NIH Health Research

A weekly summary of research developments and discoveries at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  1. A new study reveals that a network of brain areas involved in interpreting other people’s states of mind has started developing by age three.
  2. Minoxidil, when given orally to mice, changes blood vessel structure to reduce stiffness and increase blood flow to the brain. The drug may have potential for people with certain health problems.
  3. Researchers defined the neural pathways for itch sensation and identified a signaling molecule called somatostatin that enhances itch and blunts pain in mice.
  4. New study findings raise doubt about the common practice of increasing inhaled steroid dose in young children when asthma symptoms begin to worsen.
  5. In a study of men who were stressed by having to give short speeches, seeing different types of smiles affected the men’s stress responses differently.
  6. Researchers mapped the wiring of the thirst center in the mouse brain, providing a glimpse into the rules that govern how brain circuits regulate fluid intake.
  7. A study found that people are more likely to survive a cardiac arrest if a bystander uses a defibrillator while waiting for emergency medical services to arrive.
  8. Mice fed a standard diet but deprived of food every other day developed more efficient energy metabolism and improved running endurance. The findings pave the way for studies in people.
  9. Researchers identified a type of stem cell that produces new air sac cells in lung tissue. The findings suggest new potential targets for stimulating lung regeneration.
  10. Researchers found that certain biological differences didn’t predict whether someone would lose more weight from a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet.
  11. Patterns of gene expression in the brains of people with five major mental disorders suggest some overlapping mechanisms.
  12. A small molecule prevents herpes simplex-1 virus from making viral proteins. The finding suggests a new class of molecule that may be useful for developing antiviral treatments.
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