Brain strong during waking hours, weaken during sleep

Sleep’s main function is to keep our brains and all its synapses lean and efficient. Brain is more strong during waking hours, weaken during sleep. – Most people know it from experience: After so many hours of being awake, your brain feels unable to absorb any more, and several hours of sleep will refresh it. Now new research from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health clarifies this phenomenon, supporting the idea that sleep plays a critical role in the brain’s ability to change in response to its environment. This ability, called plasticity, is at the heart of learning.

Selective reporting of antidepressant trials may have adverse consequences

Evidence-based medicine is valuable to the extent that the evidence base is complete and unbiased. Selective publication of clinical trials ? and the outcomes within those trials ? can lead to unrealistic estimates of drug effectiveness and alter the apparent risk?benefit ratio. – Selective publication in reporting results of antidepressant trials exaggerates the effectiveness of the drugs, and may have adverse consequences for researchers, study participants, health care professionals, and patients, revealed in a new study.

Bright light therapy eases bipolar depression

Bright light therapy can ease bipolar depression in some patients, according to a study published in the journal Bipolar Disorders. – Bright light therapy can ease bipolar depression in some patients, according to a study published in the journal Bipolar Disorders. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic studied nine women with bipolar disorder to examine the effects of light therapy in the morning or at midday on mood symptoms.

Religious activities good for mental health in women

Religious activities good for mental health in women, revealed by Temple University?s researchers. Religiously active women were less likely to suffer anxiety and depression. – For many, religious activity changes between childhood and adulthood, and a new study finds this could affect one’s mental health. According to Temple University’s Joanna Maselko, Sc.D., women who had stopped being religiously active were more than three times more likely to have suffered generalized anxiety and alcohol abuse/dependence than women who reported always having been active.

Late developmental growth may risk depression

Children with low weight during infancy or slight developmental delays may be at greater risk for developing depression.
– Psychiatrists remain divided as to how to define and classify the mood and anxiety disorders, the most common mental disorders. Committees across the globe are currently pondering how best to carve nature at its anxious joints for the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V), the “gold standard” reference book for psychiatrists.

Middle aged more anxious and depressed than elderly

Elderly people (those aged 65 and above) may have a lower prevalence of psychiatric and anxiety disorders and lower levels of psychological distress than middle-aged people.
– Research from the University of New South Wales has found that middle-aged Australians are more anxious and depressed than their elderly counterparts, turning on its head a prevailing myth about old age.

Gene identified that influences alcohol consumption

Researchers applied a variety of genetic and analytic techniques to identify a chromosomal region, and ultimately a gene, associated with alcohol preference.
– A variant of a gene involved in communication among brain cells has a direct influence on alcohol consumption in mice, according to a new study by scientists supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Army.

Exercise gene could help with depression

Boosting an exercise-related gene in the brain works as a powerful anti-depressant ? a finding that could lead to a new antidepressant drug target.
– Boosting an exercise-related gene in the brain works as a powerful anti-depressant in mice – a finding that could lead to a new anti-depressant drug target, according to a Yale School of Medicine report in Nature Medicine.

Distorted self image the result of visual brain glitch, UCLA study

Body dysmorphic disorder tends to run in families and is especially common in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Thirty percent of people with BDD suffer from eating disorders, which are also linked to a distorted self-image.
– Although they look normal, people suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD, perceive themselves as ugly and disfigured. New imaging research reveals that the brains of these people look normal but function abnormally when processing visual details.

Why some young women are at greater risk of developing anorexia nervosa

Young women with past anorexia nervosa show vastly different patterns of brain activity compared to similar women without the eating disorder.
– Even after more than a year of maintaining a normalized body weight, young women who recovered from anorexia nervosa show vastly different patterns of brain activity compared to similar women without the eating disorder, Walter H. Kaye, M.D., professor of psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues report in the December issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.