The prenatal wellbeing of first-time mothers has a direct effect on the behavior of children at 24 months. Mothers who experienced stress and anxiety while pregnant were more likely to have children who displayed behavioral problems, such as temper tantrums, spitefulness and restlessness. The children also exhibited emotional problems, including being clingy, tearfulness and unhappiness. Emotional problems were exacerbated if their parents experienced relationship problems during early pregnancy.
Estrogens were significantly elevated in fetuses that later went on to develop autism. Higher levels of prenatal estrogens were more predictive of ASD than higher levels of prenatal androgens. The study supports a twenty-year-old theory that increased prenatal sex steroid hormones are a potential cause of autism spectrum disorder.
Projection neurons have been implicated in the progression of multiple sclerosis. A new study reports projection neurons are damaged by immune cells. This damage could contribute to both atrophy and cognitive changes associated with the disease.
Autistic adults are more vulnerable to negative life events, including employment difficulties, domestic abuse, and financial hardships. Negative life events may explain higher rates of depression and anxiety, and lower life satisfaction in those on the autism spectrum.
A study of marmoset monkeys reveals a genetic variation of the SLC6A4 repeat region may contribute to anxiety via neurochemical changes in brain areas associated with emotional processing.
A new online game where users take on the role of fake news producers improves people's ability to discern real information from disinformation, irrespective of education, age, cognitive style or political views.
People with mild cognitive impairment who had positive biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease in their cerebrospinal fluid performed worse on virtual reality navigation tasks. Virtual reality which incorporates navigational tasks could prove a helpful tool in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease for those at risk.
People are able to form the correct mental model of puzzles from either visual or haptic experiences alone and are able to predict haptic properties from visual ones. Findings suggest humans segment scenes into objects without explicit boundary cues by using purely statistical information.
Felodipine, a common hypertension medication, induces autophagy and clears aggregate-prone proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases. The study reveals the drug clears mutant alpha-synuclein in the brains of mice at plasma concentrations to those seen in humans taking the medication. Felodipine appears to have some neuroprotective properties in mouse models of neurodegenerative diseases.
Researchers identified several common genetic variants involved in obesity, as well as new genetic regions involved in severe obesity and healthy thinness.
Researchers report recalling specific positive memories from an earlier point in life was associated with fewer negative self-related thoughts and lower cortisol levels 12 months later. The study suggests recalling specific positive memories reduced vulnerability to depression over the course of one year.