Deep Brain Stimulation Effective for OCD, but Barriers Persist

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is safe and effective for individuals with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that has been resistant to conventional therapy, a meta-analytic review confirms. “DBS is a viable option for treatment-resistant OCD that can be expected to produce a significant clinical benefit in about 2 out of 3 cases,” study investigator Wayne Goodman, … Read more

Timing of Food Intake a Strategy for Treating Mood Disorders?

Shift workers who confine their eating to the daytime may experience fewer mood symptoms compared to those who eat both day and night, new research suggests. Investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, created a simulated nightwork schedule for 19 individuals in a laboratory setting. Participants then engaged in two different meal timing models … Read more

Children With Mild TBI at Risk for Behavioral and Emotional Problems

The study covered in this summary was published on medRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed. Key Takeaways Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and possible mTBI are associated with greater risk for poor behavioral and mental health outcomes in adolescents. An unexpected finding was the association of mTBI with decreased cerebrospinal … Read more

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

Brain Shrinkage in First-Time Dads: It’s a Good Thing

First-time fathers appear to experience a loss of cortical volume following the birth of their child, new research suggests. Investigators associated with the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón in Madrid, Spain, and the University of Southern California compared MRIs of the brains of 40 new fathers (half located in the United States and the … Read more

Exercise for Obese Children Can Increase Brain Function

In recent years, schools cut back on arts and physical education to make way for more instructional time. All that work and no play may be making Jack and Jill, well, dull. But new research shows that exercise can make the brain sharper. The study demonstrated that a prolonged regimen of aerobic and resistance exercises … 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

How Nature Nurtures the Brain: New Imaging Data

Getting close to nature has a positive impact on brain regions involved in stress processing. In a study of healthy adults, researchers observed a decrease in activity in the amygdala after a 1-hour walk in the forest, but not after a stroll on a busy city street. “The results support the previously assumed positive relationship … Read more

Sleep Loss Linked to Reduced Generosity, Even at a Neuronal Level

Sleep loss, ranging from the individual level of missing a night’s sleep to a societal level of losing an hour’s sleep because of Daylight Saving Time, is associated with reduced altruism or an inclination to help others, new research suggests. These effects were observed even at the neurologic level on brain MRIs, investigators report. “In … Read more

Subtle Visual Dysfunctions Often Precede Early-Stage Psychosis

Subtle subjective visual dysfunctions (VisDys) are common and are associated with poorer outcomes of patients with schizophrenia and recent-onset psychosis or who are at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis, new research suggests. A multinational group of investigators found that said Vis-more often by patients with recent onset psychosis and CHR than by those with … Read more