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Pathological signatures: Autism, schizophrenia share gene activity in brain

Researchers have found that certain psychiatric disorders like autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder share some physical characteristics at the molecular level, specifically, patterns of gene expression in the brain. The findings, published in the journal Science, raise hope for better diagnosis and therapies for people with major psychiatric disorders. “These findings provide a molecular, pathological signature of these disorders, which is a large step forward,” said senior study author Daniel Geschwind, Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. “The major challenge now is to understand how these changes arose,”…

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Brain Activity and Good Diet May Prevent Insomnia-Related Depression

al feedback as well as reinforce behaviours that are rewarded, while reducing behaviours that are not. The results showed that those who were less susceptible to the effects of poor sleep showed significantly higher brain activity in response to positive feedback or reward compared to negative feedback. The effects of poor sleep showed significantly higher brain activity “Poor sleep is not good, but you may have other experiences during your life that are positive. And the more responsive you are to those positive experiences, the less vulnerable you may be…

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Exercise May Boost Memory, Brain Activity in Elderly

To increase brain function and boost memory in older adults, it is important to maintain high levels of fitness through physical activity such as walking, jogging, swimming, or dancing. Brain function and memory are the hallmark impairments in Alzheimer’s disease. According to this study, the age-related changes in memory performance and brain activity largely depend on an individual’s fitness level. Older adults who exercised showed good cardiac fitness levels which improved their memory performance and increased brain activity patterns compared to their low fit peers. “Therefore, starting an exercise programme,…

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Brain Activity May Predict Risk of Falls in Elderly

Measuring the level of brain activity in healthy older adults while they are walking can predict their risk of falling, suggests a study led by an Indian-origin scientist. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults and all too often lead to physical decline and loss of independence. “Previous studies have shown that when older people perform cognitively demanding tasks, their brains are required to become more active to handle the challenge,” said lead author Joe Verghese, Director at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in…

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Low Levels of Physical Activity Worsens Psychosis

Living a sedentary lifestyle could increase your risk of developing psychosis leading to early death, a study has warned. Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of avoidable death and is as harmful as smoking, according to World Health Organisation (WHO). The researchers found that people with psychosis — a mental disorder characterised by a disconnection from reality — die up to 15 years before the general population, largely due to heart diseases. Adults aged 18-64 must indulge in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week,…

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