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UCLA-led research may help lead to earlier, more targeted intervention for people with DiGeorge syndrome

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Maksim Koval/iStock

DiGeorge syndrome, known to geneticists as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, affects 1 in 2500 children.


UCLA to join $30 million nationwide search for biomarkers for autism
Project is first step toward the promise of precision medicine for autism treatment Shafali Spurling Jeste Researchers at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and Fielding School of Public Health are participating in a new nationwide, multi-center study of preschool and school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to identify non-invasive biological markers — or biomarkers — that could help physicians diagnose and track ASD as well as assess treatments in autism patients. The four-year study is the first large-scale attempt to look for these biomarkers in children with the disorder.
UCLA mind-body programs help people de-stress
The UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative helps campus community deal with stress UCLA Recreation Stretching at Drake Stadium. Americans are overwhelmed. Living in chronic-stress mode — our days running 24/7, our senses assaulted by the pinging of smart phones, and our attention diverted by relentless tweets, texts and emails — we are in a constant quest for the new, different and exciting. The strain of our modern lives leads to anxiety, depression, insomnia, obesity and a host of other illnesses.
Rare genetic mutations occur more often in schizophrenia patients, UCLA researchers find
Catharine E. Krebs UCLA researchers are looking for genetic mutations associated with schizophrenia, a mental illness characterized by hallucinations. Anew study by UCLA scientists adds to the understanding of the genetic architecture of schizophrenia. Past research has shown the impact of commonly occurring genetic variants on a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia. This new study focused instead on rare coding mutations that affect protein function. It found that people with schizophrenia have a higher-than-normal share of these mutations.
UCLA researchers identify a potentially effective treatment for methamphetamine addiction
A new study by UCLA researchers has found that Naltrexone, a drug used to treat alcoholism, may also be a promising treatment for addiction to methamphetamine. “The results were about as good as you could hope for,” said Lara Ray, a UCLA associate professor of psychology, director of the UCLA Addictions Laboratory and lead author of the new study. The study, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, was the first in the U.S. to evaluate Naltrexone for treating methamphetamine addiction. Researchers analyzed 22 men and eight women who use methamphetamine an average of three to four days a week. During a four-day hospital stay, each person was each given either Naltrexone — 25 milligrams the first two days, 50 milligrams on days three and four — or a placebo daily. Ten days later, the subjects were readmitted to the hospital for four more days; those who had taken Naltrexone earlier were given placebos, and vice versa.
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