Brain structure may play key role in psychosis

New research finds that having a larger choroid plexus, which is a vital brain structure, could be involved in psychosis.

Variations in the structure of the choroid plexus, which produces cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), could play a key role in psychosis.

A team that Dr. Paulo Lizano — of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA — led has now investigated this vital structure.

In doing so, they found that there could be a link between its size and the development of psychosis.

Full story at Medical News Today

Why does my face go red after drinking alcohol?

Some people develop a distinctive facial flush after drinking alcohol, when their face turns either slightly or very red. Why does this happen, and what does it mean?

This side effect of drinking alcohol is more common in people of East Asian descent. Although it does not cause immediate health problems, it may signal an increased risk of some serious health issues, such as high blood pressure and certain types of cancer.

In this article, we look at why some people experience facial flushing from alcohol, while others do not. We also look at the risks of this side effect and how to prevent it.

Full story at Medical News Today

Can Rick Simpson oil help treat cancer?

Rick Simpson oil is a cannabis extract that takes its name from the medical marijuana activist who created it. Simpson claims that applying the oil to cancer spots on his skin cleared the spots within days.

Rick Simpson oil (RSO) is unique in that it contains higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than other medical cannabis extracts.

Although there is some evidence to support the use of cannabis for aiding cancer treatment, the medical community needs more direct evidence of its safety and effectiveness in humans before making any firm claims.

Full story at Medical News Today

Boosting amino acid derivative may be a treatment for schizophrenia

Many psychiatric drugs act on the receptors or transporters of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. However, there is a great need for alternatives, and research is looking at other targets along the brain’s metabolic pathways. Lack of glycine betaine contributes to brain pathology in schizophrenia, and new research from the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) shows that betaine supplementation can counteract psychiatric symptoms in mice.

Betaine comes from a normal diet but is also synthesized in the body where it contributes to metabolism in various ways, including as an anti-inflammatory agent. Levels of betaine (glycine betaine or trimethylglycine) in the blood plasma of patients with schizophrenia has previously been found to be low, which suggested it is a possible therapeutic target.

In the new study, mice missing the Chdh gene, which is involved in making betaine, showed depressive behaviors and greatly reduced betaine levels in both the brain and blood. Betaine levels in the brain recovered when the it was given to the mice as a supplement in drinking water, demonstrating that betaine can pass through the blood-brain barrier.

Full story at Science Daily

What causes irritability?

When a person feels irritable, small things that would not usually bother them can make them feel annoyed or agitated. The resulting tension can make a person more sensitive to stressful situations.

Irritability is a common emotion. Many factors can cause or contribute to irritability, including life stress, a lack of sleep, low blood sugar levels, and hormonal changes.

Extreme irritability, or feeling irritable for an extended period, can sometimes indicate an underlying condition, such as an infection or diabetes. It may also be a sign of a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression.

Full story at Medical News Today