Nerve finding unravels mystery about communication between the gut and brain

Scientists at Flinders University have, for the first time, identified a specific type of sensory nerve ending in the gut and how these may ‘talk’ to the spinal cord, communicating pain or discomfort to the brain.

This discovery is set to inform the development of new medications to treat problems associated with gut-to-brain communication, paving the way for targeted treatments to mitigate related dysfunction.

While our understanding of the gut’s neurosensory abilities has grown rapidly in recent years, two of the great mysteries have been where and how the different types of sensory nerve endings in the gut lie, and how they are activated.

An important step in answering these questions has been made possible through the development of new techniques by Professor Nick Spencer’s Visceral Neurophysiology laboratory at Flinders University in South Australia.

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Acetylcholine Supplements: Benefits, Side Effects, and Types

In recent years, nootropics, also called smart drugs, have gained popularity among people looking to improve their mental performance.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, or brain chemical, that plays a role in many key aspects of brain function, such as memory, thinking, and learning.

While acetylcholine supplements don’t exist, supplements that may indirectly raise acetylcholine levels have become popular among people interested in nootropics as a way to enhance mental performance.

This article explores the benefits and side effects of acetylcholine supplements, and outlines the best types.

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Sucrose intake lowers μ-opioid and dopamine D2/3 receptor availability in porcine brain

Average voxel-wise non-displaceable binding potential (BPND) maps superimposed on MRI images in sagittal view. Data are presented for [11C]carfentanil BPND of the 5 minipigs imaged at baseline, after initial exposure to sucrose and after 12 days of sucrose exposure (top row). [11C]carfentanil BPND of all 7 minipigs imaged at baseline and after 12 days of sucrose access are presented in the middle row. [11C]raclopride BPND of all 7 minipigs imaged at baseline and after 12 days of sucrose access are shown in the bottom row. Note that the color scale is exponential to highlight the [11C]raclopride BPND in extrastriatal regions.

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There is hope: All the reasons to be optimistic about the end of the coronavirus crisis

With the UK going into a total self-imposed quarantine, several large American cities in lockdown, and distressing scenes in Spain and Italy, life right now feels chaotic and insecure. It’s a crisis. The economy has ground to a halt.

These are the worst of times.

And yet there is hope. This is temporary. It will end. Already, there are reasons to be optimistic.

So if you’re feeling a bit hopeless, consider:

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Professor: Electrons and Quarks May Experience Consciousness

“What this offers us is a beautifully simple, elegant way of integrating consciousness into our scientific worldview…”

The only reason humans know about the existence of consciousness — the phenomenon of having subjective feelings and experiences — is because we have feelings and experiences.

But despite centuries of study, scientists have yet to make any major progress in understanding consciousness.

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Michael Dodge What you’re seeing right now is the past, so your brain is predicting the present

We feel that we live in the present. When we open our eyes, we perceive the outside world as it is right now. But we are actually living slightly in the past.

It takes time for information from our eyes to reach our brain, where it is processed, analysed and ultimately integrated into consciousness. Due to this delay, the information available to our conscious experience is always outdated.

So why don’t we notice these delays, and how does the brain allow us to feel like we are experiencing the world in real time?

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