News & Headlines

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Science | Jun 13, 2024

Last week’s decision by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee not to recommend MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) surprised and dismayed many in psychedelic research. The field has exploded in recent years after decades of being shunned by academia and stifled by governments. But the first company to submit clinical trial data for U.S. market approval, Lykos Therapeutics, could not convince the panel of independent experts that its approach—combining talk therapy with the compound commonly known as ecstasy—was effective, or that the benefits outweighed the risks.

Medical Xpress | Jun 12, 2024

A team of Australia's leading health researchers has developed a new "dictionary" to better predict outcomes for people who have experienced a moderate-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The work is published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

US News & World Report | Jun 12, 2024

A test used to gauge whether a college athlete has suffered a concussion is right only half the time and may be useless, new research finds. The test used by the NCAA, which oversees college sports, measures an athlete's cognitive skills, and is one of three tests (symptoms and balance tests being the other two) that doctors use to identify concussion.

USA Today | Jun 12, 2024

U.S. soldiers were almost nine times more likely to die by suicide than by enemy fire, according to a Pentagon study for the five-year period ending in 2019. The study, published in May by the Defense Health Agency, found that suicide was the leading cause of death among active-duty soldiers from 2014 to 2019. There were 883 suicide deaths during that time period. Accidents were the No. 2 cause with 814 deaths. There were 96 combat deaths.

News-Medical | Jun 10, 2024

In a recent study published in JAMA Network Open, researchers evaluated the associations between psychiatric service dog partnership and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans.

MSN | Jun 10, 2024

Cognitive health becomes an important factor in our quality of life as we get older. And even though cognitive decline is usually associated with advanced age, it turns out that what our brains go through when we're young can come back to haunt us later in life.  A new study published in the Neurology journal shows that suffering from concussions is linked to increased cognitive decline later in life, even if it was just once and if the patient was observed to have made a full recovery. 

VCU News | Jun 7, 2024

Findings from unprecedented analysis point to how genetics may be partly why post-traumatic stress disorder is twice as prevalent among women than men.

Harvard School of Public Health | Jun 7, 2024

Effective treatments are available to help people recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to Karestan Koenen, professor of psychiatric epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In a May 23 interview on WBUR, Koenen shared her personal experience with PTSD and how it motivated her to become a trauma researcher. After being sexually assaulted and becoming severely depressed, she found that therapy helped her to get better.

BBC | Jun 7, 2024

There are striking parallels between the two syndromes – and scientists hope the link could help to unravel the mysteries of both.

The New York Times | Jun 6, 2024

An independent advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration rejected the use of MDMA-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder on Tuesday, highlighting the unparalleled regulatory challenges of a novel therapy using the drug commonly known as Ecstasy.

Nature | Jun 6, 2024

Researchers have developed biodegradable, wireless sensors that can monitor changes in the brain following a head injury or cancer treatment, without invasive surgery. In rats and pigs, the soft sensors performed just as well as conventional wired sensors for up to a month after being injected under the skull. The gel-based sensors measure key health markers, including temperature, pH and pressure. “It is quite likely this technology will be useful for people in medical settings,” says study co-author Yueying Yang, a biomedical engineer at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, China. The findings were published today in Nature1.

National Public Radio | Jun 5, 2024

The risks of traumatic brain injuries in American football are well known, but some researchers have found that sports involving horses are also a leading cause. These injuries can be fatal and usually occur during falls of either the rider or both the horse and the rider. Last month, British event rider Georgie Campbell died after a fall while competing in the Bicton International Horse Trials in Devon, England. Her death has renewed focus on the perennial issue of safety in the sport.

Marine Corps Times | Jun 5, 2024

A new rapid test that checks for traumatic brain injuries using a single drop of blood is expected to make its debut in the military in the coming months. The product marks one of the most significant steps forward for TBI patients’ care in the past 20 years, Lt. Col. Bradley Dengler, an Army neuroscientist who directs the Military Traumatic Brain Initiative at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a recent release announcing the product’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

The New York Times | Jun 5, 2024

Post-traumatic stress disorder closes people off. They withdraw — often reluctant to talk about what they’ve experienced and unable to trust others or themselves. But many leading treatments for the condition require just that. The treatments for PTSD — including several forms of psychotherapy and medication — are effective for many patients, but they don’t work for everyone. They can be expensive. Sometimes, they can be so distressing that patients stop the treatment before it’s complete.

MSN | Jun 5, 2024

The neurologic long COVID symptoms of some patients, like brain fog and memory loss, may be caused by lingering virus—in the gut, of all places. That’s according to a new study by University of Pennsylvania researchers published Monday in the journal Cell. Researchers say the findings could lead to a treatment for a disease that so far has none.

The New York Times | Jun 5, 2024

No new treatment for PTSD has been approved for more than 20 years, and this one, using an illegal drug known as Ecstasy, has been closely watched.

National Institutes of Health | Jun 5, 2024

For military members and veterans who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), adding a service dog to their usual care could reduce the severity of PTSD symptoms, feelings of anxiety, and lower depression while enhancing their quality of life and psychosocial functioning, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The trial, which is the largest nationwide study comparing service dog partnerships to usual care alone, included 156 military members and veterans diagnosed with PTSD. 

Daily Mail | Jun 5, 2024

Scotland will become one of the first countries in the world to acknowledge a difference between males and females in national concussion protocol, when new guidelines for sport are announced later this month. The groundbreaking move will see sportscotland refer to studies which identify a variation in risk and recovery. Currently, only Australia and New Zealand mention a difference between the sexes in national concussion guidelines.

PBS NewsHour | Jun 3, 2024

Federal health regulators are questioning the safety and evidence behind the first bid to use MDMA, the mind-altering club drug, as a treatment for PTSD, part of a decadeslong effort by advocates to move psychedelic drugs into the medical mainstream. The Food and Drug Administration posted its initial review of the drug Friday, ahead of a meeting of outside advisers who could help decide whether MDMA — currently illegal under federal law — becomes the first drug of its kind to win U.S. approval as a medication.

MSN | Jun 3, 2024

Some 13% of older adults are diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a study by UC San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Health Care System. These injuries are typically caused by falls from ground level. Researchers followed about 9,200 Medicare enrollees, whose average age was 75 at the start of the study, and found that contrary to other studies of younger people, being female, white, healthier and wealthier was associated with higher risk of TBI. The study was published in JAMA Network Open on May 31, 2024.

HCP Live | Jun 3, 2024

Bessel Van der Kolk, MD (author of The Body Keeps the Score) discusses the long-term outlook of MDMA in patients with PTSD and what further outcomes he'd like to see explored in the space.

PsyPost | Jun 3, 2024

A recent study on soccer players found that heading a soccer ball can impair cognitive function and disrupt the organization of neural processes associated with this activity. The findings were published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

MSN | May 31, 2024

A blood test designed to aid in the rapid diagnosis of concussions has gained FDA approval. The i-STAT Alinity test can detect two proteins released into the blood when someone suffers a concussion and, per statistics from its developer Abbott, has a 95.6 percent rate of ruling out concussions if the test is conducted within 24 hours of the injury. The test is faster than the existing i-STAT TBI test, which requires blood serum and the use of a centrifuge to process results.

Inside Precision Medicine | May 31, 2024

Scientists have inserted a “window” into a patient’s skull to monitor their brain activity in real-time. An individual’s brain activity could be observed outside of the operating room with the help of a custom-made, ultrasound-transparent cranial window implant, which was given to an adult patient undergoing skull reconstruction surgery after a traumatic brain injury. While the patient was playing a video game and strumming a guitar, ultrasound was used to record brain activity, which was then mapped to specific cortical responses. This research establishes a foundation for future work toward using ultrasonic imaging through transparent skull replacement materials to understand better how the human brain works.

The New York Times | May 31, 2024

Post-traumatic stress disorder diagnoses among college students more than doubled between 2017 and 2022, climbing most sharply as the coronavirus pandemic shut down campuses and upended young adults’ lives, according to new research published on Thursday.