NIH Research Matters
September 2007 Archive
SEPTEMBER 17, 2007
A new study found that the number of child and adolescent visits to a doctor's office that result in a diagnosis of bipolar disorder has increased by 40 times over the decade from 1994-2003. Over the same period, the number of visits by adults resulting in a bipolar disorder diagnosis almost doubled. The findings highlight the growing awareness of bipolar disorder among both health professionals and the public. They also call attention to the difficulty of diagnosing the disorder.
Researchers have discovered a "lean" gene in animals. If the gene works the same for people as it does in worms, fruit flies and mice, the finding could lead to new strategies for combating obesity.
Damaged tendons heal slowly and rarely recover their previous strength and integrity. Now scientists have discovered that adult tendons contain a rare subset of stem cells that can be isolated, grown in the lab, and then used to generate tendon-like tissues in mice. The findings point the way toward improved techniques for repairing human tendons damaged by repetitive movements, tears or aging.
September 10, 2007
By disabling a single gene in mice, scientists have created animals with symptoms that mimic those of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The researchers showed that the abnormal behaviors and brain functions could be reversed by either restoring a normal version of the gene in the mouse brain or by giving the animals a medication commonly used for human OCD.
Researchers have developed a procedure for repairing damaged rat hearts by using cells generated in a dish from human embryonic stem cells. The accomplishment brings scientists a step closer to a treatment for people who have had heart attacks.
Scientists have identified 2 proteins that appear to pair up at the precise location in the ear where sound vibrations are turned into electrical signals. The finding may eventually help researchers develop more precise treatments for hearing loss, a condition that affects more than 32 million people in the United States alone.
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About NIH Research Matters
Harrison Wein, Ph.D., Editor
Vicki Contie, Assistant Editor
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.