Brain

No child aspires to a lifetime of addiction. But their brains might. In new research to appear online in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology this week, Rockefeller University researchers reveal that adolescent brains exposed to the painkiller Oxycontin can sustain lifelong and permanent changes in their reward system – changes that increase the drug's euphoric properties and make such adolescents more vulnerable to the drug's effects later in adulthood.

Washington, D.C. – Researchers have identified a protein they say appears to be a primary player in maintaining normal functioning of an important class of neurons – those brain cells that produce, excrete and then reabsorb dopamine neurotransmitters. These molecules command numerous body functions, ranging from management of behavior and mood to control of movement, and one day may hold the key to why and how some people develop Parkinson's and other brain diseases.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- New research from Indiana University has found evidence that how we look for things, such as our car keys or umbrella, could be related to how we search for more abstract needs, such as words in memory or solutions to problems.

Off-label medication use, the clinical application of prescribed drugs for indications other than those approved by the relevant drug regulatory agency (in the US, the Food and Drug Administration—FDA), is widespread in many areas of medicine but is particularly common in psychiatry. While off-label uses are legal and in many instances may be in the best interests of patients, they have not received the same degree of independent scrutiny through randomized clinical trials as have approved indications.

The number of patients assigned to medical residents and the complexity of care patients require has just as much impact on residents' training as the number of hours they work, according to a study published by researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center in the September 10 issue of JAMA.

The study is believed to be the first of its kind using information gathered objectively from medical residents who work long shifts as part of their training.

WASHINGTON — Older adults may be better able to comply with medication regimens by working with providers to fill out simple paper tables that track what they take and when they take it. Recent experiments found that use of a "medtable" may help to prevent medication-related problems. A report appears in the September issue of Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, published by the American Psychological Association.

With a nationwide shortage of science teachers and plummeting student test scores, many school districts are forced to hire teachers with science degrees but little training in education or experience teaching. Without proper support, research shows that 66 percent of new teachers will quit the profession within three years. Now, new research from George Mason University's New Science Teachers' Support Network (NSTSN) has identified the most vital forms of support for new science teachers—providing them with in-classroom support and quality courses in how to teach science.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Approximately one in four teens in the United States will contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts believe a major contributing factor is the failure of many teens to use condoms consistently and routinely. Now a new study provides some insight into some of the factors that influence condom use among teenagers.

Although Sarah Palin's entry into the 2008 presidential race has energized the religious right within the Republican Party, don't expect religion to be a major issue in this year's election, says University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) political communications expert Larry Powell, Ph.D. The move away from overt religious appeals may be due to an effort to avoid what Powell calls the "Pharisee Effect."

A pilot program called the College Screening Project, a suicide prevention outreach program, was successful in identifying and treating college students with severe depression and feelings of desperation that may have led to suicide. The study, supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), was conducted with Emory University students over six college semesters from 2002-2005.

Diabetes can make the beautifully stratified retina look like over-fried bacon.

A drug known for it pain-relieving power and believed to stimulate memory appears to prevent this retinal damage that leads to vision loss, researchers say.

The PhD defended by Juan Carlos Gómez-Esteban at the University of the Basque Country analysed the results of the clinical research undertaken at the Movement Disorders Unit at Cruces Hospital since 1998. It involved a study of the most efficacious surgical operations undertaken and pharmaceutical drugs used to treat these disorders as well genetic studies carried out to date.

If you had a choice between receiving $1,000 right now or $4,000 ten years from now, which would you pick? Psychologists use the term "delay discounting" to describe our inability to resist the temptation of a smaller immediate reward in lieu of receiving a larger reward at a later date. Discounting future rewards too much is a form of impulsivity, and an important way in which we can neglect to exert self-control.

New research at the University of Haifa identified a specific protein essential for the process of long term memory consolidation. This is the latest of several discoveries that are leading us towards a better understanding of one of the most complex processes in nature – the process of memory creation and consolidation in the human brain. This latest research was published recently in the prestigious journal Nature Neuroscience.

NEW YORK – A simple blood test to detect whether a person might develop Alzheimer's disease is within sight and could eventually help scientists in their quest toward reversing the disease's onset in those likely to develop the debilitating neurological condition.