Researchers at Warwick Medical School have discovered a way of identifying which women are most at risk of postnatal depression (PND) by checking for specific genetic variants. The findings could lead to the development of a simple, accurate blood test which checks for the likelihood of developing the condition.
These findings are not about the classic story of gift-giving, although the MAGI genes (officially named membrane associated guanylate kinase, WW and PDZ domain containing proteins) do influence brain function in important ways.
New research from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) published in Nature’s Neuropsychopharmacology has shown physical changes to exist in specific brain areas implicated in schizophrenia following the use of cannabis during adolescence. The research has shown how cannabis use during adolescence can interact with a gene, called the COMT gene, to cause physical changes in the brain.
Antidepressive drugs reduce the mortality rate of schizophrenic patients, while treatment with bensodiazepines greatly increases it, especially as regards suicide. Giving several antipsychotics simultaneously, however, seems to have no effect at all. This according to a new study examining different drug combinations administered to patients with schizophrenia.
Currently, fewer than half of the Soldiers who report symptoms of combat-related PTSD receive the care they need. And of those Soldiers who do start treatment, between 20 percent and 50 percent walk away before its completion.
Children who experience sever trauma are three times more likely than the counterparts to develop schizophrenia in adulthood, a new study from the University of Liverpool has discovered. It has long been considered that genetics and environmental factors play a part in the development of psychosis, but this is the first study of its kind to discover a link to early life trauma. Additionally, researchers discovered different types of trauma lead to different expression of symptoms. Those children who were sexually abused where more likely to report hallucinations later in life, while those raised in a children’s home more often exhibited paranoia.
Teens who use meth-ampthetamine or ecstasy have a significantly higher risk of suffering from elevated depressive symptoms within 12 months, a new study has discovered.
New research published this month in Depression and Anxiety considers the link between killing in war time and later suicidal thoughts in Vietnam-era veterans. The study discovered veterans were twice as likely to have reported suicidal thoughts if they had faced more direct experience involving killing, that those veterans who had few to no experiences of killing. For the purpose of this study, researchers defined four variables to evaluate the ‘experience of killing’; these include killing enemy soldiers, prisoners general civilians and killing or injuring women, children or the elderly.
A breakthrough blood test which identifies depression and its specific subtypes in teens has been developed by a scientist at Northwestern University. Scientist were able to distinguish 11 specific genetic markers apparent within teens with depression and those without depression. Additionally, 18 out of 26 genetic markers previously identified, distinguished between teens who suffered major depression alone and those whose depression was coupled with anxiety disorders. This research is promising as, not only can depression and its subtypes be diagnosed through a simple blood test, but also gives hope for the development of individualized treatment options.