Scientists have identified a key chemical within the ‘memory’ region of the brain that allows us to suppress unwanted thoughts, helping explain why people who suffer from disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and schizophrenia often experience persistent intrusive thoughts when these circuits go awry.
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.
Our Facebook status updates, ‘likes’ and even photos could help researchers better understand mental health disorders with the right ethical safeguards, argue researchers from the University of Cambridge, who suggest that social networks may even be used in future to provide support and interventions, particularly among young people.
Scientists have mapped the structural changes that occur in teenagers’ brains as they develop, showing how these changes may help explain why the first signs of mental health problems often arise during late adolescence.
Immigrant groups experience a high incidence of mental illness. Hannah Jongsma (Department of Psychiatry) is looking at data from an international study of the distribution of psychotic disorders. She suggests that ‘psychosocial disempowerment’ might be a powerful contributing factor to raised levels in minority communities.
Adolescence is a dangerous time for the onset of mental health problems. Advances in brain imaging are helping to picture how neural changes in these crucial years can lead to chronic debilitating mental illness.
People diagnosed with schizophrenia who are prone to hallucinations are likely to have structural differences in a key region of the brain compared to both healthy individuals and people diagnosed with schizophrenia who do not hallucinate, according to research published today.
A team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge has described for the first time in humans how the epigenome – the suite of molecules attached to our DNA that switch our genes on and off – is comprehensively erased in early primordial germ cells prior to the generation of egg and sperm.
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.
New study examines thousands of brains from two decades of research to reveal differences between male and female brain structure.