Adolescents More Vulnerable to Cannabis Addiction but Not Other Mental Health Risks

Adolescents are over three times more vulnerable to developing a cannabis addiction than adults, but may not be at increased risk of other mental health problems related to the drug, finds a new study led by UCL and King’s College London researchers. The study, published today in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, found that adolescents who used…

Three Distinct Brain Circuits in the Thalamus Contribute to Parkinson’s Symptoms

Parkinson’s disease is best known as a disorder of movement. Patients often experience tremors, loss of balance, and difficulty initiating movement. The disease also has lesser-known symptoms that are nonmotor, including depression. In a study of a small region of the thalamus, MIT neuroscientists have now identified three distinct circuits that influence the development of…

Astrocytes Display Unique Activity Patterns

Using advanced imaging and analysis techniques, researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) recorded signaling within single astrocytes at a previously unseen level of detail and speed in the brains of awake mice. Their findings, including ultra-fast signals on par with those seen in neurons and patterns of signaling activity that correspond…

Anxiety and PTSD Linked to Increased Myelin in Brain’s Gray Matter

The results, reported by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and UC San Francisco (UCSF), provide a possible explanation for why some people are resilient and others vulnerable to traumatic stress, and for the varied symptoms—avoidance behavior, anxiety, and fear, for example—triggered by the memory of such stress. If, as the researchers suspect, extreme…

Doesn’t an Excessive Intake of Simple Sugar Affect Higher Brain Function?

There has been a remarkable increase in intake of simple sugar (sucrose, isomerized sugar (corn syrup) from beverages and diets in modern society. The intake of simple sugars in adolescents, in whom mental disorders frequently occur, is higher than in any other generation. Moreover, patients with mental disorders consume approximately 2-fold more sugar than age-matched…

COVID Protein Interacts With Parkinson’s Protein, Promotes Amyloid Formation

Case reports of relatively young COVID-19 patients who developed Parkinson’s disease within weeks of contracting the virus have led scientists to wonder if there could be a link between the two conditions. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Chemical Neuroscience have shown that, at least in the test tube, the SARS-CoV-2 N-protein interacts with a neuronal protein called…