facilities in Albuquerque, NM: Maimonides Sleep Arts & Sciences, Ltd, a community-based, sleep medical center and the Sleep & Human Health Institute, a non-profit sleep research institute. He has published nearly 100 peer-reviewed research papers, abstracts, book chapters and white papers in leading scientific publications with a special emphasis on sleep disorders in mental health patients, and which included several breakthrough findings that connect sleep and mental disorders. He has also authored three books on sleep disorders, Insomnia Cures, Turning Nightmares into Dreams, and Sound Sleep, Sound Mind. Dr. Krakow’s comprehensive sleep disorders’ treatment model has been featured in the New Yorker (2009), New York Times (2010, 2012), TIME Magazine (2012), and Washington Post (2013). In the past two years, Dr. Krakow has been heavily involved in training programs, workshops, and symposium presentations to educate and train medical and mental health providers on the Sleep Dynamic Therapy™ integrated model of care.
Brain scientists have long believed that older people have less of the neural flexibility (plasticity) required to learn new things. A new study shows that older people learned a visual task just as well as younger ones, but the seniors who showed a strong degree of learning exhibited plasticity in a different part of the brain than younger learners did.
A widely presumed problem of aging is that the brain becomes less flexible — less plastic — and that learning may therefore become more difficult. A new study led by Brown University researchers contradicts that notion with a finding that plasticity did occur in seniors who learned a task well, but it occurred in a different part of the brain than in younger people.
When many older subjects learned a new visual task, the researchers found, they unexpectedly showed a significantly associated change in the white matter of the brain. White matter is the the brain’s “wiring,” or axons, sheathed in a material called myelin that can make transmission of signals more efficient. Younger learners, meanwhile, showed plasticity in the cortex, where neuroscientists expected to see it.
Source: Brown University Press Release
Controlling fear by modifying DNA
Neuroscientists from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at UQ, may have found a way to silence the gene that feeds fear.
QBI senior research fellow Dr Timothy Bredy said the team had shed new light on the processes involved in loosening the grip of fear-related memories, particularly those implicated in conditions such as phobia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dr Bredy said they had discovered a novel mechanism of gene regulation associated with fear extinction, an inhibitory learning process thought to be critical for controlling fear when the response was no longer required.
New insight can help determine when mouse models are good stand-ins for studying humans
For decades, the mouse has been a mainstay for researchers studying human diseases because the two species share many of the same genes. But now, a comprehensive analysis of the inner workings of the DNA in humans and mice has uncovered some striking differences in the way their genes are controlled.
While the research also shows many similarities in gene regulation in humans and mice, the differences provide new information to help scientists determine when the mouse is a good stand-in to study human biology and disease and when it may have limitations.
Imagination, reality flow in opposite directions in the brain
As real as that daydream may seem, its path through your brain runs opposite reality.
Aiming to discern discrete neural circuits, researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have tracked electrical activity in the brains of people who alternately imagined scenes or watched videos. Their work could lead to the development of new tools to help untangle what happens in the brain during sleep and dreaming, and understand how the brain uses networks to encode short-term memory.
Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison