Infections during pregnancy may interfere with key genes associated with autism and prenatal brain development

21 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.

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The psychiatrist who does stand up

16 Mar 2017

He discovered performing at medical school in India and, as a PhD student, began to devise his own material. Armed with his ‘baloney detection kit’, researcher Hisham Ziauddeen uses stand up to demonstrate the folly of bogus science.

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Opinion: New ways to treat depression in teenagers

08 Mar 2017

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.

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Cocaine addiction leads to build-up of iron in brain

21 Feb 2017

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.

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