Science News from 2012 (All Items)
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- Guide Offers a Blueprint for End-of-Life Conversation With Youth
- Science Update December 28, 2012
A new guide can help young people with serious illness express how they would like to be cared for and supported.
- Stress-Resilience/Susceptibility Traced to Neurons in Reward Circuit
- Press Release December 12, 2012
Researchers, for the first time, have instantly switched depression-like states on-and-off in mice by tweaking the firing pattern of neurons in the brain’s reward circuit.
- Experimental Agent Briefly Eases Depression Rapidly in Test
- Press Release December 11, 2012
Ketamine-like agent lifts depression briefly in treatment-resistant patients, with few side effects.
- Psychotropic Medications Are Prescribed Appropriately Among U.S. Teens, National Study Finds
- Science Update December 03, 2012
A national study suggests that psychotropic medications are, in general, being prescribed appropriately among U.S. teens.
- Switching Off a Specific Brain Region Can Alter Ingrained Habits in Rats
- Science Update November 27, 2012
Old habits may die hard, but we might be able to turn them off by targeting a specific brain region. Such a discovery could help us find better ways of controlling addiction or certain mental disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder.
- In-sync Brain Waves Hold Memory of Objects Just Seen
- Press Release November 01, 2012
The brain holds in mind what has just been seen by synchronizing brain waves in a working memory circuit, an animal study suggests. The more in-sync such electrical signals of neurons were in two key hubs of the circuit, the more those cells held the short-term memory of a just-seen object. The new findings may upturn prevailing theories about how working memory works.
- NIH Common Fund Announces Awards for Single Cell Analysis
- Press Release October 15, 2012
NIH plans to invest more than $90 million over five years to accelerate the development and application of single cell analysis across a variety of fields. The goal is to understand what makes individual cells unique and to pave the way for medical treatments.
- Gene Variants Implicated in Extreme Weight Gain Associated with Antipsychotics
- Science Update October 12, 2012
A small study suggests that people with certain genetic variants may be more susceptible to extreme weight gain if they take certain antipsychotic medications.
- Many Teens Considering Suicide Do Not Receive Specialized Mental Health Care
- Science Update October 12, 2012
Many teens who are thinking about or who have attempted suicide often do not see a mental health professional.
- Former NIMH Grantee Wins Nobel Prize for Chemistry
- Science Update October 10, 2012
Former NIMH grantee Brian K. Kobilka, MD, of Stanford University has won this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He shares the award with Robert J. Lefkowitz of Duke University for explaining the communication system that the human body uses to send messages to cells.
- Genetic Switch Involved in Depression
- Science Update September 19, 2012
Researchers have discovered a gene regulator that is over-expressed in brains of both depressed patients and rats that show depression-like behaviors. Boosting expression of the regulator, Gata1, decreased expression of genes that code for the connections between neurons in rats’ thinking and feeling circuitry, as well as the number of such synapses.
- NIH Awards $100 Million for Autism Centers of Excellence Program
- Science Update September 04, 2012
NIMH, along with NICHD, NINDS, NIDCD, and NIEHS, have awarded nine new grants aimed at advancing research on the causes of autism spectrum disorder and finding new treatments.
- President Obama Signs Executive Order to Improve Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military FamiliesExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Science Update August 31, 2012
President Obama signed an Executive Order directing key federal departments to expand suicide prevention strategies and take steps to meet the current and future demand for mental health and substance abuse treatment services for veterans, service members, and their families.
- Daily or Severe Tantrums May Point to Mental Health Issues
- Science Update August 29, 2012
Most young children lose their temper sometimes, but daily tantrums or tantrums with severe behaviors, such as aggressive or destructive tantrums, are unusual and could signal a larger problem, according to an NIMH-funded study.
- Couple’s Therapy Appears to Decrease PTSD Symptoms, Improve RelationshipExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Science Update August 14, 2012
Among couples in which one partner was diagnosed as having posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), participation in disorder-specific couple therapy resulted in decreased PTSD symptom severity and increased patient relationship satisfaction, compared with couples who were placed on a wait list for the therapy, according to a study in the August 15 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.
- Brain Hubs Boil When Hoarders Face Pitching Their Own Stuff
- Press Release August 09, 2012
In patients with hoarding disorder, parts of a decision-making brain circuit under-activated when dealing with others’ possessions, but over-activated when deciding whether to keep or discard their own things.
- Targeted Behavioral Therapy Can Effectively Control Tics in Adults with Tourette Syndrome
- Science Update August 06, 2012
New research finds that a modified cognitive behavioral therapy can successfully control the tics in adults who have Tourette Syndrome.
- Brain Signal ID’s Responders to Fast-Acting Antidepressant
- Press Release August 03, 2012
Biomarkers identified in research on a fast-acting antidepressant can signal who will respond to the medication and are providing clues to how it works to lift depression.
- NIH Researchers Use Brain Imaging to Understand Genetic Link between Parkinson's and a Rare DiseaseExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Science Update July 30, 2012
A rare metabolic disorder is helping researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) uncover new clues about the biology underlying Parkinson’s disease.
- Many Youths with Autism Not Employed or In College 2 Years After High School
- Science Update July 20, 2012
Data from a nationally representative survey show that teens with autism appear to face additional challenges after graduating high school than peers with similar disabilities. NIMH-funded researchers highlight the need to improve transition planning and for further studies on the effectiveness of services for adults with autism.
- Social Brain Circuits Disrupted in Autism
- Science Update July 19, 2012
Brain areas involved in social behavior are active but out of sync with each other in young people with autism, according to recent findings from functional brain imaging.
- Survey Finds More Evidence That Mental Disorders Often Begin in Youth
- Science Update June 18, 2012
National survey data confirms the widely held belief that mental disorders often begin in youth.
- Rate of Bipolar Symptoms Among Teens Approaches That of Adults
- Science Update June 18, 2012
National survey data finds that the rate of bipolar symptoms in teens is similar to that found in adults, indicating that bipolar disorder often begins in adolescence.
- Most Children with ASD Diagnosed After Age 5, Use Multiple Services and Medications
- Science Update May 24, 2012
New data detail the experiences of young children with autism spectrum disorder, describing when they are first identified as having ASD, who is making those identifications, and the services and medications the children use to meet their developmental needs.
- Awake Mental Replay of Past Experiences Critical for Learning
- Press Release May 03, 2012
Awake mental replay of past experiences is essential for making informed choices, suggests a study in rats. Without it, the animals’ memory-based decision-making faltered, say scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health.
- Agent Reduces Autism-like Behaviors in Mice
- Press Release April 25, 2012
Autism-like behaviors in mice have been reduced, using an experimental agent being tested in patients for a related disorder.
- Spontaneous Gene Glitches Linked to Autism Risk with Older Dads
- Press Release April 04, 2012
A trio of new studies have found that sequence changes in parts of genes that code for proteins play a significant role in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
- Pattern Recognition Technology May Help Predict Future Mental Illness in Teens
- Science Update April 02, 2012
Computer programs that automatically spot patterns in data may help predict a person’s risk for future mental disorders.
- Brain Wiring a No-Brainer?
- Press Release March 29, 2012
Researcher Van Wedeen MD and colleagues report new evidence of the brain’s elegant simplicity March 30, 2012 in the journal Science. New high resolution scans reveal an astonishingly simple 3D grid structure.
- Friendly-to-a-Fault, Yet Tense: Personality Traits Traced in Brain
- Press Release March 19, 2012
NIH scientists have used three different types of brain imaging to pinpoint a circuit hub buried deep in the front center of the brain in people with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterized by overly gregarious yet anxious behavior.
- Possible Causes of Sudden Onset OCD in Kids Broadened
- Press Release March 19, 2012
The syndrome, Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS), includes children and teens that suddenly develop on-again/off-again OCD symptoms or abnormal eating behaviors, along with other psychiatric symptoms – without any known cause. An immune-based treatment study is underway at NIH.
- Computer-Based Treatment Eases Anxiety Symptoms in Children
- Science Update March 13, 2012
Results from a small clinical trial suggest that it might be possible, using computer-based training, to help children with anxiety shift their attention away from threat.
- Linked Brain Centers Mature in Sync
- Science Update March 13, 2012
Brain imaging is providing a new picture of how functionally connected parts of the brain develop in sync.
- NIH-funded Study Defines Treatment Window for HIV-positive Children Infected at Birth
- Press Release March 07, 2012
HIV-positive children older than 1 year who were treated after showing moderate HIV-related symptoms did not experience greater cognitive or behavior problems compared to peers treated when signs of their infection were still mild, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
- Gene Regulator in Brain’s Executive Hub Tracked Across Lifespan – NIH study
- Press Release February 02, 2012
For the first time, scientists have tracked the activity, across the lifespan, of an environmentally responsive regulatory mechanism that turns genes on and off in the brain’s executive hub. Among key findings of the study by National Institutes of Health scientists: genes implicated in schizophrenia and autism turn out to be members of a select club of genes in which regulatory activity peaks during an environmentally-sensitive critical period in development.
- Ethnic Disparities Persist in Depression Diagnosis and Treatment Among Older Americans
- Science Update January 26, 2012
Older racial and ethnic minorities living in the community are less likely to be diagnosed with depression than their white counterparts, but are also less likely to get treated, according to a recent NIMH-funded analysis published online ahead of print December 15, 2011, in the American Journal of Public Health.
- Atypical Antipsychotic More Effective than Older Drugs in Treating Childhood Mania, but Side Effects Can Be Serious
- Science Update January 11, 2012
The antipsychotic medication risperidone is more effective for initial treatment of mania in children diagnosed with bipolar disorder compared to other mood stabilizing medications, but it carries the potential for serious metabolic side effects, according to an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print January 2, 2012, in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
- Turning on Dormant Gene May Hold Key for Correcting a Neurodevelopmental Defect
- Science Update January 05, 2012
Scientists working in cell culture and in mice have been able to correct the loss of gene activity underlying a rare but severe developmental disorder by turning on a gene that is normally silenced in brain cells.
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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.