Unraveling Individual Variability in Hormonal Mood Swings

Guest post by Brenda Patoine

The stereotype of women’s “inexplicable” mood swings has long provided fodder for comics and cartoonists, but for scientists trying to understand the underlying biology, hormonal depression is no joke.

Endocrine-related affective mood disorders show up in different forms in different phases of life, from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) during otherwise normal menstrual cycling, to post-partum depression following childbirth, to mood disruptions around and after menopause. Yet these disorders don’t affect all women, and in fact, most women do not experience them.

“How is it that some women experience a change in affective state as a result of hormones whereas a majority of women do not?” Peter Schmidt, M.D. asked in a July 8 webinar sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). “That really is the million-dollar question.”

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Former Dana Grantee’s Newly Published Study Hailed as the ‘Future of Bioelectronic Medicine’

Tracey_KevinThe Wall Street Journal recently highlighted former Dana grantee Kevin Tracey’s latest research.  The July 8th article, “The Future of Bioelectronic Medicine,” detailed Tracey’s newly published study, which is the first in-human investigation of implanted electronic devices as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.  Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disorder that occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, causing chronic swelling, inflammation, and joint pain.  The drugs currently used to manage the disease are not always effective, leaving many patients looking for other treatment options.  Continue reading

Dana/EDAB FENS Outreach Champions Announced

The European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) presents two Outreach Champion Awards with the Federation of European Neurosciences Societies (FENS) every two years at the biennial FENS Forum of Neuroscience. The 2016 winners were announced during an awards ceremony on July 4th at this year’s FENS Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Dana/EDAB Neuroscience Outreach Champion, also known as The David and Hillie Mahoney Award for an Individual’s Contribution to Outreach, is presented to a person who has significantly contributed to the promotion of brain awareness, through continued public outreach efforts for a period of three or more years. This year’s winner is Paul Bolam, emeritus professor and senior scientist at the Medical Research Council’s Brain Networks Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford. His outreach includes 75 talks over the last seven years, usually covering topics such as the aging brain and Parkinson’s disease.

edab fens president

From left to right: FENS President Monica DiLuca and Paul Bolam            Photo credit: Jesper Ludvigsen 

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Dana Newsletter: June

Here are some stories recently posted on www.dana.org:

cere_spotlight_Tracy_060116_contThe Neuro Funding Rollercoaster
by Harry M. Tracy, Ph.D.
Advances that have the potential to affect the quality of life for millions of people are very much dependent on the wild fluctuations of research and development funding from private and corporate lenders for cognitive neuroscience. From Cerebrum, our online magazine of ideas. Listen to a podcast interview with Dr. Tracy.

Growth Charts for Brain Development?
An early, prospective study suggests that pinpointing where children are on a scale of brain connectivity could tell doctors which child is at risk of developing problems. Continue reading

Dana News E-Blast: May

Here are some stories recently posted on www.dana.org:


cere_spot_0416_contImaging the Neural Symphony

Two-photon microscopy allows scientists to peer farther into the brain than ever before. Karel Svoboda, Ph.D., describes the advances that led to this remarkable breakthrough—one that is helping scientists better understand neural networks. From Cerebrum, our online magazine of ideas.

Team Science

By sharing information and combining data on psychiatric disorders, “we’re starting to nail down some real findings—reliable genetic associations that are meaningful, consistent, and measurable,” says one researcher.

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