psychiatry

06/26/2014 - 23:08

When we feel mentally stressed, we often also feel physiological changes, including a faster heart rate and an increase in body temperature. This increase in body temperature is known as psychological stress-induced hyperthermia, which is a basic stress response broadly observed in mammals. The response is helpful for warming up the muscles during "fight or flight" situations, such as when wild animals face their enemies; however, stress for people in today's society can last a long time and cause a chronic increase in body temperature, a condition called psychogenic fever, which brings on intense fatigue.

06/04/2014 - 17:26

Interaction of the monoamine oxidase A genotype with childhood adversity is predictive of crime rates in a group of incarcerated men. This is the main finding of a new study from researchers in Sam Houston State University published in the journal Psychiatric Genetics.

 

05/21/2014 - 11:18

While touch always involves awareness, it also sometimes involves emotion. For example, picking up a spoon triggers no real emotion, while feeling a gentle caress often does. Now, scientists in the Cell Press journal Neuron describe a system of slowly conducting nerves in the skin that respond to such gentle touch. Using a range of scientific techniques, investigators are beginning to characterize these nerves and to describe the fundamental role they play in our lives as a social species—from a nurturing touch to an infant to a reassuring pat on the back. Their work also suggests that this soft touch wiring may go awry in disorders such as autism.

 

05/05/2014 - 06:12

The majority of studies on heritability of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have suggested that heritability is up to 80-90%. However, a new study on Swedish children suggests that the role of environmental factors has been underestimated and that they may be of equal importance to genetic factors. The study from researchers based in the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, King's College London, and Mount Sinai in the USA, is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

 

04/22/2014 - 13:35

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are making breakthroughs that could benefit people suffering from depression. A team of physician-scientists at UT Southwestern has identified a major mechanism by which ghrelin (a hormone with natural anti-depressant properties) works inside the brain. Simultaneously, the researchers identified a potentially powerful new treatment for depression in the form of a neuroprotective drug known as P7C3.

 

04/17/2014 - 16:57

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that older women, plucky individuals and those who have suffered a recent major loss are more likely to be compassionate toward strangers than other older adults.