Tag Archive for 'neuropsych'

Sleep predictors of later depression

Adolescents who are at risk for later episodes of major depressive disorders differ from their peers who are not at risk on multiple measures of rapid eye movement (REM) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity during sleep, according to a study by Uma Rao and colleagues that appeared this fall in Neuropsychopharmacology . Early depressive episodes that occur during adolescence are strongly associated with other later problems in other areas such as interpersonal relationships, pregnancy, educational attainment, employment, and suicidal behavior; finding predictors of later problems is important for primary and secondary prevention.

Rao and colleagues compared youths at risk for major depressive disorder with peers using electroencephalographic (EEG) and HPA measures. They then followed the youths for 5 years and correlated their EEG and HPA measures with the chances of later episodes of depression. Here’s the abstract:
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Mirror neurons background

In Scientific American, Daniel Lametti wrote an article providing background research on mirror neurons and implications for future research. The article, “Mirroring Behavior: How mirror neurons let us interact with others,” only has a few words about Autism and mirror neurons. However, readers of EBD Blog who are new to the topic and who want to understand the concepts in general will likely benefit from reading it.

Link to Mr. Lametti’s article.

Mirror, mirror, neuron, neuron

I’ve been meaning to post this for quite some time and, as I prepared for tomorrow’s class, I just now remembered it.

For any (of my two) readers who are interested in the hypothesis about mirror neurons’ connection to Autism, in October of 2007 Professor Marco Iacoboni of UCLA gave a pair of talks in the distinguished lecture series hosted by the M.I.N.D. Institute at U.C. Davis. Although it is probably the second one that will interest readers of EBD blog, the first one provides very valuable background concepts. Set aside time, as these are each about an hour long.

“The Problem of Other Minds: Intersubjectivity and Mirror Neurons” via Quicktime or Windows Media. “The Mirror Neuron Hypothesis of Autism” via Quicktime or Windows Media.

Thin cortices in Tourette Syndrome

Professor Elizabeth Sowell and colleagues at the UCLA (CA, US) Department of Neurology have determined that there is a correlation between the thickness of cortices in certain regions of the brain and the presence of Tourette Sydrome (TS) in children. They used magnetic resonance imaging to compared the structure of brains of children with and without TS and found thinning in the frontal and parietal areas of those with TS.

Nature Clinical Practice Neurology (2008) 4, 466-467
doi:10.1038/ncpneuro0872

Thinning of sensorimotor cortices is associated with tics in children with Tourette syndrome
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