Brain

Hormones in children's saliva may be a biological indicator of the trauma kids undergo when they are chronically bullied by peers, according to researchers who say biological markers can aid in the early recognition and intervention of long-term psychological effects on youth.

"Bullying is mainly self-reported either by students or observed by teachers," said JoLynn V. Carney, associate professor of counselor education at Penn State.

Close on the heels of a large-scale clinical trial just underway to confirm that the female hormone estriol combats the effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) in women, a just completed pilot study at UCLA now shows promise for the use of testosterone to combat its effects in men.

Antipsychotic drugs do most of their work in the brain, but they also leave behind in the bloodstream a trail of hundreds of chemicals that may be used in the future to direct better treatment for schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions, say Duke University Medical Center researchers.

The study is among the first to use metabolomics -- the measurement of thousands of chemical byproducts of the body's cellular processes -- to look at a psychiatric disease and its response to therapy, according to the researchers.

"What might have been" or fictive learning affects the brain and plays an important role in the choices individuals make – and may play a role in addiction, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers and others in a report that appears online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Professor of Women's Health Psychology at the University of Western Sydney, Jane Ussher, has been researching the issue for 20 years and says that women are being controlled by medical practices which position their unhappiness as a biomedical condition.

Women are being sold the idea that their bodies are biologically faulty and they need medication for PMS, post-natal depression and menopausal outbursts when in fact the pressures of being 'superwoman' are more likely to blame.

What do mutual grooming, politeness, priestly celibacy, military heroism, car insurance, and overwork have in common?

The Beatles' George Harrison wondered in his famous love song about the "something" that "attracts me like no other lover." A University at Buffalo expert explains that that "something" is actually several physical elements that -- if they occur in a certain order, at the right time and in the right place -- can result in true love.

Cerebral malaria (CM) is a severe form of malaria that affects the brain and is fatal in about 30-50% of the cases. But researchers in Portugal report a gene – Hmox1 – that protects against the disease by releasing CO into the host blood stream counteracting CM inflammatory processes (CO is known to have anti-inflammatory properties) and inhibiting the development of the infection in the brain.

Parkinson's disease is well-known for its progression of motor disorders: stiffness, slowness, tremors, difficulties walking and talking. Less well known is that Parkinson's shares other symptoms with narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of deep sleep, severe fatigue and general sleep disorder.

When male primates tussle and females develop their social skills it leaves a permanent mark – on their brains. According to research published in the online open access journal BMC Biology, brain structures have developed due to different pressures on males and females to keep up with social or competitive demands.

An international research team consisting of Patrik Lindenfors, Charles Nunn and Robert Barton examined data on primate brain structures in relation to traits important for male competition, such as greater body mass and larger canine teeth.

Nutritionists have long endorsed fish as part of a heart-healthy diet, and now some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids found in the oil of certain fish may also benefit the brain by lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In order to test whether an omega-3 fatty acid can impact the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, will evaluate one in a clinical trial, the gold standard for medical research.

The majority of advertising exposure occurs when the audience’s attention is focused elsewhere, such as while flipping through a magazine or browsing a web site. However, a new study reveals that even this incidental exposure to advertising may have a positive effect on consumer attitudes. Forthcoming in the June issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, the study revises existing theories of exposure advertising, specifically repeated views of web-based banner ads.

Researchers have created the first computational model to track engine performance from one combustion cycle to the next for a new type of engine that could dramatically reduce oil consumption and the emission of global-warming pollutants.

Researchers have known for decades that certain neurodegenerative diseases, such as mad cow disease or its human equivalent, Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease, result from a kind of infectious protein called a prion. Remarkably, in recent years researchers also have discovered non-pathogenic prions that play beneficial roles in biology, and prions even may act as essential elements in learning and memory.

For years, scientists have studied the molecular basis of memory storage, trying to find the molecules that store memory, just as DNA stores genetic memory.

Brandeis University researchers report for the first time that memory storage can be induced and then biochemically erased in slices of rat hippocampus by manipulating a so-called "memory molecule," a protein kinase known as CaMKII.