Researchers Find Multiple Genes that Contribute to Schizophrenia Risk

According to an international study led by researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Pharmacy, multiple genes contribute to risk for schizophrenia and appear to function in pathways related to transmission of signals in the brain and immunity [1]. The discovery provides scientists with a better understanding the molecular and biological mechanisms involved with schizophrenia that may improve disease management and identify new drug targets. The study is published in the April issue of JAMA Psychiatry.

Schizophrenia

Talking Changes Minds: the Effect of CBT on Depression

Researchers recently examined the effects of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) on brain functioning in depressed patients and found that the psychotherapeutic approach made actual changes in the brain [1]. The study was published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

New Medical Specialty Proposed for Combined Depression and Heart Disease

New research suggests that there is a strong link between depression and heart disease. Angelos Halaris, M.D., Ph.D., a psychiatrist at the Loyola University Medical Center, is so impressed by the strength of the correlation that he proposes a new medical subspecialty specifically to study and treat combined depression/heart disease patients. The new subspecialty, “Psychocardiology,” would be for the purpose of increasing physician and patient awareness of the strong link between the two disease processes, and would also increase the likelihood that patients with one of the two diseases — who would therefore be at risk of developing the other — would receive appropriate monitoring.

Psychocardiology

Healthy Neuroticism Linked with Lower Levels of an Inflammatory Biomarker

A new study suggests that healthy neuroticism may protect your body against inflammation. Researchers have found that some self-described neurotics tend to have lower levels of a biomarker known to play a role in inflammation and chronic disease. The study is published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity [1].

Conscientious & Neurotic

A Heavy Heart: Depression and Cardiac Function

Two recently published studies have found that changes in heart function are seen during major depression [1] and also seen in some people who have recovered from depression [2]. This link between mental health and physical health emphasises how the body and mind are linked. Furthermore, it also suggests that some people with depression may be at increased risk of cardiac disease. The research also sheds further light on the biological pathways of depression.

Depressed woman