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Archive - Jul 29, 2019

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International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) Holds 26th Annual OCD Conference (2019) in Austin, Texas, July 19-21; Over 2,000 Attend from 49 States and 24 Countries

The 26th Annual OCD Conference was held in Austin, Texas, July 19-21. Organized by the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), headquartered in Boston, the Conference informs and empowers members of the obsessive compulsive disorder community by bringing together health professionals, researchers, individuals with OCD, and their loved ones, with the goal of educating all attendees about the latest treatments, research, and practice in OCD and related disorders. This year, attendance broke 2,000, with attendees coming from 49 states and 24 different countries to learn more about how to help friends, families, or patients who are struggling with this troubling and variable problem. A warm welcoming statement was made to meeting attendees by Susan Boaz, President, Board of Directors, IOCDF. “One of the most unique things about the Conference is the experience of having so many diverse groups mingling, all of whom help each other find hope and support for OCD. Our researchers have the opportunity to share their latest discoveries about the causes and treatment of OCD and they value the opportunity to hear from the front lines about what is really occurring in the community of OCD sufferers. Parents meet each other and form lifetime friendships. Kids and adults with OCD learn that they are not alone. Everyone is willing to answer questions, provide information, make friends, and share hope. Our wish is that you experience kindness and inspiration at our Annual OCD Conference.” The IOCDF’s Annual OCD Conference is the only international event focused solely on serving the OCD and related disorders community.

Compound (Resveratrol) Found In Red Wine and Grape & Berry Skins & Seeds May Open Door to New Treatments for Depression & Anxiety; Research Lays Groundwork for Use of Resveratrol in Novel Anti-Depressants

Like to unwind with a glass of red wine after a stressful day? Don't give alcohol all the credit. New research has revealed that the plant compound resveratrol, which is found in red wine, displays anti-stress effects by blocking the expression of an enzyme related to the control of stress in the brain, according to a University at Buffalo (UB)-led study. The findings shed light onto how resveratrol impacts neurological processes. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression and anxiety disorders affect 16 and 40 million people respectively in the United States. "Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders," says Ying Xu, MD, PhD, co-lead author and research associate professor in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The study, published in the July 15, 2019 issue of the journal Neuropharmacology, was also led by Xiaoxing Yin, PhD, Professor at Xuzhou Medical University in China. The article is titled “The antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects of resveratrol: Involvement of phosphodiesterase-4D inhibition.” Resveratrol, which has been linked to a number of health benefits, is a compound found in the skin and seeds of grapes and berries. While research has identified resveratrol to have antidepressant effects, the compound's relationship to phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), an enzyme influenced by the stress hormone corticosterone, was unknown. Corticosterone regulates the body's response to stress. Too much stress, however, can lead to excessive amounts of the hormone circulating in the brain and, ultimately, to the development of depression and/or other mental disorders.

Discovery of Alpha-Synclein DNA Repair Function Could Lead to New Treatments for Parkinson's & Other Brain Diseases

A small protein previously associated with cell dysfunction and death in fact serves a critical function in repairing breaks in DNA, according to new research led by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). The discovery, published online on July 29, 2019 in Scientific Reports, marks the first demonstration of the role that alpha-synuclein plays in preventing the death of neurons in brain diseases such as Parkinson's, which affects 1.5 million people in the United States alone. The findings suggest that it may be possible to design new therapies to replace alpha-synuclein's function or boost it in people with Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Aggregates of alpha-synuclein, known as Lewy bodies, have long been connected to Parkinson's and other forms of dementia. The study published today casts a new light on that process. The open-access article is titled “Alpha-Synuclein Is a DNA Binding Protein That Modulates DNA Repair with Implications for Lewy Body Disorders.” The findings suggest that Lewy bodies are problematic because they pull alpha-synuclein protein out of the nucleus of brain cells. The study, which examined the cells of living mice and postmortem brain tissue in humans, reveals that these proteins perform a crucial function by repairing breaks that occur along the vast strands of DNA present in the nucleus of every cell of the body. Alpha-synuclein's role in DNA repair may be crucial in preventing cell death. This function may be lost in brain diseases such as Parkinson's, leading to the widespread death of neurons. "It may be the loss of that function that's killing that cell," said senior author Vivek Unni, MD, PhD, an Associate Professor of Neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine.