Mental Health

1:21am

Thu November 8, 2012
Shots - Health News

The Beatles' Surprising Contribution To Brain Science

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 9:18 am

The Beatles rehearse for that night's Royal Variety Performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1963.
Central/Hulton Achive/Getty Images

The same brain system that controls our muscles also helps us remember music, scientists say.

When we listen to a new musical phrase, it is the brain's motor system — not areas involved in hearing — that helps us remember what we've heard, researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans last month.

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10:05am

Mon October 15, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Brain Scientists Uncover New Links Between Stress And Depression

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:10 am

Scientists say they're learning more about how to keep stress from damaging mental health.
iStockphoto.com

Even extreme stress doesn't have to get you down.

That's the message from brain scientists studying the relationship between stress and problems such as depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Researchers at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans presented studies showing how stress caused by everything from battlefield trauma to bullying can alter brain circuitry in ways that have long-term effects on mental health.

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3:12pm

Thu October 4, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Ketamine Relieves Depression By Restoring Brain Connections

A rat neuron before (top) and after (bottom) ketamine treatment. The increased number of orange nodes are restored connections in the rat's brain.
Ronald Duman/Yale University

Scientists say they have figured out how an experimental drug called ketamine is able to relieve major depression in hours instead of weeks.

Researchers from Yale and the National Institute of Mental Health say ketamine seems to cause a burst of new connections to form between nerve cells in parts of the brain involved in emotion and mood.

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1:32am

Mon October 1, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Nail Biting: Mental Disorder Or Just A Bad Habit?

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 7:54 am

Pathological nail biting may be a form of grooming on steroids, but it also makes the biter feel good, unlike fear-driven OCD.
Andrea Kissack for KQED

Do you bite your nails? For 30 years, I did. We nail biters can be "pathological groomers" — people for whom normal grooming behaviors, like skin picking or hair pulling, have become virtually uncontrollable.

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9:51am

Tue September 11, 2012
National Security

Can Counseling Complicate Your Security Clearance?

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 7:57 pm

To get security clearance for jobs in the military or the government, applicants must say whether they've undergone counseling in recent years. Some experts say this question — known as Question 21 — is discouraging people from applying for jobs or from getting help.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Jennifer Norris was a devoted member of the Maine National Guard.

"I was ecstatic. I absolutely loved serving in the military," she says.

Norris still wanted a career in the Guard even after she was sexually assaulted by other members of the military. After she was raped, she says she got psychological counseling.

But then it came time to renew the security clearance she needed for her job as a satellite communications technician. One question on the form — Question 21 — asked whether she'd sought help from a mental health professional over the past seven years.

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