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Artist’s rendition of neural connections, with inactive neurons in the background
Ketamine Flips a “Switch” in Mice’s Brain Circuitry: Study
After injecting moderate doses of the dissociative anesthetic into the animals, previously “awake” brain cells go dark, and those that had been dormant suddenly light up.
Ketamine Flips a “Switch” in Mice’s Brain Circuitry: Study
Ketamine Flips a “Switch” in Mice’s Brain Circuitry: Study

After injecting moderate doses of the dissociative anesthetic into the animals, previously “awake” brain cells go dark, and those that had been dormant suddenly light up.

After injecting moderate doses of the dissociative anesthetic into the animals, previously “awake” brain cells go dark, and those that had been dormant suddenly light up.

psychiatric disorders
crossword puzzle
Ten Minute Sabbatical
Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon | Dec 1, 2022 | 2 min read
Take a break from the bench to puzzle and peruse
Illustration of green fluorescent bacterial cells.
Cocaine Use Creates Feedback Loop with Gut Bacteria: Mouse Study
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Nov 1, 2022 | 3 min read
A jolt of norepinephrine in the mouse gut facilitates colonization by certain microbes, which in turn deplete glycine, enhancing cocaine-induced behaviors.
Harnessing Stem Cells to Model Neurological Disorders
The Scientist’s Creative Services Team | 2 min read
A lithograph of a woman sitting up in bed while a nurse attends to her.
Death by Nostalgia, 1688
Lisa Winter | Feb 1, 2022 | 3 min read
Before its association with a pining for the toys or TV shows of yesteryear, nostalgia was deemed a dangerous psychiatric disorder.
GWAS, psychotic disorder, mood disorder, Q&A, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, sex differences
Genetic Variants Tied to Sex Differences in Psychiatric Disorders
Amanda Heidt | Mar 31, 2021 | 5 min read
The largest study of its kind identifies single nucleotide polymorphisms with disparate effects on men’s and women’s susceptibility to conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
How Social Isolation Affects the Brain
Catherine Offord | Jul 13, 2020 | 10+ min read
Absence of human contact is associated with declines in cognitive function. But as the COVID-19 pandemic brings concerns about the potential harms of isolation to the fore, researchers are still hunting for concrete evidence of a causal role as well as possible mechanisms.
Wanted: Healthy Brains
Ashley Yeager | Feb 25, 2020 | 4 min read
Brain banks have struggled to convince unaffected individuals to donate, hampering studies on “cognitively normal” neurodevelopment and aging.
Value of Medical Marijuana for Mental Health Questioned
Jef Akst | Oct 29, 2019 | 2 min read
A meta-analysis of more than 80 studies from the past four decades finds weak evidence to support the use of medicinal cannabis to treat anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.
Deep Brain Stimulation Improves Depression Symptoms: Study
Catherine Offord | Oct 7, 2019 | 2 min read
The effects of the therapy in a small group of  patients were long-lasting, researchers say, adding to evidence that the approach works for treatment-resistant depression.
feet on scale with tape measure
Genetic Study Points to Metabolic Roots of Anorexia Nervosa
Nicoletta Lanese | Jul 15, 2019 | 2 min read
Some variants implicated in the disease are also linked to other psychiatric disorders.
How the Brain Changes on Ketamine: A Live Animal Study
Ruth Williams | Apr 11, 2019 | 3 min read
The drug promotes and sustains brain cell connectivity in mice, reversing the effects of chronic stress.
Potent Weed Linked to Psychosis
Jef Akst | Mar 20, 2019 | 2 min read
Frequent use of high-strength cannabis may increase the risk of mental health problems, according to a large-scale epidemiological study.
Researchers Explore the Genetics of Eating Disorders
Amy Lewis | Jan 1, 2019 | 4 min read
Large-scale genomic studies of anorexia and bulimia are turning up clues about the conditions’ development and persistence.
Analysis of 2,000 Brains Provides Clues to Schizophrenia, Autism
Catherine Offord | Dec 14, 2018 | 2 min read
The PsychENCODE project delves into the DNA, RNA, and protein changes related to brain development and neuropsychiatric disorders, but researchers caution it’s just a first step toward treatment.
New Cell Type Discovered in Human Brains
Catherine Offord | Aug 28, 2018 | 2 min read
Rosehip neurons are not found in rodents. Perhaps they offer clues about what separates our brains from those of other animals.
Common Gene Variants Found Among Psychiatric Disorders
Abby Olena, PhD | Jun 21, 2018 | 3 min read
In the largest-ever study of its kind, researchers combined genomic data from nearly 900,000 patients and healthy individuals to identify commonalities among 10 mental illnesses.
Gene Expression Overlaps Among Psychiatric Disorders
Ashley P. Taylor | Feb 8, 2018 | 3 min read
Transcriptional profiling of post-mortem human brains reveals commonalities in the genes over- and under-expressed in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, and major depression. 
Transgenerational Trauma Passed Down from WWII Evacuees
Jef Akst | Nov 29, 2017 | 2 min read
The daughters of Finnish women separated from their parents as children during World War II have higher rates of psychiatric hospitalization than those born to women who had not been evacuated.
Image of the Day: Neurons at Risk
The Scientist Staff | Sep 26, 2017 | 1 min read
Scientists identified a schizophrenia-risk gene, ZNF804A, that influences the birth and movement of new neurons within the developing brain. 
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