Everyone knows that people vary substantially in how hard they are willing to work, but the origin of these individual differences in the brain remains a mystery. Now the veil has been pushed back by a new brain imaging study that has found an individual’s willingness to work hard to earn money is strongly influenced by the chemistry in three specific areas of the brain.
Tag Archives | Dopamine
Potential clues to how autism miswires the brain are emerging from a study of a rare, purely genetic form of the disorders that affects fewer than 20 people worldwide. Using cutting-edge “disease-in a-dish” technology, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have grown patients’ skin cells into neurons to discover what goes wrong in the brain in Timothy Syndrome. Affected children often show symptoms of autism spectrum disorders along with a constellation of physical problems. Included in this report is a video summary of the study results.
Susan, even at age 33, cannot sit still. She never could. Pegged by her teachers as the resident “problem child,” she spent most of her afternoons in detention for disrupting class and forgetting her homework assignments. As an adult, she still struggles to meet her work deadlines, and she has to fight the insatiable urge to dart out of meetings.
People who abused methamphetamine or other amphetamine-like stimulants were more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who did not, in a new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The researchers examined almost 300,000 hospital records from California covering 16 years. Patients admitted to hospital for methamphetamine or amphetamine-use disorders had a 76 per cent higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease compared to those with no disorder.
Bulimia nervosa is a severe eating disorder associated with episodic binge eating followed by extreme behaviors to avoid weight gain such as self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives, or excessive exercise. It is poorly understood how brain function may be involved in bulimia. A new study led by Guido Frank, MD, assistant professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Director, Developmental Brain Research Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, studied the brain response to a dopamine related reward-learning task in bulimic and healthy women.
Perhaps the most puzzling symptom of anorexia nervosa – a disorder that tends to occur in young women – is the refusal to eat, resulting in extreme weight loss. While most people have a great deal of difficulty in dieting and losing weight, particularly if a diet extends over many months or years, individuals with anorexia nervosa can literally diet themselves to death. In fact, this disorder has a very high death rate from starvation. A new study, now online in the journal International Journal of Eating Disorders, sheds light on why these symptoms occur in anorexia nervosa.
Computer networks that cannot forget fast enough can show symptoms of a kind of virtual schizophrenia, giving researchers further clues to the inner workings of schizophrenic brains, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Yale University have found. The researchers used a virtual computer model, or “neural network,” to simulate the excessive release of dopamine in the brain. They found that the network recalled memories in a distinctly schizophrenic-like fashion. Their results were published in April in Biological Psychiatry.
Almost half of all schizophrenics consume narcotics, nicotine, or alcohol. The reason for this addiction could be the very treatments these patients are undergoing, according to a new preclinical study published in Neuropsychopharmacology. “The secondary effects of antipsychotic drugs are numerous and invasive: facial tics, apathy, depression, weight gain, etc.,” says Anne-Marie Bédard, a Université de Montréal master’s student of pharmacology and lead author of the study.