August 22nd, 2016
According to researchers the risk of developing PTSD increases after a mild traumatic brain injury. Researchers from a variety of organizations which included Washington University in St. Louis, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, San Francisco General Hospital, and the University of California, San Francisco performed evaluations on various factors that were related to mental health and functioning issues. The hope is that understanding how this type of injury affects mental health and contributes to PTSD and other mental disorders will lead to better screening, more accurate detection and diagnosis, and earlier treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. The impact that mTBI had was explored in emergency services providers who were civilians rather than evaluating the impact on military personnel. In the study roughly 27% of patients who had suffered mTBI screened positive for PTSD at a follow up screening 6 months after their injury.
The study on PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma and the findings show the importance of following up after a mTBI. Medical College of Virginia Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, professor and Journal of Neurotrauma editor in chief John T. Povlishock, Ph.D. explained “This study represents yet another important communication originating from the CDC and the TRACK-TBI study group that now reframes PTSD within the context of civilian TBI. The finding of a relatively significant proportion of civilian patients experiencing PTSD following mild TBI calls for its more routine evaluation, particularly in those patients with the added comorbid factors identified in this report.”
August 19th, 2016
A recent research study shows that grandkids who have a multi generational history of MDD, or major depressive disorder, will have higher risks of developing depression as well. The study investigators determined that when an individual has both a parent and a grandparent with MDD the risk for the individual to develop depression is much higher. Knowing the increase in risk could help with identification so that grandkids who face these higher risks may benefit from early intervention. The full study details were published in the online journal JAMA Psychiatry. This is the first study published that looks at depression over 3 generations, and that uses direct interviews with all three generations of family members. The study looked at 251 grandkids, with an average age of 18, as well as the parents and grandparents of the grandchildren.
The study conclusion for the research on grandkids, generational history, and depression stated “In this study, biological offspring with two previous generations affected with major depression were at highest risk for major depression, suggesting the potential value of determining family history of depression in children and adolescents beyond two generations. Early intervention in offspring of two generations affected with moderate to severely impairing MDD seems warranted.” A well established fact is that parental depression raises the psychiatric disorder risks that the child faces. The latest research also shows how important it is to look further into the generational history than just the parents of a child because the risk is impacted by more than a single generation.
August 15th, 2016
Recent research has suggested that specific neurological circuits in the brain that are associated with dopamine production may be able to inhibit binge eating in lab mice. At the current time the cause of binge eating is not known, and the neurological basis behind this disorder is unclear. The newest research brings some much needed clarity. Researchers at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston determined that some of the neural circuits in the brain may be able to inhibit binge eating although the how and why of this inhibition is still not completely clear. Senior paper author, Baylor College of Medicine associate professor of pediatrics Dr. Yong Xu, explained that “Human literature suggests that dysfunction of the serotonin system or dopamine system in the brain may be associated with developing binge-like eating behavior. However, mechanistically, there’s no direct evidence to show how this system affects behavior.”
Binge eating is a big problem, and the dopamine system in the brain is associated with this disorder but the processes involved are not yet clear. The research study was published in the Biological Psychiatry journal, and researchers managed to identify a neural circuit which involves serotonin neurons which project to dopamine neurons and cause these receptors to become activated. In the research study the mice experienced inhibition in binge eating when this circuit was activated. Identifying the specific receptors and circuits involved is an important first step to determining the causes of binge eating and developing effective treatments. The serotonin 2C receptor plays a role in preventing binge eating, that much researchers have identified, but there are also a number of other variables involved that need to be examined as well.