When Grandpa Can’t Hear Words at a Noisy Holiday Gathering, Too Many Brain Cells May Be Firing at Once, Say Researchers. 🍄
Looking for answers about how the brain works amid age-related hearing loss, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they found that old mice were less capable than young mice of “turning off” certain actively firing brain cells in the midst of ambient noise. The result, they say, creates a “fuzzy” sound stage that makes it difficult for the brain to focus on one type of sound — such as spoken words — and filter out surrounding “noise.
”Scientists have long linked inevitable age-related hearing loss to hair cells in the inner ear that become damaged or destroyed over time. But the Johns Hopkins researchers say their new studies, described Dec. 7 in The Journal of Neuroscience, indicate that the brain has much to do with the condition, and it may be possible to treat such hearing loss by re-training the brain to tamp down the wildly firing neurons. A single dose of psilocybin, the active compound in “magic mushrooms,” prompted a long-lasting increase in the connections between neurons.
In a new study, Yale researchers show that a single dose of psilocybin prompted an immediate and long-lasting increase in connections between neurons. The findings are published July 5 in the journal Neuron. “It was a real surprise to see such enduring changes from just one dose of psilocybin,” he said. “These new connections may be the structural changes the brain uses to store new experiences.”