Browsing: Mental Health

The latest news about mental health, psychiatry, and abnormal psychology research

Abnormalities in brain histamine may be key factor in Tourette syndrome

Since the first case description in the 19th century, the causes of Tourette syndrome have been a mystery. Now researchers have identified a rare gene mutation responsible for the disorder in one family. The gene is needed for producing histamine, a small molecule with many roles in the body, including signaling in the brain.

Spinal cord injury, spasms, and serotonin

When people think of spinal cord injury, they tend to think of paralysis. But a spinal cord injury can also cause debilitating muscle spasms. Although the drug baclofen can control these spasms, many patients cannot tolerate its side effects, which include general sedation and dizziness. A new study sheds light on how a spinal cord injury leads to spasms, and on the promise of more precisely targeted drugs with fewer side effects.

Current decisions shape your future preferences

Psychologists have known for a long time that after you make a choice, you adjust your opinion to think better of the thing you chose. Now a new study has found that this is true even if you don’t know the options that you’re choosing between.

Mental abilities decline with age, but drops not as steep as previously noted

A new look at tests of mental aging reveals a good news-bad news situation. The bad news is all mental abilities appear to decline with age, to varying degrees. The good news is the drops are not as steep as some research showed, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

Not all interneurons are created equally

A type of neuron that, when malfunctioning, has been tied to epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia is much more complex than previously thought, researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory report in the Sept. 9 issue of Neuron.

Factors linked to cognitive deficits in Type 2 diabetes

Older adults with diabetes who have high blood pressure, walk slowly or lose their balance, or believe they’re in bad health, are significantly more likely to have weaker memory and slower, more rigid cognitive processing than those without these problems, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

Head start for migraine sufferers

For severe migraine sufferers, psychological treatments build on the benefits of drug therapy, according to a new study by Elizabeth Seng and Dr. Kenneth Holroyd from Ohio University.

Circadian rhythms: Their role and dysfunction in affective disorder

All humans are synchronised to the rhythmic light-dark changes that occur on a daily basis. Rhythms in physiological and biochemical processes and behavioural patterns persist in the absence of all external 24-hour signals from the physical environment, with a period that is close to 24 hours.

Eye movements reveal readers’ wandering minds

It’s not just you…everybody zones out when they’re reading. For a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, scientists recorded eye movements during reading and found that the eyes keep moving when the mind wanders—but they don’t move in the same way as they do when you’re paying attention.

Walking boosts brain connectivity and function

A group of “professional couch potatoes,” as one researcher described them, has proven that even moderate exercise – in this case walking at one’s own pace for 40 minutes three times a week – can enhance the connectivity of important brain circuits, combat declines in brain function associated with aging and increase performance on cognitive tasks.

Cognitive behavioral therapy appears beneficial for adults with ADHD

Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who received medication and individual sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) showed greater improvement in symptoms through 12 months compared to patients who did not receive CBT, according to a study in the August 25 issue of JAMA.

Gene scan finds link across array of childhood brain disorders

Mutations in a single gene can cause several types of developmental brain abnormalities that experts have traditionally considered different disorders. With support from the National Institutes of Health, researchers found those mutations through whole exome sequencing – a new gene scanning technology that cuts the cost and time of searching for rare mutations.