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NIH Research Matters

February 2013 Archive

February 25, 2013

Photo of a happy African American Woman.

Predicting Treatment Response to a Rapid Antidepressant

Certain brain activity may predict how well patients with major depressive disorder respond to an experimental antidepressant. The finding suggests that brain imaging might help identify good candidates for the treatment.

Color-enhanced electron micrograph of a lysosome in a cell.

Boosting Cell Defenses

Scientists designed a compound that induces a cell “housekeeping” process that may help fight cancer, infection, neurodegenerative disease and aging. The compound successfully protected laboratory mice from deadly infections.

Photo of salt pouring into measuring spoon.

High Salt Detected by Sour and Bitter Taste Cells

Researchers discovered that high levels of salt trigger both sour- and bitter-sensing taste cells in mice. The finding may help explain why we find high levels of salt unappetizing.

February 11, 2013

Photo of a teenage girl.

Many Doctors Don't Ask Teens About Alcohol

In a new study, more than one-third of 10th graders reported recent alcohol use. But many didn't recall their doctors asking them about it. The finding reveals important missed opportunities to prevent underage alcohol use.

Photo of elderly an man asleep.

Sleep and Memory in the Aging Brain

New research reveals a connection between sleep and memory and sheds light on why forgetfulness is common in the elderly. The study also suggests that boosting sleep quality may help improve memory.

Microscope image showing bright fluorescent signal in a nerve fiber.

Sensing Positive Touch

Scientists have identified a rare type of neuron in mice that's responsible for detecting the pleasant stroking of skin. The finding opens the door to exploring the molecules and neural pathways that recognize a positive touch.

February 4, 2013

Photo of a happy pregnant woman.

H1N1 Flu Shots Safe for Pregnant Women

A study of pregnant women in Norway found that those infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus had an increased risk of miscarriages and stillbirths. But those vaccinated against the virus had no increased risk of pregnancy loss.

Transmission electron micrograph of dengue virus particles in tissue.

Dengue Vaccine Shows Early Promise

Just one dose of a low-cost vaccine proved safe and stimulated a strong immune response against the dengue virus in most participants in an early-stage clinical trial. With further development, the vaccine may help ease the burden of dengue fever in developing countries.

Photo of a medical team rushing a sick patient to the emergency ward.

Strategy May Improve Survival after Shock

Scientists found that blocking digestive enzymes in rat intestines increases survival, reduces organ damage and improves recovery after shock. The innovative approach may lead to therapies to improve patient outcome following shock, sepsis and multiorgan failure.

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About NIH Research Matters

Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Assistant Editors: Vicki Contie, Carol Torgan, Ph.D.

NIH Research Matters is a weekly update of NIH research highlights from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

ISSN 2375-9593

This page last reviewed on February 25, 2013

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