Biological Psychiatry

A receptor believed to be linked to negative moods, in a part of the brain that is little-understood, has been uncovered by an international research team. The discovery[1] could lead to more targeted medications. The pea-sized receptor was found in a little-studied region in the center of the human brain, the medial habenula. “The function… Read more

Increasing levels of the molecule neurotrophin-3 in the brain can alter dispositional anxiety, the tendency to perceive many situations as threatening, in nonhuman primates, researchers from the University of California, Davis, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found[1]. The molecule, neurotrophin-3, stimulates neurons to grow and make new connections. Hang on a minute though. Before… Read more

In women, the tendency toward procrastination is associated with a genetic predisposition towards a higher level of dopamine in the brain. Researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Technical University of Dresden discovered this using genetic analyses and questionnaires. They were unable to identify this correlation in men. “The neurotransmitter dopamine has repeatedly been associated with… Read more

An individual structural mutation has been linked to the underlying biology of psychosis and treatment response in a new study. The work also found that treatment of psychosis can be targeted to a specific genetic mutation in patients with psychotic disorders. Genetic mutations that have large effects on psychiatric disease risk are rare, with some… Read more

New research indicates that patterns of brain activation during reward anticipation may help identify people most at risk for developing bipolar spectrum disorders. Mania in people with bipolar spectrum disorders (BPSD) is often accompanied by impulsivity, including impulsive responses to potential rewards. In this new study, patterns of neural activation during a reward task predicted… Read more