New Research Shows Childhood Adversity Causes Changes in Genetics

In a look at how major stressors during childhood can change a person’s biological risk for psychiatric disorders, researchers at Butler Hospital have discovered a genetic alteration at the root of the association. The research, published online in PLoS ONE on January 25, 2012, suggests that childhood adversity may lead to epigenetic changes in the human glucocorticoid receptor gene, an important regulator of the biological stress response that may increase risk for psychiatric disorders. Continue reading

Flipping a Light Switch in the Cell: Quantum Dots Used for Targeted Neural Activation

New technique holds promise for better understanding of brain disorders

IMAGE: Optically excited quantum dots in close proximity to a cell control the opening of ion channels. Continue reading

Probiotics May Help Alleviate Anxiety, Depression

In recent years, probiotic bacteria have been touted as an alternative medicine to relieve gastrointestinal issues, like indigestion, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome. Now, researchers believe that the healthy microbes may also be good for the mind.

In a mouse model, scientists from University College Cork and McMaster University found that rodents that consumed probiotic-enriched food displayed fewer symptoms and signs of depression and anxiety when compared to a control group.

“These findings highlight the important role that gut bacteria play in the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain, the gut-brain axis, and opens up the intriguing opportunity of developing unique microbial-based strategies for treatment  Continue reading

How a Physician Cured Her Son’s Autism…

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride has a full-time medical practice in the United Kingdom where she treats children and adults with autism, learning disabilities, neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders, immune disorders, and digestive problems.

Here, she shares her insights about Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), which can make a child particularly prone to vaccine damage, and the GAPS Nutritional program; a natural treatment for autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression and schizophrenia.

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Natasha Campbell-McBride Interview Video Transcript

I’m thrilled to share this interview with you as Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride presents a truly fascinating and elegant description of the foundational conditions that contribute to autism, along with a pragmatic approach to help circumvent and stem the autism epidemic, which has been a perplexing puzzle for most of us.

Dr. Campbell is a medical doctor with a postgraduate degree in neurology. She worked as a neurologist and a neurosurgeon for several years before starting a family. When her first-born son was diagnosed autistic at the age of three, she was surprised to realize that her own profession had no answers… Continue reading

Study Finds Anxiety Begins in your Gut and not Head

We’re all familiar with the term “gut feeling”. As it turns out, the term may be more apt than we realize. In recent years, research has increasingly identified the role the gut can have on mood and behavior, leading many scientists to refer to the gut as the “second brain”. Now, for the first time, researchers have found conclusive evidence that conditions such as anxiety can originate in the gut instead of the brain.

In a study just published in the journal Gastroenterology, researchers at McMaster University found that bacteria residing in the gut influence brain chemistry and behavior. The research is important because several common types of gastrointestinal disease are frequently associated with anxiety or depression. In addition there has been speculation that some psychiatric disorders Continue reading