The Best Brain Studies of 2023-2024: Top 5 Mind-Boggling Discoveries of the Year

Robot handshake human background, futuristic digital age

Science is a never-ending pursuit, and as 2024 approaches, StudyFinds is taking a retrospective look at the world’s scientific output from the previous year. Scientists are always trying to learn more about this fascinating organ by researching the brain.

These studies are frequently providing society with new hope for improved brain health in the future, from elucidating how people regain lost memories to identifying viable dementia treatments. The top five studies on the brain in 2023 are as follows:

Additionally, common laxatives can improve brain connections and alleviate mood disorders.
Cognitive deficits that can be severely crippling are frequently associated with mood disorders and other psychiatric diseases. Although there aren’t many treatments available right now, new research suggests that medications that target serotonin receptors, such the laxative prucalopride, may be able to help with these symptoms. Nevertheless, it was unknown how this drug affected brain activity at rest until a recent study looked at prucalopride’s effects on adult brains in good health.

Robot handshake human background, futuristic digital age
Robot handshake human background, futuristic digital age

Serotonin receptors, specifically those of the 5-HT4 type, are located throughout the brain and are involved in mood and cognitive processes. Antidepressant drugs mainly target serotonin receptors, however they also frequently don’t treat cognitive symptoms that accompany mood disorders.

According to the findings, during resting-state scans, those who received prucalopride showed enhanced functional connectivity between key cognitive networks. Improved connection was observed between the posterior and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which controls information processing and attention, and the central executive network, which is in charge of processing thoughts. Furthermore, there was increased connection involving object-focused attention between the ACC and the lateral occipital cortex. On the other hand, individuals on medication had reduced connection in the default mode network, which is engaged while one is daydreaming.

Lead author Angharad de Cates, PhD, MRCPsych, of the University of Oxford, says in a statement that “this provides further evidence that prucalopride is having an effect in areas of the brain that improve cognitive function – both by increasing and reducing connectivity between specific brain regions as required.”
This common fungus can act as a “key player” in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
An association between Alzheimer’s disease and a common fungus has been found by a recent study. Researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine have uncovered the mechanism by which the fungus Candida albicans penetrates the brain, initiates processes that facilitate its removal, and produces harmful protein fragments called amyloid beta (Ab)-like peptides, which are a major factor in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.


Researchers found that the fungus secretes aspartic proteases (Saps), which are enzymes that disrupt the blood-brain barrier, which is normally a barrier that keeps dangerous things out of the brain. This opening makes it possible for the fungus to enter the brain and do harm.

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