Mental Health

PET scanning revealed elevated translocator protein in several regions comprising the neurocircuitry of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), indicating a pathogenic role for microglia in the neuropathogenesis of OCD. Though several Hollywood stars have been diagnosed with OCD, no one is better remembered for suffering from this debilitating condition than Howard Hughes of ‘The Aviator’. Characterized
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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the thalamus is a well-known treatment for tremor related to Parkinson’s disease, but the research surrounding its efficacy with multiple sclerosis tremors remains inconclusive. DBS of two thalamic nuclei was found to significantly decrease tremor severity over the course of 6 months in individuals with multiple sclerosis tremors.   Multiple
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The use of alemtuzumab as an immunotherapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) has been linked to serious side effects. A new study explains how alemtuzumab might trigger new autoimmune disease as the immune system reconstitutes itself after administration.   Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease which causes damage to the central nervous system by eating
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Maternal depression leads to poor quality of life for the entire family, especially in low-income households where effective treatment is a challenge. Problem-solving education was found to be an effective depression prevention method in mothers of the Head Start community, a federally funded early-childhood education program for children and their families.   Head Start is
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Therapeutic agents with an especially promising therapeutic profile for life-threatening diseases with limited therapeutic options, can access the market faster through the accelerated approval route. This route allows faster market access for some life-saving medicines, however systematic evaluation of the clinical evidences on agents received accelerated approval is raising a concern and addressed in recent issue of
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Socially assistive medical robots are being developed to help patients rehabilitate from stroke or brain injury, and conduct autism behavioral therapy. Fifteen years ago, Dr. Maja Mataric founded the field of socially assistive robotics, which centers around helping people with convalescence and rehabilitation using the power of social influence to change behavior. A professor of
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Studies assessing supplemental ketamine use in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) have produced inconsistent results. A recent meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials concluded that, overall, ketamine use in ECT did not improve patient outcomes.   Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. Symptoms of depression include persistent feelings of sadness and worthlessness, an inability to sleep
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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is indicated for the treatment of many intractable neurological illnesses such as Parkinson’s diseases, Tourette’s syndrome, and obsessive compulsive disorder. It has also been used in experimental trials for treatment of major depression, stroke recovery, and several other conditions. DBS represents a widely applicable treatment for many neurological diseases but it
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Exercise has been linked to improved cognition in aging adults, but what types of exercise are best?  Geriatric medicine researchers in Pamplona, Spain set out to explore the effects of various types of exercise on the aging brain.   The health benefits of regular exercise are widely celebrated, from reducing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity,
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Consider how many people you can recognize, including friends, family, celebrities, or just a face you associate with a certain event or memory. Prosopagnosia, or the inability to recognize faces, is a condition caused by damage to brain regions used for facial recognition. The exact processes involved in facial coding are
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Researchers recently discovered that alcohol consumption, even in moderate amounts, causes a decline in brain volume and cognitive ability. This disproves the myth that alcohol can actually have a protective effect if consumed in moderation. The implications of this research are immense considering alcohol’s global ubiquity.   Alcohol is the only societally-condoned drug that dangerously
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A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine investigates the use of cannabidiol for treating drug resistant seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome.   Dravet syndrome is a rare form of epilepsy which presents in infancy with severe seizures that are often unresponsive to treatment. Cannabidiol use to treat seizures in Dravet
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Depression and anxiety are often prevalent in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but these patients do not often seek traditional therapy. A recent study reports that telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy significantly improved symptoms of depression in COPD patients after an eight-week telephone program.   Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a well-known disease
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No two cases of depression are alike, and approximately 20% of depression patients do not respond to any treatment. MRI was used to predict depression treatment outcomes by examining connectivity of the subcallosal cingulate cortex. Depression is an incredibly common mental disorder that affects more than 3 million people in the US each year and
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Mental disorders and medications used to treat them are thought to negatively affect bone health, but definitive evidence to support this notion is lacking. Researchers found that mental disorder-related medication use is associated with increased risk of bone fracture.   Fractures, especially in an aging population, are a significant factor contributing to mortality, morbidity, disability
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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are widely-used effective treatments for depression. A recent study examined patients over the course of 10 months of treatment and found that CBT was more effective at lowering depression severity than IPT.   Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is defined by the National Institute of
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When someone is diagnosed with a serious disease, they often ask how their life and lifespan will be affected.  A recent study by the Mayo Clinic analyzed survival and cause of death for individuals with Parkinson’s disease or Parkinson’s-like symptoms from synucleinopathy as compared to the general population.   Synucleinopathies are neurogenerative diseases associated with
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Recent research published in JAMA Psychiatry investigated depressive symptoms prior to dementia diagnoses and found no evidence to suggest that depression and dementia are linked.   A team of researchers at the University College London, in England, conducted a study to investigate the trajectories of depressive symptoms and how they relate to later diagnoses of
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Depressive disorders can develop during or after pregnancy, and studies have shown that they increase risk of maternal suicide and complications such as low birthweight and infant malnutrition. A recent study published in the Lancet Psychiatry identified clinical differences in perinatal depressive symptoms based on symptom type, severity, and timing of onset.   According to
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