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Recovery of brain volumes with abstinence may vary for different brain regions

Recovery of brain volumes with abstinence may vary for different brain regions

ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2012) — Chronic alcohol abuse can severely damage the nervous system, particularly cognitive functions, cerebral metabolism, and brain morphology. Building upon previous findings that alcoholics can experience brain volume recovery with abstinence, this study found that recovery of cerebral gray matter (GM) can take place within the first two weeks of abstinence, but may vary between brain regions. Continue reading

Psychiatric disorders persist after youths leave detention, study finds

Psychiatric disorders persist after youths leave detention, study finds

ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2012) — It was a study everyone thought couldn’t be done — tracking, locating and interviewing nearly 2,000 youths up to five years after they were released from juvenile detention in Chicago to assess their mental health. But a team of intrepid Northwestern Medicine researchers found the young men and women and traveled anywhere necessary to interview them. Continue reading

Blood pressure diet works, but adherence drops among African-Americans

Blood pressure diet works, but adherence drops among African-Americans

ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2012) — Better adherence to the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is associated with significant reductions in blood pressure. However, African-Americans may be less likely than whites to adopt the diet, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center Continue reading

Blood pressure diet works, but adherence drops among African-Americans

Blood pressure diet works, but adherence drops among African-Americans

ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2012) — Better adherence to the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is associated with significant reductions in blood pressure. However, African-Americans may be less likely than whites to adopt the diet, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center Continue reading

Accelerated resolution therapy significantly reduces PTSD symptoms, researchers report

Accelerated resolution therapy significantly reduces PTSD symptoms, researchers report

ScienceDaily (July 27, 2012) — Researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) College of Nursing have shown that brief treatments with Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) substantially reduce symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including, depression, anxiety, sleep dysfunction and other physical and psychological symptoms. The findings of this first study of ART appear in an on-line article published June 18, 2012 in the Journal Behavioral Sciences . ART is being studied as an alternative to traditional PTSD treatments that use drugs or lengthy psychotherapy sessions Continue reading

Why the thrill is gone: Potential target for treating major symptom of depression

Why the thrill is gone: Potential target for treating major symptom of depression

ScienceDaily (July 11, 2012) — Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have laid bare a novel molecular mechanism responsible for the most important symptom of major depression: anhedonia, the loss of the ability to experience pleasure. While their study was conducted in mice, the brain circuit involved in this newly elucidated pathway is largely identical between rodents and humans, upping the odds that the findings point toward new therapies for depression and other disorders. Additionally, opinion leaders hailed the study’s inventive methodology, saying it may offer a much sounder approach to testing new antidepressants than the methods now routinely used by drug developers. Continue reading

Turning skin cells into brain cells: Huntington’s disease in a dish

Turning skin cells into brain cells: Huntington’s disease in a dish

ScienceDaily (June 28, 2012) — Johns Hopkins researchers, working with an international consortium, say they have generated stem cells from skin cells from a person with a severe, early-onset form of Huntington’s disease (HD), and turned them into neurons that degenerate just like those affected by the fatal inherited disorder. By creating “HD in a dish,” the researchers say they have taken a major step forward in efforts to better understand what disables and kills the cells in people with HD, and to test the effects of potential drug therapies on cells that are otherwise locked deep in the brain. Although the autosomal dominant gene mutation responsible for HD was identified in 1993, there is no cure Continue reading

Gene mutations cause massive brain asymmetry

Gene mutations cause massive brain asymmetry

ScienceDaily (June 24, 2012) — Hemimegalencephaly is a rare but dramatic condition in which the brain grows asymmetrically, with one hemisphere becoming massively enlarged. Though frequently diagnosed in children with severe epilepsy, the cause of hemimegalencephaly is unknown and current treatment is radical: surgical removal of some or all of the diseased half of the brain. Continue reading