A comprehensive behavioral intervention is more effective than supportive therapy and education in helping adults control the tics associated with Tourette syndrome, according to an NIMH-funded study published in the August 2012 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. The study follows a previous study involving children with the disorder, which showed similar results.
The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is advancing age. By age 85, the likelihood of developing the dreaded neurological disorder is roughly 50 percent. But researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say AD hits hardest among the “younger elderly” – people in their 60s and 70s – who show faster rates of brain tissue loss and cognitive decline than AD patients 80 years and older.
A cancer diagnosis for adolescents and young adults can be especially challenging, and new research shows the social, psychological and informational support these patients need might be going unmet. Compared to both children and older adult cancer patients, adolescents and young adults, ages 14-39, demonstrate a different set of psychosocial needs and issues related to their unique age-related development.
Six months ago, researchers at UCLA published a study that showed using a specific type of yoga to engage in a brief, simple daily meditation reduced the stress levels of people who care for those stricken by Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Now they know why. The results were published in the current online edition of the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.
UT Dallas researchers recently demonstrated how nerve stimulation paired with specific experiences, such as movements or sounds, can reorganize the brain. This technology could lead to new treatments for stroke, tinnitus, autism and other disorders. In a related paper, The University of Texas at Dallas neuroscientists showed that they could alter the speed at which the brain works in laboratory animals by pairing stimulation of the vagus nerve with fast or slow sounds.
In a study of high-functioning adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder, scientists using functional brain imaging have found reduced connectivity selectively affecting parts of the brain that form circuits supporting social behavior. The findings sharpen the focus of previous reports suggesting disruptions in connectivity across the brain in autism, and offer a target for future studies to search for the genes that shape the development of these circuits and how they become disrupted in the disorder.
The Welsh cancer charity Tenovus and Cardiff University, both based in the UK, have reported that participation in a choir improves a number of quality of life factors for cancer survivors and their carers. Check the end of this report for a link to download a free copy of the original study.
The studies, reported July 17 in PLoS Biology, demonstrate in mice that activation of the sympathetic nervous system – the “fight-or-flight” response to stress – primes the bone environment for breast cancer cell metastasis. The researchers were able to prevent breast cancer cell lesions in bone using propranolol, which is a cardiovascular medicine that inhibits sympathetic nervous system signals.