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In The News

Obesity ‘Biggest Threat to Women’s Health’ in England

December 17, 2015

Obesity is the biggest threat to women’s health and the health of future generations, warns England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies. Her annual report, which focuses on women this year, said tackling obesity should be a national priority to avert a “growing health catastrophe”. She said the food industry …

First Serotonin Neurons Made from Human Stem Cells

Su-Chun Zhang, a pioneer in developing neurons from stem cells at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has created a specialized nerve cell that makes serotonin, a signaling chemical with a broad role in the brain.

Serotonin affects emotions, sleep, anxiety, depression, appetite, pulse and breathing. It also plays a role in serious …

Why Focusing on a Visual Task Will Make Us Deaf to Our Surroundings

December 10, 2015

Concentrating attention on a visual task can render you momentarily ‘deaf’ to sounds at normal levels, reports a new UCL study funded by the Wellcome Trust.
The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests that the senses of hearing and vision share a limited neural resource. Brain scans from 13 …

Researchers Discover Key Biological Markers for Psychotic Disorders

A team of researchers led by faculty at the University of Georgia has identified a number of biological markers that make it possible to classify mental disorders with greater precision. Their findings, published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry, may one day lead to improved diagnostics and treatments for …

Molecule Clears Alzheimer’s Plaques in Mice

A molecule can clear Alzheimer’s plaques from the brains of mice and improve learning and memory, Korean scientists have found in early tests. Exactly how it gets rid of the abnormal build-up is not understood. The small Nature Communications study hints at a way to tackle the disease even once …

Safer Way to Do Gene Editing

December 03, 2015

Scientists say they have fine tuned a gene editing method to make it safer and more accurate – vital if it is to be used in humans to cure inherited diseases or inborn errors. The advance, outlined in Science Magazine, comes as world leaders in the field gather to debate …

Many Parents ‘Never Talk About Mental Health’ to Children

More than half of parents in England have never spoken to their children about stress, anxiety or depression, a survey has suggested.
A poll of more than 1,100 parents found that 55% had not spoken about the subject to their offspring. Of those, 20% said they did not know how to …

Exploring New Paths for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Research from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is trailblazing a potential new pathway for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The research, published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, examines a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce inflammation in the brain—a key contributing factor to the muscle disability …

Researchers Urge Caution in Prescribing Commonly Used Drug to Treat ADHD

November 26, 2015

Authors of new Cochrane Review remain uncertain about effect of widely used medicine on ADHD symptoms, despite large amount of research. Some evidence of increased sleeplessness and loss of appetite leads researchers to encourage more caution in use of methylphenidate.
The Cochrane Library publishes one of the most comprehensive assessments to …

Researchers Discover How Immune Cells Resist Radiation Treatment

Researchers at The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a key mechanism by which radiation treatment (radiotherapy) fails to completely destroy tumors. And, in the journal Nature Immunology, they offer a novel solution to promote successful radiotherapy for the millions of cancer …

No Cable Spaghetti in the Brain

Our brain is a mysterious machine. Billions of nerve cells are connected such that they store information as efficiently as books are stored in a well-organized library. To this date, many details remain unclear, for instance the set of rules that governs the connections between nerve cells and the organization …

Taming Hot Flashes Without Hormones: What Works, What Doesn’t

November 19, 2015

Some three-quarters of North American women have menopausal hot flashes, but many cannot use hormones for medical reasons or choose not to. Numerous products and techniques are promoted for hot flashes, but do they work, and are they safe? To answer these questions, a North American Menopause Society (NAMS) panel …