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 . The study was published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
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.
Statistics is powerful stuff. When using cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses to assess well-being in over 5,000 adults over thirty years, researchers initially found that well-being decreases with age: older people are unhappier than younger people. But when the researchers controlled for birth cohort, they found that each individual’s well-being increased with age. Sure, the 70 year olds were less happy than the 50 year olds; but those 70 year olds were happier than they were when they were 50. The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.
At the convergence of biotechnology and nanotechnology, a new project to map the active human brain may eventually lead to an understanding of human perception and consciousness, as well as therapies for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and autism.
This week is Brain Awareness Week (BAW), a worldwide week-long celebration of the brain. BAW was founded and is coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and European Dana Alliance for the Brain. Every year in March, BAW focuses on increasing public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research.