Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

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Brain Scientists Uncover New Links Between Stress And Depression

Oct 15, 2012
Originally published on October 15, 2012 1:10 pm

Even extreme stress doesn't have to get you down.

That's the message from brain scientists studying the relationship between stress and problems such as depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Researchers at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans presented studies showing how stress caused by everything from battlefield trauma to bullying can alter brain circuitry in ways that have long-term effects on mental health.

Current treatments for these problems often come up short. But the scientists say new insights about how stress affects the brain suggest several ways the process could be interrupted or reversed.

"That's the holy grail and we're moving in that direction," says Dipesh Chaudhury of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Chaudhury says one way traumatic events appear to cause depression is by inhibiting the brain's so-called reward system, which normally causes pleasurable feelings when we spend time with friends or eat a favorite food. Soldiers with PTSD and people with major depression often report that these things no longer give them pleasure.

Mice respond in a similar way to traumatic events, Chaudhury says. And his research shows that this response can be prevented by reducing the activity of certain brain cells involved in the reward system.

The trick now is to find a drug that produces the same effect in people, Chaudhury says.

Another way stress affects mental health is by releasing chemicals that impair the function of the prefrontal cortex, which is where higher level thought takes place, says Amy Arnsten, a neurobiologist at Yale. When that happens, she says, "We switch from being thoughtful creatures to being reactive creatures."

That can lead to anxiety and PTSD, Arnsten says. But studies suggest at least two drugs seem to help the prefrontal cortex work better.

One of these is the blood pressure drug Prazosin, which has been used experimentally to treat both soldiers and civilians with PTSD. Another is a drug called guanfacine, which seems to help drug addicts who relapse under stress.

The anesthetic and anti-depressant drug ketamine also seems to help with PTSD, says Neil Fournier, a researcher at Yale University School of Medicine.

Studies in mice show that ketamine helps them forget fearful events, probably because it causes the formation of new nerve connections in the brain. And there is preliminary evidence that wounded soldiers who got ketamine to relieve pain were less likely to develop PTSD.

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