Ezogabine, a drug that opens up the KCNQ2/3 type potassium channel, significantly improved symptoms of depression and anhedonia.
A series of ketamine infusions reduced PTSD symptoms by up to 30% from baseline compared to treatment with midazolam, which reduced symptoms by 20% over the same period. Ketamine treatment significantly reduced three of four PTSD associated symptoms, including intrusive thoughts, avoidance, and negative alterations in cognition and mood.
Researchers have identified a bio-chemical circuit that supports neuron-microglia communication. When neurons are active, they release ATP. Microglia sense extracellular ATP and the compound draws the immune cell toward the neuron.
Altered expression of FYN, a gene associated with the production of Tau, was identified in the brains of people addicted to heroin. Findings suggest opioid use can affect the brain in a way that might cause vulnerability in neural systems that can trigger neurodegeneration later in life.
Social isolation experienced during childhood has an impact on adult brain function and behavior. Following two weeks of social isolation immediately following weaning in male mice, researchers noticed a failure in activation of medial prefrontal cortex neurons projecting to the posterior paraventricular thalamus during social exposure in adulthood. Findings suggest medial prefrontal cortex neurons required for sociability are profoundly affected by social isolation at a young age.
The risk of developing PTSD was eight times higher in teens who experienced traumatic events and had elevated acyl-ghrelin levels than trauma-exposed teens with lower levels of the hormone.
Researchers have identified a new, early biomarker for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on the teeth of children. Patients who were diagnosed with ALS in adulthood showed signs of dysregulation uptake of a mixture of essential elements, including zinc, copper, lead, and tin, on their teeth. The study is the first to show clear signatures at birth and within the first decade of life for ALS.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are significantly altered in depression in both sex and brain site-specific manners. The LINC00473 gene is downregulated in the prefrontal cortex of depressed females, but not males. Findings reveal the role of LINC00473 in sex-specific depression and may explain why females are more vulnerable to depressive symptoms than males.
Reducing H3Q5dop in rat models of cocaine withdrawal significantly reversed cocaine mediated gene expression changes and reduced cocaine-seeking behaviors.
In the largest genetic sequencing study of autism conducted to date, researchers have identified 102 genes associated with the neurodevelopmental disorder. 49 of the genes were also associated with other developmental delays. The new study has enabled the researchers to increase the number of ASD associated genes from 65 to 102.