Relationship Between Academic Environment and the Mental Health of Students

Raymond Cheung ‘22 Researchers at the University of Munich and other universities analyzed the effect of a high-achieving environment on the mental health of students. Their work is vital because it provides insight into how a high-performing environment can harm the academic development and mental wellbeing of students. In the study, the researchers analyzed the responses of over 7,700 German school students with regards to … Continue reading Relationship Between Academic Environment and the Mental Health of Students

CYFIP1 is Gene Responsible for Movement Impairments in Autism

Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 Researchers from Cardiff University in the UK discovered a link between the CYFIP1 gene and developmental movement impairments in autism. The group concluded that this genetic mutation leads to alterations in developing brain cells, causing motor problems linked to motor learning difficulties at a young age. This, however, may be able to be reversed through behavioral training. People with autism tend to … Continue reading CYFIP1 is Gene Responsible for Movement Impairments in Autism

Neural Timescales as a Possible Autism Diagnostic Tool

Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 Takamitsu Watanabe and his research team in the RIKEN Center for Brain Science in Tokyo, Japan, found that neural ‘time windows’, the limited time during which development can be accomplished, in certain areas of the brain play a role in the cognitive symptoms of autism. A brain imaging study involving adults was used to observe the severity of autistic symptoms and how … Continue reading Neural Timescales as a Possible Autism Diagnostic Tool

Positive Attitudes During Pregnancy Impact Child Development

Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 A recent longitudinal study, conducted at the University of Bristol, suggests that having a positive attitude during pregnancy has a strong impact on child development later in life. Researchers used data from Bristol’s “Children of the 90s” study, which involved a questionnaire given to over 1600 pregnant women. The researchers also administered specially designed tests to study the mathematical and scientific problem-solving … Continue reading Positive Attitudes During Pregnancy Impact Child Development

The link between symptoms of depression in children and involvement in sports

By Kavindra Sahabir ‘21 Depression is an issue that is rapidly becoming more and more common in modern day society, even among preadolescents. Many studies have been conducted that show a correlation between a dip in depressive symptoms with an increase in physical activity, yet such an effect had not been measured in those below the ages of 9 to 11. In this study conducted … Continue reading The link between symptoms of depression in children and involvement in sports

Neural Communication Patterns Found in the Brains of Children with Autism

By Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 A team of researchers at San Diego State University studying MRI scans of school-age children’s brains recently discovered a unique communication pattern involving the amygdala in the brains of children with autism. This pattern involved unexpected detours and exits within the travel of information from one region of the brain to the other. It was shown that in children with autism, … Continue reading Neural Communication Patterns Found in the Brains of Children with Autism

A Novel Approach to Treating Psychopathy Associated with Huntington’s Disease.

By Snigdha Kanadibhotla ‘21 Characterized by uncontrollable and spastic movements, Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that is estimated to affect about 1 in 10,000 people in the United States (1). HD has pervasive effects that damage neurons in brain regions associated with mobility, emotion, and intellectual capacity leading to symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and difficulty learning. Despite its complex and varied … Continue reading A Novel Approach to Treating Psychopathy Associated with Huntington’s Disease.

Figure 1. Enzyme that plays a role in memory loss can be inhibited to treat Alzheimer’s disease

Disrupting Enzyme To Tackle Alzheimer’s Disease

By Rideeta Raquib ’19 From histone modifications to DNA alterations, epigenetic processes play a major role in various physiological systems. Histones are proteins in eukaryotic cells that package DNA strands into nucleosomes. Gene regulation processes include histone acetylation, whereby an acetyl group is transferred from one molecule to another. This eventually removes the positive charge on the histones, giving nucleosomes a relaxed structure and allowing … Continue reading Disrupting Enzyme To Tackle Alzheimer’s Disease

A New Model for Group Decision-Making

By Anna Tarasova ’19 Making a decision in a group requires integrating individual and group beliefs. It has been previously demonstrated that one is more likely to assign greater credibility to the beliefs of a larger group than to those of a smaller group. Prior researchers have also theorized that the adoption of group beliefs by individuals is driven by a desire to mitigate potential … Continue reading A New Model for Group Decision-Making

Figure 1: Defensiveness is a common symptom of ASD, manifesting in anxiety, social deficits, or other behavioral and psychological symptoms.

A Potential Mechanism Explaining Tactile Defensiveness in Autism

By Anna Tarasova ’19 Hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli is frequently an aspect of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and can lead to defensiveness against touch and other sensory stimuli. This can contribute to hyperactivity and lead to inattention, learning difficulties, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and many other symptoms of autism. Although the mechanism of this phenomenon has long been unknown, Dr. Cynthia He and her colleagues at … Continue reading A Potential Mechanism Explaining Tactile Defensiveness in Autism