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In the News for July 18, 2018

A Possible Clue to OCD

New research is spurring new thoughts about factors which can contribute to OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). It appears sleep timing and lack of sunlight may play a role. Researchers hope that this may lead to treatments in the future, perhaps involving exposure to morning sunlight.


A Possible Future Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Researchers have identified a gene which appears to be tied to cocaine addiction. Mice without this gene exhibited no addictive behaviors or changes to the brain’s reward system when given cocaine. This may lead to future treatment options.


Sleep as an Antioxidant

With this study, researchers were able to show that sleep functions as an antioxidant. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases, among others, are all diseases in which oxidative stress plays a role and which are correlated with sleep disorders. This finding could lead to new understandings of neurodegenerative disorders or new treatments for them.


The Psychology of Roller Coasters

If you’ve ever wondered what it is about roller coasters that tempts thrill seekers to wait in long lines for short rides, this article has the answers.


Anxiety and Depression May Be More Common in Pregnancy Now Than in the Past

This study found that 25% of pregnant women today are experiencing significant levels of depression, compared to 17% in a study between 1990-1992. This is a significant increase representing many thousands of women. And, even more troublingly, females whose mothers were depressed while pregnant are three times more likely to suffer depression during their own pregnancy.


Gut Bacteria to Treat Autism

This small study involved just 18 kids but yielded strong evidence in support of the gut-autism connection. The kids in this study received fecal transplants. The study found a dramatic decrease in gastrointestinal issues and improvements in several features of autism such as irritability and repetitive actions. When researchers checked back two years after the study, the found that the kids had kept many of the gains they’d made originally.

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