Cell-phone-sized device that stimulates nerve in neck may prevent migraine

Could applying a cell-phone-sized device to your neck three times a day prevent migraine attacks? WVU researcher Umer Najib thinks it might. In a new clinical trial, he’s testing how well a vagus nerve stimulator averts and relieves migraine symptoms. The noninvasive device showed promise in earlier animal studies. Now Najib wants to know if it works in actual migraine patients, too.

Too much light may darken mood of hospital patients, say WVU researchers

This time of year can cause trouble for people with seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that the waning daylight of autumn evokes. But new research by West Virginia University researchers Randy Nelson and Courtney DeVries suggests that getting too much light—instead of too little—may trigger depression, too.

WVU researchers study effects of new opioid law on doctors, pharmacists, patients

Treah Haggerty and Cara Sedney—researchers in the West Virginia University School of Medicine—are studying how a new West Virginia law has changed the way healthcare providers prescribe opioids. Working with the state’s Board of Pharmacy, they’re examining prescription practices before and after the law took effect on June 7, 2018, and pinpointing differences.

Exploring the brain in a new way: WVU researcher records neurons to understand cognition

Whether we’re searching for Waldo or our keys in a room of clutter, we tap into a part of the frontal region of the brain when performing visual, goal-related tasks. Some of us do it well, whereas for others it’s a bit challenging. One West Virginia University researcher set out to investigate why, and what specifically this part of the brain, called the pre-supplementary motor area, does during searching.

WVU researcher finds link between deprivation and rural suicide rates

This is National Suicide Prevention Week, and John Campo—the chief behavior wellness officer at West Virginia University—is examining trends in suicide rates to make suicide prevention more effective. His recent findings suggest that rural residents may be especially vulnerable to suicide when they face economic challenges.