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Difficulty assessing effort drives motivation deficits in schizophrenia, study finds

Difficulty assessing effort drives motivation deficits in schizophrenia, study finds

Individuals with schizophrenia often have trouble engaging in daily tasks or setting goals for themselves, and a new study from San Francisco State University suggests the reason might be their difficulty in assessing the amount of effort required to complete tasks. The research, detailed in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology , can assist health professionals in countering motivation deficits among patients with schizophrenia and help those patients function normally by breaking up larger, complex tasks into smaller, easier-to-grasp ones Continue reading

Children with autism have extra synapses in brain: May be possible to prune synapses with drug after diagnosis

Children with autism have extra synapses in brain: May be possible to prune synapses with drug after diagnosis

Children and adolescents with autism have a surplus of synapses in the brain, and this excess is due to a slowdown in a normal brain “pruning” process during development, according to a study by neuroscientists at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). Continue reading

Severing nerves may shrink stomach cancers: Botox injections slow growth of stomach tumors in mice

Severing nerves may shrink stomach cancers: Botox injections slow growth of stomach tumors in mice

Research from Columbia University Medical Center shows that nerves may play a critical role in stomach cancer growth and that blocking nerve signals using surgery or Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA) could be an effective treatment for the disease. Continue reading

Seals and sea lions likely spread tuberculosis to humans

Seals and sea lions likely spread tuberculosis to humans

Tuberculosis is one of the most persistent and deadliest infectious diseases in the world, killing one to two million people each year. Scientists who study tuberculosis have long debated its origins Continue reading

Experts denounce clinical trials of unscientific, ‘alternative’ medicines

Experts denounce clinical trials of unscientific, ‘alternative’ medicines

Experts writing in the Cell Press journal Trends in Molecular Medicine on August 20th call for an end to clinical trials of “highly implausible treatments” such as homeopathy and reiki. Continue reading

Scientists learn more about rare skin cancer that killed Bob Marley

Scientists learn more about rare skin cancer that killed Bob Marley

Acral melanomas, the rare type of skin cancer that caused musician Bob Marley’s death, are genetically distinct from other types of skin cancer. Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered that acral melanomas — the rare type of skin cancer that caused reggae musician Bob Marley’s death — are genetically distinct from other more common types of skin cancer, according to a study published in the journal Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research Continue reading

Newborn screening expansion offers early diagnosis and treatment to infants with SCID

Newborn screening expansion offers early diagnosis and treatment to infants with SCID

Using population-based screening outcomes of approximately 3 million infants, a team of scientists across 14 states, including four researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, have shown that newborn screening for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) can be successfully implemented across public health newborn screening programs. Data from 11 newborn screening programs published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association ( JAMA ) showed the rate of SCID in newborns is higher than previously thought and believed to be 1 in 58,000 Continue reading

Gene therapy protects mice from lethal heart condition, researchers find

Gene therapy protects mice from lethal heart condition, researchers find

A new gene therapy developed by researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine has shown to protect mice from a life-threatening heart condition caused by muscular dystrophy. “This is a new therapeutic avenue,” said Yi Lai, PhD, the leading author of the study and assistant research professor in the MU School of Medicine’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. “This is just a first step, but we hope this could lead to a treatment for people with this devastating heart condition, which is a leading cause of death for people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.” About one in 3,500 children, mostly boys, are born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) Continue reading

Coronary arteries hold heart-regenerating cells

Coronary arteries hold heart-regenerating cells

Endothelial cells residing in the coronary arteries can function as cardiac stem cells to produce new heart muscle tissue, Vanderbilt University investigators have discovered. The findings, published recently in Cell Reports , offer insights into how the heart maintains itself and could lead to new strategies for repairing the heart when it fails after a heart attack. The heart has long been considered to be an organ without regenerative potential, said Antonis Hatzopoulos, Ph.D., associate professor of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology Continue reading

Engineering bone growth: Coated tissue scaffolds help body grow new bone to repair injuries or congenital defects

Engineering bone growth: Coated tissue scaffolds help body grow new bone to repair injuries or congenital defects

MIT chemical engineers have devised a new implantable tissue scaffold coated with bone growth factors that are released slowly over a few weeks. When applied to bone injuries or defects, this coated scaffold induces the body to rapidly form new bone that looks and behaves just like the original tissue. Continue reading