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Picower Institute for Learning and Memory

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USA Today

USA Today reporter Karen Weintraub spotlights Prof. Li-Huei Tsai’s work studying a potential new approach to treating Alzheimer's disease and “whether certain tones of sound and frequencies of light can help regulate brain waves and help clear our cellular trash, including toxic proteins.” Tsai explains that: “The major difference between this approach and all other approaches is that this approach doesn’t just target one molecule or one pathway or one cell type. This is a holistic approach to take care of the whole system.”

Good Morning America

Reporting for Good Morning America, Kate Kindelan spotlights how Prof. Troy Littleton has placed a travel crib in one of his lab’s offices so his graduate student, Karen Cunningham, can bring her 10-month-old child to work with her when needed. “These sort of local ways that people in positions of power can protect parents against the systemic things, like what Troy's been doing in creating a really supportive and inclusive lab, I think that does make a really big difference and it's great to have an example of that,” says Cunningham.

Wired

Wired reporter Max Levy spotlights Prof. Emery Brown and Earl Miller’s research examining how neurons in the brain operate as “consciousness emerges and recedes—and how doctors could better control it.” Levy writes that “Miller and Brown's work could make anesthesia safer, by allowing anesthesiologists who use the EEG to more precisely control drug dosages for people who are unconscious.”

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Nicole Wetsman writes that MIT researchers have found light pulses could potentially be used to help ease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers found that “light pulses and gamma oscillations protect against neurodegeneration and change the expression of genes involved with inflammation and neuron health in the brains of mice.”

Boston Globe

A gift from alumnus Charles Broderick will enable researchers at MIT and Harvard to investigate how cannabis effects the brain and behavior, reports Felice Freyer for The Boston Globe. Prof. John Gabrieli explains that it has been “incredibly hard” to get funding for marijuana research. “Without the philanthropic boost, it could take many years to work through all these issues,” he notes.

WBUR

WBUR reporter Carey Goldberg spotlights how a gift from alumnus Charles Broderick is funding research on cannabis and its impacts on the brain. "We were saying, 'Wouldn't it be great to study this?'” says Prof. Myriam Heiman of the need to study the impacts of cannabis. "And then this gift comes along and really is enabling us to do everything we wanted to do."

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times reporter Melissa Healy writes that a new study by MIT researchers provides evidence that acoustic and visual stimulation could improve Alzheimer’s symptoms. “The study’s central finding — that inducing electrical synchrony touched off such a widespread range of effects — suggests there might be a single key lever that can preserve or restore order in brains made 'noisy' by age and disease,” Healy explains.

Scientific American

A study by MIT researchers shows that exposing patients to flashing light and pulsing sounds could reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms, reports Angus Chen for Scientific American. “This is the first time we’ve seen that this noninvasive stimulation can improve cognitive function,” says Prof. Li-Huei Tsai. 

New York Times

New York Times reporter Pam Belluck writes that MIT researchers have found exposure to a specific combination of light and sound could improve Alzheimer’s symptoms. “It’s stunning that the intervention had beneficial effects on so many different aspects of Alzheimer-like pathology,” said Dr. Lennart Mucke, director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease.

NIH

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the NIH, details how MIT researchers have developed a new low-energy imaging approach called three-photon microscopy that allows exploration of all six layers of the visual cortex in a mammal’s brain. Collins notes that the researchers are proving themselves to be “biological explorers of the first order.”

Radiolab

Molly Webster of WNYC’s Radiolab visits the Picower Institute to learn more about how researchers are investigating new techniques that might eventually be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Prof. Li-Huei Tsai speaks about her group’s work using flickering light to reduce the beta amyloid plaque found in Alzheimer’s patients, and graduate student Dheeraj Roy discusses his work recovering memories with light.

Wired

In an article published by Wired, Jordana Cepelewicz highlights a study co-authored by Prof. Earl Miller that examines the capacity limit for the human brain’s working memory. Cepelewicz explains that the research, “not only provides insights into memory function and dysfunction, but also offers further evidence for a burgeoning theory of how the brain processes information.”

The Boston Globe

MIT scientists have discovered that memory creation and memory recall are not connected to the same detour circuit in the brain, reports Alyssa Meyers of the Boston Globe. With this new information, the researchers plan to study how “the circuit functions in the brains of patients with early stages of Alzheimer’s,” explains Meyers.

CBS Boston

CBS Boston highlights a new study by MIT researchers that shows that blocking the HDAC2 enzyme could one day help restore memories in Alzheimer’s patients. Postdoctoral fellow Jay Penney explains that, “What we’ve done is found a new way to basically prevent this negative effect of this enzyme.”

Boston Magazine

Boston Magazine reporter Jamie Ducharme writes that MIT researchers have found that blocking the HDAC2 enzyme may potentially reverse memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients. The researchers, “blocked HDAC2 activity by preventing it from binding with Sp3, a protein coding gene that the team found to be a crucial part of genetic blockade formation.”