brain health

Brains of young people with severe behavioral problems are ‘wired differently’

Research published today (Tuesday 1 May) has revealed new clues which might help explain why young people with the most severe forms of antisocial behaviour struggle to control and regulate their emotions, and might be more susceptible to developing anxiety or depression as a result. The study, published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, used neuroimaging methods to investigate young people with the condition ‘Conduct Disorder’ — typified by symptoms that range from lying…

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Networks of brain activity predict vulnerability to depression

Tapping into the electrical chatter between different regions of the brain may provide a new way to predict and prevent depression, according to new research by Duke University neuroscientists and electrical engineers. The researchers found different networks of electrical brain activity in mice that were more susceptible to developing depression-like symptoms following stressful events than in more resilient mice. If replicated in humans, these results could be the first step toward a test to predict…

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Women who attempt suicide exhibit different protein levels years after the attempt

Women with a history of suicide attempts exhibit different levels of a specific protein in their bloodstream than those with no history of suicide attempts, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York. Graduate student Anastacia Kudinova and Brandon E. Gibb, professor of psychology and director of clinical training at Binghamton University, recruited 73 women as part of a larger study focused on risk for depression and anxiety in families. They…

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Brain’s Alertness Circuitry Conserved Through Evolution

NIH-funded scientists revealed the types of neurons supporting alertness, using a molecular method called MultiMAP in transparent larval zebrafish. Multiple types of neurons communicate by secreting the same major chemical messengers: serotonin (red), dopamine and noradrenaline (yellow) and acetylcholine (cyan). Source: Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University Using a molecular method likely to become widely adopted by the field, researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health have discovered brain circuitry essential for alertness, or…

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Creating brain cells to detect Tourette’s

Scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick used a genetic engineering technique for the first time to create brain cells from the blood cells of individuals in a three-generation family with Tourette syndrome to help determine what causes the disease. “This is so important to the future research of Tourette’s and other neuropsychiatric disorders because before this technique was discovered we were unable to study brain-type nerve cells of living patients,” said Jay Tischfield, senior author of…

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Brain activity may be predictor of stress-related cardiovascular risk

The brain may have a distinctive activity pattern during stressful events that predicts bodily reactions, such as rises in blood pressure that increase risk for cardiovascular disease, according to new proof-of-concept research in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The new research, the largest brain-imaging study of cardiovascular stress physiology to date, introduced a brain-based explanation of why stress might influence a person’s heart…

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Serotonin may worsen tinnitus

Millions of people suffer from the constant sensation of ringing or buzzing in the ears known as tinnitus, creating constant irritation for some and severe anxiety for others. Research by scientists at OHSU shows why a common antidepressant medication may worsen the condition. The study, to be published Aug. 22 in the journal Cell Reports, focused on the action of serotonin, an important neuromodulator in the brain. Researchers examined brain tissue in mice, specifically the dorsal…

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Enzyme research provides a new picture of depression

Despite the fact that more than four percent of the world’s population suffer from depression, and even though approximately 1,500 individuals commit suicide each year in Sweden, the understanding of the pathophysiology of depression remains unclear and only a few new discoveries of mechanisms behind it have been made in recent years. New approved pharmacological interventions are mainly absent, despite intensive research on the subject. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have characterized the role of the…

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Nutrition protects against the impact of stress on the brain in early life

Young mice that grow up in stressful circumstances go on to have fewer cognitive-impairments and memory problems as adults if they are given enriched breast milk. This has been revealed by research conducted by neuroscientists and biomedical scientists at UvA, AMC and UMCG. They have published their findings in the FASEB Journal. In both humans and other animals, severe stress in early childhood (human examples are abuse and neglect or war trauma) results in impaired brain…

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Depression’s physical source discovered

Understanding of the physical root of depression has been advanced, thanks to research by the University of Warwick, UK, and Fudan University, China. The study shows that depression affects the part of the brain which is implicated in non-reward — the lateral orbitofrontal cortex — so that sufferers of the disease feel a sense of loss and disappointment associated with not receiving rewards. This area of the brain, which becomes active when rewards are not…

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