Dana News Email Blast: 9/22

Below is the Dana news email blast, sent earlier today. You can sign up to receive this (and other Dana email alerts and/or print publications) by going here.

From Lab Bench to Court Bench

by Cindy S. Lederman, J.D.

Until about a decade ago, juvenile court decisions were routinely made without taking into consideration the needs of toddlers and infants. The Miami Child Well-Being Court program, a partnership of clinicians and judges, has brought science into the courtroom, making it integral to the decision-making process and working to ensure that the needs of the child are met.

A complementary article, "Effects of Stress on the Developing Brain," by Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D., takes an in-depth look at the science involved. Early-life stress can lead to long-lasting behavioral, mental, and physical consequences. Fortunately, preventive measures can improve health outcomes, and while interventions for those who have already experienced debilitating early-life stress require considerable effort, they remain possible thanks to the brain's plasticity. From Cerebrum, our online magazine of ideas.

Football-Related Neurodegenerative Syndrome Creates Anxiety — And Controversy

Findings of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in some former athletes may reflect a hidden epidemic. But some researchers caution that research on this condition is still in its early stages.

See also: Dana Press Blog: Sports-Related Concussions in the News

The Arts of Neuroscientists

In the life and work of Alzheimer's researcher and Dana Alliance member Rudy Tanzi, the practices of music and brain science are entwined. First in a series of conversations with Alliance members about their artistic pursuits.

New Army Risk and Resilience Project Searches for Signs of Potential Suicide

Using the Framingham Heart Study as a model, the U.S. Army and the NIMH have begun a wide-ranging project aiming to find biomarkers for higher risk of suicide and interventions that better prevent it.

Ignorance and the Undertreatment of Addiction: Lessons from Prison

Dana grantee Charles P. O’Brien works with parolees who have a history of addiction and relapse. His research using naltrexone to combat alcoholism and drug addiction has shown good results, but he is frustrated at the reluctance of many doctors to treat addiction with medication. He hopes his research “will convince judges, prosecutors, and parole officers that naltrexone will help addicts stay off drugs, help prisons empty out a bit, and save a lot of money.”

Screening Kids for Treatable Problems

Screening school children for ADHD and depression, among other things, could prevent unnecessary burdens, says Guy McKhann, professor of neurology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University.

See also: Brain in the News — scientifically vetted stories from around the Web, updated weekly

Secrets of Aging

What does a normally aging brain look like? Are diseases of aging such as Alzheimers inevitable? Dana Alliance member Carol Barnes reviews the data, and her career, in this detailed article on TheScientist.com. [off-site link]

Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World

New York Times reporter Amy Harmon spent a year with Justin Canha, a young man with autism who is part of a new transition program to help ready him for an independent life as an adult. He, his family, and people in his community share honestly how the experience unfolded. [off-site link]

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