Archive | Mental Health


Software identifies psychopaths

Using computer software to analyze the speech patterns of psychopathic killers shows they make readily identifiable subconscious word choices when talking, a finding with intriguing implications for law enforcement and social media networks. Details of the research appear in the journal Legal and Criminological Psychology. “The words of psychopathic murderers match their personalities, which reflect […]

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Zinc’s role in the brain revealed

Researchers have discovered that zinc plays a critical role in regulating how the neurons in our brain communicate with one another as well as affecting how our memories form. The new findings, published in the journal Neuron, are the result of research by Xiao-an Zhang, at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and co-researchers at MIT […]

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Single dose of magic mushrooms “may create lasting personality change”

After a single dose of the hallucinogen psilocybin, lasting personality changes in volunteers occurred that were larger in magnitude than changes typically observed in healthy adults over decades of life experiences, say Johns Hopkins researchers who are studying the effects of magic mushrooms. Their study, appearing in theJournal of Psychopharmacology, notes that after the age […]

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High incidence of placebo use in psychiatry

Doctors may not like talking about it, but it’s becoming much more prevalent. A recent McGill University survey found that around 20 percent of general physicians have prescribed placebos for their patients, while more than one-third of psychiatrists have prescribed placebos or pseudoplacebos. Psychiatry professor and study author, Amir Raz, said the prescribing of pseudoplacebos […]

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Mirror neuron development reversed in autistic brain

The brain’s mirror neuron system enables us to better understand and anticipate the actions of others, leading researchers to posit that autism may come about because of a crippled mirror neuron architecture. But new research published in Biological Psychiatry shows that individuals with autism eventually develop a very robust mirror neuron network. “While most of […]

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Drink to remember (subconsciously, at least)

According to researcher Hitoshi Morikawa, repeated ethanol exposure enhances synaptic plasticity in the brain, providing further evidence toward an emerging scientific consensus that drug and alcohol addiction is fundamentally a learning and memory disorder. “Drinking alcohol primes certain areas of our brain to learn and remember better,” contends Morikawa, from The University of Texas at […]

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Novel psychiatric drugs aimed at gut bacteria

Communication between the bacteria in our gut and our brain plays an important role in the development of psychiatric illness, say McMaster University researchers who are investigating how new psychiatric drugs might directly target intestinal flora. McMaster neuroscientist Jane Foster contends that this brain-bacteria “cross-talk” plays an important role in the development of psychiatric illness, […]

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Collecting items can trigger obsessive-compulsive disorder

Whatever you collect – porcelain dolls, precious stones, shoes, thimbles, watches or fans – your hobby could easily become a psychological disorder that European researchers say affects more than 10 percent of the population. The researchers, from Granada University, say that as long as collectors exercise somecontrol, then “collecting items is good from a psychological […]

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Liver, not brain, may originate Alzheimer’s

Unexpected findings from a Scripps Research Institute study could completely alter prevailing notions about Alzheimer’s disease – pointing to the liver instead of the brain as the original source of the plaques that cause the disease. The findings, appearing in The Journal of Neuroscience Research, could point the way to a relatively simple approach for […]

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Study finds no brain damage among ecstasy users

Prior studies that identified cognitive impairment in ecstasy (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) users were flawed, say the researchers behind a new study that indicates ecstasy users show no signs of cognitive impairment attributable to drug use. The new study, appearing in the journal Addiction, also claims that earlier research overstated the cognitive differences between ecstasy users and non-users. […]

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