Jon Hamilton http://kplu.org en The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade http://kplu.org/post/forgotten-childhood-why-early-memories-fade Francis Csedrik, who is 8 and lives in Washington, D.C., remembers a lot of events from when he was 4 or just a bit younger. There was the time he fell "headfirst on a marble floor" and got a concussion, the day someone stole the family car ("my dad had to chase it down the block"), or the morning he found a black bat (the furry kind) in the house.<p>But Francis looks puzzled when his mom, Joanne Csedrik, asks him about a family trip to the Philippines when he was 3. "It was to celebrate someone's birthday," she tells him. "We took a long plane ride, two boat trips," she adds. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:15:22 +0000 Jon Hamilton 15818 at http://kplu.org The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade Map Of The Developing Human Brain Shows Where Problems Begin http://kplu.org/post/map-developing-human-brain-shows-where-problems-begin A high-resolution map of the human brain in utero is providing hints about the origins of brain disorders including schizophrenia and <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/26/294446735/brain-changes-suggest-autism-starts-in-the-womb">autism</a>.<p>The map shows where genes are turned on and off throughout the entire brain at about the midpoint of pregnancy, a time when critical structures are taking shape, researchers <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13185">reported</a> Wednesday in the journal <em>Nature</em>.<p>"It's a pretty big leap," says <a href="http://www.alleninstit Wed, 02 Apr 2014 20:35:09 +0000 Jon Hamilton 15626 at http://kplu.org Map Of The Developing Human Brain Shows Where Problems Begin Jump In Autism Cases May Not Mean It's More Prevalent http://kplu.org/post/higher-autism-numbers-may-not-mean-actual-increase-kids The government's latest <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6302a1.htm?s_cid=ss6302a1_w">estimate</a> shows that 1 in 68 children in the U.S. has an autism spectrum disorder. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:25:01 +0000 Jon Hamilton 15397 at http://kplu.org Jump In Autism Cases May Not Mean It's More Prevalent Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb http://kplu.org/post/brain-changes-suggest-autism-starts-womb The symptoms of autism may not be obvious until a child is a toddler, but the disorder itself appears to begin well before birth.<p>Brain tissue taken from children who died and also happened to have autism revealed patches of disorganization in the cortex, a thin sheet of cells that's critical for learning and memory, <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1307491?query=featured_home">researchers report</a> in the <em>New England Journal of Medicine</em>. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 22:53:59 +0000 Jon Hamilton 15351 at http://kplu.org Brain Changes Suggest Autism Starts In The Womb Alzheimer's Diagnosis Expanding To Catch Early Warning Signs http://kplu.org/post/alzheimers-diagnosis-expanding-catch-early-warning-signs Alzheimer's disease isn't what it used to be. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 05:54:18 +0000 Jon Hamilton 15066 at http://kplu.org Alzheimer's Diagnosis Expanding To Catch Early Warning Signs Alzheimer's Blood Test Raises Ethical Questions http://kplu.org/post/alzheimers-blood-test-raises-ethical-questions An experimental blood test can identify people in their 70s who are likely to develop Alzheimer's disease within two or three years. The test is accurate more than 90 percent of the time, scientists <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm.3466">reported</a> Sunday in <em>Nature Medicine.</em><p>The finding could lead to a quick and easy way for seniors to assess their risk of Alzheimer's, says <a href="http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/hjf8/">Dr. Howard Federoff</a>, a professor of neurology at Georgetown University. Sun, 09 Mar 2014 20:39:22 +0000 Jon Hamilton 14605 at http://kplu.org Alzheimer's Blood Test Raises Ethical Questions Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn't So Bad After All http://kplu.org/post/fda-studies-suggest-bpa-food-isnt-health-risk Maybe BPA isn't so bad after all.<p>The plastic additive has been <a href="http://www.ewg.org/New-Research-Fuels-Demand-for-BPA-Free-Food-Cans">vilified</a> by environmental advocacy groups. But the chemical had no effect on rats fed thousands of times the amount a typical person ingests, government scientists are <a href="http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/20/toxsci.kfu022.abstract">reporting</a> in the journal <em>Toxicological Sciences</em>.<p>The results "both support and extend the conclusion from the U.S. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 22:36:06 +0000 Jon Hamilton 14163 at http://kplu.org Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn't So Bad After All Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain http://kplu.org/post/orphans-lonely-beginnings-reveal-how-parents-shape-childs-brain Parents do a lot more than make sure a child has food and shelter, researchers say. They play a critical role in brain development.<p>More than a decade of research on children raised in institutions shows that "neglect is awful for the brain," says <a href="http://dms.hms.harvard.edu/neuroscience/fac/Nelson.php">Charles Nelson</a>, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 17:05:02 +0000 Jon Hamilton 14017 at http://kplu.org Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain Seeing Less Helps The Brain Hear More http://kplu.org/post/seeing-less-helps-brain-hear-more A few days in the dark can improve an animal's hearing, scientists report this week in the journal <em>Neuron. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 17:36:44 +0000 Jon Hamilton 13310 at http://kplu.org Seeing Less Helps The Brain Hear More Stricter Autism Criteria Unlikely To Reduce Services For Kids http://kplu.org/post/stricter-autism-criteria-unlikely-reduce-services-kids The clinical definition for when a child has some form of autism has been tightened. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 20:03:33 +0000 Jon Hamilton 12930 at http://kplu.org Stricter Autism Criteria Unlikely To Reduce Services For Kids Can A Fruit Fly Help Explain Autism? http://kplu.org/post/can-fruit-fly-help-explain-autism For President Obama, 2013 wasn't just the year of Obamacare. It was also the year of the brain.<p>In April, Obama announced his Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies <a href="http://www.nih.gov/science/brain/%3E%3E,">(BRAIN) Initiative</a> — an effort to unlock "the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears."<p>But scientists say that in order to explain the human brain, they'll have to learn a lot more about much smaller and simpler brains, like those in mice and insects and worms. Fri, 27 Dec 2013 16:17:50 +0000 Jon Hamilton 12104 at http://kplu.org Can A Fruit Fly Help Explain Autism? Experimental Tool Uses Light To Tweak The Living Brain http://kplu.org/post/experimental-tool-uses-light-tweak-living-brain When President Obama <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/04/02/176060875/obama-s-brain-map-plan-a-most-audacious-project">announced his BRAIN Initiative</a> in April, he promised to give scientists "the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action."<p>An early version of one of those tools already exists, scientists say. Fri, 27 Dec 2013 05:06:13 +0000 Jon Hamilton 12088 at http://kplu.org Experimental Tool Uses Light To Tweak The Living Brain Brain Cells 'Geotag' Memories To Cache What Happened — And Where http://kplu.org/post/brain-cells-geotag-memories-cache-what-happened-and-where Think back to an important event in your life: a graduation, a birth, a special Thanksgiving dinner. Chances are you're remembering not only what happened, but also where it happened. And now scientists think they know why.<p>As we form so-called episodic memories, the brain appears to be using special cells in the hippocampus to "geotag" each event, <a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/">researchers report</a> in <em>Science</em>. Thu, 28 Nov 2013 20:27:48 +0000 Jon Hamilton 11340 at http://kplu.org Brain Cells 'Geotag' Memories To Cache What Happened — And Where In Pregnancy, What's Worse? Cigarettes Or The Nicotine Patch? http://kplu.org/post/pregnancy-whats-worse-cigarettes-or-nicotine-patch Lots of studies have shown that cigarette smoke isn't good for a fetus. So many pregnant women use nicotine gum or skin patches or inhalers to help them stay away from cigarettes.<p>A few years ago, Megan Stern became one of those women. "I smoked heavily for the first seven weeks of my pregnancy because I didn't know I was pregnant," she says. "It was an accidental pregnancy, and I found out while I was in the emergency room for another issue."<p>Stern, who lives in Massachusetts, was 21 at the time and had been smoking since she was 14. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 16:45:11 +0000 Jon Hamilton 11269 at http://kplu.org In Pregnancy, What's Worse? Cigarettes Or The Nicotine Patch? Childhood Maltreatment Can Leave Scars In The Brain http://kplu.org/post/childhood-maltreatment-can-leave-scars-brain Maltreatment during childhood can lead to long-term changes in brain circuits that process fear, researchers say. Tue, 05 Nov 2013 00:25:35 +0000 Jon Hamilton 10824 at http://kplu.org Childhood Maltreatment Can Leave Scars In The Brain