This Week’s Top 5 Psychology News

This week I read various interesting psychology news articles. This time it was hard to choose my top 5. I chose these because I learned about different concepts I was not aware of before. I hope you guys enjoy these researches as much as I did.

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New Evidence Links Brain Mutation to Other Neurological Disorders

Research conducted by a team at the University of Bristol found that SUMOylation is a chemical processes where the protein SUMO attaches to a target protein and modifies its function. Synapsin 1a targets SUMOylation. The problem is that synapsin 1a can have a mutation called A548T. This mutation interferes with SUMOylation causing problems that are linked to neurological diseases, such as; autism and epilepsy. This research shows the importance of how the role of synaptic proteins regulated by SUMOylation plays in neurological disorders.

New Compounds May Treat Depression within 24 Hours

A study conducted by Dr. Scott Thompson and his team at University of Maryland School of Medicine found a compound that can beat the symptoms of depression within 24 hours and has less secondary side effects. The team focused on a compound called GABA-NAMs. This was tested on rats that were subjected to chronic mild stress, causing the rats to react depressed. GABA-NAMs successfully reversed the symptoms of depression in rats within 24 hours. This compound needs to be tested on human subjects, but if it works it can be used for future depression treatments that are safer and quicker.

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Screams Are Registered In the Amygdala

Poeppel and his team at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, asked people to judge screams based on how terrifying they were. The screams with the highest roughness were considered most frightening. In the lab booth, people rated screams from volunteer screamers, YouTube videos, and popular films. After plotting the sound waves, the team noticed a range of acoustic data that was not considered important in communication. Roughness in the screams ranges from 30 to 150 Hz, the rougher the sound, the greater activation in the amygdala. The team suggests that this new information can be used to improve alarms.

Variations in Brain Arteries Linked to Migraine

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania reported that differences in arterial anatomy lead to asymmetries in cerebral blood flow that may be linked to triggering a migraine. 170 people composed of no headache, migraine with aura and without were examined with a magnetic resonance angiography and arterial spin labeling to examine the blood vessel structure and blood flow. The team found that an incomplete circle of Willis was more common in migraine sufferers. The circle of Willis is the joining area of several arteries in the brain. This research may alter future treatment for migraines.

Approval of New Drug: Schizophrenia and Depression

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Rexulti tablets made by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. in Japan has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This new drug can be used to treat adults with depression and schizophrenia. For the treatment of schizophrenia 1,300 people went through a two six week clinical trial. Those taking the treatment had fewer symptoms than those on the placebo. For the clinical trial of depression, 1,000 people went through a two six-week trial. The subjects taking Rexulti along with an antidepressant had fewer symptoms than those on the placebo. The only problem with the tablets is that it may worsen suicidal thoughts. The FDA suggests that those taking this drug should be monitored.

This week I learned amazing new concepts. I suffer from migraines now and then, so it was interesting to read a new angle on this subject. Hopefully, this will be further studied to create new reliable migraine treatments. I also think it is great that the compound  GABA-NAMs was found. Many who suffer from depression do not find medications that relieve them from their symptoms. If this compound is used for future treatments, many will be quickly relieved and to me this is important. What are your opinions? Did you enjoy my top 5 picks? Do you think the public should be worried about the Rexulti tablets? If so comment at the bottom of this page.


Markus MacGill. (2015). Special part of brain registers screaming, scientists find.

MedicalXpress. (2015). Scientists identify new compounds that may treat depression rapidly with few side effects.

Robert Preidt. (2015). U.S. FDA Approves New Drug for Schizophrenia, Major Depression.

ScienceDaily. (2015). Migraines associated with variations in structure of brain arteries.

ScienceDaily. (2015). New evidence linking brain mutation to autism, epilepsy and other neuro disorders.


Edited By Musingu

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