The NARSAD Feed: The Brain Illuminated, NARSAD Investigator Discoveries and Overeating

by Barbara Wheeler, NARSAD manager of communications and media relations

Check out the new NARSAD newsfeed on our website! Here are a few of the week’s “must reads” from the feed and other notables:

Study: Link Between Depression and Diabetes
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have discovered a relationship between depression and type 2 diabetes, two serious conditions in the United States.
 (Note: This is NARSAD-funded research. Dr. Alberto Ascherio, a NARSAD Independent Investigator, is part of the research team that made this discovery.)

An Odyssey Through the Brain, Illuminated by a Rainbow
Who has seen the mind? Neither you nor I — nor any of the legions of neuroscientists bent on opening the secrets of that invisible force, as powerful and erratic as the wind. The experts are definitely getting closer: the last few decades have produced an explosion of new techniques for probing the blobby, unprepossessing brain in search of the thinking, feeling, suffering, scheming mind.

Overeating, Like Drug Use, Rewards And Alters Brain
If you’ve ever wondered why it’s hard to stay on a diet, consider this observation from Ralph DiLeone, a brain scientist at Yale University: “The motivation to take cocaine in the case of a drug addict is probably engaging similar circuits that the motivation to eat is in a hungry person.”
(Note: Dr. DiLeone is a NARSAD Young Investigator)

Neuroscience of Instinct: How Animals Overcome Fear to Obtain Food
Now neuroscientists have found that other animals are capable of making similar instinctive safety decisions. In a study published online the week of Nov. 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of Washington researcher Jeansok Kim demonstrates that rats weigh their odds of safely retrieving food pellets placed at varying distances from a perceived predator.

A Fate That Narcissists Will Hate: Being Ignored
Narcissists, much to the surprise of many experts, are in the process of becoming an endangered species.
(Note: It looks like narcissists will no longer have their own listing among “Personality Disorders” in the psychiatric field’s “Bible” the Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV.)


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