Monday, June 13, 2005

Press Releases on the Brain

This month's Press Releases from Nature Neuroscience are interesting reads. There's a lot of imaging data, so take it for what it's worth, but it is, nonetheless, interesting.

Wiring the brain for depression--From Dan Weinberger's Group at the NIMH. This group has also discovered a gene variant that may be linked to some of schizophrenia's negative symptoms, and their data are usually interesting since they combine imaging techniques with molecular methods and mice models.

Race-related brain activity--"Pictures of African-American faces are known to activate the amygdala more strongly than Caucasian-American faces, at least in Caucasian-American people, but the underlying reason for that activity has remained controversial." That's your hook for this one.

Brain changes over the menstrual cycle--well, duh...actually, it's interesting stuff. These studies arise from data on catamenial epilepsy, a condition in which seizure activity is modulated during the menstrual cycle in epileptic women. Hormonal-linked-seizure activity in women is really interesting--some women go through most of their life never having a seizure, yet when they enter menopause, they become epileptic. There are also cases of young girls becoming epileptic when they first start menstruating or when they first get pregnant.


At 1:07 PM, Blogger Murky Thoughts said...

I wonder if people in countries less religious than the United States are as persistently surprised by evidence of effects in the brain attending thought. I'd have thunk that after Galvani and Broca there wasn't much left to get so worked up about. I guess I didn't count on the appeal of computer graphics. I was surprised by the success of "Attack of the Clones" too.

At 1:52 PM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

I've been at several international meetings and seminars, and I can tell you that it seems to be a part of the human condition to be surprised by fMRI data, even that from the most ridiculous of studies. You should hear the squeals and see the excitement when the amygdala lights up at pictures of plane crashes. Even our trusty and rational South Korean brothers and sisters fall victim (albeit not as often) to this stuff.

At 8:07 PM, Blogger trisha said...

I have the depression with my periods.

Stupid periods.

They really suck.

At 8:15 AM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

On a scale of depression to seizures--I guess you kind of got lucky at least...right...that should make the depressions seem so much better? Ok, I tried.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger trisha said...

No, it really does. I was thinking that.

Depression is better than many things. Like blading.


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