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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

Who will binge-drink at age 16? Teen imaging study pinpoints predictors

Who will binge-drink at age 16? Teen imaging study pinpoints predictors

Neuroscientists leading the largest longitudinal adolescent brain imaging study to date have learned that predicting teenage binge-drinking is possible. 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

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Optogenetics, a technology that allows scientists to control brain activity by shining light on neurons, relies on light-sensitive proteins that can suppress or stimulate electrical signals within cells. This technique requires a light source to be implanted in the brain, where it can reach the cells to be controlled Continue reading

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Noninvasive brain control: New light-sensitive protein enables simpler, more powerful optogenetics

Optogenetics, a technology that allows scientists to control brain activity by shining light on neurons, relies on light-sensitive proteins that can suppress or stimulate electrical signals within cells. This technique requires a light source to be implanted in the brain, where it can reach the cells to be controlled. Continue reading

Herpes virus infection drives HIV infection among non-injecting drug users in New York

Herpes virus infection drives HIV infection among non-injecting drug users in New York

HIV and its transmission has long been associated with injecting drug use, where hypodermic syringes are used to administer illicit drugs. Now, a newly reported study by researchers affiliated with New York University’s Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR) in the journal PLOS ONE , shows that HIV infection among heterosexual non-injecting drug users (no hypodermic syringe is used; drugs are taken orally or nasally) in New York City (NYC) has now surpassed HIV infection among persons who inject drugs. The study, “HSV-2 Co-Infection as a Driver of HIV Transmission among Heterosexual Non-Injecting Drug Users in New York City,” was conducted among drug users entering the Mount Sinai Beth Israel drug treatment programs in NYC. Continue reading

Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain

Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain

For children, stress can go a long way. Continue reading

Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain

Early life stress can leave lasting impacts on the brain

For children, stress can go a long way. A little bit provides a platform for learning, adapting and coping. Continue reading

Comprehensive review of treatments for depression in cancer patients

Comprehensive review of treatments for depression in cancer patients

Depression is common in cancer, up to half of all patients facing the disease experience depressive symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. When depression co-exists with cancer, patients may be at an increased risk of death from cancer and from suicide. Continue reading

Comprehensive review of treatments for depression in cancer patients

Comprehensive review of treatments for depression in cancer patients

Depression is common in cancer, up to half of all patients facing the disease experience depressive symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Continue reading