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Hunting for the brain’s opioid addiction switch New research by Steven Laviolette’s research team at Western University is contributing to a better understanding of the ways opiate-class drugs modify brain circuits to drive the addiction cycle. Using rodent models of opiate addiction, Dr. Laviolette’s research has shown that opiates affect pathways of associative memory formation in multiple ways, both at the level [...]
New findings linking abnormalities in circadian rhythms to changes in neurotransmitters Results of the first study of its kind to link abnormalities in circadian rhythms to changes in specific neurotransmitters in people with bipolar disorder will be published this week in the journal Biological Psychiatry. The three-year study conducted by McLean researchers points to specific neuroanatomical changes in human subjects with these illnesses, and specifically to [...]
Mapping neural networks to strengthen circadian rhythms If you’ve ever felt groggy the morning after traversing time zones, you can thank the temporary mismatch between your body’s 24-hour circadian rhythm and your new local time. In mammals, this rhythm is governed on a neuronal and hormonal level by the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a tiny region of the brain’s nestled directly above the two [...]
Antipsychotic prescribing trends in youths with autism and intellectual disability About one in ten youths treated with an antipsychotic are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability. Conversely, one in six youths diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder has been prescribed antipsychotics. These findings are reported in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP). Furthermore, [...]
Why are blacks at higher risk for cognitive impairment? Social and economic disadvantages play a significant role in why blacks face a much higher risk than whites of developing cognitive impairment later in life, indicates a national study led by a Michigan State University sociologist. The odds that blacks will develop cognitive impairment, including dementia, in later life were 2.52 times greater than the [...]
The brain needs to ‘clean itself up’ so that it can ‘sort itself out’ When neurons die, their remains need to be eliminated quickly so that the surrounding brain tissue can continue functioning. A type of highly specialised cell known as microglia is responsible for this process which is called phagocytosis (derived from the Greek “phagein”, to eat, and “kitos”, cell). These tiny cells have numerous branches that are [...]
ADHD medication linked to slightly increased risk of heart rhythm problems Use of methylphenidate in children and young people with ADHD is associated with a slightly increased risk of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) shortly after the start of treatment, suggests research published by The BMJ today. Though the absolute risk is likely to be low, the researchers say the benefits of methylphenidate “should be carefully weighed [...]
Female smokers more likely to kick the habit by ‘timing’ their quit date with their menstrual cycle Women who want to quit smoking may have better success by carefully timing their quit date with optimal days within their menstrual cycle, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The results, published online this month in Biology of Sex Differences, were also presented [...]
Researchers find what could be brain’s trigger for binge behavior Rats that responded to cues for sugar with the speed and excitement of binge-eaters were less motivated for the treat when certain neurons were suppressed, researchers discovered. The findings suggest these neurons, in a largely unstudied region of the brain, are deeply connected to the tendency to overindulge in response to external triggers, a problem [...]
Clearly stated company values can have a profound effect on overall success A new study by Jonathan R. Clark, assistant professor of management at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), states that the language of leaders has a profound effect on the performance of their employees. Clark’s top-tier research, published in Organizational Dynamics, shows that how a company presents its vision and values is deeply [...]
Maternal inflammation boosts serotonin, impairs fetal brain development in mice Fighting the flu during pregnancy sickens a pregnant woman, but it may also put the fetus at a slightly increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders like autism later in life. A new study in pregnant mice offers a potential mechanism explaining why: Inflammation alters neurotransmitters and impairs growth of nerve cells in the developing fetal brain.
7 Tactics Narcissists Use to Escape Responsibility Ask a narcissist if they are dependable and they will say, “I’m the most responsible person you know, you can always count on me.” And they can be. But when the rubber meets the road (an old saying about being put to the test), narcissists … ...
The 5 Dimensions That Make Up Your Personality How much do you really understand about your personality?
The 5 Major Personality Traits (and What They Mean for You) How well do you understand your personality?
Helping Adult Children of Mentally Ill Mothers I’m not a psychotherapist. But I’ve sat in front of one. It took me decades to find the chair in front of the psychotherapist and maybe that’s got something to do with me being the adult child of a schizophrenic mother. I think it took … ...
Is Addiction an Intimacy Disorder? In his popular 2015 TED talk, “Everything You Think You Know about Addiction is Wrong,” journalist Johann Hari discusses research into the underlying causes of and effective treatments for addiction, … ...
'Baby talk' can help songbirds learn their tunes Adult songbirds modify their vocalizations when singing to juveniles in the same way that humans alter their speech when talking to babies. The resulting brain activity in young birds could shed light on speech learning and certain developmental disorders in humans, according to a study.
Boost Antidepressant Effects with Omega 3, Vitamin D For many people, taking antidepressants can be a life-changer. But for others, the medications just don’t seem to achieve the desired results. But scientists have discovered that taking certain nutritional … ...
Mental Health for the Rest of Us In an effort to decrease stigma, we’ve expanded the way we talk about mental illness.
Top Three Mental Health Benefits of Vitamin D Vitamin D aka the “sunshine vitamin” is not only the only vitamin made by the human body from – you guessed it – sunshine, but it’s also the only vitamin … ...