First Known Opiate Biomarker Shows Fentanyl’s Effect on Brain

Fentanyl depresses breathing about 4 minutes before symptoms of distress are evident at a dose that is 1700 times lower than that needed for sedation, new research shows. This new information comes after researchers identified a unique EEG signature produced by fentanyl, the first known biomarker of an opiate’s effect on the brain. By monitoring … Read more

When Boxers Retire, Cognition and Memory Improve

Boxers and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters can recover cognitive and memory skills after they retire from fighting, results of a longitudinal study show. Dr Aaron Ritter “What is most exciting about the findings is that it shows us brain resiliency in action,” Aaron Ritter, MD, associate staff, neuropsychiatry and behavioral neurology, Cleveland Clinic Lou … Read more

Detachment Predicts Worse Posttraumatic Outcomes

Feelings of detachment following a traumatic event are a marker of more severe psychiatric outcomes, including depression and anxiety, new research suggests. The results highlight the importance of screening for dissociation in patients who have experienced trauma, study investigator Lauren AM Lebois, PhD, director of the Dissociative Disorders and Trauma Research Program at McLean Hospital … Read more

Plasma Biomarkers Predict COVID Neurologic Complications

SAN DIEGO – Even after recovery of an acute COVID-19 infection, some patients experience extended or even long-term symptoms that can range from mild to debilitating. Some of these symptoms are neurological: headaches, brain fog, cognitive impairment, loss of taste or smell, and even cerebrovascular complications such stroke. There are even hints that COVID-19 infection … Read more

Does Suicide Risk Show Up in the Blood?

Newly identified serum biomarkers have the potential to flag patients, via blood testing, with major depressive disorder (MDD) at high risk of suicide. Investigators found patients with MDD who died by suicide had a gene expression signature in blood distinct from patients with MDDwho died by other means. The signature included genes involved in stress … Read more

Depression Biomarkers: Which Ones Matter Most?

Multiple biomarkers of depression involved in several brain circuits are altered in patients with unipolar depression. The first comprehensive meta-analysis of all biomarkers quantified to date in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of individuals with unipolar depression showed that several could be “clinically meaningful” because they suggest neuroimmunological alterations, disturbances in the blood–brain-barrier, hyperactivity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal … Read more

More Evidence COVID ‘Brain Fog’ Is Biologically Based

Patients with persistent cognitive impairment months after illness with mild COVID-19 have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Researchers found elevated levels of CSF immune activation and immunovascular markers in individuals with cognitive post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC). Patients whose cognitive symptoms developed during the acute phase of COVID-19 had … Read more

Juvenile Fibromyalgia Is Associated With Brain Changes

Juvenile fibromyalgia is associated with reduced volume in one region of the brain, according to a recent study. The findings were similar to those in patients with adult fibromyalgia, which suggest the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. The study was published online January 25 in Arthritis and Rheumatology. Adolescent Brain Development Juvenile fibromyalgia is … Read more

‘Pandemic Brain’ Not Limited to Patients Infected With COVID-19

The stress of living through a pandemic may cause brain inflammation even in those uninfected with SARS-CoV-2, a new study suggests. Healthy individuals who tested negative for the virus that causes COVID-19 had elevated levels of inflammatory markers known to be involved in depression, stress, and mental fatigue. The study indicates a possible link between … Read more

Depression and Dry Eye Correlation Probed

Symptoms of dry eye correlated with depression in one of the largest studies to examine the relationship. Clinicians should take the relationship into consideration when treating either condition, said Gui-shuang Ying, PhD, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “I would say that if the patient sees a doctor for dry … Read more