Genetic roots of bipolar disorder revealed by first genome-wide study of illness
The likelihood of developing bipolar disorder depends in part on the combined, small effects of variations in many different genes in the brain, none of which is powerful enough to cause the disease by itself, a new study shows. However, targeting the enzyme produced by one of these genes could lead to development of new, more effective medications. The research was conducted by scientists at the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), with others from the Universities of Heidelberg and Bonn and a number of U.S. facilities collaborating in a major project called the NIMH Genetics Initiative.
Gene mutation linked to cognition is found only in humans
The human and chimpanzee genomes vary by just 1.2 percent, yet there is a considerable difference in the mental and linguistic capabilities between the two species. A new study showed that a certain form of neuropsin, a protein that plays a role in learning and memory, is expressed only in the central nervous systems of humans and that it originated less than 5 million years ago. The study, which also demonstrated the molecular mechanism that creates this novel protein, will be published online in Human Mutation, the official journal of the Human Genome Variation Society. more
New Mailman School of PH study shows inevitability of men's infidelity across cultures
For a growing number of women in rural Mexico – and around the world – marital sex represents their single greatest risk for HIV infection. According to a new Mailman School of Public Health Study, because marital infidelity by men is so deeply ingrained across many cultures, existing HIV prevention programs are putting a growing number of women at risk of developing the HIV virus. The findings, indicating that globally, prevention programs that take a "just say no” approach and encourage men to be monogamous are unlikely to be effective, underline the need for programs that make extramarital sex safer, rather than—unrealistically—trying to eradicate it. These findings are published in the June 2007 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. more
Frequent TV viewing during adolescence linked with risk of attention and learning difficulties
Teenagers who watch television for three or more hours per day may have a higher risk of attention and learning difficulties in their adolescent and early adult years, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more
Survey estimates more than 4 percent of US adults have some form of bipolar disorder
Approximately 4.4 percent of U.S. adults may have some form of bipolar disorder during some point in their lifetime, including about 2.4 percent with a "sub-threshold" condition, according to an article in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Brain scans show early Alzheimer's disease in people with memory problems
Brain scans of people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) show signs of early Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the May 8, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. more
Animal research raises possibility of end to fat-free diets
A new study in mice raises a tantalizing possibility – that humans may one day be able to eat any kind of fat they want without raising their risk of heart disease. more
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