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Impact of childhood bullying still evident after 40 years

Impact of childhood bullying still evident after 40 years

The negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying are still evident nearly 40 years later, according to new research by King’s College London. Continue reading

Obesity: Are lipids hard drugs for the brain?

Obesity: Are lipids hard drugs for the brain?

Why can we get up for a piece of chocolate, but never because we fancy a carrot? Serge Luquet’s team at the “Biologie Fonctionnelle et Adaptative” laboratory (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot) has demonstrated part of the answer: triglycerides, fatty substances from food, may act in our brains directly on the reward circuit, the same circuit that is involved in drug addiction. Continue reading

Finding the switch: Researchers create roadmap for gene expression

Finding the switch: Researchers create roadmap for gene expression

In a new study, researchers from North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and other institutions have taken the first steps toward creating a roadmap that may help scientists narrow down the genetic cause of numerous diseases. Their work also sheds new light on how heredity and environment can affect gene expression. Continue reading

Finding the switch: Researchers create roadmap for gene expression

Finding the switch: Researchers create roadmap for gene expression

In a new study, researchers from North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and other institutions have taken the first steps toward creating a roadmap that may help scientists narrow down the genetic cause of numerous diseases. Their work also sheds new light on how heredity and environment can affect gene expression Continue reading

Splice variants reveal connections among autism genes

Splice variants reveal connections among autism genes

A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has uncovered a new aspect of autism, revealing that proteins involved in autism interact with many more partners than previously known. These interactions had not been detected earlier because they involve alternatively spliced forms of autism genes found in the brain. In their study, published in the April 11, 2014 online issue of Nature Communications , the scientists isolated hundreds of new variants of autism genes from the human brain, and then screened their protein products against thousands of other proteins to identify interacting partners. Continue reading

Online registry to drive brain disease research

Online registry to drive brain disease research

A new online project led by researchers at UC San Francisco promises to dramatically cut the time and cost of conducting clinical trials for brain diseases, while also helping scientists analyze and track the brain functions of thousands of volunteers over time. With easy online registration, the Brain Health Registry is designed to create a ready pool of research subjects for studies on neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and many other brain ailments. Continue reading

DNA modifications measured in blood signal related changes in the brain

DNA modifications measured in blood signal related changes in the brain

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have confirmed suspicions that DNA modifications found in the blood of mice exposed to high levels of stress hormone — and showing signs of anxiety — are directly related to changes found in their brain tissues. The proof-of-concept study, reported online ahead of print in the June issue of Psychoneuroendocrinology , offers what the research team calls the first evidence that epigenetic changes that alter the way genes function without changing their underlying DNA sequence — and are detectable in blood — mirror alterations in brain tissue linked to underlying psychiatric diseases. The new study reports only on so-called epigenetic changes to a single stress response gene called FKBP5, which has been implicated in depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder Continue reading

Epilepsy drug target implications for sleep disruption in brain disorders

Epilepsy drug target implications for sleep disruption in brain disorders

A new study in a mutant fruitfly called sleepless (sss) confirmed that the enzyme GABA transaminase, which is the target of some epilepsy drugs, contributes to sleep loss. The findings, published online in Molecular Psychiatry , were led by Amita Sehgal, PhD, head of the Chronobiology Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine Continue reading

Depressed young men at highest risk of becoming sedentary later

Depressed young men at highest risk of becoming sedentary later

It’s not news that being a couch potato is bad for your health. Lack of physical activity is associated with a range of diseases from diabetes to heart attacks. It now turns out that young men who have experienced depression early in life may be especially vulnerable to becoming sedentary later in life. Continue reading

Depressed young men at highest risk of becoming sedentary later

Depressed young men at highest risk of becoming sedentary later

It’s not news that being a couch potato is bad for your health. Lack of physical activity is associated with a range of diseases from diabetes to heart attacks. It now turns out that young men who have experienced depression early in life may be especially vulnerable to becoming sedentary later in life. Continue reading