According to some estimates, up to one in three people around the world may experience severe anxiety in their lifetime. In a study described today in Cell Reports, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have revealed a previously unknown mechanism underlying anxiety. Targeting this biochemical pathway may help develop new therapies for alleviating the symptoms of anxiety disorders.
New brain imaging research shows that imagining a threat lights up similar regions as experiencing it does. It suggests imagination can be a powerful tool in overcoming phobias or post traumatic stress.
An emotional coping skills program developed for natural disaster survivors appears to help young children deal with the traumatic experiences associated with living in chronic poverty, a new study found. University of Illinois social work professor Tara M. Powell pilot tested the program, Journey of Hope, with more than 100 children attending high-poverty elementary schools in Tennessee.
People who experience childhood maltreatment frequently have perturbations in their brain architecture, regardless of whether they develop psychiatric symptoms, but a study in Biological Psychiatry found additional alterations in people who don't develop symptoms.
New research from Cedars-Sinai has identified neurons that play a role in how people recognize errors they make, a discovery that may have implications for the treatment of conditions including obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. The study also offers a new level of understanding for error-related negativity, which can be easily measured using an EEG and could one day become standard clinical care in individuals with psychiatric disorders.
Using an animal model of chronic stress, researchers at The Ohio State University have shown that the immune cells of the brain, called microglia, hold unique signatures of chronic stress that leave the animal more sensitive to future stressful experiences, evident by increased anxiety and immune responses.
In a randomized controlled trial of 134 mildly stressed, middle-aged to older adults, participants who were assigned to a six-week mindfulness-meditation training program experienced significantly reduced negative affect variability -- which refers to subjective distress and includes a range of mood states such as worry, anxiety, anger, self-criticism, and life dissatisfaction -- compared with participants assigned to a waitlist control.
Mount Sinai study discovers that imagining threats can weaken reactions to them by suppressing perceptual and learning neural mechanisms.
Researchers compared four different types of online communication technologies -- video chat, email, social networks and instant messaging -- used by people 60 and older and then gauged their symptoms of depression based on survey responses two years later. The study found that people who used video chat functions such as Skype and FaceTime had almost half the estimated probability of depressive symptoms compared with older adults who did not use any communication technologies.
Taking typical daily annoyances such as a long wait at the doctor's office or a traffic jam on the freeway in stride may help preserve brain health in older adults.