A new neuroimaging study investigates how psychotherapy for people with PTSD changes the brain areas responsible for generating emotional responses to threats used. Trauma-focused psychotherapy is considered the best available treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the ways in which this method affects the brain to promote recovery from PTSD are not well understood. We know that psychotherapy works. But we don’t have a lot of good data to explain how it works, how the brain is changed by going through this process.
The signaling protein mTOR (Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin) is a sensor for nutrients such as amino acids and sugars. When sufficient nutrients are available, mTOR boosts metabolism and ensures that sufficient energy and cellular building blocks are available. Since mTOR is a central switch for metabolism, errors in its activation lead to serious diseases. Cancers and developmental disorders of the nervous system leading to behavioral disorders and epilepsy can be the result if mTOR is malfunctioning.
Lack of a specific fatty acid in fat tissue can trigger the abnormal immune system response that causes multiple sclerosis (MS) by attacking and damaging the central nervous system, according to a new study1. Fat tissue in patients diagnosed with MS were found to have abnormal levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid found at high levels in cooking oils, meats (beef, chicken, and pork), cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, eggs, pasta, milk, olives, and avocados.
Individuals who have the brain cancer type glioma are more likely to have antibodies to T. gondii, indicating that they have had a previous infection, compared to a similar group that was cancer free, new research1 has found. The results suggest that reducing exposure to this common food-borne pathogen could provide a modifiable risk factor for highly aggressive brain tumors in adults. Led by James Hodge, JD, MPH and Anna Coghill, Ph.
Survivors of stroke who no longer benefitted from conventional rehabilitation gained clinically significant arm movement and control by using an external robotic device powered by the patients' own brains, a new study1 found. The work showed most patients kept the benefits for at least two months after the therapy sessions ended, suggesting the potential for long-lasting gains, said Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal, director of the Non-Invasive Brain Machine Interface Systems Laboratory at the University of Houston.
There is a surprising connection between frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), two disorders of the nervous system, and the genetic mutation normally understood to cause Huntington’s disease, a study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health has discovered1. The finding potentially creates a new pathway for diagnosing and treating some individuals with FTD or ALS. Several neurological disorders have been linked to “repeat expansions,” a kind of mutation that results in abnormal repetition of certain DNA building blocks.
The concentration of different kinds of immune cells in the blood alters in relation to the presence of different bacterial strains in the human gut, researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center report. The scientific community had already accepted the idea that the gut microbiota was important for the health of the human immune system, but the data they used to make that assumption came from animal studies, says Sloan Kettering Institute systems biologist Joao Xavier, co-senior author of the paper1 together with his former postdoc Jonas Schluter, now an assistant professor at NYU Langone Health.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began in the spring, many people have only seen their close friends and loved ones during video calls, if at all. A new study from MIT finds that the longings we feel during this kind of social isolation share a neural basis with the food cravings we feel when hungry. Credit: Christine Daniloff, MIT The researchers found that after one day of total isolation, the sight of people having fun together activates the same brain region that lights up when someone who hasn’t eaten all day sees a picture of a plate of cheesy pasta.