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Each week, BioMed Radio offers focused three-minute radio segments on hot topics in medical and health sciences research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, a worldwide leader in biomedical research.
 
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Adults and teenagers with clinical depression don’t respond to rewards in a normal manner. Their moods are less enthusiastic, and their brains don’t act the same way as those in adults and adolescents who are not depressed. Although depression has been diagnosed in children as young as 3, it hasn’t been clear whether the responses of very young ...…
 
Vision problems can be caused by neurofibromatosis. Kids with mutations in the NF1 gene that causes neurofibromatosis often develop tumors on the optic nerve, but not all of them develop vision problems. Interestingly, Washington University researchers previously had learned that girls with tumors on the nerve were five to 10 times more likely ...…
 
Using MRIs, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified areas in the brains of children with Tourette�s syndrome that appear markedly different from the same areas in the brains of children who don�t have the neuropsychiatric disorder. RESEARCHERS AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN ST. LOUIS ...…
 
As part of the White House Brain Initiative, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received two grants to develop tools to map and activate pathways in the brain with light. With $3.8 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the researchers, with collaborators at the University of Cali ...…
 
Treatment-resistant depression is a big problem for older adults. More than half of seniors with clinical depression don�t get relief from standard antidepressant medications. To address that problem, psychiatrists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are helming a multicenter study to evaluate the efficacy of supplementing ...…
 
Children with sickle cell disease frequently have painful episodes that can require hospitalization for a few days. Physicians want to treat those episodes quickly to eliminate pain and get a child back home and back to school as quickly as possible, and now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that u ...…
 
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will play a major role in the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in U.S. history. The landmark study will follow the biological and behavioral development of more than 10,000 children, beginning when the kids are 9 to 10 years old. Scientists studyin ...…
 
Quitting smoking improves health and lowers odds of developing lung cancer. But a new study shows that even among smokers with a genetic predisposition to smoking heavily and developing young cancer at a young age, the benefits of quitting are significant. An international study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in ...…
 
In search of genetic clues regarding autism spectrum disorder, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are launching a study focused on grandmothers. Autism has a strong genetic basis, and rates of the disorder may be higher in the grandchildren of women who had at least one child with an autism spectrum disorder th ...…
 
A new study reveals that some eye specialists who receive money from pharmaceutical companies are more likely to use drugs promoted by those companies than similar drugs that are equally effective but less expensive. Although the data can�t confirm a cause and effect between money from industry and the prescribing habits of some physicians, res ...…
 
Researchers have found how sensory nerve cells work together to transmit itch signals from the skin to the spinal cord, where neurons then carry those signals to the brain. Their discovery may explain why some people experience various types of itching, including chronic itching, and help scientists find ways to make some types of itching stop. ...…
 
Scientists� understanding of the genetic roots of breast cancer is based largely on research conducted in women of European ancestry. But that knowledge does little to explain why African-American women with breast cancer are more likely to be diagnosed at younger ages and with more aggressive tumors than their white counterparts. Researchers a ...…
 
A program aimed at helping abused and neglected children and their families is improving short-term outcomes for kids and providing children with stable home environments as their cases move through the courts. The program is for children and families whose cases ended up in court. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. ...…
 
As young people reach adulthood, their preferences for sweet foods typically decline. But for people with obesity, new research suggests that the drop off may not be as steep and that the brain�s reward system is operating differently in obese people than in thinner people, which may play a role in this phenomenon. AS WE GET OLDER, WE TEND TO H ...…
 
With more U.S. states legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana use, the number of adults using the drug has increased. But a survey of more than 216,000 adolescents from all 50 states indicates the rates of marijuana use are falling among the young. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis examined data on drug use co ...…
 
People who suffer itching with no clear cause may have defects in their immune systems that haven�t been recognized. In a small study of patients who struggle with itching but have no known cause, researchers from the Center for the Study of Itch at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis identified several immune system irregular ...…
 
There is news almost every day about the epidemic of opioid drug use in the United States. Some 65 percent of heroin users report that they used prescription opioids first and then made the switch to heroin. And current estimates are that 4-20 percent of all opioid pills prescribed in the United States actually are taken for nonmedical reasons. ...…
 
State laws designed to help teens gradually ease into full driving privileges may have an unintended benefit: They appear to lower rates of teen alcohol consumption and binge drinking. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that in states with stricter graduated driver licensing laws, there not only is l ...…
 
Going to the doctor can be a frightening experience for some kids, and a visit to the psychiatrist can be even more unnerving. So a Washington University psychiatrist has written a children�s book about what happens on a visit to the psychiatrist�s office and why some kids receive psychiatric care. The idea is to make the experience of going to ...…
 
Some cases of diabetes are caused by mutations to a single gene, In studies of such cases, a team of Washington University researchers has identified the way that those genetic mutations cause problems. Although most people with the genetic form of diabetes called Mature-Onset Diabetes of the Young 1, seem to have clinical symptoms that are ver ...…
 
Diabetes-related vision loss most often is blamed on blood vessel damage in and around the retina, but new research indicates that much of that vision loss may result from nerve cell injury and probably begins long before any blood vessels are damaged. The findings � from scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis � may ...…
 
Washington University researchers studying the interplay between depression and heart disease are studying whether dietary supplements called omega-3 fatty acids can be of benefit to people suffering from both ailments. Levels of omega-3 tend to be lower in the blood cells of heart patients and depressed patients. So the researchers attempted t ...…
 
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received almost $12 million in grants to resume the landmark Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study (OHTS), which concluded that lowering pressure in the eye prevents or delays glaucoma in some patients at high risk for the disease. Washington University researchers led the ...…
 
Some people need to lose a lot of weight to be healthy, but for many, diets haven�t worked and bariatric surgery seems too big a step. This population is the target of a newly approved, nonsurgical therapy being performed by Washington University physicians at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. The therapy involves placing special balloons int ...…
 
The phenomenon scientists call �delay discounting� can tell a lot about a person�s ability to set and attain goals. Some people are more likely to prefer smaller but immediate rewards rather than larger but delayed rewards. The tendency to prefer immediate rewards, even if they are smaller, has been linked to impulsive behavior, which is connec ...…
 
Building on wireless technology that has the potential to interfere with pain, scientists have developed flexible, implantable devices that can activate � and, in theory, block � pain signals in the body and spinal cord before those signals reach the brain. The researchers, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Univer ...…
 
The retina�s rods and cones allow us to see. But although scientists have an idea of what makes rods perform and flourish, they�ve been in the dark somewhat about what keeps cones working and thriving. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis believe they�re closer to the answer and that their findings may one d ...…
 
A study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis may aid efforts to tailor smoking-cessation treatments to cigarette smokers, based on their DNA. The researchers are recruiting 720 smokers from the St. Louis area who want to kick the habit. Study participants will provide DNA samples, from saliva, that will be analyzed to identi ...…
 
Babies born prematurely face an increased risk of neurological and psychiatric problems that may be due to weakened connections in brain networks linked to attention, communication and the processing of emotions, new research shows. In presentations at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Cynthia Rogers, MD, a child psychiatrist ...…
 
Methadone � long used to treat pain and addiction � can be lethal if it lingers too long in the body. People metabolize the drug differently, and researchers have not completely understood how a person�s genetic makeup influences how slowly or rapidly methadone is cleared. But new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Loui ...…
 
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis recently reported they had discovered genetic evidence suggesting schizophrenia was not a single disease but a group of eight genetically distinct disorders, each with its own symptoms. Now, using advanced brain-imaging techniques, they�ve been able to match groups of patients ...…
 
Building on a growing body of work that suggests dietary nitrate improves muscle performance in elite athletes, a team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has found that concentrated beet juice, which is high in nitrates, increases muscle power in patients who have heart failure. Because many of the activitie ...…
 
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are recruiting volunteers for a study comparing the potential health and longevity benefits of the Mediterranean diet with a typical American diet. The study�s aim is to determine whether health and longevity are influenced more by healthy eating or by weight loss. People tend ...…
 
Positive mentions on Twitter about hookah smoking may promote the assumption that it is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. In recent years, hookah smoking has increased in popularity, particularly among young adults. According to the Centers for Disease Contr ...…
 
Shedding light on possible contributors to autism, schizophrenia and other neuro-psychiatric disorders, Washington University researchers have found that a type of support cell in the brain, called an astrocyte, may play a role in the ability of neurons to communicate. The scientists found, in culture, that without astrocytes, communication bet ...…
 
Women who have gastric bypass surgery to lose weight should keep a close eye on their alcohol consumption, according to a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Researchers found that changes in how alcohol is metabolized after surgery can speed its delivery into the bloodstream, resulting in earlier and higher peaks in ...…
 
Exercise and mindfulness often are associated with reduced stress. That can be good for a person�s heart and mood. Now Washington University researchers are leading an effort to learn whether those activities also might be good for one�s memory. The investigators are studying the effects of exercise and mindfulness training on cognitive functio ...…
 
Babies born prematurely are at an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders, so researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children�s Hospital have been trying to determine whether it�s possible to identify which babies may go on to develop those problems. They assessed babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, l ...…
 
The amount of acid in a person�s urine, and small molecules related to diet, may help predict how likely it is that an individual will develop a urinary tract infection. Conventional wisdom in medicine has favored the idea that acidic urine should be better at restricting bacterial growth than less acidic urine. But Washington University School ...…
 
A team of Washington University vision researchers is the first to identify a specific type of cell in the eye that appears to be responsible for the ability to detect motion. Studying retinas in mice, the researchers identified a specific type of cell that transmits information when the retina detects moving objects. When something is moving i ...…
 
A newly discovered link between bacteria and immune cells may be a significant contributor to inflammatory bowel disease, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. SCIENTISTS AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN ST. LOUIS AND THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HAVE FOUND A NEW WAY THAT BACTERIA CAN INT ...…
 
Patients with HIV are not in immediate danger of death anymore. Instead, thanks to antiretroviral therapy, most relatively live normal lives for many years. However, the combination of HIV and the drugs used to treat it leads many HIV-positive patients to develop lipid problems, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The search for treat ...…
 
Smokers with a specific genetic variation are more likely to keep smoking longer than those who don�t have the gene variant. They�re also more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer at a younger age, according to new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. SMOKERS WITH A SPECIFIC GENE VARIANT ARE LIKELY TO KEEP SMO ...…
 
Antibiotic resistance is poised to spread rapidly around the globe among bacteria frequently implicated in respiratory and urinary infections, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. A STUDY FROM RESEARCHERS AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN ST. LOUIS, BARNES-JEWISH HOSPITAL AND THE NATIO ...…
 
Evaluating military personnel with traumatic brain injuries, Washington University School of Medicine researchers have found that early symptoms of post-traumatic stress, such as anxiety, sadness and irritability are the strongest predictors of later disability. The results were surprising because mental health more closely correlated with disa ...…
 
An investigational drug appears to cut the risk of severe asthma attacks in half for patients who have difficulty controlling the disorder with standard medications. That’s according to a pair of multicenter clinical trials, headed by asthma researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. BY DEFINITION, PATIENTS WITH HARD- ...…
 
The DNA of bacteria that live in the body can pass a trait to offspring in a way similar to the parents� own DNA, a new mouse study suggests. According to the study�s authors, the discovery means scientists need to consider a significant new factor � microbial DNA� in their efforts to understand how genes influence illness and health. WASHINGTO ...…
 
Building on the work of the Human Connectome Project, which is identifying the neural pathways that underlie brain function and behavior, a new study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is aiming to identify how those pathways are different in people with psychiatric illnesses. Researchers are using high-resolution imaging ...…
 
Enzymes linked to diabetes and obesity appear to play key roles in arthritis and leukemia, potentially opening up new avenues for treating these diverse diseases, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. A STRUCTURE IN CELLS THAT MAKES KEY ENZYMES PREVIOUSLY LINKED TO DIABETES AND OBESITY, ALSO APPEARS ...…
 
A study in which more than 43,000 children were evaluated for head trauma offers an unprecedented picture of how children most frequently suffer head injuries, report physicians at Washington University School of Medicine and the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine. IN A STUDY OF CHILDREN EVALUATED AT HOSPITALS FOR HEAD TRAUMA, ...…
 
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