clinical updates

Time to “just say no” to behavior-calming drugs for Alzheimer patients? Experts say yes

Doctors write millions of prescriptions a year for drugs to calm the behavior of people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. But non-drug approaches actually work better, and carry far fewer risks, experts conclude in a new report.

In fact, non-drug approaches should be the first choice for treating dementia patients' common symptoms such as irritability, agitation, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, aggression, apathy and delusions, say the researchers in a paper just published by the British Medical Journal.

clinical updates

Study Offers Clues to Early Detection of Bipolar Disorders in High-Risk Children

New research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry indicates a strong link between subthreshold manic episodes and likelihood of developing bipolar disorder in children of parents with bipolar disorder. The study's findings could improve clinical assessment and care for these high-risk children by potentially enabling earlier identification, treatment or possible preventive measures.

research news

Nice to Sniff You: Handshakes May Engage Our Sense of Smell

People sniff their hands twice as much after a handshake, according to a new study

Why do people shake hands? A new Weizmann Institute study suggests one of the reasons for this ancient custom may be to check out each other's odors. Even if we are not consciously aware of this, handshaking may provide people with a socially acceptable way of communicating via the sense of smell.

research news

Neuron Groups, Not Single Cells, Maintain Brain Stability

Researchers find neural networks preserve memories better than individual neurons

To compensate for erratic shifts and spikes in its neuronal communications, the brain relies on the stabilizing "homeostasis" mechanism — the ability to maintain relatively stable equilibrium between different elements of its composition — to preserve overall network function. Disruptions in stability cause disorders such as epilepsy, but precious little is known about this macro-level regulatory phenomenon.

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