Autism Found Detrimental to Cardiovascular Health

People with autism are more likely to face diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease than those without the neurological condition, according to a new study published this week in JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers also found that children with autism are especially likely to develop diabetes compared to their peers, and are at greater risk of hypertension, … Read more

More Evidence Suicidal Thoughts, Behaviors Are Genetically Based

A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (SITB) has identified significant cross-ancestry risk loci. The findings provide further evidence of a genetic basis for SITB. Dr. Allison Ashley-Koch “It’s really important for us to continue to study the genetic risk factors for suicidal behaviors so we can really understand the biology and … Read more

Dopamine Dysregulation a Causative Culprit in Schizophrenia?

A genetic postmortem analysis of the brains of patients with schizophrenia suggests a dysfunction of dopamine receptors in the caudate nucleus may cause the disorder. Investigators have identified a mechanism on the dopamine receptor, known as the autoreceptor, which regulates how much dopamine is released from the presynaptic neuron. Impairment of this autoreceptor leads to … Read more

Motor Impairment Indicators Shown in Children With Autism

Brain indicators of motor impairment were distinct among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), those with developmental coordination disorder (DCD), and controls, in a new study. Previous research suggests that individuals with ASD overlap in motor impairment with those with DCD. But these two conditions may differ significantly in some areas, as children with ASD … Read more

Childhood Adversity Tied to CVD in Early Adulthood

Children who experience adversity ― including serious family illness or death, poverty, neglect, or dysfunctional and stressful family relationships ― are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in early adulthood, a large Danish study has found. Compared to young adults who experienced little adversity in childhood, peers who experienced high levels of childhood … Read more

‘U-Shaped’ Relationship Between Bipolar Risk and Parental Age

VIENNA — Individuals born to younger or older parents are at increased risk of developing bipolar disorder, new research suggests. Results from a meta-analysis of more than 210,000 patients with bipolar disorder and over 13 million healthy individuals showed that children of mothers younger than 20 years had a 23% increased risk for bipolar disorder … Read more

More Than 70 Genes Strongly Linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders

Researchers have identified 72 genes very strongly linked to autism spectrum disorders and more than 250 other genes with a strong link to ASD, according to a study published in Nature Genetics. The findings, based on analysis of more than 150,000 people’s genetics, arose from a collaboration of five research groups whose work included comparisons … Read more

Chemokine Expression Predicts MDD Severity

Adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) had significantly reduced expression of chemokine receptor 4 on blood T lymphocytes, which predicted disease severity in combination with polygenic risk scores in a study of 54 individuals. Chemokines and their receptors “influence neuroendocrine signaling, neurotransmission, and interaction between neurons and microglia and have therefore been suggested to be … Read more

Sexual Assault Flagged as a Possible Psychosis Trigger

A new study sheds light on some of the risk factors for the development of psychosis, including the potentially causative role of sexual assault. Investigators conducted an exposome-wide association analysis on over 155,000 individuals. Of more than 140 correlates of psychotic experiences that they identified, they narrowed it down to 36 variables, which they further … Read more

Pharmacogenomic Testing May Curb Drug Interactions in MDD

Pharmacogenetic testing, which is used to classify how patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) metabolize medications, reduces adverse drug-gene interactions, new research shows. In a randomized clinical trial that included almost 2000 adults with MDD, patients in the pharmacogenomics-guided group were more likely to receive an antidepressant that had no drug-gene interaction than the patients … Read more