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by Marisa Toups, M.D., and Madhukar H. Trivedi, M.D.
There is currently no way to determine which antidepressant will work best for a given patient, which means that many people continue to suffer while their doctors try a series of medications. Many researchers have now focused their efforts on developing biomarkers for depression — tests for aspects of a patient's physiology that can predict a clinical outcome. In the future, doctors may be able to screen patients to determine which treatment options will work for them, reducing the time a patient must continue to live with the effects of depression. From Cerebrum, our online magazine of ideas.
Once just a technique to map brain circuits, the magnetic coil has moved to the clinic. Already approved to treat severe depression, the method may also hold promise for other illnesses.
We've made extraordinary progress in understanding the structure and organization of memory, writes Larry Squire. One of our series of Reports on Progress. See also: New studies add to evidence of brain differences in autism, an update on an earlier Report on Progress.
This book is "a valuable contribution to the general literature about real people, their real experiences with mental illness and psychiatric care, and the knowledge we have accumulated about all of it," says reviewer Dean F. MacKinnon of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
We may need to update the old adage, "you are what you eat" to "you are how you eat." Researchers find that while overeating can harm the brain, intermittent fasting may protect or improve its connections.
When Stanley Froehner isn't in the lab teasing out the finer points of dystrophin, a protein complex implicated in muscular dystrophies, he enjoys taking photos of everything from jazz performers to Alaskan fjords. His work has appeared on the covers of Journal of Neurophysiology and Seattle Real Change newspaper. See also: The Arts of Neuroscientists: Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D.
Much of the damage caused by stroke results from gradual processes, which might be reversible. Scientists are trying compounds that block receptors and methods of cooling the overtaxed brain.
An upcoming trial takes advantage of a rare opportunity to study Alzheimer's, in the hopes of designing a drug that can prevent the disease. Researchers may only have one shot to get valuable information, says Guy McKhann, professor of neurology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University.