Development of brain connections altered in autism.

White matter, the part of the brain consisting largely of nerve bundles connecting cortical areas, develops with a specific trajectory over the lifespan. New work from the Department of Psychiatry has now revealed that this trajectory may be altered in people on the autism spectrum. The paper, published in “Translational Psychiatry”, also studied the siblings of individuals […]

Antidepressants and the adolescent brain – a review

The Journal of Psychopharmacology recently published a review in which Dr Lesley Cousins and Professor Ian Goodyer discussed the impact of the antidepressant medication: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), on the developing adolescent brain. The authors begin by reviewing what is currently understood about brain development during adolescence and how depression may affect this process. […]

The role of the immune system in developing schizophrenia.

Mental disorders arise from a wide variety of causes, and recently researchers have been increasingly interested in the role of the immune system in causing neurological disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. This field of research, historically known as psychoneuroimmunology, is now referred to as immunopsychiatry, reflecting the understanding that it is not your moodiness […]

Binge drinking shown to be associated with increased reflection impulsivity.

Binge drinking, the ingestion of large amounts of ethanol followed by intermittent withdrawals, is associated with increased reflection impulsivity, the tendency to make decisions before enough evidence is accumulated. This was revealed by a study recently published in Addiction Biology by researchers in the BCNI. The researchers also showed that this increased reflection impulsivity was […]