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Coprophagia linked to neurodegenerative dementia

Coprophagia linked to neurodegenerative dementia

Coprophagia, eating one's feces, is common in animals but rarely seen in humans. Mayo Clinic researchers reviewed the cases of a dozen adult patients diagnosed with coprophagia over the past 20 years and found that the behavior is associated with a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly neurodegenerative dementias. [More]
Researchers explore effects of adolescent obesity on cognitive performance in adulthood

Researchers explore effects of adolescent obesity on cognitive performance in adulthood

The Franco-Mexican research explores the cognitive performance in adulthood when the subjects have been exposed to an obesogenic environment during adolescence. [More]
Changes in the brain make people prone to alcoholism

Changes in the brain make people prone to alcoholism

The brain tissue of persons with alcohol dependence shows a variety of changes compared to non-alcoholic control persons. All alcoholics' brains share some characteristics, but some are exclusive to the brain tissue of anxiety-prone type 1 alcoholics or impulsive type 2 alcoholics, according to a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland. [More]
UNC-Chapel Hill researchers identify functional brain circuit that controls alcohol binge drinking

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers identify functional brain circuit that controls alcohol binge drinking

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified a circuit between two brain regions that controls alcohol binge drinking, offering a more complete picture on what drives a behavior that costs the United States more than $170 billion annually and how it can be treated. [More]
Study points to potential way to make people behave in less selfish, more altruistic ways

Study points to potential way to make people behave in less selfish, more altruistic ways

It's an age-old quandary: Are we born "noble savages" whose best intentions are corrupted by civilization, as the 18th century Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau contended? Or are we fundamentally selfish brutes who need civilization to rein in our base impulses, as the 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes argued? After exploring the areas of the brain that fuel our empathetic impulses -- and temporarily disabling other regions that oppose those impulses -- two UCLA neuroscientists are coming down on the optimistic side of human nature. [More]
Patients with schizophrenia demonstrate specific leftward asymmetry for globus pallidus volume

Patients with schizophrenia demonstrate specific leftward asymmetry for globus pallidus volume

A Japanese research group found that patients with schizophrenia demonstrated a specific leftward volumetric asymmetry for the globus pallidus, one of the basal ganglia of the brain. The basal ganglia are involved in motivation and volition, the impairment of which may result in difficulties in social life. This finding is expected to help elucidate the underlying pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia. Moreover, it will be a step toward the development of therapeutic strategies for schizophrenia. [More]
Could environmental toxins trigger amyloid plaques in the brain? An interview with Dr Paul Alan Cox

Could environmental toxins trigger amyloid plaques in the brain? An interview with Dr Paul Alan Cox

Many Chamorro villagers on the island of Guam perished from a puzzling paralytic disease that combines aspects of ALS, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease. [More]
People suffering from anxiety perceive the world differently than others

People suffering from anxiety perceive the world differently than others

People suffering from anxiety perceive the world in a fundamentally different way than others, according to a study reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on March 3. The research may help explain why certain people are more prone to anxiety. [More]
Scientists discover brain mechanisms that separate food consumption from cravings

Scientists discover brain mechanisms that separate food consumption from cravings

Researchers investigating eating disorders often study chemical and neurological functions in the brain to discover clues to overeating. Understanding non-homeostatic eating -- or eating that is driven more by palatability, habit and food cues -- and how it works in the brain may help neuroscientists determine how to control cravings, maintain healthier weights and promote healthier lifestyles. Scientists at the University of Missouri recently discovered the chemical circuits and mechanisms in the brain that separate food consumption from cravings. Knowing more about these mechanisms could help researchers develop drugs that reduce overeating. [More]
Study unravels physiological signature of fear memory within prefrontal­amygdala networks

Study unravels physiological signature of fear memory within prefrontal­amygdala networks

Fear response to traumatic or threatening situations helps us evade or escape danger. At the same time fear response is learned in the form of association between stimulus or situation and the presence of a stressor. [More]
Graphic anti-smoking images can warn smokers about cigarettes' health consequences

Graphic anti-smoking images can warn smokers about cigarettes' health consequences

Viewing graphic anti-smoking images on cigarette packs triggers activity in brain areas involved in emotion, decision-making and memory as observed via brain scans. [More]
Patients with COPD show decreased gray matter volume in certain areas of the brain

Patients with COPD show decreased gray matter volume in certain areas of the brain

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a condition impacting nearly 24 million Americans, is often associated with disease-specific fears and avoidance of physical activity. Little is known of the structural brain processes that occur in COPD patients. A study published in the February issue of the journal CHEST found that patients with COPD demonstrated gray matter decreases in areas of the brain that process breathlessness, fear and sensitivity to pain. [More]
Aggression influences new nerve cell production in the brain

Aggression influences new nerve cell production in the brain

A group of neurobiologists from Russia and the USA, including Dmitry Smagin, Tatyana Michurina, and Grigori Enikolopov from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, have proven experimentally that aggression has an influence on the production of new nerve cells in the brain. [More]
Study finds no evidence of genetic overlap between schizophrenia risk and subcortical brain volumes

Study finds no evidence of genetic overlap between schizophrenia risk and subcortical brain volumes

Over the last decade, important contributions to our understanding of schizophrenia have come from two different types of studies. Neuroimaging studies have found that certain parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus and amygdala, are smaller in people with schizophrenia - a devastating psychiatric illness with high heritability. [More]
Unobtrusive patch on the forehead provides relief from PTSD

Unobtrusive patch on the forehead provides relief from PTSD

An average of 30 years had passed since the traumatic events that had left them depressed, anxious, irritable, hypervigilant, unable to sleep well and prone to nightmares. [More]
New brain imaging technique may help identify children at risk of developing depression

New brain imaging technique may help identify children at risk of developing depression

A new brain imaging study from MIT and Harvard Medical School may lead to a screen that could identify children at high risk of developing depression later in life. [More]
People suffering from chronic stress, anxiety may be at increased risk for depression and dementia

People suffering from chronic stress, anxiety may be at increased risk for depression and dementia

A scientific review paper warns that people need to find ways to reduce chronic stress and anxiety in their lives or they may be at increased risk for developing depression and even dementia. [More]
Compensatory neural connections stave off bipolar disorder onset

Compensatory neural connections stave off bipolar disorder onset

Patients at high genetic risk of bipolar disorder may be able to avert onset of the condition due to natural adaptive neuroplasticity that allows the brain to compensate for underlying network dysfunction associated with the condition, researchers report. [More]
Growing up in poverty could alter children's brain connectivity, increase risk of depression

Growing up in poverty could alter children's brain connectivity, increase risk of depression

Many negative consequences are linked to growing up poor, and researchers at Washington University St. Louis have identified one more: altered brain connectivity. [More]
Simple, computer-training task can alter the brain's wiring to regulate emotional reactions

Simple, computer-training task can alter the brain's wiring to regulate emotional reactions

A simple, computer-training task can change the brain's wiring to regulate emotional reactions, according to a recent study published in NeuroImage by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers. [More]
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