Advertisements

Archive for the ‘Disease’ Category

Circuit Neuroscience Recently, research into psychiatric disease has made great strides, but continued progress may require unpopular and ethically murky research. Joshua Gordon, the new director of the National Institutes of Mental Health writes in this month’s Nature Neuroscience: “At this unique and exciting time for psychiatry, novel therapies for individuals with mental illnesses seem just around […]


Metabolomics has come a long way since the days of tasting urine. Now techniques like high-throughput mass spectrometry can provide us detailed information about the small molecules we find in the body–which can be influenced by diet, environmental exposure (to toxins, medicine, etc), or even the gut microbiome. Metabolomics will also capture the genetic or […]


You may have seen my tweet about the upcoming documentary Mars Project, which tackles complex issues such as mental illness, drug use, psychiatry, race, and stigma. When director Jonathan Balazs contacted me about his film, I got really excited about it. If you liked the teaser but want to learn more about the project, check out Balazs’s Indie-Go-Go page […]


What prescription drugs do we take and why are we taking them? Get a glass of water, choke down your horse pills, and take a look at the 10 most prescribed psychiatric drugs, 10 most prescribed drugs overall, and the 10 most profitable drugs, followed by a bit of analysis (though maybe what you need is psychoanalysis). […]


COMT, Catechol-O-methyl transferase, is an enzyme that degrades catecholamines–such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine (or adrenaline and noradrenaline as they are called in the UK). It was first discovered in the ’50s by Nobel laureate and pirate Julius Axelrod. More recently, scientists discovered an evolutionarily recent nonsynonomous single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the protein-coding portion of […]


The connectome  is a map of all neural connections in a brain, which I believe only currently exists for the flatworm C. Elegans. Seung’s group and collaborators are working using serial electron microscopy, and partially automated EM analysis and the crowdsourcing site eyewire  to reconstruct parts of the mouse retina, with the hope of steadily improving technologies […]


Original full text of the study available from Translational Psychiatry here. Conventionally, children are diagnosed using Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised (ADI-R) a 93-question survey, and/or the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) which measures behavior. The two test can take up to 2.5 hours and must be administered by clinical professionals.  Dennis Wall–the lead author of the paper and director […]


Scientists reported a new connection between autism and fragile x syndrome in the latest issue of neuron. They sequenced the exomes–the parts of DNA that code proteins–of 343 families that had a single child with autism and at least one unaffected sibling. Looking at de novo mutations (ones that occurred in the sperm or egg […]


Whenever I hear a friend talk about how they only sleep 6 hours a night—I feel a combination of pity (that must be rough) and annoyance (how can they do that to themselves), but reading up on the genetics of sleep maybe I should be feeling jealousy (since I need at least 8 solid hours). […]


“The munchies” — an effect of THC causing heightened craving and enjoyment of food after taking is currently used to help HIV patients and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy patients maintain their weight. New research indicates that THC could help anorexics and bulemics regain weight–though probably not through “the munchies.” A new PET imaging study reported […]



Advertisements