The best neuroscience news this week from around the web: music and epilepsy, lack of smell, and viruses implicated in motor neuron disease.

October 3, 2015

CHILLING NEWS: Scientists have found that dormant viruses in the human genome may reactivate and contribute to development of motor neuron disease. 


Negative Sibling Relationships Linked to Depression and Risky Behaviors

Neuroscience News – Negative Sibling Relationships Linked to Depression and Risky Behaviors [SHORT READ / SIMPLE SCIENCE]

OH BROTHER: Get along with your siblings? Here’s a reason it might be better to: a researcher has found that poor sibling relationships in adolescents and young adults of Mexican origin is associated with higher risk of later depressive symptoms as well as engagement in risky behaviours.


You Might Be Unable to Detect Certain Smells

Brain Decoder – You Might Be Unable to Detect Certain Smells [SHORT READ / SIMPLE SCIENCE]

I (DON’T) SMELL A RAT: Ever been unable to smell something another person can? Specific anosmia, which refers to a lack of sensitivity to certain smells, might be more common than previously thought. In a new study, researchers have found that, depending on the type of smell, the prevalence of specific anosmia can be as high as 20 per cent.


The Final Scientific Endeavor of Mary Putnam Jacobi

Neuwrite SD – The Final Scientific Endeavor of Mary Putnam Jacobi [MEDIUM READ / SIMPLE SCIENCE]

AHEAD OF HER TIME: Documenting your own demise might seem a bit macabre, but in the case of American physician Mary Putnam Jacobi, it gave rare insight into what living with a brain tumour is like.


Music and Epilepsy, Part 2: Music as Therapy

Brain Blogger – Music and Epilepsy, Part 2: Music as Therapy [MEDIUM READ / SIMPLE SCIENCE]

SOOTHING TONES: In the documentary Alive Inside, patients with dementia come alive when hearing music from their past. It seems that music also has surprising effects on epilepsy patients, tamping down seizures in a therapeutic ‘Mozart effect’. How on earth could this be true? Read on to find out.