Tag Archives: disorder

Researchers predict material with record-setting melting point

Using advanced computers and a computational technique to simulate physical processes at the atomic level, researchers at Brown University have predicted that a material made from hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon would have the highest known melting point, about two-thirds the temperature at the surface of the sun. (more…)

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For anxious children and teens, context counts, UCLA researchers say

Specific area of the brain linked to anxiety disorders in youth

Anxiety disorders are common in children and adolescents, affecting up to 25 percent of the youth population. Anxiety causes distress and functional impairment and, if left untreated, can result in bad grades, problems at home and increased rates of psychiatric disorders in adulthood.

These risks constitute a significant public health burden, and they underscore the importance of continued efforts to understand the cause and course of the disorder.  (more…)

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Is this Peptide a Key to Happiness?

UCLA findings suggests possible new treatment for depression, other disorders

What makes us happy? Family? Money? Love? How about a peptide?

The neurochemical changes underlying human emotions and social behavior are largely unknown. Now though, for the first time in humans, scientists at UCLA have measured the release of a specific peptide, a neurotransmitter called hypocretin, that greatly increased when subjects were happy but decreased when they were sad. (more…)

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Songbirds’ Brains Coordinate Singing with Intricate Timing, Study Shows

Research may help explain how human brain governs speech

In an article in the current issue of Nature, neuroscientist Daniel Margoliash and colleagues show, for the first time, how the brain is organized to govern skilled performance—a finding that may lead to new ways of understanding human speech production. (more…)

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Right Target, but Missing the Bulls-Eye for Alzheimer’s

UCLA researchers discover new point of attack for drug therapy

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of late-life dementia. The disorder is thought to be caused by a protein known as amyloid-beta, or Abeta, which clumps together in the brain, forming plaques that are thought to destroy neurons. This destruction starts early, too, and can presage clinical signs of the disease by up to 20 years.

For decades now, researchers have been trying, with limited success, to develop drugs that prevent this clumping. Such drugs require a “target” — a structure they can bind to, thereby preventing the toxic actions of Abeta. (more…)

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Women with Sleep Apnea Have Higher Degree of Brain Damage than Men, UCLA Study Shows

Women suffering from sleep apnea have, on the whole, a higher degree of brain damage than men with the disorder, according to a first-of-its-kind study conducted by researchers at the UCLA School of Nursing. The findings are reported in the December issue of the peer-reviewed journal SLEEP.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. Each time, the oxygen level in the blood drops, eventually resulting in damage to many cells in the body. If left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, depression and other serious health problems. (more…)

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New Noninvasive Tool Helps Target Parkinson’s Disease

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Health professionals may soon have a new method of diagnosing Parkinson’s disease, one that is noninvasive and inexpensive, and, in early testing, has proved to be effective more than 90 percent of the time.

In addition, this new method has the potential to track the progression of Parkinson’s, as well as measure the effectiveness of treatments for the disorder, said Rahul Shrivastav, professor and chairperson of Michigan State University’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders and a member of the team developing the new method.

It involves monitoring a patient’s speech patterns – specifically, movement patterns of the tongue and jaw. (more…)

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Questions for Robert Miranda Jr.: Parenting Cuts Genetic Risk of Teen Drinking

In a new study, addiction researchers found that attentive parenting can overcome a genetic predisposition to alcohol use disorder among teens. Although further research is needed, says lead author Robert Miranda Jr., parents can have an impact if they “closely monitor their child’s behavior and peer group.”

In 2010 a team led by Robert Miranda Jr., associate professor (research) of psychiatry and human behavior in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, found that teens with a single difference in their genes were more predisposed to alcohol use disorder. In a new study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research he found that the risk was largely overcome in teens whose parents are attentive to their behavior and peer group. Miranda, a researcher at Brown’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, answered questions from science writer David Orenstein about the new study.

What did we know about genetic risk associated with A118G and teenage alcohol use going into this study?

In 2010, we reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research the first evidence that the A118G SNP of the OPRM1 gene is associated with a greater number of alcohol-related problems as well as the development of an alcohol use disorder (AUD) among adolescents. Specifically, adolescents who met criteria for an AUD diagnosis had a higher prevalence of the G allele (51.9 percent) than non-AUD youth(16.3 percent), and the G allele accounted for 9 percent of the variance in alcohol-related problems experienced by youth in the past three months, with a moderate effect size. Although these findings are consistent with some adult studies in terms of the nature and magnitude of this association, other adult studies did not find this relationship. (more…)

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