Exploring the brain’s role in stress-induced anxiety​​​

Calming a neural circuit in the brain can alleviate stress in mice, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis that lays the foundation for understanding stress and anxiety in people. The researchers also showed they could shine a light into the brain to activate the stress response in mice that had not been exposed to stressful situations.

Mom’s love good for child’s brain

School-age children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory and response to stress. The new research, by child psychiatrists and neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is the first to show that changes in this key region of children’s brain anatomy are linked to a mother’s nurturing.

Cambodians unsure tribunals will heal wounds of mass killings, JAMA study suggests

These skulls, from victims of the Khmer Rouge, are on display in a Buddhist stupa at Choeung Ek, a mass burial site commonly known as one of “the killing fields.”Lessons learned from research into the societal effects of post-Apartheid “truth and reconciliation” hearings in South Africa are now being applied to a U.S. National Institute of Peace-sponsored study of the long-term mental health impact on Cambodians from human rights tribunals targeting the killing of millions by the nation’s former Khmer Rouge regime, says James L. Gibson, a professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis and co-author of a study published Aug. 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Knowing campus resources key to staying healthy at college

College students should become familiar with the physical and mental health services offered on their campuses.The millions of college freshmen starting school this fall have a lot on their minds — making the grade, meeting new friends and being on their own. Another new challenge they’ll face is staying healthy. While students face a variety of health issues — including infections, stress and sexually transmitted infections — the key to wellness is knowing the resources available on their campuses, says a college health expert at Washington University in St. Louis. More…
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