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The Final Post: Her Bipolar Life I am a writer. From the first book I published in kindergarten, to the post you are reading now, every step of the way, writing was important. Throughout the years, I wrote for the school newspaper, completed writing and editing internships at exciting companies in college, and earned a Bachelor of...
The Role of Connection in “Her” Spike Jonze’s “Her” made its debut in theaters last year. This refreshing and bold narrative emphasizes how connection unfolds in a society where technological advancement can potentially substitute substantial and tangible human contact. Set in Los Angeles in the near future, “Her” features Theodore Twombly — a kind, lonely and...
Portable brain-mapping device allows researchers to 'see' where memory fails The use of functional near infrared spectroscopy to map brain activity responses during cognitive activities allows researchers to "see" which brain region or regions fail to memorize or recall learned knowledge in student veterans with PTSD.
Childhood maltreatment associated with cerebral grey matter abnormalities An international study has analysed the association between childhood maltreatment and the volume of cerebral grey matter, responsible for processing information. The results revealed a significant deficit in various late developing regions of the brain after abuse. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), child maltreatment is defined as all forms of physical and/or emotional [...]
Blocking brain’s ‘internal marijuana’ may trigger early Alzheimer’s deficits, study shows A new study led by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine has implicated the blocking of endocannabinoids — signaling substances that are the brain’s internal versions of the psychoactive chemicals in marijuana and hashish — in the early pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. A substance called A-beta — strongly suspected to play a key [...]
Modeling how neurons work together A newly-developed, highly accurate representation of the way in which neurons behave when performing movements such as reaching could not only enhance understanding of the complex dynamics at work in the brain, but aid in the development of robotic limbs which are capable of more complex and natural movements. Researchers from the University of Cambridge, [...]
Study dismisses link between suicidal behaviour and ADHD drugs A new register-based study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that drug therapy for ADHD does not entail an increased risk of suicide attempts or   suicide, as was previously feared. The results are published in the  British Medical Journal (BMJ) . “Our work in several ways shows that most likely there is no link between treatment with ADHD [...]
Self-repairing mechanism can help to preserve brain function in neurodegenerative diseases New research, led by scientists at the University of Southampton, has found that neurogenesis, the self-repairing mechanism of the adult brain, can help to preserve brain function in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Prion or Parkinson’s. The progressive degeneration and death of the brain, occurring in many neurodegenerative diseases, is often seen as an unstoppable [...]
Kids whose time is less structured are better able to meet their own goals Children who spend more time in less structured activities—from playing outside to reading books to visiting the zoo—are better able to set their own goals and take actions to meet those goals without prodding from adults, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder. The study, published online in the journal Frontiers in [...]
Study examines how brain ‘reboots’ itself to consciousness after anesthesia One of the great mysteries of anesthesia is how patients can be temporarily rendered completely unresponsive during surgery and then wake up again, with their memories and skills intact. A new study by Dr. Andrew Hudson, an assistant professor in anesthesiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and colleagues provides important clues [...]
Study finds difference in way bipolar disorder affects brains of children versus adults A new study from Bradley Hospital has found that bipolar children have greater activation in the right amygdala – a brain region very important for emotional reaction – than bipolar adults when viewing emotional faces. The study, now published online in JAMA Psychiatry, suggests that bipolar children might benefit from treatments that target emotional face identification, [...]
Portable brain-mapping device allows researchers to ‘see’ where memory fails student veterans UT Arlington researchers have successfully used a portable brain-mapping device to show limited prefrontal cortex activity among student veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when they were asked to recall information from simple memorization tasks. The study by bioengineering professor Hanli Liu and Alexa Smith-Osborne, an associate professor of social work, and two other collaborators [...]
10 Things Mid-Lifers Must Do To Find Happiness Mike Bundrant is a retired mental health counselor, personal coach and blogger for some of the top health, mental health and personal development websites in the world. You’re at midlife – and you’ve got challenges. You’re busy making a living, keeping up with a family, and trying to stay ahead...
Difference found in way bipolar disorder affects brains of children versus adults Bipolar children have greater activation in the right amygdala -- a brain region very important for emotional reaction -- than bipolar adults when viewing emotional faces. The study suggests that bipolar children might benefit from treatments that target emotional face identification, such as computer based 'brain games' or group and individual therapy.
Fear of Being Alone: Guilty and Rejected Jason and Sue had been dating for almost a year. They were beginning to think about marriage, but they weren’t sure of themselves or each other. On a recent Sunday afternoon, they were at a barbecue at Jason’s friend’s house. Sue was feeling left out while Jason socialized. As the...
Placental marker of prenatal stress linked to brain mitochondrial dysfunction An enzyme found in the placenta is likely playing an important role in translating stress experienced by a mother early in pregnancy into a reprogramming of her developing baby's brain, research suggests. "People think that the placenta only serves to promote blood flow between a mom and her baby, but that's really not all it's doing," the lead investigator said. "It's a very dynamic endocrine tissue and it's sex-specific, and we've shown that tampering with it can dramatically affect a baby's developing brain."
The "Why" Behind Teen Suicide Teen suicide shakes the very foundation of a community and leaves parents and family members numb as everyone asks an unanswerable question, "Why?" "Why” would a teen chose death over life? What makes their life so unbearable that they would rather die than face one more day? "Why" aren't we doing more to help?"
How brain 'reboots' itself to consciousness after anesthesia One of the great mysteries of anesthesia is how patients can be temporarily rendered completely unresponsive during surgery and then wake up again, with their memories and skills intact. "Recovery from anesthesia is not simply the result of the anesthetic 'wearing off,' but also of the brain finding its way back through a maze of possible activity states to those that allow conscious experience," one researcher said. "Put simply, the brain reboots itself."
Modeling how neurons work together may help design robotic limbs A highly accurate model of how neurons behave when performing complex movements could aid in the design of robotic limbs which behave more realistically. While an action such as reaching for a cup of coffee may seem straightforward, the millions of neurons in the brain's motor cortex must work together to prepare and execute the movement before the coffee ever reaches our lips. These signals are transmitted across synapses -- the junctions between neurons.
Fight-or-flight chemical prepares cells to shift the brain from subdued to alert state Brain cells, called astrocytes because of their star-shaped appearance, can monitor and respond to nearby neural activity, but only after being activated by the fight-or-flight chemical norepinephrine. Because astrocytes can alter the activity of neurons, the findings suggest that astrocytes may help control the brain’s ability to focus.