How team sports change a child’s brain

Adult depression has long been associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, a brain region that plays an important role in memory and response to stress. Now, new research from Washington University in St. Louis has linked participation in team sports to larger hippocampal volumes in children and less depression in boys ages 9 to 11.

Mobile phone technology to screen, help treat college students

With a growing demand for mental health services at colleges, a research team led by the School of Medicine has received a $3.8 million grant to test a mental health phone app to treat depression, anxiety and eating disorders in a study involving some 8,000 students at 20 colleges, universities and community colleges.

Blunting pain’s emotional component

Pain researchers at the School of Medicine have shown in rodents that they can block receptors on brain cells that are responsible for the negative emotions associated with pain, such as sadness, depression and lethargy. The findings could lead to new, less addictive approaches to pain treatment.

Young kids with suicidal thoughts understand concept of death

When very young children talk about wanting to commit suicide, conventional wisdom is that they don’t understand what they’re saying. But School of Medicine research has found that depressed children ages 4 to 6 who think and talk about committing suicide understand what it means to die better than other kids of the same age. They also are more likely to think of death as something caused by violence.
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