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- Fragile X study offers hope of new autism treatment
People affected by a common inherited form of autism could be helped by a drug that is being tested as a treatment for cancer, according to researchers. Fragile X Syndrome is the most common genetic cause of autism spectrum disorders. It affects around 1 in 4,000 boys and 1 in 6,000 girls. Currently, there is no cure.
- Mindfulness treatment as effective as CBT for depression, anxiety
Group mindfulness treatment is as effective as individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in patients with depression and anxiety, according to a new study. This is the first randomized study to compare group mindfulness treatment and individual cognitive behavioral therapy in patients with depression and anxiety in primary health care.
- New research supporting stroke rehabilitation
New research could help improve stroke patients' rehabilitation, experts say. The research may provide useful applications for the care of stroke patients who have restricted use of their upper limbs. If stroke patients practice the techniques recommended by the study, it could potentially help maintain activity in movement-related brain areas, especially when used alongside more traditional physiotherapy techniques where the same movements are also practiced physically.
- 'Trigger' for stress processes discovered in brain
An important factor for stress has been identified by scientists. This is the protein secretagogin that plays an important role in the release of the stress hormone CRH and which only then enables stress processes in the brain to be transmitted to the pituitary gland and then onwards to the organs.
- How do Tourette's patients react to visual stimulation with their own self-image?
Tourette’s syndrome is characterized by tics caused in many by premonitory urges; sensations which give patients compulsion to act to relieve discomfort. Habit reversal therapy conditions patients into heightened awareness of premonitory urges and forced counteraction of the tic. New research examines the effect on Tourette’s sufferers when exposed to their own image for a prolonged period. Could introduction of patients’ self-image reduce tics due to heightened self-awareness and subsequent self-imposed tic control? Or might watching themselves increase inclination to tic?
- Drug to reduce side-effects of 'binge drinking' developed
A drug that could reduce the harmful side-effects of ‘binge drinking’, especially by teenagers, has been successfully developed and tested by a team of scientists. Researchers say that this development may also link to new ways to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases that damage the brain.
- Stroke damage mechanism identified
A mechanism linked to the brain damage often suffered by stroke victims has been discovered by scientists, who are now searching for drugs to block it. Strokes happen when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off but much of the harm to survivors' memory and other cognitive function is often actually caused by "oxidative stress" in the hours and days after the blood supply resumes, the authors explain.
- Teens with a history of TBI are nearly 4 times more likely to have used crystal meth
Ontario students between grades 9 and 12 who said they had a traumatic brain injury in their lifetime, also reported drug use rates two to four times higher than peers with no history of TBI, according to research.
- Follow-up on psychiatric disorders in young people after release from detention
Juvenile offenders with multiple psychiatric disorders when they are incarcerated in detention centers appear to be at high risk for disorders five years after detention, according to a report.
- Why do so many seniors with memory loss and dementia never get tested?
Despite clear signs that their memory and thinking abilities have gone downhill, more than half of seniors with these symptoms haven’t seen a doctor about them, a new study finds.
- Forget about the car keys, do you know when to take away your parent's checkbook?
Financial management skills can decline with age, which can lead to catastrophic money woes for seniors. Declining financial aptitude can also be a sign of impending memory loss. In a new article, researchers present some warning signs.
- 'Off switch' for pain discovered: Activating the adenosine A3 receptor subtype is key to powerful pain relief
A way to block a pain pathway in animal models of chronic neuropathic pain has been discovered by researchers, suggesting a promising new approach to pain relief.
- Copper on the brain at rest
Proper copper levels are essential to the health of the brain at rest, new research shows. The brain consumes 20-percent of the oxygen taken in through respiration. This high demand for oxygen and oxidative metabolism has resulted in the brain harboring the body's highest levels of copper, as well as iron and zinc. Over the past few years, researchers have developed a series of fluorescent probes for molecular imaging of copper in the brain.
- An enzyme that fixes broken DNA sometimes destroys it instead, researchers find
Enzymes inside cells that normally repair damaged DNA sometimes wreck it instead, researchers have found. The insight could lead to a better understanding of the causes of some types of cancer and neurodegenerative disease.
- Dogs hear our words and how we say them
When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said -- those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences -- but also to other features of that speech -- the emotional tone and the speaker's gender, for instance. Now, a report provides some of the first evidence of how dogs also differentiate and process those various components of human speech.
- Elderly brains learn, but maybe too much
Learning requires both mental flexibility, or 'plasticity,' and stability. A new study finds that in learning a visual task, older people exhibited a surprising degree of plasticity, but had trouble filtering out irrelevant information, suggesting that their learning was not as stable.
- Cognitive test battery developed to assess impact of long duration spaceflights on astronauts' brain function
A cognitive test battery, known as Cognition, has been developed for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) to measure the impact of typical spaceflight stressors (like microgravity, radiation, confinement and isolation, exposure to elevated levels of CO2, and sleep loss) on cognitive performance. This computer-based test has already been tested by astronauts on Earth. It will be performed for the first time in a pilot study on the International Space Station (ISS) on November 28.
- Brain researchers pinpoint gateway to human memory
An international team of researchers has successfully determined the location, where memories are generated with a level of precision never achieved before. To this end the scientists used a particularly accurate type of magnetic resonance imaging technology.
- Study examines communication, end-of-life decisions
A recent study examines how the quality of communication among family members and care givers impacts end-of-life decisions. The author says that family communication holds a great deal of potential for improving end-of-life health care.
- Prehistoric conflict hastened human brain's capacity for collaboration
Warfare not only hastened human technological progress and vast social and political changes, but may have greatly contributed to the evolutionary emergence of humans' high intelligence and ability to work together toward common goals, according to a new study.
- Isolation of important centres in brain results in age-related memory deficits
Poor memory among the elderly can be explained by regions in the hippocampus complex, an important part of the brain, becoming more co-active during rest, thereby interacting less efficiently with other parts of the brain when we try to memorize information, researchers report.
- Pleasure at another's misfortune is evident in children as young as two
Even very young children will show signs of schadenfreude when an inequitable situation is rectified. Until now, researchers believed that children didn't develop such a sophisticated emotion until the age of seven, but a new study found evidence of schadenfreude in children as young as two.
- How various brain areas interact in decisions
Our decisions can be pictured in the brain, and now scientists have been able to show in a recent study which areas are most active in decision making. Often the so-called prefrontal cortex not only apparently shows increased activity during decisions that require self-control, but in general during decision making. The results could be of use in promoting decision skills in difficult decisions.
- Inpatient psychotherapy is effective in Germany
The effectiveness of inpatient psychotherapy – which is widely available in Germany – has been the focus of long-term study, particularly with regard to the reduction of the psychiatric symptoms and impairments in the interpersonal sphere.
- Sportswomen still second best to sportsmen, in the press
Despite a sequence of stellar performances by Britain’s female athletes and team game players, coverage of women’s sport in the Press still occupies a fraction of the space given to men, according to an expert who has analyzed thousands of articles in newspapers that she describes as a “football-saturated boyzone”.
- Why do people with autism see faces differently?
The way people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) gather information – not the judgement process itself – might explain why they gain different perceptions from peoples’ faces, according to a new study. "The evaluation of an individual's face is a rapid process that influences our future relationship with the individual," said the lead author of the study. "By studying these judgments, we wanted to better understand how people with ASD use facial features as cues. Do they need more cues to be able to make the same judgment?"
- Diagnosing deafness early will help teenagers' reading development
Deaf teenagers have better reading skills if they were identified as deaf by the time they were nine months old, research has shown. The research team has been studying the development of a group of children who were identified with permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) at a very early age. Follow up assessments when the children were aged eight showed those who were screened at birth had better language skills than those children who were not screened.
- Protein elevated in blood predicts post-concussion symptom severity in professional athletes
Elevated levels in the blood of the brain-enriched protein calpain-cleaved ±II-spectrin N-terminal fragment, known as SNTF, shortly after sports-related concussion can predict the severity of post-concussion symptoms in professional athletes, new research has found.
- Full-day preschool linked with increased school readiness compared with part-day
Children who attended a full-day preschool program had higher scores on measures of school readiness skills (language, math, socio-emotional development, and physical health), increased attendance, and reduced chronic absences compared to children who attended part-day preschool, according to a study.
- Entrepreneurs to venture capitalists: Don’t be a Scrooge
A recently published study of more than 550 decisions and responses from 144 experienced entrepreneurs reveals that “knowledge of explicit ethical or unethical behavior (by venture capitalists) profoundly shapes the entrepreneurs’ willingness to partner.”
- Mere expectation of treatment can improve brain activity in Parkinson's patients
Learning-related brain activity in Parkinson's patients improves as much in response to a placebo treatment as to real medication, according to a new study. "The findings highlight the power of expectations to drive changes in the brain," said a co-author of the study. "The research highlights important links between psychology and medicine."
- Obstructive sleep apnea treatments may reduce depressive symptoms
Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure or mandibular advancement devices can lead to modest improvements in depressive symptoms, according to a study.
- Athletes' testosterone surges not tied to winning, study finds
A higher surge of testosterone in competition, the so-called 'winner effect,' is not actually related to winning, suggests a new study of intercollegiate cross country runners.
- Pain and itch in a dish: Scientists convert human skin cells into sensory neurons
Scientists have found a simple method to convert human skin cells into the specialized neurons that detect pain, itch, touch and other bodily sensations. These neurons are also affected by spinal cord injury and involved in Friedreich's ataxia, a devastating and currently incurable neurodegenerative disease that largely strikes children.
- Feeling -- not being -- wealthy drives opposition to wealth redistribution
People's views on income inequality and wealth distribution may have little to do with how much money they have in the bank and a lot to do with how wealthy they feel in comparison to their friends and neighbors, according to new findings.
- Few operations for epilepsy despite safety, efficacy
Epilepsy surgery is a safe, effective and low-risk procedure, research shows. Nevertheless, few Swedes have the operation, and those who are interested may have to wait a long time for presurgical counseling.
- Missing gene linked to autism
Researchers have shed light on a gene mutation linked to autistic traits. The team already knew that some people with autism were deficient in a gene called neurexin-II. To investigate whether the gene was associated with autism symptoms, the Leeds team studied mice with the same defect. They found behavioral features that were similar to autism symptoms, including a lack of sociability or interest in other mice.
- How environment contributes to several human diseases
Using a new imaging technique, researchers have found that the biological machinery that builds DNA can insert molecules into the DNA strand that are damaged as a result of environmental exposures. These damaged molecules trigger cell death that produces some human diseases, according to the researchers. The work provides a possible explanation for how one type of DNA damage may lead to cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and lung disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Asymptomatic atherosclerosis linked to cognitive impairment
In a study of nearly 2,000 adults, researchers found that a buildup of plaque in the body's major arteries was associated with mild cognitive impairment. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fat, cholesterol and other substances collect in the arteries, forming a substance called plaque that can build up, limiting blood flow. It can occur in any artery of the body, including the carotid, which supplies blood to the brain, coronary arteries and the aorta, which carries oxygenated blood from the heart through the abdomen to the rest of body.
- Homosexuality may help us bond, experts say
Homosexual behavior may have evolved to promote social bonding in humans, according to new research. Researchers found that heterosexual women who have higher levels of progesterone are more likely to be open to the idea of engaging in sexual behaviour with other women. Similarly, when heterosexual men are subtly reminded of the importance of having male friends and allies, they report more positive attitudes toward engaging in sexual behaviour with other men. This pattern is particularly dramatic in men who have high levels of progesterone.
- Gene discovered that reduces risk of stroke
A gene that protects people against one of the major causes of stroke in young and middle-aged adults has been discovered, and researchers say that it could hold the key to new treatments.
- Problem gambling, personality disorders often go hand in hand
The treatment of people who cannot keep their gambling habits in check is often complicated because they also tend to suffer from personality disorders. Problem gambling creates a multitude of intrapersonal, interpersonal and social difficulties for the roughly 2.3 percent of the population internationally that suffers from this behavior.
- Better assessment of decision-making capacity
Physicians often find it hard to tell if a patient suffering from dementia or depression is capable of making sound judgements. Through a new study, researchers now aim to shed more light on this issue, developing a better way to assess a patient's decision-making capacity.
- How does the brain react to virtual reality? Completely different pattern of activity in brain
Neurophysicists studying a key brain region where Alzheimer's disease begins have discovered how the brain processes virtual reality. 'The pattern of activity in a brain region involved in spatial learning in the virtual world is completely different than in the real world,' said the professor of physics, neurology, and neurobiology.
- Two studies, 2 editorials put focus on school breakfasts, lunches
Schools offering Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) had higher participation in the national school breakfast program and attendance, but math and reading achievement did not differ between schools with or without BIC, according to a study.
- Game theory analysis shows how evolution favors cooperation's collapse
With a new analysis of the Prisoner's Dilemma played in a large, evolving population, scientists found that adding more flexibility to the game can allow selfish strategies to be more successful. The work paints a dimmer but likely more realistic view of how cooperation and selfishness balance one another in nature.
- Babies remember nothing but a good time, study says
Researchers performed memory tests with 5-month-old babies, and found that the babies better remembered shapes that were introduced with happy voices and faces. Past studies have shown that babies are very tuned to emotions, including the emotions of animals.
- Study shows mental health impact of breast size differences in teens
Differences in breast size have a significant mental health impact in adolescent girls, affecting self-esteem, emotional well-being, and social functioning, report researchers.
- Pain in a dish: Researchers turn skin cells into pain sensing neurons
After more than six years of intensive effort, and repeated failures that made the quest at times seem futile, researchers have successfully converted mouse and human skin cells into pain sensing neurons that respond to a number of stimuli that cause acute and inflammatory pain.
- Biopolitics for understanding social regulation and control
People, as the biological beings that we are, can be socially regulated by mechanisms such as taxes, property or family relationships. This constitutes part of the social policy that the Roman government put into practice during its expansion throughout the Mediterranean, which left its mark on the eastern plateau of Spain, the historical Celt Iberian territory.
- Sleep apnea linked to poor aerobic fitness
People with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea may have an intrinsic inability to burn high amounts of oxygen during strenuous aerobic exercise, according to a new study.
- U.S. attracting fewer educated, highly skilled migrants, report says
A new study using data from the social networking site LinkedIn showed a sharp drop-off in the proportional number of skilled workers migrating to the United States. The study is believed to be the first ever to measure global migration of professionals to the U.S.
- Experience with family verbal conflict as a child can help in stressful situations as an adult
Individuals who were exposed to intense verbal aggression as children are able to handle intense conflict later in life, new research suggests. "Conflict experiences can be beneficial, by alleviating tension and avoiding conflict escalation, reducing communication apprehension, and contributing to closeness within the relationship," said an author of the study. "Given the diversity of outcomes associated with interpersonal conflict, efforts to understand variation in the experienced negativity of conflict experiences are extremely important in helping people navigate these interactions."
- Sorting through recycling bins to learn about alcohol use
When researchers wanted to verify alcohol-use survey results at a senior housing center, they came up with a novel way to measure residents' drinking: Count the empty bottles in recycling bins.
- Threats of terrorism perceived differently depending on identification within a group
People who see their group as more homogenous -- for instance, the more one thinks Americans are similar to each other -- are less likely to be influenced by external terrorist threat alerts, according to research.
- Football players found to have brain damage from mild 'unreported' concussions
There wasn't a diagnostic capability to identify mild brain injury early after the trauma until recently. In the NFL, other professional sports and especially school sports, concern has grown about the long-term neuropsychiatric consequences of repeated mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and specifically sports-related concussive and sub-concussive head impacts.'
- Teens prescribed anxiety, sleep medications likelier to illegally abuse them later
The medical community may be inadvertently creating a new generation of illegal, recreational drug users by prescribing anti-anxiety or sleep medications to teenagers, say researchers.
- Does dip decrease or deepen addiction to nicotine?
Smokeless tobacco products are marketed as a way for smokers to cut back on the negative effects of tobacco, while still being able to use it. Is that really the case? A new study investigates whether smokers are using smokeless tobacco products as a replacement, or supplement to cigarettes.
- Protein that rouses brain from sleep may be target for Alzheimer's prevention
A protein that stimulates the brain to awaken from sleep may be a target for preventing Alzheimer's disease, a study suggests. The new research, in mice, demonstrates that eliminating that protein -- called orexin -- made mice sleep for longer periods of time and strongly slowed the production of brain plaques.
- Declining loneliness among American teenagers
In an effort to study the societal trend of loneliness, researchers conducted an analysis of data on high school and college students in the United States, and come up with some encouraging results.