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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Brain Research: Potential cause of schizophrenic symptoms ♦ Tracking defects caused by brain tumor mutation ♦ Locating the brain's SAD center

Potential cause of schizophrenic symptoms identified Researchers believe they have discovered an abnormality in the schizophrenic brain that could be responsible for many of the disease's symptoms and could provide a drug target for therapeutic treatments.
Tracking defects caused by brain tumor mutation yields insight to advance targeted therapy Scientists have gained ground toward developing more targeted therapies for the most common childhood brain tumor. The findings involve the DDX3X gene. In 2012, other work highlighted DDX3X as a promising focus for efforts to develop targeted therapies against medulloblastoma. Such treatments target the genetic mistakes that give rise to the brain tumor’s four subtypes.
Researchers have provided an explanation for why many people with even very trivial head injuries, or even injuries to other parts of their bodies, experience incapacitating post-concussion like syndromes.

Locating the brain's SAD center Biologists have known that variations in the amount of sunlight a person receives and her or his circadian clock play a role in the disorder. They have also proposed that the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin may be involved. However, they have not yet identified the underlying neurobiological mechanisms responsible. Biologists have now localized the seasonal light cycle effects that drive seasonal affective disorder to a small region of the brain called the dorsal raphe nucleus.

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