Browsing: Mental Health

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

Faith-based interventions can encourage exercise in older African-American women

In a randomized controlled study based in Los Angeles, California, encouraging African-American women aged 60 or over to exercise, in conjunction with scripture reading and group prayer, led to a 78% increase in steps per week, equivalent to about three extra miles. This increase was four times greater than in the control group who were also encouraged to exercise but with no faith based interventions. The results are published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

A thirst for excitement is hidden in your genes

Sensation seeking—the urge to do exciting things—has been linked to dopamine, a chemical that carries messages in your brain. For a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, scientists analyzed genes in the dopamine system and found a group of mutations that help predict whether someone is inclined toward sensation seeking.

Youth are disproportionately affected by mental disorders

About 20 percent of U.S. youth during their lifetime are affected by some type of mental disorder to an extent that they have difficulty functioning, according to a new NIMH survey published in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The data support the observation from surveys of adults that mental disorders most commonly start in early life.

The price of popularity: Drug and alcohol consumption

The consumption of drugs and alcohol by teenagers is not just about rebellion or emotional troubles. It’s about being one of the cool kids, according to a study by led by researchers at the Université de Montréal.

Young teens who play sports feel healthier and happier about life

Taking part in sports is good all round for young teens: physically, socially, and mentally, according to a new study1 by Dr. Keith Zullig and Rebecca White from West Virginia University in the US. Their research shows that middle-school teenagers who are physically active and play on sports teams are more satisfied with their life and feel healthier.

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.