Science News from 2010
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- Family History of Depression Alters Brain’s Response to Reward and Risk
- Science Update April 06, 2010
Girls at high risk for depression but without current or past clinically significant symptoms showed abnormal brain function related to anticipating and receiving either a reward or loss, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
- Impaired Brain Connections Traced to Schizophrenia Mutation
- Press Release March 31, 2010
The strongest known recurrent genetic cause of schizophrenia impairs communications between the brain’s decision-making and memory hubs, resulting in working memory deficits, according to a study in mice.
- ECG Screening for Heart Conditions in ADHD Children is Borderline Cost Effective
- Science Update March 10, 2010
Obtaining an electrocardiogram (ECG) to screen for heart conditions in children prior to prescribing stimulant medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may save some lives but it is borderline cost-effective, according to an NIH study published online ahead of print March 8, 2010, in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
- Gene’s Impact on Forgetting a Fear-Based Memory Same in Humans and Mice
- Science Update March 05, 2010
Both humans and mice carrying a variant of a gene that plays a role in memory were slow to learn to forget a fear-based memory. The parallels in gene effects observed in mice and humans in this work means that investigation using the mouse model can provide insights into effects in humans; results may inform treatment approaches to anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Diabetes and Depression Associated with Higher Risk for Major Complications
- Science Update March 01, 2010
People with type 2 diabetes and coexisting major depression are more likely to experience life-threatening diabetes-related complications, according to a recent NIMH-funded study published in the February 2010 issue of Diabetes Care.
- Children Carry Emotional Burden of AIDS Epidemic in China
- Science Update February 23, 2010
Having a parent with HIV/AIDS or losing one or both parents to the illness leads to poorer mental health among children in China, according to a recent study funded in part by NIMH. Published in the November–December 2009 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, the study also emphasizes the need to develop culturally and developmentally appropriate measures and interventions for diverse populations.
- Bundling HIV Prevention with Prenatal Care Reduces Risky Sex Behaviors Among At-risk Mothers
- Science Update February 22, 2010
An HIV-prevention program targeted at women receiving prenatal care may effectively reduce risks for HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unplanned future pregnancies, according to NIMH-funded researchers. Bundling such interventions into existing health care models, like prenatal care, also may be more accessible to those who may not have the time, interest, or resources to attend a stand-alone HIV prevention program. Changing the way prenatal care is provided also may create sustainable advantages in reproductive health for all at-risk women. The study was published in the November 2009 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
- Teaching Teens About Abstinence May Delay Sexual Activity, Reduce Risk Behaviors
- Science Update February 02, 2010
Teens who received a behavioral intervention centered on abstinence were more likely to delay first sexual contact than teens who received a control intervention focusing on general health promotion, according to an NIMH-funded study. Though differing from federally funded abstinence-only programs, the researchers describe how an abstinence-based intervention may help delay sexual activity among adolescents in the February 2010 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
- Genes and Circuitry, Not Just Clinical Observation, to Guide Classification for Research
- Science Update January 28, 2010
NIMH is launching a long-term project aimed at ultimately improving treatment and prevention by studying classification of mental illness, based on genetics and neuroscience in addition to clinical observation. The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project is not intended to replace psychiatry’s existing diagnostic system for practitioners and will proceed in an independent direction, said Bruce Cuthbert, Ph.D., Director of the NIMH Division of Adult Translational Research, who is directing the effort. By taking a fresh look – without preconceived categories – the project aims to improve the validity of classification for researchers.
- Same Genes Suspected in Both Depression and Bipolar Illness
- Science Update January 28, 2010
Researchers, for the first time, have pinpointed a genetic hotspot that confers risk for both bipolar disorder and depression. People with either of these mood disorders were significantly more likely to have risk versions of genes at this site than healthy controls. One of the genes, which codes for part of a cell’s machinery that tells genes when to turn on and off, was also found to be over-expressed in the executive hub of bipolar patients’ brains, making it a prime suspect. The results add to mounting evidence that major mental disorders overlap at the molecular level.
- From Neurons to Thought: Coherent Electrical Patterns Observed Across the Brain
- Science Update January 25, 2010
Amidst the background hum of electrical signaling generated by neurons in the brain, scientists have found that local groups of neurons, firing in coordination, sometimes create a signal that is mirrored instantaneously and precisely by other groups of neurons across the brain. These transient episodes of coherence across different parts of the brain may be an electrical signature of thought and actions.
- New Grant Aims to Identify and Reduce Suicide Among Emergency Department Patients
- Science Update January 13, 2010
A new NIMH-funded grant aims to increase suicide detection and prevention efforts among patients who present with suicide risk factors in hospital emergency departments.
- Just Over Half of Americans Diagnosed with Major Depression Receive Care
- Science Update January 04, 2010
Overall, only about half of Americans diagnosed with major depression in a given year receive treatment for it, and even fewer—about one fifth—receive treatment consistent with current practice guidelines, according to data from nationally representative surveys supported by NIMH. Among the ethnic/racial groups surveyed, African Americans and Mexican Americans had the lowest rates of use of depression care; all groups reported higher use of past-year psychotherapy vs. medication for depression.
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- Out of Sync With the World: Body Clocks of Depressed People Are Altered at Cell LevelExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Nerve Stimulation for Severe Depression Changes Brain FunctionExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Nearly 20 Percent of Suicidal Youths Have Guns in Their HomeExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.