mental disorders

LH dipeptide may improve mental health

A research group led by Professor Tomoyuki Furuyashiki and Associate Professor Shiho Kitaoka (Graduate School of Medicine) in collaboration with researcher Yasuhisa Ano of Kirin Holdings has made discoveries regarding the effect of the dipeptide Leucine-Histidine (LH) in suppressing microglial activation and depression-associated emotional disturbances. LH dipeptide is found in fermented foods such as blue cheese and natto (fermented soy beans). Foods rich in LH dipeptide may be a safe, preventive method for maintaining good…

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2,000 Human Brains Yield Clues to How Genes Raise Risk for Mental Illnesses

It’s one thing to detect sites in the genome associated with mental disorders; it’s quite another to discover the biological mechanisms by which these changes in DNA work in the human brain to boost risk. In their first concerted effort to tackle the latter, 15 collaborating research teams of the National Institutes of Health- (NIH-) funded PsychENCODE Consortium leveraged statistical power gained from a large sample of about 2000 postmortem human brains. The teams published their findings…

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Infections during childhood increase the risk of mental disorders

A new study from iPSYCH shows that the infections children contract during their childhood are linked to an increase in the risk of mental disorders during childhood and adolescence. This knowledge expands our understanding of the role of the immune system in the development of mental disorders. High temperatures, sore throats and infections during childhood can increase the risk of also suffering from a mental disorder as a child or adolescent. This is shown by…

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New Processing Technique Helps Researchers Use Electronic Health Records to Study Biological Contributors to Mental Illnesses

Researchers have found a way to scan electronic health records (EHRs) that helps identify associations between broad dimensions of behavioral function and genes relevant to mental disorders. Use of the technique opens an enormous source of data to researchers who are interested in taking a dimensional approach to the study of mental illnesses instead of using traditional diagnostic categories. The study, funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), was published online February 26,…

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Food insecurity can affect your mental health

Food insecurity (FI) affects nearly 795 million people worldwide. Although a complex phenomenon encompassing food availability, affordability, utilization, and even the social norms that define acceptable ways to acquire food, FI can affect people’s health beyond its impact on nutrition. A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine determined that FI was associated with poorer mental health and specific psychosocial stressors across global regions (149 countries), independent of individuals’ socioeconomic status. Nearly…

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Light-activated nerve cells: Understanding the causes of anxiety, depression

Anxiety and depression are two of the most frequently occurring mental disorders worldwide. Light-activated nerve cells may indicate how they are formed. By coupling nerve cell receptors to light-sensitive retinal pigments, Prof Dr Olivia Masseck researches into the causes of anxiety and depression. For more than 60 years, researchers have been hypothesising that the diseases are caused by, among other factors, changes to the level of the neurotransmitter. “Unfortunately, it is very difficult to understand…

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Key biological markers for psychotic disorders identified

A team of researchers led by faculty at the University of Georgia has identified a number of biological markers that make it possible to classify mental disorders with greater precision. Their findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, may one day lead to improved diagnostics and treatments for those suffering from mental illness. The advent of modern medical diagnostic tools has made it possible to identify the hallmarks of innumerable diseases with simple, reliable tests…

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