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- Improving babies' language skills before they're even old enough to speak
In the first months of life, when babies begin to distinguish sounds that make up language from all the other sounds in the world, they can be trained to more effectively recognize which sounds “might” be language, accelerating the development of the brain maps which are critical to language acquisition and processing, according to new research.
- Memory loss associated with Alzheimer's reversed: Small trial succeeds using systems approach to memory disorders
In the first, small study of a novel, personalized and comprehensive program to reverse memory loss, nine of 10 participants displayed subjective or objective improvement in their memories beginning within three to six months after the program’s start.
- Depression increasing across the United States
Americans are more depressed now than they have been in decades, a recent study shows. Analyzing data from 6.9 million adolescents and adults from all over the country, researchers found that Americans now report more psychosomatic symptoms of depression, such as trouble sleeping and trouble concentrating, than their counterparts in the 1980s.
- How to predict who will suffer the most from stress
New research has found a way to identify those most susceptible to stress. That's a huge help for health-care professionals working to stop stress before it gets out of control. "By pinpointing those in the general population who are most vulnerable to stress, we can intervene before they hit the breaking point -- and hopefully prevent the negative consequences of stress by doing so. That's why it's important to have an objective diagnostic tool like this one," a researcher says.
- Longitudinal report shows challenging reality of aging with an intellectual disability
The serious, complex and unique health and social challenges facing Ireland's intellectual disability population are outlined in a new report. The study is the first study of its kind in Europe and the only one in the world with the ability to compare the aging of people with intellectual disability directly with the general aging population.
- Adolescent exposure to THC may cause immune systems to go up in smoke
When it comes to using marijuana, new research involving mice suggests that just because you can do it, doesn't mean that you should. That's because a team of scientists have found that using marijuana in adolescence may do serious long-term damage to the immune system.
- Bacteria may have ability to reduce impact of diazepam on UK river environments
A reaction pathway that could reduce the potentially harmful impact of diazepam and similar chemicals on the UK's freshwater environment has been discovered by researchers. Diazepam -- used to treat anxiety and other similar conditions -- has been detected in rivers across the UK and Europe, having been released from waste water treatment plants. At the levels recorded, it has the potential to produce harmful ecological effects in surface waters, including changing the behavior of fish shoals and their ability to sense danger from predators.
- Alcohol makes smiles more 'contagious,' but only for men
Consuming an alcoholic beverage may make men more responsive to the smiles of others in their social group, according to new research. The findings suggest that, for men, alcohol increases sensitivity to rewarding social behaviors like smiling, and may shed light on risk factors that contribute to problem drinking among men.
- New learning mechanism for individual nerve cells
Learning is based on the strengthening or weakening of the contacts between the nerve cells in the brain -- this has been the traditional understanding. However, this has been challenged by new research findings. These indicate that there is also a third mechanism -- a kind of clock function that gives individual nerve cells the ability to time their reactions.
- First evidence that reptiles can learn through imitation
New research has for the first time provided evidence that reptiles could be capable of social learning through imitation. The ability to acquire new skills through the ‘true imitation’ of others’ behavior is thought to be unique to humans and advanced primates, such as chimpanzees.
- Development models put to the test: Low birth weight children are particularly vulnerable to environmental influences
Low birth weight children are more vulnerable to environmental influences than infants born with normal weight. When brought up with a great deal of sensitivity, they will be able to catch up in school, but on average they will not become better students than normal birth weight children. This result, provided by an international psychologist team, has confirmed the so-called diathesis-stress model of development for low birth weight populations.
- Selectively rewiring brain's circuitry to treat depression
On Star Trek, it is easy to take for granted the incredible ability of futuristic doctors to wave small devices over the heads of both humans and aliens, diagnose their problems through evaluating changes in brain activity or chemistry, and then treat behavior problems by selectively stimulating relevant brain circuits. While that day is a long way off, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex does treat symptoms of depression in humans by placing a relatively small device on a person’s scalp and stimulating brain circuits.
- Brief depression questionnaires could lead to unnecessary antidepressant prescriptions
Short questionnaires used to identify patients at risk for depression are linked with antidepressant medications being prescribed when they may not be needed, according to new research. Known as "brief depression symptom measures," the self-administered questionnaires are used in primary care settings to determine the frequency and severity of depression symptoms among patients.
- Chefs at schools can increase school meal participation, vegetable intake among students
Gourmet pizza in school? According to a new pilot study, chef-made meals can increase participation in the National School Lunch Program by 9 percent and overall selection and consumption of vegetables by 16 percent.
- Self-compassion key to positive body image, coping
Women who accept and tolerate their imperfections appear to have a more positive body image despite their body mass index and are better able to handle personal disappointments and setbacks in their daily lives. Research has found that this self-compassion might be an important means to increase positive body image and protect girls and young women against unhealthy weight-control practices and eating disorders.
- 'Frenemy' in Parkinson's disease takes to crowdsourcing
A key neuronal protein called alpha-synuclein normally gathers in synapses, where aggregates of it help regulate neurotransmissions, researchers have found. In overabundance, though, a-synuclein can choke off communication altogether, leading to neuronal death and related diseases.
- Single-neuron 'hub' orchestrates activity of an entire brain circuit
New research makes a major contribution to efforts to navigate the brain, offering a precise model of the organization of developing neuronal circuits. If researchers can further identify the cellular type of 'hub neurons,' it may be possible to reproduce them in vitro and transplant them into aged or damaged brain circuitries in order to recover functionality.
- Sleep twitches light up the brain
A new study finds twitches during rapid eye movement sleep comprise a different class of movement, which researchers say is further evidence that sleep twitches activate circuits throughout the developing brain and teach newborns about their limbs and what they can do with them.
- Transplant drug could boost power of brain tumor treatments, study finds
Every day, organ transplant patients around the world take a drug called rapamycin to keep their immune systems from rejecting their new kidneys and hearts. New research suggests that the same drug could help brain tumor patients by boosting the effect of new immune-based therapies.
- What makes a song sing? Backup singers
What made Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1983, and other songs, like Madonna’s 1999 “Nothing Really Matters,” flounder at 90 or below? New research suggests that back-up singers may finally be getting their due.
- Spastic paraplegia: New light shed on cause
A gene mutation linked to hereditary spastic paraplegia, a disabling neurological disorder, interferes with the normal breakdown of triglyceride fat molecules in the brain, scientists have found. The researchers found large droplets of triglycerides within the neurons of mice modeling the disease.
- New clues revealed to understand brain stimulation
Brain networks -- the interconnected pathways that link brain circuits to one another -- can help guide site selection for brain stimulation therapies, a new study suggests. Over the past several decades, brain stimulation has become an increasingly important treatment option for a number of psychiatric and neurological conditions.
- Feeling fatigued while driving? Don't reach for your music
Drinking caffeinated beverages and listening to music are two popular fatigue-fighting measures that drivers take, but very few studies have tested the usefulness of those measures. New research evaluates which method, if either, can successfully combat driver fatigue.
- DNA signature in Ice Storm babies: Prenatal maternal stress exposure to natural disasters predicts epigenetic profile of offspring
The number of days an expectant mother was deprived of electricity during Quebec's Ice Storm in 1998 predicts the epigenetic profile of her child, a new study finds.
- Who are the men, boys suffering from anorexia?
The current state of knowledge about anorexia in men and boys has been the focus of recent study. "Our results show that certain particularities can be identified in males, especially related to personality, gender identity, and sexual orientation", says an author of a new study on the topic.
- How career dreams are born
A new study shows just what it takes to convince a person that she is qualified to achieve the career of her dreams. Researchers found that it’s not enough to tell people they have the skills or the grades to make their goal a reality. Instead, many people need a more vivid and detailed description of just how pursuing their dream career will help make them successful.
- Protein that causes frontotemporal dementia also implicated in Alzheimer's disease
Low levels of the naturally occurring protein progranulin exacerbate cellular and cognitive dysfunction, while raising levels can prevent abnormalities in an Alzheimer's model.
- Signature of aging in brain: Researchers suggest that the brain's 'immunological age' is what counts
Evidence of a unique 'signature' that may be the 'missing link' between cognitive decline and aging has been found by researchers. The scientists believe that this discovery may lead, in the future, to treatments that can slow or reverse cognitive decline in older people.
- Hand size appears to stay constant, providing natural 'ruler'
People tend to perceive their dominant hand as staying relatively the same size even when it's magnified, lending support to the idea that we use our hand as a constant perceptual 'ruler' to measure the world around us.
- After-school exercise program enhances cognition in 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds
A nine-month-long, randomized controlled trial involving 221 prepubescent children found that those who engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes a day after school saw substantial improvements in their ability to pay attention, avoid distraction and switch between cognitive tasks, researchers report.
- Self-made billionaires more likely to give than inheritors
Billionaires who have built their own fortunes are more likely to pledge to donate a large portion of their wealth to charities, than those who are heirs to family fortunes, a study has shown. The researchers examined written testaments of wealthy philanthropists who have signed up to The Giving Pledge, a venture which encourages billionaires to donate at least half of their wealth to charitable causes.
- Remote healthcare for an aging population
An aging population and an increased incidence of debilitating illnesses such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease means there is pressure on technology to offer assistance with healthcare - monitoring and treatment. Research points to remote monitoring as offering a way to improve patient care and even accelerate medical research.
- Mimicking brain cells to boost computer memory power
Researchers have brought ultra-fast, nano-scale data storage within striking reach, using technology that mimics the human brain. The researchers have built a novel nano-structure that offers a new platform for the development of highly stable and reliable nanoscale memory devices.
- Asking parents smart questions can help obese kids lose weight
Preventing childhood obesity may begin at home, but there’s plenty nurses can do to help parents embrace healthy lifestyle choices, says one expert. For tips about diet and exercise to stick, clinicians need to take the time to interview families about their habits, she adds.
- Cells from placentas safe for patients with multiple sclerosis, study shows
Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) were able to safely tolerate treatment with cells cultured from human placental tissue, according to a study. “This is the first time placenta-derived cells have been tested as a possible therapy for multiple sclerosis,” said the lead investigator of the study. “The next step will be to study larger numbers of MS patients to assess efficacy of the cells, but we could be looking at a new frontier in treatment for the disease.”
- Child maltreatment underreported in Medicaid claims, study finds
Medicaid claims are a poor way to identify child abuse and neglect at a population level, according to a study. Previous research has documented the reasons clinicians may not enter maltreatment codes while billing Medicaid, but the magnitude at a national level has not been known.
- Scarring effects of primary-grade retention?
The effect of scarring in the educational career in the case of primary-grade retention has been explored in a new article. Research found that primary-grade retention has lasting effects on educational attainments well after a student is initially retained: Retaining a child in early primary school reduces his or her odds of high school completion by about 60 percent in propensity score matching and sibling fixed-effects models.
- Children with autism more sedentary than their peers, study shows
Children with autism are more sedentary than their typically-developing peers, a study shows, averaging 50 minutes less a day of moderate physical activity and 70 minutes more each day sitting.
- New tool assesses skill development in robotic microsurgery
A new standardized assessment provides a useful tool for tracking surgeons' progress as they develop the skills needed to perform robot-assisted microsurgery, reports a study.
- Unexpected clue to peripheral neuropathies found
Disrupting the molecular function of a tumor suppressor causes improper formation of a protective insulating sheath on peripheral nerves -- leading to neuropathy and muscle wasting in mice similar to that in human diabetes and neurodegeneration. A new study also suggests that normal molecular function of the tumor suppressor gene Lkb1 is essential to the formation process.
- Neuroscientists use morphed images of Hollywood celebrities to reveal how neurons make up your mind
Morphed images of celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Bob Marley, Sylvester Stallone, Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Clinton and George Bush, and others were shown to participants in a recent study. The study found that neurons fire in line with conscious recognition of images rather than the actual images seen, thereby leading scientists to believe that neurons play a key role in the formation of memory.
- Biochemists solve 'address problem' in cells that leads to lethal kidney disease
Research published by biochemists may lead to a new treatment, or even a cure, for a rare, genetic kidney disease that afflicts children, and may provide important insights into treatments for Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and other degenerative diseases.
- Exploring connection between empathy, neurohormones and aggression
Researchers examined whether assessed or elicited empathy would lead to situation-specific aggression on behalf of another person, and to explore the potential role of two neurohormones in explaining a connection between empathy and aggression.
- Secret to raising well behaved teens? Maximize their zzzzz's
While American pediatricians warn sleep deprivation can stack the deck against teenagers, a new study reveals youth’s irritability and laziness aren’t down to attitude problems but lack of sleep. This paper exposes the negative consequences of sleep deprivation caused by early school bells, and shows that altering education times not only perks up teens’ mood, but also enhances learning and health.
- How plankton gets jet lagged: Hormone that govern sleep and jet lag in humans also drives mass migration of plankton
A hormone that governs sleep and jet lag in humans may also drive the mass migration of plankton in the ocean, scientists have found. The molecule in question, melatonin, is essential to maintain our daily rhythm, and scientists have now discovered that it governs the nightly migration of a plankton species from the surface to deeper waters. The findings indicate that melatonin’s role in controlling daily rhythms probably evolved early in the history of animals, and hold hints to how our sleep patterns may have evolved.
- Conflictive animations support the development of programming skills
Traditional educational tools present information to students in a conventional way: what they present is true and students are expected to learn what is presented. Educators have now developed a tool that tricks students during their learning process. They use "conflictive animations" to teach computer programming, which is a very challenging topic for students due to its abstract nature.
- More than 70% of young oncologists in Europe suffer symptoms of burnout
Across Europe, more than 70% of young cancer specialists are showing signs of burnout, the largest survey of its kind has revealed. The results have prompted calls for serious action to address the issue at all levels. Burnout could lead to serious personal consequences for the doctor such as anxiety, depression, alcohol or substance abuse and suicide, researchers warned.
- New study lists top psychologists of modern era
A new study ranks the top 200 psychologists from recent decades. The researchers say the list serves educational, administrative and scholarly purposes, identifying the psychologists who have had the most effect on the profession, and the types of contributions that receive recognition. It also identifies gender and ethnic disparities.
- Turmeric compound boosts regeneration of brain stem cells
A bioactive compound found in turmeric promotes stem cell proliferation and differentiation in the brain, reveals new research. The findings suggest aromatic turmerone could be a future drug candidate for treating neurological disorders, such as stroke and Alzheimer's disease.
- Talk therapy -- not medication -- best for social anxiety disorder, large study finds
While antidepressants are the most commonly used treatment for social anxiety disorder, new research suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy is more effective and, unlike medication, can have lasting effects long after treatment has stopped.
- Jersey drivers admit to risky behaviors, poll finds
New Jersey drivers are generally intolerant of behaviors perceived as risky or prone to cause distraction in other drivers, but many do engage in these behaviors themselves, a poll finds.
- Bariatric surgery not a magic wand to curb depression
Most severely obese people experience much better spirits once they shed weight through a diet, lifestyle changes or medical intervention. This is unfortunately not true for everyone, say experts.
- Not all Hispanics are the same when it comes to drinking
Hispanics are often grouped into a single category when it comes to alcohol use. Yet a new study indicates that the risk of alcohol abuse and dependence can vary significantly among different subgroups within the population.
- The dangers of teens using marijuana
Whether states should legalize marijuana for recreational and medical use is a hot topic across the country. As the debates continue a potentially dangerous environment is being created where more preteens, teens and young adults are beginning to use the substance with the feeling that it is safe.
- Genes causing pediatric glaucoma contribute to future stroke
Knowledge of stroke's genetic underpinnings has become clearer through a study that demonstrates that, in some cases, it originates in infancy. The research identifies two genes (FOXC1 and PITX2) that cause cerebral small vessel disease, a "pre-stroke" condition that increases the risk of future stroke up to ten times. It was found the mutations result in cerebral small vessel disease in patients as young as one year of age.
- CHICA system improves developmental delay screening, surveillance
A computerized clinical decision support system, which was developed to automate pediatric care guidelines, significantly increased the number of children screened for developmental delay at 9, 18 and 30 months of age, a study shows.
- Yoga, meditation may help train brain to help people control computers with their mind
People who practice yoga and meditation long term can learn to control a computer with their minds faster and better than people with little or no yoga or meditation experience, new research by biomedical engineers shows. The research could have major implications for treatments of people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases.
- Brain chemical potential new hope in controlling Tourette Syndrome tics
A chemical in the brain plays a vital role in controlling the involuntary movements and vocal tics associated with Tourette Syndrome, a new study has shown. The research could offer a potential new target for the development of more effective treatments to suppress these unwanted symptoms.
- How physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression
Physical exercise has many beneficial effects on human health, including the protection from stress-induced depression. However, until now the mechanisms that mediate this protective effect have been unknown. In a new study in mice, researchers show that exercise training induces changes in skeletal muscle that can purge the blood of a substance that accumulates during stress, and is harmful to the brain.
- Coping techniques help patients with COPD improve mentally, physically
Coaching patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to manage stress, practice relaxation and participate in light exercise can boost a patient’s quality of life and can even improve physical symptoms, researchers report.