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Maturing brain flips function of amygdala in regulating stress hormones

Maturing brain flips function of amygdala in regulating stress hormones

In contrast to evidence that the amygdala stimulates stress responses in adults, researchers at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University have found that the amygdala has an inhibitory effect on stress hormones during the early development of nonhuman primates. The results are published this week in Journal of Neuroscience . The amygdala is a region of the brain known to be important for responses to threatening situations and learning about threats Continue reading

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

The Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory, DARPA officials announced this week. The research builds on the understanding that memory is a process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, disrupt this process and cause memory loss. Continue reading

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

DARPA taps Lawrence Livermore to develop world’s first neural device to restore memory

The Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) up to $2.5 million to develop an implantable neural device with the ability to record and stimulate neurons within the brain to help restore memory, DARPA officials announced this week. The research builds on the understanding that memory is a process in which neurons in certain regions of the brain encode information, store it and retrieve it. Certain types of illnesses and injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy, disrupt this process and cause memory loss. Continue reading

Genetic link to autism found, known as CHD8 mutation

Genetic link to autism found, known as CHD8 mutation

In a collaboration involving 13 institutions around the world, researchers have broken new ground in understanding what causes autism. The results are being published in Cell magazine July 3, 2014: “Disruptive CHD8 Mutations Define a Subtype of Autism in Early Development.” “We finally got a clear cut case of an autism specific gene,” said Raphael Bernier, the lead author, and UW associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the clinical director of the Autism Center at Seattle Children’s. Continue reading

Potential drug target for PTSD prevention

Potential drug target for PTSD prevention

Scientists at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University have identified a drug that appears to make memories of fearsome events less durable in mice. The finding may accelerate the development of treatments for preventing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The drug, called osanetant, targets a distinct group of brain cells in a region of the brain that controls the formation and consolidation of fear memories. Continue reading

Bullying may have long-term health consequences

Bullying may have long-term health consequences

Bullied children may experience chronic, systemic inflammation that persists into adulthood, while bullies may actually reap health benefits of increasing their social status through bullying, according to researchers at Duke Medicine. The study, conducted in collaboration with the University of Warwick, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Emory University, is published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of May 12, 2014. “Our findings look at the biological consequences of bullying, and by studying a marker of inflammation, provide a potential mechanism for how this social interaction can affect later health functioning,” said William E Continue reading

Easing depression among women with new care approach

Easing depression among women with new care approach

Women who received collaborative care for depression at two UW Medicine obstetrics and gynecology clinics showed fewer symptoms after treatment than women receiving usual depression care in the same setting, according to recent University of Washington research. The study, published May 7 in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology , is the first to bring collaborative depression care to an obstetrics/gynecology or women’s health care setting. Continue reading

Perceived age, weight discrimination worse for health than perceived racism, sexism

Perceived age, weight discrimination worse for health than perceived racism, sexism

Perceived age and weight discrimination, more than perceived race and sex discrimination, are linked to worse health in older adults, according to new research from the Florida State University College of Medicine. The findings are part of a study measuring changes in health over a four-year period and published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry . “Our previous research showed that perceived discrimination based on body weight was associated with risk of obesity. Continue reading

Mobile health apps lack behavior-change techniques

Mobile health apps lack behavior-change techniques

Behavior-change techniques are not well represented in the marketing materials for top-rated physical-activity apps, according to a team of Penn State researchers. They also found that two types of physical-activity apps are available on the market — those that focus on educating users on how to perform different exercises and those that focus on supporting users’ motivation for physical activity. “The app marketplace is largely unregulated and users make decisions based on developers’ descriptions of apps,” said David Conroy, professor of kinesiology Continue reading

Better sleep predicts longer survival time for women with advanced breast cancer

Better sleep predicts longer survival time for women with advanced breast cancer

A new study reports that sleep efficiency, a ratio of time asleep to time spent in bed, is predictive of survival time for women with advanced breast cancer. Continue reading