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More Than 2 Million In NIH Grants To Barrow Researchers For Nicotine Studies

Four scientists at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center have been awarded more than $2.2 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research the effects of nicotine and develop new tobacco-related drug therapies. The grants will fund three separate research projects at the Phoenix-based institute in the next several years. Ronald J. Lukas, PhD and Vice President of Research at Barrow, is one of the world's leading experts on nicotine and has spent much of his research career studying its impact. Lukas' research lab, shared by Paul Whiteaker, PhD, is the main recipient of the funding. The Barrow laboratories of Jie Wu, MD, PhD, and Yongchang Chang, MD, PhD, also will receive funding from the grants.

Childhood Traumas Linger As Health Risk Factors For Adults

Research from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London has found that negative experiences in childhood may alter not only mental health but also physical health, into middle age and beyond. 1, 000 individuals have been followed from birth to age 32 as part of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study in New Zealand. This latest research from the study suggests that sustained health risks stem from childhood abuse, neglect, social isolation or economic hardship. The findings, which appear in the December issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, suggest that childhood experiences can affect nervous, immune and endocrine functioning, which agrees with earlier findings in animal experiments.

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Could Acetaminophen Ease Psychological Pain?

Headaches and heartaches. Broken bones and broken spirits. Hurting bodies and hurt feelings. We often use the same words to describe physical and mental pain. Over-the-counter pain relieving drugs have long been used to alleviate physical pain, while a host of other medications have been employed in the treatment of depression and anxiety. But is it possible that a common painkiller could serve double duty, easing not just the physical pains of sore joints and headaches, but also the pain of social rejection? A research team led by psychologist C. Nathan DeWall of the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology has uncovered evidence indicating that acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) may blunt social pain.

Severely Depressive Patient Successfully Treated Using Deep Brain Stimulation

A team of neurosurgeons at Heidelberg University Hospital and psychiatrists at the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim have for the first time successfully treated a patient suffering from severe depression by stimulating the habenula, a tiny nerve structure in the brain. The 64-year-old woman, who had suffered from depression since age 18, could not be helped by medication or electroconvulsive therapy. Since the procedure she is, for the first time in years, free of symptoms. Scientific studies have shown that the habenula is hyperactive in depression, the idea was to downregulate this structure by deep brain stimulation. The surgical procedure is based on a hypothesis of how the habenula is involved in depression that was first formulated by Dr.

Mental Health America Calls On President To Reverse Policy Of Not Sending Condolence Letters To Families Of Soldiers Who Complete Suicide

Mental Health America is calling on President Obama to reverse a long-standing, unwritten policy of not sending Presidential letters of condolence to the families of service members who have completed suicide. A resolution adopted by Mental Health America's Board of Directors states that a condolence letter can help eliminate the stigma and shame associated with suicide and provide emotional support to families. "The lack of acknowledgment and condolence from the President can leave these families with an emotional vacuum and a feeling that somehow their sacrifices may not have been as great as others who died while in the military, " the resolution states.

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Depression Survey: Implications For Diverse Communities

Americans do not believe that they know much about depression, but are highly aware of the risks of not receiving care, according to a survey released in November by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). See full survey results at, an interactive Web site that includes resources for people of diverse communities. Though depression is a common and highly treatable medical illness, research demonstrates that people of different cultural groups are at increased risk for untreated depression and suicide. - One in five Latina teenagers in the United States has seriously considered or attempted suicide.

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