When a baby is taken from its mother for even a brief period early in life, this traumatic maternal deprivation significantly alters the future, adult function of the brain, according to a new animal model study from the School of Science at IUPUI. These changes in the brain are similar to disturbances in brain structure and function that are found in people at risk for neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia. The study was conducted in the laboratory of associate professor of psychology Christopher Lapish. In the study, young rats were removed from their mothers for 24 hours when they were nine days old, which isRead More →

A new meta-analysis of more than 135,000 people with major depression and more than 344,000 controls has identified 44 genomic variants, or loci, that have a statistically significant association with depression. Of these 44 loci, 30 are newly discovered while 14 had been identified in previous studies. In addition, the study identified 153 significant genes, and found that major depression shared six loci that are also associated with schizophrenia. Results from the multinational, genome-wide association study were published April 26 in Nature Genetics. The study was an unprecedented global effort by over 200 scientists who work with the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Co-leaders of the study areRead More →

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Columbia Aging Center found men with a stronger grip were more likely to be married than men with weaker grips. Grip strength was not a factor in the marital status of women. The findings are published online in the journal SSM-Population Health. Grip strength is an established measure of health and has previously been linked to one’s ability to cope independently and predicts the risk of cardiovascular diseases and mortality. “Our results hint that women may be favoring partners who signal strength and vigor when they marry,” said Vegard Skirbekk, PhD, professor, Columbia Aging CenterRead More →

The largest and most detailed study of the long-term impact of anticholinergic drugs, a class of drugs commonly prescribed in the United States and United Kingdom as antidepressants and incontinence medications, has found that their use is associated with increased risk of dementia, even when taken 20 years before diagnosis of cognitive impairment. An international research team from the US, UK and Ireland analyzed more than 27 million prescriptions as recorded in the medical records of 40,770 patients over age 65 diagnosed with dementia compared to the records of 283,933 older adults without dementia. The researchers found greater incidence of dementia among patients prescribed anticholinergicRead More →

A high-sensitive blood test can aid concussed hockey players when it might be safe to return to play. In a study published by the journal Neurology, researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy has identified a superior blood-based biomarker for assessing subtle brain injury. “This could serve as an objective test a long side clinical evaluation to whether a player is fit to return to playing. Currently, we lack an objective test like this”, says Dr. Pashtun Shahim, lead author of the article. The study entails yet another step forward in the research that has been carried out in Gothenburg for several years, with focus on sports-related concussions. This time itRead More →

Being an “evening person” is linked to higher body mass indices among people with Type 2 diabetes, and having breakfast later in the day seems to be what drives this association, according to a new paper in the journal Diabetic Medicine. Obesity is common among people with Type 2 diabetes. Having an evening preference — waking up later and going to bed later — has been linked to an increased risk for obesity, but research is lacking regarding this phenomenon among people with Type 2 diabetes. Researchers led by Dr. Sirimon Reutrakul, associate professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in the University of Illinois at ChicagoRead More →

Over the past decades, computers have become faster and faster and hard disks and storage chips have reached enormous capacities. But this trend cannot continue forever: we are already running up against physical limits that will prevent silicon-based computer technology from attaining any impressive speed gains from this point on. Researchers are particularly optimistic that the next era of technological advancements will start with the development of novel information-processing materials and technologies that combine electrical circuits with optical ones. Using short laser pulses, a research team led by Misha Ivanov of the Max Born Institute in Berlin together with scientists from the Russian Quantum CenterRead More →

Gains in the ability to sustain attention developed through intensive meditation training are maintained up to seven years later, according to a new study published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement. The study is based on the Shamatha Project, a major investigation of the cognitive, psychological and biological effects of meditation led by researchers at the University of California, Davis, Center for Mind and Brain. “This study is the first to offer evidence that intensive and continued meditation practice is associated with enduring improvements in sustained attention and response inhibition, with the potential to alter longitudinal trajectories of cognitive change across a person’s life,” said firstRead More →