Obsessive-compulsive disorder - does age matter?

10 Oct 2014

The Max Perutz Science Writing Award aims to encourage and recognise outstanding written communication among MRC PhD students. The annual competition challenges entrants to write an 800-word article for the general public answering the question: 'Why does my research matter?'. This year, Julia Gottwald, a PhD student in the Department of Psychiatry, was shortlisted for her article about obsessive compulsive disorder.

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Artist's representation of schizophrenia

Antipsychotic drugs linked to slight decrease in brain volume

18 Jul 2014

A study published today has confirmed a link between antipsychotic medication and a slight, but measureable, decrease in brain volume in patients with schizophrenia. For the first time, researchers have been able to examine whether this decrease is harmful for patients’ cognitive function and symptoms, and noted that over a nine year follow-up, this decrease did not appear to have any effect.

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Browsing the internet

Brain activity in sex addiction mirrors that of drug addiction

11 Jul 2014

Pornography triggers brain activity in people with compulsive sexual behaviour – known commonly as sex addiction – similar to that triggered by drugs in the brains of drug addicts, according to a University of Cambridge study published in the journal PLOS ONE. However, the researchers caution that this does not necessarily mean that pornography itself is addictive.

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Boy with autism

Children with autism have elevated levels of steroid hormones in the womb

03 Jun 2014

Children who later develop autism are exposed to elevated levels of steroid hormones (for example testosterone, progesterone and cortisol) in the womb, according to scientists from the University of Cambridge and the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark. The finding may help explain why autism is more common in males than females. However, the researchers caution it should not be used to screen for the condition.

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