Brain-machine interfaces translate brain signals into information that can be used to control robotic limbs, and now even predict an individual’s mood state. Researchers envision using BMIs together with electrical stimulation, to regulate abnormal brain signals in patients with treatment-resistant neuropsychiatric disorders. Continue reading Brain-machine interfaces may be used to study and regulate mood
by Melanie Basnak figures by Aparna Nathan Emily gave birth to a healthy baby boy. But, soon after the delivery, she started to feel sad and constantly overwhelmed. She could easily get irritated and was often angry. She worried that something would happen to her baby, and this obsession kept her from sleeping. Even though she had lots of support from her partner and family, she felt … Continue reading The Race Against Postpartum Depression Takes One Step Closer to the Finish Line
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 300 million people of all ages around the world. The most commonly used antidepressant medications are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Only about one third of people with major depressive disorder achieve remission after treatment with SSRIs. When the first medication doesn’t work, the next steps are usually to switch to or add another … Continue reading FDA approves first ketamine-based antidepressant
Note to the Reader: The following article discusses material of a potentially upsetting nature. While the narrative details are fictional, the ideas and themes—both scientific and personal—are real. Information regarding resources for those in crisis can be found at the end of this article. by Emily Orwell figures by Sean Wilson I’m having one of those days. You know, the type where I accidentally slice my … Continue reading When Everything Hurts: The story of a grad student trying to rise above chronic pain and depression
“A healthy mind in a health body.” It’s a saying that is often tossed around when discussing the link between exercise and brain health. Many studies have shown that exercise can improve cognitive performance. In a new study, researchers asked if body strength could be used to predict brain health. Hand grip strength has been used in a variety of studies to assess cardiovascular health, … Continue reading What does your grip strength say about your mental health?
A first link between chronic stress, genetics, and mental illness has recently observed in mice. Researchers have discovered that the genes of mice exposed to chronic stress change over time. Modifications were most associated with genes related to a variety of mental illnesses, such as depression, autism spectrum disorder, and schizophrenia.1-3 How exactly are genetics, stress, and mental illness related? DNA, serves as instructions for cells and is broken up into … Continue reading How stress can change your DNA
by Xiaomeng Han figures by Abigail Burrus What comes to mind when you hear the term electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)? A cruel torture method for disobedient psychiatric patients portrayed in films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? Or a last-resort for treatment-resistant depression with less discomfort and fewer side-effects? New developments in using ECT to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder might soon give us a new way … Continue reading Can We Erase Painful Memories with Electroconvulsive Therapy?
by Emily Ricq Depression affects 15 million Americans and is characterized by debilitating feelings of sadness or emptiness that interfere with the ability to lead and enjoy life . The substantial personal and public health burden imposed by depression has motivated decades of intensive research by scientists, clinicians, therapists, and pharmaceutical companies alike, yet the biology underlying the cause (or causes) of the disease and … Continue reading Down, but not out: Developments in depression research
In 2001, a famous clinical trial, Study 329, declared that the antidepressant Paxil was safe for adolescents. After a great deal of controversy, criticism, and numerous lawsuits, patient level data was finally made available by GlaxoSmithKlein for reanalysis. The original study found that adolescents on Paxil fared no better than those given a placebo on the study’s standard depression questionnaire, but did improve according to … Continue reading A Reanalysis: Paxil Declared Unsafe for Teens