Here is what I am reading today:

“In a potentially seismic move, the National Institute of Mental Health – the world’s biggest mental health research funder, has announced only two weeks before the launch of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual that it will be “re-orienting its research away from DSM categories”.

In the announcement, NIMH Director Thomas Insel says the DSM lacks validity and that “patients with mental disorders deserve better”.”

“”Just finding these metals isn’t the issue; it’s the levels that matter,” said study principal investigator S. Katharine Hammond, professor of environmental health sciences. “Some of the toxic metals are occurring at levels that could possibly have an effect in the long term.” Lipstick and lip gloss are of special concern because when they are not being blotted on tissue or left as kiss marks, they are ingested or absorbed, bit by bit, by the individual wearing them, the study authors said. “

“Dr Guy Barry from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland and Professor John Mattick from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research showed that levels of the long non-coding RNA called ‘Gomafu’ drop dramatically when a neuron is activated in the normal brain, causing a chain of other regulatory events to occur inside the cell.”

“”Scientists have long wondered whether aging occurs independently in the body’s various tissues or if it could be actively regulated by an organ in the body,” said senior author Dongsheng Cai, M.D., Ph.D., professor of molecular pharmacology at Einstein. “It’s clear from our study that many aspects of aging are controlled by the hypothalamus. What’s exciting is that it’s possible—at least in mice—to alter signaling within the hypothalamus to slow down the aging process and increase longevity.””

“The mutation is in the gene known as casein kinase I delta (CKIdelta). “This is the first gene in which mutations have been shown to cause a very typical form of migraine,” said senior investigator Louis J. Ptáček, an investigator at HHMI and a professor of neurology at UCSF. “It’s our initial glimpse into a black box that we don’t yet understand.””

“As a national leader in neonatology, UCSF’s mission is to initiate and rigorously pursue both basic science and clinical research to better treat, and one day eliminate, neonatal diseases. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital is one of the top ranked children’s hospitals in the country, and is committed to training physician-scientists to investigate human development and the root causes of congenital anomalies. “The findings are a significant advance in developmental biology that will help to understand the basis of certain birth defects that alter the number or specification of fingers and toes,” said David Rowitch, MD, PhD, chief of neonatology at the children’s hospital.”

“That excuse is no longer valid. Neuroscientists now understand some of the ways that brain circuits for memory, emotion and attention malfunction in various mental disorders. Since 2009 clinical psychologist Bruce Cuthbert and his team at the National Institute of Mental Health have been constructing a classification system based on recent research, which is revealing how the structure and activity of a mentally ill brain differs from that of a healthy one.”

“”We have the ability to capture information from the brain and use it to control the robotic arm,” said Dr. Elizabeth Tyler-Kabara, who presented her team’s latest findings on the technology Tuesday, at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, in New Orleans. However, she stressed, “we still have a ton to learn.””

“”The striking finding is that you have a massive shift of receptors from one set of nerve endings impinging on these neurons to another set,” said Ken Mackie, professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. “Before, activating this receptor inhibited the secretion of orexin; now it promotes it. This identifies potential targets where an intervention could influence obesity.””

“Normally, the circulatory system of the body is isolated by tight junctions between the endothelial cells of the capillaries inside the brain. There is also a thick basement membrane composed of matrix proteins, as well as astrocytic endfeet surrounding the capillaries. Nutrients required by the brain, such as glucose and amino acids, are actively transported across this barrier by specific membrane-bound transporter proteins. There are also specific efflux pumps, that remove certain molecules that might occasionally breach the BBB.”

“The research is the first to use brain scans to look for a link between math-learning abilities and brain structure or function, and also the first to compare neural and cognitive predictors of kids’ responses to tutoring. In addition, it provides information on the differences between how children and adults learn math, and could help researchers understand the origins of math-learning disabilities. The study was published online April 29 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”