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Anxious and Depressed Teens and Adults: Same Version of Mood Gene, Different Brain Reactions
December 2, 2008 • Science Update
An NIMH study using brain imaging shows that some anxious and depressed adolescents react differently from adult patients when looking at frightening faces.
Learning Disability Reversed in Mice
November 25, 2008 • Science Update
Just as traffic signals enable safe traversing of the roadways, so too does the brain’s machinery for learning and memory rely on its own stop-and-go signals. An NIMH grantee has traced a human learning disability to an imbalance in signals that increase and decrease neural activity – and demonstrated a way to correct it. The study in mice, published in the October 31, 2008 issue of the journal Cell, advances scientific understanding of how memory works.
Genomic Dragnet Finds Clues to Likely Suspects in Alzheimer’s
November 6, 2008 • Science Update
In the first study of its kind, researchers have pinpointed four genes likely associated with risk for the most common, late-onset form of Alzheimer’s disease, including a very strong candidate on chromosome 14. NIMH grantee Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, and colleagues report on their findings in the November issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics.
Genes That Turn On Together Hold Secrets of Brain’s Molecular Instructions
November 5, 2008 • Science Update
For the first time, scientists have mapped groups of genes that turn on together in the human brain, revealing a kind of Rosetta Stone of its molecular organization. These never-before-seen patterns of co-expressed genes hold promise for implicating genetic mechanisms conferring risk for illness through “guilt by association,” say the researchers.
Brain’s Response to Scary Faces Imaged Faster Than You Can Say “Boo!”
October 31, 2008 • Science Update
Scientists have captured the split-second workings of the brain’s fear circuitry in people viewing frightful faces.
Viral Genetic Underpinnings of HIV-associated Dementia Explored
October 9, 2008 • Science Update
A new study identifies differences between genetic variants of HIV that are associated with HIV-associated dementia (HAD).
Gene Associated with Social Behavior in Animals Has Similar Effects in Human Males
September 2, 2008 • Science Update
A gene variant related to the hormone vasopressin appears to be associated with how human males bond with their partners or wives, according to an NIMH-funded study. This is the first study to suggest that the wealth of information on vole pair-bonding may also apply to humans and may help to inform research on human disorders related to impaired social interactions and communication, such as autism.
Mice Expressing Human Genes Bred to Help Unravel Mental Disorders
June 26, 2008 • Science Update
New mouse strains engineered to express human genes related to mental disorders are being developed under a recently-launched grant program from NIMH's Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science.
New Grant Supports Stem Cell-Derived Model of Autism-Related Illness
June 26, 2008 • Science Update
For the first time, researchers are developing a test tube model of Rett syndrome, a debilitating autism-like illness, in neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells. The study, recently funded by a grant from NIMH’s Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science, addresses a crucial gap in understanding the workings of the rare autism spectrum disorder.
Potential New Target Found for Developing Medications to Treat Bipolar Disorder
June 20, 2008 • Science Update
Medications that target the protein BAG1, which regulates a process that can trigger symptoms in people who have bipolar disorder, may offer a new way of treating the disease, according to NIMH scientists.
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