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Superstitious people do all sorts of puzzling things. But it’s not just the superstitious who knock on wood. From time to time, we all rap our knuckles on a nearby table if we happen to let fate-tempting words slip out. “The cancer is in remission, knock on wood,” we might say.
In fact, it’s so common we often don’t think about it. But it’s worth asking: why do people who do not believe that knocking on wood has an effect on the world often do it anyway? Because it works.
No, knocking on wood won’t change what happens. The cancer is no more likely to stay in remission one way or the other. But knocking on wood does affect our beliefs, and that’s almost as important.
Research finds that people, superstitious or not, tend to believe that negative outcomes are more likely after they “jinx” themselves. Boast that you’ve been driving for 20 years without an accident, and your concern about your drive home that evening rises. The superstitious may tell you that your concern is well founded because the universe is bound to punish your hubris. Psychological research has a less magical explanation: boasting about being accident-free makes the thought of getting into an accident jump to mind and, once there, that thought makes you worry.
That makes sense intuitively. What’s less intuitive is how a simple physical act, like knocking on wood, can alleviate that concern.
In one study, to be published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, one of us, Jane L. Risen, and her colleagues Yan Zhang and Christine Hosey, induced college students to jinx themselves by asking half of them to say out loud that they would definitely not get into a car accident this winter. Compared with those who did not jinx themselves, these students, when asked about it later, thought it was more likely that they would get into an accident.
After the “jinx,” in the guise of clearing their minds, we invited some of these students to knock on the wooden table in front of them. Those who knocked on the table were no more likely to think that they would get into an accident than students who hadn’t jinxed themselves in the first place. They had reversed the effects of the jinx.
Knocking on wood may not be magical, but superstition proved helpful in understanding why the ritual was effective. Across cultures, superstitions intended to reverse bad luck, like throwing salt or spitting, often share a common ingredient. In one way or another, they involve an avoidant action, one that exerts force away from oneself, as if pushing something away.
This pushing action turns out to be important, because people’s beliefs are often influenced by bodily feelings and movements. For example, other research shows that people tend to agree with the same arguments more when they hear them while they are nodding their head up and down (as if they were saying “yes”) rather than shaking it from side to side (as if they were saying “no”).
Because people generally push bad things away, we suggest that they may have built up an association between pushing actions and avoiding harm or danger. This led us to speculate that when people knock on wood, or throw salt, or spit, the ritual may help calm the mind, because such avoidant actions lead people to simulate the feelings, thoughts and sensations they experience when they avoid something bad.
To test this, in our knocking-on-wood experiment we asked some people to knock down on the table and away from themselves, while we had others knock up on the underside of the table, toward themselves. Those who knocked up engaged in an approach action, not an avoidant one. Despite knocking on wood, people who knocked up failed to reverse the perceived jinx; if anything, their concerns were made worse compared with people who did not knock at all.
Next we tested whether avoidant movements would have the same effect in situations free from the baggage of superstition. Instead of having participants knock down on wood after jinxing themselves, we had them throw a ball (also an avoidant action, but not one associated with a superstition). We conducted two studies, one in Chicago and another in Singapore. We found that the act of throwing a ball also reduces people’s concerns following a jinx, in either culture. Even pretending to throw a ball has the same effect as actually throwing it.
While almost any behavior can be turned into a superstitious ritual, perhaps the ones that are most likely to survive are those that happen to be effective at changing how we feel. We can seek to rid ourselves of superstitions in the name of enlightenment and progress, but we are likely to find that some may be hard to shake because, although they may be superficially irrational, they may not be unreasonable. Superstitious rituals can really work — but it’s not magic, it’s psychology.
Jane L. Risen and A. David Nussbaum are, respectively, an associate professor of behavioral science and an adjunct assistant professor of behavioral science at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.Read article >>
The number of drugs prescribed to treat adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Scotland has more than doubled in the past four years.
While ADHD has traditionally been a condition associated with young children and teenagers, a growing number of people in their 30s, 40s and 50s are now being diagnosed.
Campaigners believe many more adults with the disorder remain unidentified, because of a lack of awareness and services to support them.
According to Information Services Division Scotland, the number of prescriptions for ADHD drugs handed out to patients over the age of 20 increased from 6,065 in 2009-10 to 12,793 in 2012-13,
In terms of the number of patients receiving treatment, large increases were seen in those in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
Between 2009-10 and 2012-13, the number of people using drugs for ADHD aged 20 to 29 increased from 391 to 929 – a rise of 138 per cent.
Among those in their 30s, patient numbers jumped from 157 to 238, up 52 per cent. And in those aged 40 to 49, the number using drug therapies went up from 106 to 172, an increase of 62 per cent.
Overall, the number of patients receiving treatment for ADHD in Scotland increased by 18 per cent in the last four years, to 7,918, the majority of them aged ten to 14.
While the number of adults receiving treatment has increased significantly, estimates have suggested that as many as 60,000 in Scotland could have ADHD.
Symptoms of the condition include poor short-term memory, problems controlling emotions, swinging quickly between feeling happy and depressed, and difficulties focusing on specific tasks.
But many believe ADHD can also have a positive impact in their lives, bringing out people’s creative qualities, enthusiasm and drive to succeed.
Gordon Brown, a child and adolescent mental health nurse, works full-time for the NHS in Falkirk, but also runs a service helping both children and adults with ADHD.
He said the condition was now being recognized as something which could persist from childhood into adulthood.
Brown said in some cases people did not come forward with symptoms of ADHD until their 40s and even older, but treatments could be as effective in these groups as they were in children. He said: “This is a group I am seeing more and more of on a day-to-day basis in my private clinic.
“I think one of the reasons why so many people are coming forward now is that they have better insight into the condition now.
“Also, many of the adults I see will also have children with ADHD and they can see a lot of themselves in their children. ADHD is highly hereditary so if we see a young person with ADHD, you will often see a mother or father with the condition.”
Brown said there were very few dedicated services in the NHS to deal with adults with ADHD, which was why people paid for private assessments.
He said: “There is also a limited understanding of adult ADHD within the adult services currently available. We need a program of education for adult colleagues to have a better understanding of the condition.”
Andrea Bilbow, chief executive for charity the Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service (ADDISS), said psychiatrists were now increasingly starting to recognize and treat ADHD in adults.
She said there was no doubt that drugs helped, but other forms of support were needed.
“In adults, the medication will make them a bit more motivated and organised. It will certainly make them realise how much help they do need,” she said.
“The medication makes them motivated to get the help, so something like CBT [cognitive behavioural therapy] or some kind of coaching strategies, skills building, money management and relationship management.
“The medication is like putting the fuel in the tank but you’ve still got to teach them how to drive, and there is no money for that.”
Richard Jones, chairman of the Scottish charity Addressing the Balance, which supports adults with ADHD, said he expected diagnoses to increase further.
Jones, who was diagnosed at the age of 53, said it took a year from seeing his GP to having his ADHD identified, but he believes he has been affected all his life.
He said: “I’m an architect, with a professional qualification and career. The ADHD has given me that drive in life to achieve a professional career, but it has not been easy.”Read article >>
Neuroeconomists at the University of Zurich have identified a specific brain region that controls compliance with social norms. They discovered that norm compliance is independent of knowledge about the norm and can be increased by means of brain stimulation.
How does the human brain control compliance with social norms? The biological mechanisms that underlie norm compliance are still poorly understood. In a new study, Christian Ruff, Giuseppe Ugazio, and Ernst Fehr from the University of Zurich show that the lateral prefrontal cortex plays a central role in norm compliance.
Prefrontal cortex controls norm behavior
For the study, 63 participants took part in an experiment in which they received money and were asked to decide how much of it they wanted to share with an anonymous partner. A prevalent fairness norm in Western cultures dictates that the money should be evenly split between the two players. However, this contrasts with the participants’ self-interest to keep as much money as possible for themselves. In another experiment, the participants were faced with the same decision, but knew in advance that they could be punished by the partner for an unfair proposal.
By means of a technique called “transcranial direct current stimulation,” which sends weak and painless electric currents through the skull, the excitability of specific brain regions can be modulated. During this experiment, the scientists used this technique to increase or decrease neural activity at the front of the brain, in the right lateral prefrontal cortex. Christian Ruff, Professor of Neuroeconomics and Decision Neuroscience at the University of Zurich, said: "We discovered that the decision to follow the fairness norm, whether voluntarily or under threat of sanctions, can be directly influenced by neural stimulation in the prefrontal cortex."
Brain stimulation affects normative behavior
When neural activity in this part of the brain was increased via stimulation, the participants’ followed the fairness norm more strongly when sanctions were threatened, but their voluntary norm compliance in the absence of possible punishments decreased. Conversely, when the scientists decreased neural activity, participants followed the fairness norm more strongly on a voluntary basis, but complied less with the norm when sanctions were threatened. Moreover, neural stimulation influenced the participants’ behavior, but it did not affect their perception of the fairness norm. It also did not alter their expectations about whether and how much they would be punished for violating the norm.
"We found that the brain mechanism responsible for compliance with social norms is separate from the processes that represent one’s knowledge and beliefs about the social norm," says Ernst Fehr, Chairman of the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich. "This could have important implications for the legal system as the ability to distinguish between right and wrong may not be sufficient for the ability to comply with social norms." Christian Ruff adds: "Our findings show that a socially and evolutionarily important aspect of human behavior depends on a specific neural mechanism that can be both up- and down-regulated with brain stimulation."Read article >>
Compulsive Disorder and tics could be triggered in people who are exposed to certain strains of strep, say researchers backing a controversial idea.
The hypothesis is that in some children who probably have a genetic susceptibility, certain strains of strep may trigger the serious mental illness almost overnight, Toronto science journalist Alison Motluk tells CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks.
OCD is characterized by repetitive unwanted thoughts, images and impulses, such as non-stop handwashing, checking that the door is locked, or elaborate rituals like tapping a leg.
Kelly O'Donnell of Ottawa describes what happened to her then seven-year-old daughter back in 2012.
One school night, she came home from school tearful. At a swimming lesson, her dad noticed she couldn't stop looking over her shoulder, O'Donnell said. Within 48 hours, she progressed to a point where everything she did required a repetitive behaviour.
"We thought she was having a nervous breakdown," O'Donnell recalled.
The O'Donnells took her to emergency. The doctor on duty remembered a rare disorder caused by strep and ordered a throat swab.
"They called, and said that she tested positive for strep, which we were surprised by. But they called in the prescription for penicillin and we picked it up by noon. And by noon the next day her symptoms were 95 per cent gone."
Motluck speaks to Susan Swedo, the pediatrician who worked for years at the U.S. National Institute for Mental Health and first suggested the disease, Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus or PANDAS might be a disease in its own right.
Swedo said the best theory for PANDAS is that it's a variant of rheumatic fever.
A bad strep in an unlucky child can lead to a cross-reactive autoimmune reaction where the body's anti-strep antibiodies mistake a person's own cells in part of the brain for strep and launch an immune attack, Motluck explains.
However, a study by neurologist Roger Kurlan that followed children over time, found not all children with PANDAS symptom tested positive for strep.
"Despite very compelling cases like O'Donnell's, so far no one has shown in a really convincing way that PANDAS is always preceded by strep and that strep is what makes PANDAS symptoms worse," Motluck cautions.
Motluk's own daughter developed sudden emotional outbursts and bizarre obsessive thoughts immediately after a serious ear infection, although her case is less clear cut than O'Donnell's.Read article >>
University of Queensland researchers have found most Australians and Americans believe food is addictive and comparable to drug addiction.
The researchers used an online survey to assess public attitudes toward obesity and gauge opinions on the causes and risk factors of obesity.
UQ's School of Population Health Masters graduate Natalia Lee said despite significant support to treat obesity as a form of addiction, participants saw eating and weight as an individual's responsibility.
“While participants believed food addiction to be a cause of obesity, this did not change their attitudes towards obese people or the most effective way of treating obesity,” Mrs Lee said.
“This finding alone has important implications for the treatment of obesity and policy responses alike.”
Dr Adrian Carter, Research Fellow from UQ's Centre for Clinical Research, said the public supported the view that some foods could be addictive, but this did not translate into support for medical treatments of obesity.
“Public health policies which experts believe will most likely reduce rates of obesity, such as regulation of food advertising and increased taxes, were also not supported by most participants,” Dr Carter said.
“Participants viewed obesity as a condition that individuals had to overcome through personal choice and willpower.”
Scientists hope that recognition of obesity as a form of food addiction may improve obesity treatment and foster greater public acceptance of health policies.
Results of this study show a need for further investigation to explain the inconsistency between support for food addiction and a strong emphasis on weight being a personal choice.Read article >>
How people repair relationships after a breach of trust depends on whether the relationship is new or firmly established, new research suggests.
In a paper analyzing particular brain responses in regards to breaches of trust, a University of Arizona assistant professor and other researchers found that people recover better in established relationships and are more likely to forgive and move on.
Martin Reimann, a new assistant professor in the UA Eller College of Management's Department of Marketing, says the research has implications for both the neuroscience of trust and the social psychology of trust.
"Many researchers have looked at trust versus distrust, but few have looked at how trust develops over time and how a breach of trust impacts subsequent decisions, and only recently have researchers began to focus on trust recovery," Reimann said.
The research paper, "Effect of Relationship Experience on Trust Recovery Following a Breach," was published in August in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Reimann and colleagues in sociology at UCLA and Stanford used two experiments – one behavioral and one involving neuroimaging – to compare trust breaches and discovered a key element that guided recovery.
The neurophysiological research found that two separate cognition systems in different parts of the brain – one guiding more controlled responses and one in control of more automatic responses – are at work. With new relationships, the controlled social cognition system guided responses, while the automatic social cognition system was responsible for responses in established relationships.
"If you've known someone for a long time, you're more likely to trust this person again and recover from the trust breach because the brain processes this as more of an automatic response," Reimann said. "Little has been done contrasting these two systems, the automatic habit-based system and the controlled system, in interpersonal decision making. We suggest that future investigations look at this differentiation more closely."
A psychologist with a focus on decision neuroscience by training, Reimann is working to apply the research findings to questions and scenarios in marketing.
"In a marketing context, this could have implications in business to business marketing, where you work closely with a partner in another company, for example in a sales relationship," he said.
"This can also be applied to the context of brands. Many people engage in loyalty programs with brands, like airlines or hotels, and the question is what happens if your favorite company breaches your trust. Will you recover or will you switch to another brand?" he asked.
Reimann's teaching in marketing policy and operations also will explore that area.
"One idea to apply this to the marketing context is to compare what we've found to brands and firms and understand how this mechanism works," he said. "What I would expect – given our findings – is that people would recover better from a trust breach if they have been involved with the brand for a long time because they're habitualized to the relationship."Read article >>
A component in saliva has opened a window into a person's psychological health, reflecting resiliency in the face of stress, say researchers at the University of Oregon and Arizona State University.
That component is salivary nerve growth factor, a neurotrophic protein abbreviated as sNGF. It typically is linked to the survival, development or function of neurons, but now may be a marker of stress response.
"We usually focus on the depleting aspects of the stress response, but now we are recognizing that there may be a regenerative or replenishing aspect," said Heidemarie Laurent, a professor of psychology at the UO and lead author on a study published Sept. 27 in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. "We are seeing that sNGF responds to stress, and that this response relates to both short-term and more lasting measures of psychological health — in other words, sNGF seems to underlie resilience rather than risk."
For the study, Laurent collected five saliva samples from 40 young adults (17 male, 23 female) twice before and three times following a stressful conflict-resolution task. The participants were drawn from a larger study of romantic couples. Samples also were taken from a 20-member control group at the same time intervals but in the absence of the conflict scenario. Samples were analyzed for sNGF and two other stress-linked indicators. Changes in sNGF were significant in the experimental group in response to the conflict.
The saliva was analyzed at ASU's newly opened Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, which is headed by study co-author Douglas A. Granger, a pioneer in the field of salivary bioscience. "The use of oral fluid as a research and diagnostic specimen has tremendous potential,” said ASU's Granger, a professor of psychology. "Have you ever wondered why adversity affects some people more negatively than others? Well, it is possible that sNGF is an important piece of that puzzle."
Nerve growth factor was discovered in the 1950s by Italian neurologist Rita Levi-Montalcini and Stanley Cohen in collaborative research done at Washington University in St. Louis; they later shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1986. Much has been uncovered about its role in the brain and nervous system, but few scientists considered how NGF levels in people's saliva might be related to the behavioral and biological components of the body's stress response.
Laurent and Granger recently reported that conflict with a romantic partner caused sNGF to rise in parallel with the two main components of the "fight or flight" stress response — the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Most significantly, the researchers found that the more a person's sNGF level increased in response to stress, the lower their conflict-related negative emotions.
"This finding," Laurent said, "suggests that an sNGF response to stress might be protective, a counterpoint to other aspects of the stress response known to negatively impact mental and physical health. This is consistent with what we’re finding in adolescents, where higher levels of sNGF during stress are associated with lower levels of problem behaviors."
The group's new paper is the first of a series related to sNGF and its benefits in the study of social relationships and behavior. "One of the things that makes sNGF so different is that it is related to positive attributes," Granger said. "So rather than being a risk marker, sNGF has the potential to index resilience. This research offers important insights that could revolutionize the way adaptive stress responses are understood and measured — not simply as activation in any one system, but as a pattern of activation across multiple, linked systems."
"Researchers at the University of Oregon continue to lead the way in prevention science," said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the UO Graduate School. "This valuable research by Dr. Laurent identifying a new means of measuring stress response is helping to yield critical insights into psychological health that may lead to new prevention and intervention strategies."
Laurent is a new faculty member in the UO's Department of Psychology and an adjunct faculty member at the ASU institute. At the time of the study, Laurent was at the University of Wyoming. Sean M. Laurent, an adjunct professor of psychology at the UO, also was a co-author.
The research was supported by faculty grant-in-aid from the University of Wyoming and a basic research grant from the UW College of Arts and Sciences.Read article >>
Several psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, autism and intellectual disabilities share the same brain cell abnormalities: the contacts (synapses) between brain cells are poorly developed and not functional.
Claudia Bagni and her group associated with the VIB, KU Leuven, and Tor Vergata University in Italy, in collaboration with leading laboratories in the Netherlands, France, USA and UK have unraveled how a single protein (CYFIP1) orchestrates two biological processes to form proper contacts between brain cells. Importantly, the researchers identified various proteins that are important for the balance of the two processes and associated with several neurological disorders. Their study is published in the leading journals Neuron.
Claudia Bagni (VIB/KU Leuven/Tor Vergata-Rome): “These findings provide insights into the shaping of our brain and have important consequences for further studies of conditions such as autism, schizophrenia and intellectual disabilities. This work has a substantial impact considering that 1 in 5 Europeans is confronted with one of these brain conditions ranging from mild to serious developmental disabilities."
The new study includes data from more than 32,000 people with one of the five disorders — including 3,303 people with autism and 9,087 people with schizophrenia — and more than 46,000 controls.
To examine heritability, the researchers compared the prevalence of nearly one million SNPs for each of the five disorders in people with disorders and matched controls. SNPs that are shared by the members of a group with a particular disorder — rather than those shared among both the group and controls — are likely to be involved in risk for that disorder.
Based on this analysis, about 20 percent of the risk for developing one of these disorders may be due to SNPs, the study found. The finding suggests that although most datasets are not large enough to find statistically significant associations, the links do exist.
The researchers also looked at similarities between the five disorders. Schizophrenia shows a high correlation with bipolar disorder — meaning several common variants impart risk for both of these disorders — an intermediate correlation with depression and only a slight correlation with autism. There is also a moderate correlation between ADHD and depression, and between bipolar disorder and depression.
Surprisingly, the researchers did not see a correlation between autism and bipolar disorder or ADHD.
Other factors, such as copy number variants — duplications or deletions of regions of the chromosome — or environmental influences may explain the co-occurrence of these disorders, the researchers say.Read article >>
Depression may be an independent risk factor for Parkinson’s disease, a new study has found.
In a retrospective analysis, researchers followed 4,634 patients with depression and 18,544 matched controls for 10 years. To rule out the possibility that depression is an early symptom of Parkinson’s disease, their analysis excluded patients who received a diagnosis of depression within five years of their Parkinson’s diagnosis. The average age of people with depression was 41, while it was 64 for those with both depression and Parkinson’s.
study, published online in Neurology, found that 66 patients with depression, or 1.42 percent, developed Parkinson’s disease, compared with 97, or 0.52 percent, among those who were not depressed. After controlling for age, sex, diabetes, hypertension and other factors, the researchers found clinical depression was associated with more than three times the risk for Parkinson’s disease.
“Our paper does not convey the message that all depression leads to Parkinson’s disease,” said the senior author, Dr. Albert C. Yang, a professor of psychiatry at the National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan. “But particularly the depressed elderly and those with difficult-to-treat depression should be alert to the possibility of neurological disease and Parkinson’s.”Read article >>
Researchers say it’s clear that some cases of autism are hereditary, but have struggled to draw direct links between the condition and particular genes. Now a team at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has devised a process for connecting a suspect gene to its function in autism.
In a report in the Sept. 25 issue of Nature Communications, the scientists say mutations in one such autism-linked gene, dubbed NHE9, which is involved in transporting substances in and out of structures within the cell, causes communication problems among brain cells that likely contribute to autism.
“Autism is considered one of the most inheritable neurological disorders, but it is also the most complex,” says Rajini Rao, Ph.D., a professor of physiology in the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “There are hundreds of candidate genes to sort through, and a single genetic variant may have different effects even within the same family. This makes it difficult to separate the chaff from the grain, to distinguish harmless variations from disease-causing mutations. We were able to use a new process to screen variants in one candidate gene that has been linked to autism, and figure out how they might contribute to the disorder.”
An estimated one in 88 children in the United States is affected by autism spectrum disorders, a group of neurological development conditions marked by varying degrees of social, communication and behavioral problems. Scientists for years have looked for the biological roots of the problem using tools such as genome-wide association studies and gene-linkage analysis, which crunch genetic and health data from thousands of people in an effort to pinpoint disease-causing genetic variants. But while such techniques have turned up a number of gene mutations that may be linked to autism, none of them appear in more than 1 percent of people with the condition. With numbers that low, researchers need a way to screen variants in order to make a definitive link, Rao says.
For the new study, Rao and her collaborators focused on NHE9, which other researchers had flagged as a suspect in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, addiction and epilepsy as well as autism spectrum disorders. The gene was already known to be involved in transporting hydrogen, sodium and potassium ions in and out of cellular compartments called endosomes, and the team wondered how this function might be related to neurological conditions.
Rao’s collaborators at Tel Aviv University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology constructed a computer model of the NHE9 protein based on previous research on a distant relative in bacteria. They then used the model to predict how autism-linked variants in the NHE9 gene would affect the protein’s shape and function. Some of them were predicted to cause dramatic changes, while other changes appeared to be more subtle.
Rao’s team next tested how these variant forms of NHE9 would affect a relatively simple organism often used in genetic studies: yeast. “Using yeast to screen the function of variants was a quick, easy and inexpensive way of figuring out which were worth further study, and which we could ignore because they didn’t have any effect,” Rao says. To do that, the team engineered the yeast form of NHE9 to have the variants seen in autistic people.
For those mutations that did have a detectable effect on the yeast, the team moved on to a third and more challenging step, in mouse brains. They homed in on astrocytes, a type of brain cell that clears the signaling molecule glutamate out of the way after it has performed its job of delivering a message across a synapse between two nerve cells. Using lab-grown mouse astrocytes with variant forms of NHE9, the researchers found a change in the pH (acidity) inside cellular compartments called endosomes, which in turn altered the ability of cells to take up glutamate. Because endosomes are the vehicles that deliver cargo essential for communication between brain cells, changing their pH alters traffic to and from the cell surface, which could affect learning and memory, Rao says. “Elevated glutamate levels are known to trigger seizures, perhaps explaining why autistic patients with mutations in NHE9 and related genes also have seizures,” she notes.
Rao and her team hope that pinpointing the importance of this trafficking mechanism in autism spectrum disorders may lead to the development of new drugs for autism that alter endosomal pH. As the use of genomic data becomes increasingly commonplace in the future, the step-wise strategy devised by her team can be used to screen gene variants and identify at-risk patients, she says.Read article >>
The CDC has ranked suicide as the 11th leading cause of death among persons over age 10 (33,289 suicide deaths were reported in the US in 2009).