Depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder have all been linked to problems in the same circuit of brain regions. Mental disorders are a significant cause of disability worldwide. They profoundly affect individuals’ well-being and impose a substantial financial burden on societies and governments. However, despite decades of extensive research, the effectiveness of current therapeutics for mental disorders is often not satisfactory or well tolerated by the patient. Moreover, most novel therapeutic candidates fail in clinical testing during the most expensive phases (II and III), which results in the withdrawal of pharma companies from investing in the field. It also brings into question the effectiveness of using animal models in preclinical studies to discover new therapeutic agents and predict their potential for treating mental illnesses in humans. Here, we focus on rodents as animal models and propose that they are essential for preclinical investigations of candidate therapeutic agents’ mechanisms of action and for testing their safety and efficiency. Nevertheless, we argue that there is a need for a paradigm shift in the methodologies used to measure animal behavior in laboratory settings. Specifically, behavioral readouts obtained from short, highly controlled tests in impoverished environments and social contexts as proxies for complex human behavioral disorders might be of limited face validity. Conversely, animal models that are monitored in more naturalistic environments over long periods display complex and ethologically relevant behaviors that reflect evolutionarily conserved endophenotypes of translational value. We present how semi-natural setups in which groups of mice are individually tagged, and video recorded continuously can be attainable and affordable. Moreover, novel open-source machine-learning techniques for pose estimation enable continuous and automatic tracking of individual body parts in groups of rodents over long periods. The trajectories of each individual animal can further be subjected to supervised machine learning algorithms for automatic detection of specific behaviors (e.g., chasing, biting, or fleeing) or unsupervised automatic detection of behavioral motifs (e.g., stereotypical movements that might be harder to name or label manually). Compared to studies of animals in the wild, semi-natural environments are more compatible with neural and genetic manipulation techniques. As such, they can be used to study the neurobiological mechanisms underlying naturalistic behavior. Hence, we suggest that such a paradigm possesses the best out of classical ethology and the reductive behaviorist approach and may provide a breakthrough in discovering new efficient therapies for mental illnesses.There are care clinics for long COVID, local support groups, and ideas from those living with this illness. Here’s what you should know if you’re trying to navigate chronic symptoms in New York City.

2022-2023 Creativity Hubs Finalists Selected The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR), in partnership with the School of Data Science and Society (SDSS), is pleased to announce eight finalists for this year’s Creativity Hubs seed funding competition. These … Continued. Growing literature indicates that problematic Internet use (PIU) and excessive smartphone use (ESU) are associated with breakdown of functional brain networks. The effects of PIU&ESU on emotional face expression (EFE) recognition are not well understood, however behavioural investigations and fMRI studies of different addiction forms indicated the impairment of this function. The Facial Emotion Recognition Paradigm was used to probe cortico-limbic responses during EFE recognition. Combined fMRI and psychophysiological analysis were implemented to measure EFE-related functional brain changes in PIU&ESU. Self-reported questionnaires were used to assess PIU&ESU. Positive associations were found between the extent of PIU&ESU and functional connections related to emotional cognitive control and social brain networks. Our findings highlight the involvement of social functioning, especially EFE recognition in PIU&ESU. Therefore, we emphasize that besides the brain’s executive and reward systems, the social brain network might be the next candidate to be involved in the pathogenesis of PIU&ESU. A team from the University of Helsinki followed 68,000 people for up to 45 years, asking participants to fill out questionnaires about psychological symptoms.

Leading Psychiatrists Unwittingly Acknowledge Psychiatry Is a Religion, Not a Science

If a society does not distinguish science from religion, this subverts critical thinking and scientific inquiry.Since living in cities is associated with an increased risk for mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression, and schizophrenia, it is essential to understand how exposure to urban and natural environments affects mental health and the brain. It has been shown that the amygdala is more activated during a stress task in urban compared to rural dwellers. However, no study so far has examined the causal effects of natural and urban environments on stress-related brain mechanisms. To address this question, we conducted an intervention study to investigate changes in stress-related brain regions as an effect of a one-hour walk in an urban (busy street) vs. natural environment (forest). Brain activation was measured in 63 healthy participants, before and after the walk, using a fearful faces task and a social stress task. Our findings reveal that amygdala activation decreases after the walk in nature, whereas it remains stable after the walk in an urban environment. These results suggest that going for a walk in nature can have salutogenic effects on stress-related brain regions, and consequently, it may act as a preventive measure against mental strain and potentially disease. Given rapidly increasing urbanization, the present results may influence urban planning to create more accessible green areas and to adapt urban environments in a way that will be beneficial for citizens’ mental health.Danilo Bzdok and Robin I. M. Dunbar review the neurobiology of human and primate social behaviours and how the pandemic may have disrupted these systems.This analysis of 2-year retrospective cohort studies of individuals diagnosed with
COVID-19 showed that the increased incidence of mood and anxiety disorders was transient,
with no overall excess of these diagnoses compared with other respiratory infections.
In contrast, the increased risk of psychotic disorder, cognitive deficit, dementia,
and epilepsy or seizures persisted throughout. The differing trajectories suggest
a different pathogenesis for these outcomes. Children have a more benign overall profile
of psychiatric risk than do adults and older adults, but their sustained higher risk
of some diagnoses is of concern.

A new study suggests that young adults who use more social media may have an increased risk of developing depression within six months, regardless of their personality type or traits.Clinical trials suggest that psilocybin — the active ingredient in magic mushrooms — can provide durable remission from an increasingly common mental health condition. Clinical trials suggest that psilocybin — the active ingredient in magic mushrooms — can provide durable remission from an increasingly common mental health condition. The serotonin hypothesis of depression is still influential. We aimed to synthesise and evaluate evidence on whether depression is associated with lowered serotonin concentration or activity in a systematic umbrella review of the principal relevant areas of research. PubMed, EMBASE and PsycINFO were searched using terms appropriate to each area of research, from their inception until December 2020. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses and large data-set analyses in the following areas were identified: serotonin and serotonin metabolite, 5-HIAA, concentrations in body fluids; serotonin 5-HT1A receptor binding; serotonin transporter (SERT) levels measured by imaging or at post-mortem; tryptophan depletion studies; SERT gene associations and SERT gene-environment interactions. Studies of depression associated with physical conditions and specific subtypes of depression (e.g. bipolar depression) were excluded. Two independent reviewers extracted the data and assessed the quality of included studies using the AMSTAR-2, an adapted AMSTAR-2, or the STREGA for a large genetic study. The certainty of study results was assessed using a modified version of the GRADE. We did not synthesise results of individual meta-analyses because they included overlapping studies. The review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020207203). 17 studies were included: 12 systematic reviews and meta-analyses, 1 collaborative meta-analysis, 1 meta-analysis of large cohort studies, 1 systematic review and narrative synthesis, 1 genetic association study and 1 umbrella review. Quality of reviews was variable with some genetic studies of high quality. Two meta-analyses of overlapping studies examining the serotonin metabolite, 5-HIAA, showed no association with depression (largest n = 1002). One meta-analysis of cohort studies of plasma serotonin showed no relationship with depression, and evidence that lowered serotonin concentration was associated with antidepressant use (n = 1869). Two meta-analyses of overlapping studies examining the 5-HT1A receptor (largest n = 561), and three meta-analyses of overlapping studies examining SERT binding (largest n = 1845) showed weak and inconsistent evidence of reduced binding in some areas, which would be consistent with increased synaptic availability of serotonin in people with depression, if this was the original, causal abnormaly. However, effects of prior antidepressant use were not reliably excluded. One meta-analysis of tryptophan depletion studies found no effect in most healthy volunteers (n = 566), but weak evidence of an effect in those with a family history of depression (n = 75). Another systematic review (n = 342) and a sample of ten subsequent studies (n = 407) found no effect in volunteers. No systematic review of tryptophan depletion studies has been performed since 2007. The two largest and highest quality studies of the SERT gene, one genetic association study (n = 115,257) and one collaborative meta-analysis (n = 43,165), revealed no evidence of an association with depression, or of an interaction between genotype, stress and depression. The main areas of serotonin research provide no consistent evidence of there being an association between serotonin and depression, and no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations. Some evidence was consistent with the possibility that long-term antidepressant use reduces serotonin concentration.

MRI data from more than 100 studies have been aggregated to yield new insights about brain development and ageing, and create an interactive open resource for comparison of brain structures throughout the human lifespan, including those associated with neurological and psychiatric disorders.Memory lapses, lack of focus and confusion are symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s, but they could also be signs of other underlying conditions.The lasting mental impacts of severe COVID-19 on areas like memory, attention, or problem solving, may be equivalent to 20 years of ageing.Background Community and cultural engagement can support recovery, help symptom management and increase social connections for people with lived experience of mental health conditions. However, research suggests that people with mental health conditions experience significant barriers to participation. The aim of this study was to explore barriers and enablers of participation in community and cultural activities among people with mental health conditions. Methods A qualitative interview study with 23 people with mild-to-moderate mental health conditions was undertaken. Data were analysed thematically, and themes were mapped to domains of the Capability, Opportunity and Motivation Model of Behaviour (COM-B). Results Eleven themes were identified from the analysis. Three themes involved participant Capability: physical skills, psychological traits and physical health limitations and three themes related to Opportunity: affordability and accessibility, structure and nature of the group, and support from others to attend. Five themes mapped to Motivation: creative identity, recovery and coping, enjoyment and fun, connecting with others, and information and planning. Participants were motivated to engage with community and cultural activities through “a creative identity”, belief that engagement would help recovery from mental illness, and a desire to connect with others and make friends. Motivation to participate was sustained by the enjoyable nature of activities. However, participants’ ability to engage was hampered by the expense, inaccessibility and sometimes unstructured nature of activities, and social anxiety associated with attending. Some participants had physical limitations such as fatigue or physical health problems to overcome. Interventions that could address these barriers include peer support, training for social prescribers to account for identity and previous experiences of participation, training for community organisations in providing a welcoming and structured environment, and provision of long-term sustainable funding to community organisations to subsidise attendance, transport or equipment costs. Conclusion People with mental health conditions may be at risk of experiencing barriers to community and cultural engagement due to existing social inequalities and social anxiety, however believing that involvement will support mental health was an enabler to participation. Future studies are needed to test the effectiveness of potential interventions to address the barriers and harness the facilitators identified here, to enable a more socially inclusive community and voluntary sector, and a potentially more responsive and effective social prescribing service in the UK for people experiencing mental health problems.

Global, regional, and national burden of 12 mental disorders in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

GBD 2019 showed that mental disorders remained among the top ten leading causes of
burden worldwide, with no evidence of global reduction in the burden since 1990. The
estimated YLLs for mental disorders were extremely low and do not reflect premature
mortality in individuals with mental disorders. Research to establish causal pathways
between mental disorders and other fatal health outcomes is recommended so that this
may be addressed within the GBD study. To reduce the burden of mental disorders, coordinated
delivery of effective prevention and treatment programmes by governments and the global
health community is imperative.NIA-funded studies seek to better understand the effects of menopause on women’s health and quality of life, with implications for women living better lives as they age. For Robin Williams’ widow, learning about Lewy body dementia has made her husband’s death make sense. Susan Schneider Williams details the comedian’s final days, and the future of LBD research, diagnosis and treatment.Psychiatrists have a dizzying array of diagnoses and not enough treatments. Hunting for the hidden biology underlying mental disorders could help. Psychiatrists have a dizzying array of diagnoses and not enough treatments. Hunting for the hidden biology underlying mental disorders could help.“Kratom” commonly refers to an herbal substance that can produce opioid- and stimulant-like effects. Kratom and kratom-based products are currently legal and accessible in many areas, though U.S. and international agencies continue to review emerging evidence to inform kratom policy. NIDA supports research towards better understanding the health and safety effects of kratom use.

Try these helpful tips to enhance your mental well-being.Our study provides evidence for substantial neurological and psychiatric morbidity
in the 6 months after COVID-19 infection. Risks were greatest in, but not limited
to, patients who had severe COVID-19. This information could help in service planning
and identification of research priorities. Complementary study designs, including
prospective cohorts, are needed to corroborate and explain these findings.Psychoactive drugs can cause temporary changes in mood and behavior. Find out more about the different types of psychoactive drugs.Researchers estimate that there may be as many as 27 million cases of long-term smell and taste loss after COVID-19 but that after 6 months, many patients recover.

Research has linked red dye 40, a synthetic food coloring, to symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Learn more.Survivors of COVID-19 appear to be at increased risk of psychiatric sequelae, and
a psychiatric diagnosis might be an independent risk factor for COVID-19. Although
preliminary, our findings have implications for clinical services, and prospective
cohort studies are warranted. A review of neuroimaging studies suggests that psychiatric conditions affect some of the same brain areas.Chronic stress can lead to long-term health problems, even death.ADHD is a common disorder recognized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. While people do not outgrow ADHD, they can learn to adapt.