1. Memory Mechanism Found At Nerve Cell Connections In The Brain
Date published: May 19, 2000
2. Drug Psychotherapy Combo Found Highly Effective in Depression Study
Date published: May 24, 2000
3. Suckling Behavior of Newborn Rats Can Be Manipulated Through Use of Scents,
Date published: May 29, 2000
4. Study Opens Doors to Significant Changes in Medications for Schizophrenia
Date published: June 16, 2000
5. New Scientific Theory May Change How Treatments for Inherited
Neurodegenerative Disease Are Developed
Date published: July 13, 2000
6. Compound That Switches Off Appetite in Mice Discovered by Hopkins Scientists
Date published: June 30, 2000
7. Canadian Scientists Find More Homosexuals Left-handed
Source: Science Daily
Date published: July 10, 2000
8. Brain Study Sheds Light On Impulsive Violence
Source: Science Daily
Date published: August 15, 2000
9. “Strikingly Similar” Protein May Be In Alzheimer’s And Mad Cow Disease
Date published: August 24, 2000
10. Jefferson Scientists Hope to Perfect Gene Therapy without Viruses
Date published: August 28, 2000
“Memory Mechanism Found at Nerve Cell Connections in the Brain” is one of the ten articles I found that related to psychology. The article talks about how scientists identified a novel mechanism behind the decrease in strength of synapses in the brain and they believe the process leads to the creation of memories and their long-term storage.
Sensory-driven experiences cause changes in memory and synapses. Rats were used to conduct the study. Lead investigator, Kimberly Huber implies that individual synapses can be regulated by activity in the mammalian brain. The researchers used tissue from the hippocampus area of the brain, separating the synapses from their cell bodies. Researchers then introduced specific inhibitors of the protein synthetic machinery directly to the synapses. Because the synaptic depression was blocked, more evidence that the proteins are made at the synapse is provided.
This article has a lot to do with motivation and emotion. The hippocampus is a structure of the limbic system that plays a role in the formation of long-term memories. The main area that the researchers used in the experiment is the hippocampus region. The connections in the brain facilitate long-term memory storage. That is why the brain is considered the chief pathway to the body.
“Drug-psychotherapy Combo Found Highly Effective in Depression Study” explains that a combination of the antidepressant Serzone and psychotherapy aimed exactly for chronic depression provides the best treatment for patients with chronic forms of major depression. 681 patients were used in the study. The study is the largest ever taken of medication alone, psychotherapy alone, and a combination of the two, to treat chronic forms of major depression. Approximately 14 million Americans suffer from chronic forms of depression. More than 46 million Americans, ages 15 to 54, suffer from depressive explosions annually. The study took place at a many different psychiatric clinics nationwide. The patients were randomly picked to receive either Serzone twice daily, 16 to 20 sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy, or a combination of both over a twelve-week period. During that time frame the combination of Serzone and psychotherapy yielded an 85 percent response rate. Serzone alone yielded a 55 percent rate of response. Psychotherapy yielded a 52 percent response rate. While Serzone is currently used to treat depression, it is not classified for use in treating chronic illnesses. Frequent side effects such as sexual dysfunction and weight gain were not experienced with Serzone. The results found in the study were similar to those found in previous studies of antidepressants.
This article talks about different types of psychotherapy and the effects. In the study the researchers used an efficacy study, a study that applies basic methods of experimentation to find out whether a specific form of therapy produces beneficial outcomes for the persons who undergo it. Psychotherapy is a big issue in psychology today.
“Suckling Behavior of Newborn Rats Can Be Manipulated Through Use of Scents, New Research shows” shows how important it is for newborn mammals to learn when to suckle. Psychologist Norman E. Spear and colleagues discovered that newborn rat pups exposed to the pairing of lemon odor and milk suckled on an imitation nipple 80 percent of a ten-minute period. On the contrary three control groups of rat pups suckled only 20 percent of the period. This conclusion indicates that learning as related to suckling behavior is so strong in newborn rats that they can be altered to suckle on an empty imitation nipple. Dr. Spear concludes that the newborn rats match the lemon scent and milk equal with the one- minute intervals because milk is an important source of nutrition for newborns and odor is an important signal for it in inborn circumstances. Another conclusion made was dealing with the fact that the rats are so young; therefore the sensory driven experiences for milk comes natural because the milk has not had anything to compete with.
This article deals with the topic of learning. Learning is a key process in human behavior. Learning can also play a role in virtually every activity we perform. Classical conditioning is exercised in this particular study. Classical conditioning is a basic form of learning in which one stimulus comes to serve as a signal for the occurrence of a second stimulus. During classical conditioning, organisms acquire information about the relations between various stimuli, not simple associations between them.
“Study Opens Doors to Significant Changes in Medications for Schizophrenia” is a study conducted by researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the University of Toronto. It was believed that in order for anti-psychotic medications to be effective, they needed to be present in the brain. According to Dr. Robert Zipursky, this study changes our understanding of how these drugs need to work. It is believed that anti-psychotic drugs work by binding themselves to a dopamine D2 receptors in the brain. In this most recent study, the researchers found that when evaluated 2 to 3 hours after the last dose of new anti-psychotic medication, approximately 60 percent of the D2 receptors are occupied. Yet, 12 hours after the last dose, very little of the anti-psychotic medication was bound to D2 receptors. These results indicate that anti-psychotic medication can still be sufficient without having to remain at the target receptor site for a long time.
Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder. It is also classified as a chronic disorder. It causes several types of brain dysfunction. Schizophrenics show reduced activity in the frontal lobes relative to normal persons during tasks involving memory or abstract thought. All these conclusions indicate that schizophrenia is related to cognitive deficits and several types of abnormalities in brain functioning. Anti-psychotic drugs have been highly effective in treating schizophrenia. Researchers are now looking for another treatment besides drugs.
“New Scientific Theory may change how Treatments for Inherited Neurodegenerative Diseases are developed” is a study conducted by a team of researchers led by The Hospital for Sick Children and The University of Toronto. Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by a progressive loss of cells from one region of the nervous system. The study used data from patients with Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. It showed that cumulative theory was false. The mutant steady model, which explains nerve cell death inherited neurodegenerative diseases, shows that mutant genes are conferring a slight but definite increase in risk that the cell could suddenly undergo programmed cell death. This new theory means researchers will now try to aim at the factors that trigger the increased risk of neuronal death. Mutant genes cause neuronal death.
Neurodegenerative diseases are mental disorders that alter the behavior of a person. Genes do not directly control behavior or other aspects of life. Instead, genes use their influence on chemical reactions in the brain or other organs. The chemical reactions sometimes depend on certain environmental conditions. If there is low levels of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain, then Parkinson’s disease is produced.
“Compound That Switches Off Appetite in Mice Discovered by Hopkins Scientists” is a study that was designed to find a key pathway to appetite regulation. It is done by injecting a non-toxic substance into the mice. This chemical wipes out hunger within 20 minutes. The effect of the chemical wears off a few days after the injections stop. The chemical is called C75. The pathway to appetite regulation is in the brain. C75 is a noted to have caused a dramatic weight drop in leptin-free mice leaning towards obesity. It also reversed the insulin-resistant form of diabetes in the mice. Neuropeptide Y is a major appetite regulator. It is located in the appetite centers in the brain’s hypothalamus. C75-injected mice resembled fasting mice by the way they lost body tissue in fasting. The C75 mice lost far more weight than the fasting mice did.
This form of psychology falls under motivation and emotion. It is formulated in the brain’s hypothalamus. Any manipulation to the hypothalamus will cause a lack of interest in the certain area. Hunger motivation, which is the motivation to obtain and consume food, is altered when a chemical is injected to alter to body. The brain is the pathway that is used in a psychological experiment to alter the body.
“Canadian Scientists Find More Homosexuals Left-handed” is a study conducted by three Canadian researchers. This study combined results from 23,410 heterosexual and homosexual men and women. The results yield more lesbian women than gay men. Handedness and sexual orientation relate in the fact that some influences on adult sexual orientation form early. The results also yield that there may be at least one cause of homosexuality that is shared between gay men and lesbian women. The results are small in absolute importance. Handedness could not be used to determine if someone is a homosexual or heterosexual.
Sexual motivation plays a big role in human behavior. If a male were raised in an environment of femininity he would have a greater chance of wanting to portray his feminine side. Culture plays a big part in psychological issues. Sometimes sexual orientation can be influenced before birth. Genes play a big role in human development.
“Brain Study Sheds Light On Impulsive Violence” is a study conducted by UW-Madison psychologist Richard Davidson. The study was done on the brains of violent subjects and those agreeable to violence. Common neurological threads were found in more than 500 subjects. The study focused on the prefrontal cortex of the brain. One of the essential conclusions focuses on interaction between several brain regions. The orbital frontal cortex yields preventive impulsive outbursts, while the anterior cingulate cortex emulates other brain regions in response to conflict. The amygdala is involved in the formation of fear and other negative emotions. It was discovered that normal brain activity in the orbital and anterior regions was totally absent in some study groups. On the contrary, the amygdala showed normal activity. The research was a success because of the range in the people studied and the consistency of the results. The different types of people studied were 41 murderers, a study group suffering from aggressive impulsive personality disorder, a group diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, and a large group of subjects who have a genetic deficit that causes a disruption in the brain’s serotonin levels. New treatments will be the way this problem will be helped in the future.
Impulsiveness is choosing an immediate reward over a reward of greater value that has a waiting process along with it. Smokers and heavy drinkers choose the immediate pleasures they derive from smoking or consuming alcoholic beverages over the potentially negative consequences they may suffer later on. This is a part of learning. If some people would seek help rather than act out their anger in negative ways then they would be rewarded with the proper help rather than negative punishments. As stated in the article, the brain is the controller of negative emotion. If the brain is overflowing with negative emotions then impulsiveness comes in to play.
“”Strikingly Similar” Protein may be in Alzheimer’s And Mad Cow Disease” is study conducted by Chi Ming Yang. It talks about how, in the early stages, similar these two diseases are. Prion diseases include neurodegenerative diseases such as mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. They are caused by a malfunctioning prion protein. The amyloid precursor protein has been implicated in Alzheimer’s. Proteins sometimes fold into specific three-dimensional structures that determine their functions. Malfunctioning proteins remain partially unfolded. The two diseases appear to begin similarly but they also differ. Alzheimer’s takes much more time to progress, while prion diseases advance faster.
Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter found throughout the nervous system. Acetylcholine is also believed to play a role in attention, arousal, and memory processes. Scientists believe that the severe memory loss characteristic of persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease results from a degeneration of cells that produce acetylcholine. Examinations of the brains of persons who have died from this disease show low levels of acetylcholine. The reductive amino acids can lead to protein plaques, which cause prion diseases.
“Jefferson Scientists Hope to Perfect Gene Therapy without Viruses” is a study conducted by researchers at Jefferson Medical College. Gene therapy has not had a very promising affect. DNA and bacterial proteins have been used to deliver genes to specific place in a piece of human DNA, said scientists. Viral methods of gene therapy are causing significant problems. In traditional gene therapy methods, there is a question of how many gene copies may be made in each individual and where in the cell’s DNA a copy may go. The current tests have only been in bacteria form. There are hopes to develop a non-viral method. Gene therapy with and without viruses is currently being studied in clinical trials by many researchers in this country and overseas.
Genetics fall under the heredity and behavior form of psychology. Chromosomes are composed of DNA. Each human cell contains twenty-three pairs of chromosomes. Chromosomes contain thousands of genes. Genes are segments of DNA that serve as basic units heredity. Our genes ultimately determine aspects of our biological makeup.
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