Brain Disease

Reuters: Just one or two experiences with marijuana may alter teen brains

Teens who use pot just one or two times may end up with changes to their brains, a new study finds. There were clear differences on brain scans between teens who said they had tried cannabis a couple of times and those who completely eschewed the drug, researchers reported in the Journal of Neuroscience. (January […]

Spectrum: Communication in brain may be remarkably constant in autism

Patterns of brain activity in people with autism are unusually consistent over seconds — and even years, two new studies suggest. One study shows that patterns of connectivity remain stable in autistic adolescents, whereas they tend to change and specialize in controls. The other study found that connections remain fixed longer in people with autism […]

The Denver Post: Detecting depression: Smartphone apps could monitor teen angst

Rising suicide rates and depression in U.S. teens and young adults have prompted researchers to ask a provocative question: Could the same devices that some people blame for contributing to tech-age angst also be used to detect it? The idea has sparked a race to develop apps that warn of impending mental health crises. Call […]

Futurity: Bad sleep in older adults may signal Alzheimer’s disease

Elevated tau, a sign of Alzheimer’s disease, links to brain damage and cognitive decline. Poor sleep is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. People with the disease tend to wake up tired and worsening memory loss make nights even less refreshing. But how and why restless nights are linked to Alzheimer’s disease is not fully understood. […]

Science News: Nerve cells from people with autism grow unusually big and fast

Young nerve cells derived from people with autism are precocious, growing bigger and developing sooner than cells taken from people without autism, a new study shows. The results, described January 7 in Nature Neuroscience, hint that in some cases nerve cells veer off course early in brain development to ultimately cause the disorder. (January 11, […]

U.S. News & World Report: Medication-free ways to treat Parkinson’s disease

People with Parkinson’s disease, the incurable neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement, have few options for medical treatment. Prescription medications can help manage symptoms, and an implantable device (a deep brain stimulator) can help control tremors – the hallmark of the condition. But many Parkinson’s patients don’t know about additional complementary or alternative treatments that can […]

Medical Xpress: Speeding up genetic diagnosis of Huntington’s disease

Elongated segments of DNA cause Huntington’s disease and certain other disorders of the brain. Researchers funded by the SNSF have developed a method to determine the length of the mutated genes quickly and easily. People with Huntington’s disease suffer from jerky body movements and decreasing mental abilities.(January 10, 2019) Read the full article here

Science Daily: Risky decisions: Excessive social media use is comparable to drug addiction

Bad decision-making is a trait oftentimes associated with drug addicts and pathological gamblers, but what about people who excessively use social media? New research shows a connection between social media use and impaired risky decision-making, which is commonly deficient in substance addiction. (January 10, 2019) Read the full article here

Ars Technica: The molecule that helps exercise protect the brain from Alzheimer’s

Sometimes data behaves so nicely, lining up just the way you want it to. In 2012, irisin was identified as a molecular messenger induced by exercise. In 2013, irisin was found to stimulate genes in the hippocampus, a region of the brain essential for making and storing memories. In 2017, epidemiological studies indicated that exercise […]

Chicago Tribune: Being bullied may alter the teen brain, increase risk for mental illness

Teens who are often bullied may be left with shrinkage in key parts of their brain, increasing their risk for mental illness, European researchers report. They said such shrinkage eventually appears to create a growing sense of anxiety, even after taking into account the possible onset of other mental health concerns, such as stress and/or […]