Health News

Looking behind a rare brain disease for clues to treat more common mental disorders: Researchers use genetic manipulation techniques to highlight how the function of a protein can lead to neurodevelopmental delays

Researchers have clarified, for the first time, the mechanism behind a very rare brain disorder called MICPCH (microcephaly, disproportionate pontine and cerebellar hypoplasia) syndrome in animal models. Information gleaned from this study could also inform research into other, more common neurological diseases such as mental retardation, epilepsy, and autism. MICPCH has only affected a total […]

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New research will improve diagnosis of antenatal anxiety

A landmark study by experts at the University of Stirling will help health professionals improve the identification of severe and problematic anxiety in pregnant women. Antenatal anxiety can be difficult to identify and current guidance recommends that health professionals apply the same screening tool used to detect anxiety disorders in the general population. Such generic […]

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MRI technique shows unique signatures of concussion in rugby players

Using MRI to study the brains of young female athletes has helped researchers develop an objective way to monitor a concussion injury. By using a technique that combines both structural and functional MRI information, Western University researchers were able to identify three unique signatures — one that shows acute brain changes after an athlete has […]

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Using graphene to detect ALS, other neurodegenerative diseases

The wonders of graphene are numerous — it can enable flexible electronic components, enhance solar cell capacity, filter the finest subatomic particles and revolutionize batteries. Now, the “supermaterial” may one day be used to test for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS — a progressive, neurodegenerative disease which is diagnosed mostly by ruling out other disorders, […]

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Personality and mood affect brain response to personal choice

Personality traits and mental health affect how people value personal control in decision making, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. Our brain’s reward and motivation systems show higher activity when we feel personal control in a situation and when we receive rewards that we’ve earned, rather than been given […]

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Disrupted circadian rhythms may drive anxiety and exacerbate brain disorders: New studies reveal critical role of healthy sleep and powerful role of circadian rhythm regulation in the brain

Sleep disruptions are associated with many brain disorders, including anxiety, dementias, and traumatic brain injury. While these disruptions are sometimes viewed as a side effect of brain disorders, new findings presented today suggest that aberrant sleep-wake cycles can also drive brain pathology. The studies were presented at Neuroscience 2018, the annual meeting of the Society […]

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Losing control of gene activity in Alzheimer’s disease

Pioneering research into the mechanisms controlling gene activity in the brain could hold the key to understanding Alzheimer’s disease and might help identify effective treatments in the future. An international research team led by scientists at the University of Exeter and the University of Essex have uncovered a link between indicators of gene activity and […]

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Modifiable dementia risk factor in older adults identified

For older adults, it may seem as though the die is already cast regarding their odds of developing dementia, but new research from the University of Pittsburgh has identified a dementia risk factor among older adults that should be modifiable even well into old age. The study, which draws on data collected from following hundreds […]