OCD can be a devastating condition: therapy and medication often doesn’t work, leaving many people unable to hold down a job or a relationship – or even to leave their house. In our series of films, science writer David Adam looks at how research at Cambridge using animals helps us understand what is happening in the brain – and may lead to better treatments.
Infections during pregnancy may interfere with key genes associated with autism and prenatal brain development21 Mar 2017
If a mother picks up an infection during pregnancy, her immune system will kick into action to clear the infection – but this self-defence mechanism may also have a small influence how her child’s brain develops in the womb, in ways that are similar to how the brain develops in autism spectrum disorders. Now, an international team of researchers has shown why this may be the case, in a study using rodents to model infection during pregnancy.
Teenage years can be difficult enough, but for people affected by schizophrenia, this is when symptoms first tend to arise. Dr Kirstie Whitaker (Department of Psychiatry), who is speaking at this year's Cambridge Science Festival, explains in The Conversation how her work may shed light on why this is the case.
Prime Minister Theresa May recently announced measures to improve mental health support at every stage of a person’s life, with an emphasis on early intervention for children and young people. Writing in The Conversation, Professor Ian Goodyer from the Department of Psychiatry looks at the options for helping teenagers.
People who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are poorer at learning about the safety of a stimulus than healthy volunteers, which may contribute to their struggles to overcome compulsive behaviour, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.
Cocaine addiction may affect how the body processes iron, leading to a build-up of the mineral in the brain, according to new research from the University of Cambridge. The study, published today in Translational Psychiatry, raises hopes that there may be a biomarker – a biological measure of addiction – that could be used as a target for future treatments.
Medical imaging is a brilliant field filled with brilliant minds, writes Matthew Leming, PhD candidate in Psychiatry for The Conversation. So why don’t we see more new technologies making it into hospitals?
Opinion: Brain scanners allow scientists to ‘read minds’ – could they now enable a ‘Big Brother’ future?13 Feb 2017
Brain imaging can reveal a great deal about who we are and what is going inside our heads. But how far can – and should – this research take us? Julia Gottwald and Barbara Sahakian, authors of Sex, Lies, and Brain Scans: How fMRI Reveals What Really Goes on in our Minds, investigate for The Conversation.
Children get more satisfaction from relationships with their pets than with their brothers or sisters, according to new research from the University of Cambridge. Children also appear to get on even better with their animal companions than with siblings.