Spotlighting SHAPERS: Sex hormones associated with psychological and endocrine roles
NPP BrainPod
by Nature Publishing Group
1M ago
Dr. Nicole Petersen is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at UCLA. Her commentary is a new paper in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, called “Spotlighting SHAPERS: sex hormones associated with psychological and endocrine roles.” Dr. Petersen starts the paper describing an unnamed signaling molecule that can affect the physical structure of the brain and that seems to be related to a wide number of psychological and neurological conditions. Then she reveals that this is estradiol. The point she makes in the paper is that estrogen isn’t the onl ..read more
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Comparable roles for serotonin in rats and humans for computations underlying flexible decision-making
NPP BrainPod
by Nature Publishing Group
3M ago
Serotonin is a critical chemical when it comes to a number of psychiatric conditions, such as OCD, where it seems to play a particular role in cognitive flexibility. That is, serotonin levels are related to the fact that someone is perseverating on intrusive thoughts or compulsions and isn’t able to be as flexible as otherwise would be necessary. Trevor Robbins, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, is one of the authors of a recent study titled Comparable roles for serotonin in rats and humans for computations underlying flexible decision-making, and he says suc ..read more
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Integrating public health and translational basic science to address challenges of xylazine adulteration of fentanyl
NPP BrainPod
by Nature Publishing Group
6M ago
The drug naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, is a critical tool in reversing fentanyl overdoses and reducing mortality. But now fentanyl is appearing on the streets adulterated with a drug called xylazine.  Justin Strickland, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Cassandra Gipson-Reichardt, associate professor in the department of pharmacology nutritional sciences at the University of Kentucky, are the coauthors of a new paper in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology about the importance of integrating public health and translational science to address th ..read more
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The why, when, where, how, and so what of so-called rapidly acting antidepressants
NPP BrainPod
by Nature Publishing Group
8M ago
Sanjay Mathew is a professor and vice chair for research at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program. He’s one of the two authors of a recent review paper in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, “The why, when, where, how, and so what of so-called rapidly acting antidepressants.” With his colleague Alan Schatzberg, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Mood Disorders Center at Stanford University, they explore both the drugs that have been studied as rapidly-acting anti-depressants to date, and they also review the challen ..read more
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AI-based analysis of social media language predicts addiction treatment dropout at 90 days
NPP BrainPod
by Nature Publishing Group
10M ago
In-person treatment for substance use disorders is an incredibly important tool, but there’s a high failure rate — more than 50 percent of people who enter drop out within the first month. There hasn’t been a highly accurate method of identifying who might leave and who might succeed, and knowing this could help centers allocate resources to give the right type of assistance to the right people at the right time. One tool available is called the Addiction Severity Index, which is used to help identify the severity of the addiction and thus customize treatment, but it wasn’t developed to gauge ..read more
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To dismantle structural racism in science, scientists need to learn how it works
NPP BrainPod
by Nature Publishing Group
1y ago
It’s clear there are diversity issues in science, both in terms of who does or doesn’t receive research grants, as well as who is or isn’t represented at the highest levels of scientific research. When Caleb Weinreb and Daphne Sun began their PhD program at Harvard University Medical School in systems biology, they took this on as an issue. They learned from others in their department, and they eventually created a course on the topic for incoming first year PhD students.   As they worked on improving their course over the years, they saw that in science there was a focus on narrowing rac ..read more
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Low doses of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) increase reward-related brain activity
NPP BrainPod
by Nature Publishing Group
1y ago
Psychedelic drugs have received attention recently for their potential use as treatments for psychiatric disorders. Single, high doses of LSD have shown promise for treating depressive disorders. But there’s another way in which people have been using LSD, and it’s what’s known as micro-dosing, taking LSD at below noticeable levels, where it doesn’t seem to have a psychedelic impact—but users say it does in fact have an impact on their overall sense of well-being. This is just what Harriet de Wit, University of Chicago professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience, wan ..read more
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Sex-dependent risk factors for PTSD: a prospective structural MRI study
NPP BrainPod
by Nature Publishing Group
1y ago
After a traumatic event, women are more likely to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Research has been conducted on what might be causing this higher rate of diagnoses; for instance, perhaps women had more cumulative trauma in their lives than the men in question. But scientists say that even taking prior childhood trauma into account, women are still diagnosed at a higher rate than men.  Alyssa Roeckner is a neuroscience PhD candidate at Emory University, she’s in the lab of Dr. Jennifer Stevens, assistant professor in the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral ..read more
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Sex differences in appetitive and reactive aggression
NPP BrainPod
by Nature Publishing Group
1y ago
Maladaptive aggression, while not a diagnosable neuropsychiatric disorder on its own, often presents as an important comorbid condition with other neuropsychiatric disorders. But while both men and women can and do display aggression, there’s been a bias to thinking of aggression, in both its adaptive and maladaptive forms, as a male behavior.  Sam Golden is an assistant professor at the University of Washington in the department of biological structure and also has an appointment in the Center for Excellence in the Neurobiology of Addiction, Pain, and Emotion. He’s one of the authors of ..read more
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A scientific approach to navigating the academic job market
NPP BrainPod
by Nature Publishing Group
1y ago
Kirstie Cummings and Sofia Beas are both new assistant professors in the department of neurobiology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. When they met, they discussed the job application process, their support network, and their own personal processes, and they decided to write an article that could serve as a resource for candidates from different backgrounds, many of whom might not have the same resources that Dr. Cummings and Dr. Beas did. The result was their paper, “A Scientific Approach to Navigating the Academic Job Market,” published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. Read t ..read more
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