Brain

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of the thickness of the optic nerve sheath are a good marker for raised intracranial pressure (ICP). New research published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care shows that a retro-bulbar optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) above 5.82mm predicts raised ICP in 90% of cases.

Researchers have discovered a submicroscopic aberration in a particular region of human chromosome 1q21.1 that appears to be associated with a variety of developmental disorders in children. The aberration can manifest itself as unexplained mild or moderate mental retardation, growth retardation, learning disabilities, seizures, autism, heart defects, other congenital abnormalities, cataracts, small head size, unusual facial features, hand deformities, or skeletal problems.

The underdevelopment of a specific region in the brain may lead to schizophrenia in individuals. According to research published today in BioMed Central's open access journal Molecular Brain, dentate gyrus, which is located in the hippocampus in the brain and thought to be responsible for working memory and mood regulation, remained immature in an animal model of schizophrenia.

Humans have developed complex thought processes that can help to regulate their emotions, but these processes are also linked with evolutionarily older mechanisms that are common across species, according to a study by neuroscientists at New York and Rutgers universities. The research appears in the Sept. 11 issue of the journal Neuron.

New research identifies a few critical neurons that initiate sex-specific behaviors in fruit flies and, when masculinized, can elicit male-typical courtship behaviors from females. The study, published by Cell Press in the September 11th issue of the journal Neuron, demonstrates a direct link between sexual dimorphism in the brain and gender differences in behavior.

A new study suggests that although humans may have developed complex thought processes that can help to regulate their emotions, these processes are linked with evolutionarily older mechanisms that are common across species. The research, published by Cell Press in the September 11th issue of the journal Neuron, provides new insight into way the brain manages fear and may guide exploration of novel pharmacological and therapeutic treatments for anxiety disorders.

SALT LAKE CITY – Unlike some parents, adult stem cells don't seem to mind when their daughters get a tattoo. In fact, they're willing to pass them along.

Using the molecular equivalent of a tattoo on DNA that adult stem cells (ASC) pass to their "daughter" cells in combination with gene expression profiles, University of Utah researchers have identified two early steps in adult stem cell differentiation—the process that determines whether cells will form muscle, neurons, skin, etc., in people and animals.

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.