Today in Research: Brain Scanning May Help Psychosis Patients; More

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Discovered: dinosaur power-walkers, brain scan's potential to treat psychosis, another good thing about fatherhood, and still no need to worry about an end-of-the-world asteroid.

  • How brain scanning may eventually be used to help psychosis patients. Brain scanning research, whether trying to identify dream content or early versions of mind-reading, seems to be in the stage where the tangible benefits gleaned are sometimes a ways away. Today, from Reuters, we learned that a research team that has published work in the journal Psychological Medicine has completed a "first step toward being able to use brain imaging to provide tangible benefit to patients affected by psychosis," said the study's co-lead author, Paola Dazzan, to the news outlet. This is the hoped for outcome, which appears to be less prescriptions for those that may not need them: "this could in future lead to a quick reliable way of predicting how a patient's illness will develop, allowing doctors to give the best treatments to those most in need and avoid giving long courses of antipsychotic drugs to people with only very mild forms of psychosis." [Reuters]
  • Men who are becoming fathers show some signs of responsibility. At least in one case study involving 831 male participants tracked over a 19-year period, we learn that becoming a father lessens marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol usage. "Controlling for the aging process, fatherhood was an independent factor in predicting decreases in crime, alcohol, and tobacco use," said the study's lead author, David Kerr from Oregon State University, in a release. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the participants who became fathers later in their 20s or 30s were more likely to lessen their usage of alcohol. [Oregon State University via Eurekalert]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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