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- Violence against police officers can trigger increased discrimination in police stops
Incidents of extreme violence against police officers can lead to periods of substantially increased racial disparities in the use of force by police, new research indicates.
- Automated screening for childhood communication disorders
For children with speech and language disorders, early-childhood intervention can make a great difference in their later academic and social success. But many such children -- one study estimates 60 percent -- go undiagnosed until kindergarten or even later.
- New hope in fight against aggressive, often hard to treat brain tumor
A potential way of stopping one of the most aggressive types of brain tumor from spreading has now been identified by researchers, which could lead the way to better patient survival. Glioblastoma is one of the most common types of malignant brain tumors in adults. They are fast growing and can spread easily. The tumor has threadlike tendrils that extend into other parts of the brain making it difficult to remove it all.
- Specific trauma experiences contribute to women's alcohol use, differs by race
Trauma exposure has consistently been reported as a risk factor for alcohol use and related problems. Further, racial differences in alcohol use, alcohol use disorder (AUD), and trauma exposure between European American (EA) and African American (AA) women have been reported previously. This study sought to identify racial differences in alcohol involvement, and to examine the risk conferred by specific trauma exposures and PTSD for different stages of alcohol involvement in EA and AA women.
- Older adults with long-term alcohol dependence lose neurocognitive abilities
Heavy drinking can lead to neurophysiological and cognitive changes ranging from disrupted sleep to more serious neurotoxic effects. Aging can also contribute to cognitive decline. Several studies on the interaction of current heavy drinking and aging have had varied results. This study sought to elucidate the relations among age, heavy drinking, and neurocognitive function.
- 100 million prescription opioids go unused each year following wisdom teeth removal, study estimates
More than half of opioids prescribed to patients following surgical tooth extraction – such as the removal of impacted wisdom teeth – were left unused by patients, research shows. The authors say the surplus is troubling given the ongoing opioid epidemic and evidence showing that individuals who abuse prescription opioids often use leftover pills that were prescribed for friends or family members.
- New ALS discovery: Scientists reverse protein clumping involved in neurodegenerative conditions
Stabilizing a protein called SOD1 can help reverse protein clumping in the types of neurons affected by the fatal neurodegenerative condition Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, report researchers.
- Fish oil may help improve mood in veterans
Low concentration of fish oil in the blood and lack of physical activity may contribute to the high levels of depressed mood among soldiers returning from combat, according to researchers.
- Floods severely affect children, young people
Research with flood-affected children reveals serious impacts on well-being but also a desire to take on a role in flood risk management. Factors impacting on children's well-being include: loss of valued personal and family possessions, friendship networks, familiar spaces, education; experience of fear, anxiety, poverty, isolation, unfairness, destruction, stress, uncertainty, being ignored/misunderstood; lack of sleep and recreation; deterioration in diet, space and housing conditions; lack of flood education provision in schools for children and all staff.
- 'Sixth sense' may be more than just a feeling
With the help of two young patients with a unique neurological disorder, scientists have discovered that a gene called PIEZO2 controls specific aspects of human touch and proprioception, a "sixth sense" describing awareness of one's body in space. Mutations in the gene caused the two to have movement and balance problems and the loss of some forms of touch. Despite their difficulties, they both appeared to cope with these challenges by relying heavily on vision and other senses.
- When we're unsure how to respond, how does our brain decide whether a situation is pleasant or not?
Emotionally confusing video clips were used in a new study that revealed different neutral networks that operate when we perceive a situation as positive or negative.
- Fear of stigma or sanction keeps many doctors from revealing mental health issues, study finds
Even as doctors across America encourage their patients to share concerns about depression, anxiety and other concerns, a new study suggests the doctors may be less likely to seek help for those same concerns about themselves.
- Testing Ecopipam's effectiveness in treating stuttering
Stuttering, an interruption in the flow of speech, affects about three million Americans. Currently, no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug treatments are available. In an attempt to find a new medicine, a research team will conduct a study to determine how effective ecopipam, an orally administered medication, is as treatment against stuttering.
- Robot doesn't have to behave and look like a human
The R2-D2 robot from Star Wars doesn’t communicate in human language but is, nevertheless, capable of showing its intentions. For human-robot interaction, the robot does not have to be a true ‘humanoid,’ provided that its signals are designed in the right way, say researchers.
- Study challenges widely held view about children's moral judgement
Children's ability to make moral judgements has often been substantially underestimated, new research indicates. When making moral judgements, adults tend to focus on people's intentions rather than on the outcomes of their actions: hurting someone intentionally is much worse than hurting them accidentally. However, the prevailing view in developmental psychology is that younger children's moral judgements are mainly based on the outcomes of actions, rather than the intentions of those involved. However, despite decades of research there is still disagreement about whether this claim is correct.
- Drug may prevent, reduce progression of MS in mice
The experimental drug laquinimod may prevent the development or reduce the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) in mice, according to new research.
- Working mothers most in need of social support are less likely to receive it
A new study links nonstandard work schedules to weaker private safety nets, particularly for African-Americans, the less educated and those who don't work 9-to-5. However, there also is evidence that switching from a standard to a nonstandard schedule increases the safety net. These mixed results suggest that the working mothers most in need social support are the least likely to actually have access to it.
- Olfactory glomeruli have a unique structure
Scientists have quantified and mapped the functional units of the olfactory center in the brains of vinegar flies responsible for the perception of odors. The basic units of the olfactory system in the fly brain provide references to their function and ecological relevance.
- Delaying motor neuron loss
A potential treatment to delay motor neuron loss and symptoms has been discovered in the inevitably fatal motor neuron disease (MND). Researchers have reported that triheptanoin, a synthetic triglyceride oil, might help to address problems with energy metabolism associated with the neurodegenerative disease.
- 'Likes' less likely to affect self-esteem of people with purpose
How many likes did I get? The rush of self-esteem that comes with the ubiquitous thumbs-up has more people asking that question, as Facebook and other social media sites offer more ways for friends to endorse photos and posts.
- Trial helps doctors tell Lewy body dementia from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's
Knowing that many clinicians find it difficult to correctly diagnose patients with Lewy body dementia, researchers set out to develop a clinical profile for these patients.
- You can’t blame your genes if you don’t lose weight, study finds
You might be able to blame your genes for weighing more and increasing your risk of obesity, but you can no longer blame your genes for failing to lose weight, a comprehensive study has found.
- Brain to robot: 'Move, please'
Using the power of thought to control a robot that helps to move a paralysed hand: new research could fundamentally change the therapy and daily lives of stroke patients.
- Study illuminates how mystery MS drug works
Scientists have de-mystified the molecular workings of the multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera®. The drug is the most widely prescribed pill-based therapy for MS, but its biological mechanism remains mysterious.
- New explanation offered for symptoms of fragile X syndrome
Until recently, scientists thought they understood one of the underlying causes of fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability in the United States. The syndrome, which is associated with autism, was believed to be linked primarily to overactivity in a molecular pathway in the brain.
- Map-reading more difficult for women during ovulation
New research shows tha estrogen and progesterone cause the brain to favor one memory system or strategy over another.
- Immune and targeted therapies with radiation therapy improves outcomes for melanoma brain metastases patients, say researchers
Researchers have sought to determine if patients with melanoma brain metastases treated with immune and targeted therapies had improved outcomes over patients treated with conventional chemotherapy. They retrospectively analyzed data from 96 patients with melanoma brain metastases who were treated with stereotactic radiation therapy within 3 months of different targeted therapies (anti–PD-1 therapy, anti–CTLA-4 therapy, BRAF inhibitor plus a MEK inhibitor, or a BRAF inhibitor alone) or conventional chemotherapy.
- Common genetic variant regulates the mental health benefits of exercise
A new study revealed that a common genetic variant in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene reduces the neurobiological benefits induced by physical exercise in mice.
- Brain’s hippocampus helps fill in the blanks of language
A new study shows that when you finish your spouse's sentences or answer a fill-in-the-blank question, you're engaging the brain's relay station for memories, an area that until now was largely neglected by scientists studying language.
- Detecting emotions with wireless signals
Researchers have developed "EQ-Radio," a device that can detect a person's emotions using wireless signals. By measuring subtle changes in breathing and heart rhythms, EQ-Radio is 87 percent accurate at detecting if a person is excited, happy, angry or sad -- and can do so without on-body sensors.
- MRI scanner sees emotions flickering across an idle mind
As you relax and let your mind drift aimlessly, you might remember a pleasant vacation, an angry confrontation in traffic or maybe the loss of a loved one. And now a team of researchers says they can see those various emotional states flickering across the human brain.
- Oxytocin enhances spirituality: The biology of awe
Oxytocin has been dubbed the "love hormone" for its role promoting social bonding, altruism and more. Now new research suggests the hormone may also support spirituality.
- Sleep is key to curing chronic pain
A ink between chronic pain and lack of sleep has been identified by a team of researchers. They also discovered that people with pain who believe they won't be able to sleep are more likely to suffer from insomnia, thus causing worse pain. A pioneering study could lead to specific cognitive therapy to cure insomnia and treat chronic pain.
- Research shows that how students engage with feedback is as important as its content
A new research review takes a novel approach to feedback by focusing not on how it is delivered, but how students engage with and use it. The key message from the study is that effective feedback needs to be a dialogue – not a one-way communication.
- Stimulating neurons could protect against brain damage, research shows
A breakthrough in understanding how brain damage spreads – and how it could potentially be limited – has been made through a collaboration between neuroscientists and engineers.
- Care home dementia study finds failure to reduce antipsychotic prescribing
There has been no sustained reduction in the prescription of antipsychotics to UK dementia patients, despite government guidance, according to a report.
- Researchers find a potential signature of cognitive function in people living with HIV
A unique epigenetic footprint has been found in specific types of immune cells from blood that can identify individuals with HIV that have a range of impairments in cognitive function. Reliable biomarkers such as that identified by the researchers offer insight into how HIV-associated cognitive impairment develops but also promises improved diagnostic testing and improved treatment decisions.
- Can nicotine protect the aging brain?
Everyone knows that tobacco products are bad for your health. However, according to research, it turns out the nicotine itself--when given independently from tobacco--could help protect the brain as it ages, and even ward off Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease.
- Health benefits of evening classes revealed
Those with a taste for adult education classes have long known it, but now scientists have confirmed that taking part in the weekly sessions can boost wellbeing -- regardless of the subject studied.
- First results from world’s biggest body scanning project
Data from the first 5,000 UK Biobank participants taking part in the world's largest health imaging study has been released for health researchers worldwide to use in their own research. Researchers unearthed some rather complicated patterns of correlation. For example, one pattern links brain imaging to intelligence, level of education, and a set of lifestyle factors that at first appear unrelated -- including amount of time spent outdoors and how much cheese people eat. It is plausible that, taken together, these factors create a profile of socio-economic-status and its relation to the brain.
- Low English skills at school start linked to behavioral difficulties
Children who enter reception with poor English language skills -- whether it's their first language or an additional language -- are more likely to have social, emotional and behavioral difficulties in later years, finds a new study. The research found the cognitive advantages of bilingualism tend to help with academic achievement only if English skills are sufficient at school entry for the child to be fully engaged.
- Racial gaps persist in how breast cancer survivors function, feel during treatment and after
An analysis of the quality of life of several thousand breast cancer survivors in North Carolina found differences in how black and white women functioned and felt physically and spiritually during treatment and two years after diagnosis.
- Virtual reality training improves social skills of individuals on the autism spectrum
Children with autism spectrum disorder, who participated in a virtual reality training program, improved social cognition skills and reported better real-world relationships. Neurocognitive testing showed significant gains in emotional recognition, understanding the perspective of others and the ability to problem solve.
- Companies use instincts to elicit behavior from consumers, employees
The obvious strategy for a clothing retailer is to have as much product on the sales floor as possible to yield high sales. The clothing needs to be available to be bought, right?
- Activity trackers are ineffective at sustaining weight loss
Wearable devices that monitor physical activity are not reliable tools for weight loss, says a new study. The study specifically investigated whether regular use of commercially available activity trackers is effective for producing and sustaining weight loss. Participants without physical activity trackers showed nearly twice the weight loss benefits at the end of the 24 months.
- Inherited parental methylation shifts over time, may have functional effects in the brain and other tissues
Inherited methylation—a form of epigenetic regulation passed down from parents to offspring—is far more dynamic than previously thought and may contribute to changes in the brain and other tissues over time. This finding challenges current understandings of gene regulation via methylation, from development through adulthood.
- Genetic 'switch' identified as potential target for Alzheimer’s disease
An important part of the machinery that switches on a gene known to protect against Alzheimer's Disease has been discovered by a team of scientists.
- Do these genes make me lonely? Study finds loneliness is a heritable trait
Loneliness is linked to poor physical and mental health, and is an even more accurate predictor of early death than obesity. To better understand who is at risk, researchers conducted the first genome-wide association study for loneliness -- as a life-long trait, not a temporary state. They discovered that risk for feeling lonely is partially due to genetics, but environment plays a bigger role.
- How the brain separates relevant, irrelevant information
A new theory, based on a computational model, has been revealed by researchers on how the brain separates relevant from irrelevant information in these and other circumstances.
- Using nonlinearity in understanding market forces
There are certain markets within the U.S. and global economies in which two major corporations dominate. For example, Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are the two major firms that compete with each other in the soft drink market. These situations are called duopolies and they create an interesting set of dynamics within the market.
- Shape-shifting protein behind Alzheimer's disease
The protein behind Alzheimer’s disease shape-shifts, changing its internal structure in order to infiltrate brain cells and become toxic, new research indicates.
- Spotting the disease before it reveals its presence
A vast class of incurable neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the aggregation and deposition of aberrant proteins like the amyloid bpeptide or the a-synuclein, considered to be a factor behind the development of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, respectively. Now a study shows that a preclinical test may open new perspectives in the diagnosis of neurological disorders.
- New treatment for depressed smokers trying to quit
Why is quitting smoking particularly difficult for depressed people? Researchers are now testing a new smoking cessation treatment combining medication and behavioral activation therapy targeted at this population.
- Video games can have lasting impact on learning
A computer-based brain training program helps improve student performance in reading and math — in some cases even more than individualized tutoring, according to a new study.
- Gene discovery in severe epilepsy may offer clues to unique personalized therapies
An international team of researchers who discovered a new gene disorder that causes severe childhood epilepsy leveraged that finding to reduce seizures in two children. The collaborators’ case report reflects the potential of precision medicine -- applying basic science knowledge to individualize treatment to a patient’s unique genetic profile.
- What causes mass panic in emergency situations?
- Better, cost-effective depression treatment for teens identified
Depression can create a huge cost burden on patients and institutions, and for teenagers that includes issues like missed school and the costs of healthcare for families. A new study identifies a cost-effective treatment that yields promising results for depressed teens.
- Researchers identify concussion treatment for persistent cases in children
A new intervention for adolescents with persistent post-concussive symptoms has improved health and wellness outcomes significantly, report investigators. The approach combines cognitive behavioral therapy and coordinated care among providers, schools, patients and families.
- A tough day could erase the perks of choosing 'good' fat sources, study finds
The type of fat you eat matters, but a new study suggests that the benefits of good fats vanish when stress enters the picture. This study is the first to show that stress has the potential to cancel out benefits of choosing healthier fats.
- Good relationships with parents may benefit children's health decades later
Growing up in a well-off home can benefit a child's physical health even decades later -- but a lack of parent-child warmth, or the presence of abuse, may eliminate the health advantage of a privileged background, according to a new study.