Brain 'GPS' Offers Alzheimer's Insights
the Psychiatry Advisor take:
A new study may help researchers explain why some patients with dementia have trouble with directions and get lost.
Dr. John Williams and colleagues found that at the beginning of a journey, one region of the brain calculates the straight-line to the destination ('the distance as a crow flies'), but during travel a different area of the brain computes the precise distance along the path to get there.
"These findings provide insight into the underlying biology of mental health conditions which affect our memory. The hippocampus and entorhinal cortex are among the first regions to be damaged in the dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease," Williams said. "Combining these findings with clinical work could enable medical benefits in the future."
How we use the GPS inside our brain to navigate offers insight into memory loss in Alzheimer's
The way we navigate from A to B is controlled by two brain regions which track the distance to our destination, according to new research funded by the Wellcome Trust and published in Current Biology.
The team found that activity in the entorhinal cortex, a region essential for navigation and memory, was sensitive to the straight-line distance to the destination when first working out how to get there.
Psychiatry Advisor Articles
- Continuing Research, Emerging Treatments Hold Promise for Treating Anorexia Nervosa
- ACOG Update: Marijuana Use Discouraged During Pregnancy, Breastfeeding
- Asenapine Prevents Recurrence of Mood Events in Bipolar Disorder
- Depression Profiles in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes vs Type 2 Diabetes
- Purpose, Questions of Social Interaction Lead Physicians to Delay Retirement
- CBT, Acceptance Commitment Therapy Helpful for Those With Chronic Pain
- Suicidal Behavior, Thoughts Associated With Perfectionist Tendencies
- Depression Reduced by Social Belonging, Feelings of Inclusion
- Sleep Disturbance May Be Causal Factor in Psychotic Experiences
- Is Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy Tied to Psychiatric Disorders in Offspring?
- Cardiovascular Risk Management May Slow Neurocognitive Decline in HIV
- Maintenance rTMS for Treatment-Resistant Depression
- New Study Compares Opioid Dependence Relapse Treatments
- Increase Use of Nursing Home for Patients With Cognitive Impairment Category
- Venlafaxine XR Safe, Effective in Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder