Monday December 17, 2018

New hormone test may distinguish schizophrenia, depression

A hormone-based test has been devoloped by US researchers that can distinguish between the non-specific and mild symptoms of depression and schizophrenia

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New York, March 14, 2017:  US researchers have developed a new hormone-based test that can better distinguish between the symptoms of depression and schizophrenia.

Depression is thought to affect over 300 million people worldwide and schizophrenia affects as many as 51 million people.
Clinically, it is difficult to distinguish between these two diseases in their early phases, because symptoms are non-specific and relatively mild.

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In the study, led by researchers from Yale University in Connecticut, US, the researchers infused patients with a high concentration salt solution to induce the release of the hormone arginine-vasopressin (AVP), and then measured the level of the hormone in their blood.

The results, reported in Experimental Physiology, revealed that AVP release can distinguish schizophrenia from depression.

Depressed patients showed an increased release of the hormone, while patients with schizophrenia showed a decreased response.

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Further, the novel method will help identify people whose depression or schizophrenia involves signalling via a receptor called NMDAR, and differentiate between the two diseases.

In patients with schizophrenia the NMDA receptor signalling may be decreased, while it might be high in those with depression.

This hormone test may be a simple way to distinguish and identify patients with NMDA receptor malfunction in each disorder, the researchers said.

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“This is the first objective, physiological marker for two major psychiatric disorders that, once fully developed into a clinical test, can allow for earlier and more accurate diagnosis, and selection of more appropriate medications for patients,” said Handan Gunduz-Bruce from Yale University.

Distinguishing this specific form of these diseases could allow for earlier and more accurate diagnoses as well as more targeted treatment, Gunduz-Bruce added. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)