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- Fun and games make for better learners
Four minutes of physical activity can improve behavior in the classroom for primary school students, according to new research. A brief, high-intensity interval exercise, or a 'FUNterval,' for Grade 2 and Grade 4 students reduced off-task behaviors like fidgeting or inattentiveness in the classroom.
- A matter of life and death: Cell death proteins key to fighting disease
key steps involved in programmed cell death have been uncovered by researchers, offering new targets for the treatment of diseases including lupus, cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.
- Insomnia increases risk of motor vehicle deaths, other fatal injuries
Insomnia is a major contributor to deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional fatal injuries, a new study shows. The results underscore the importance of the 'Sleep Well, Be Well' campaign of the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project.
- Computer game could help visually impaired children live independently
A new computer game is being test that researchers hope could hold the key to helping visually-impaired children lead independent lives. Developed by a team of neuroscientists and video game designers, the Eyelander game features exploding volcanoes, a travelling avatar and animated landscapes. The idea is to improve the functional vision of children who have sight issues due to a brain injury rather than damage to the eye itself.
- High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency across the board in neuromuscular disease
More credence has been added to a growing awareness of the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in neuromuscular disease by newly presented research. Vitamin D supplementation has been suggested to improve function in frail elderly patients at risk for falls, as well as individuals with myasthenia gravis and Parkinson's. The impact of vitamin D deficiency and supplementation on function in other neurologic conditions has yet to be explored.
- Digital Therapist: Computer program analyzes speech, mental health
A program that analyzes your speech and uses it to gain information about your mental health could soon be feasible, thanks in part to new research showing that certain vocal features change as patients’ feelings of depression worsen.
- People change their moral values to benefit themselves over others
People are quick to change their moral values depending on which rule means more cash for them instead of others, a study shows. The researchers conclude that the "Pursuit of self-interest is tempered by the constraints of coordination. People seek not only to benefit themselves but also to persuade other people that they are morally right in doing so."
- Take a walk in the sun to ease time change woes, sleep expert says
Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2. As clocks turn back one hour, we gain an hour of sleep but often still feel groggy and sluggish. A sleep expert says this change in sleep schedule is exacerbated by our tendency to alter our sleep patterns on the weekends anyway.
- Novel tinnitus therapy helps patients cope with phantom noise
Patients with tinnitus hear phantom noise and are sometimes so bothered by the perceived ringing in their ears, they have difficulty concentrating. A new therapy does not lessen perception of the noise but appears to help patients cope better with it in their daily lives, according to new research.
- For stroke patients, hospital bed position is delicate balancing act
During the first 24 hours after a stroke, attention to detail -- such as hospital bed positioning -- is critical to patient outcomes. Most strokes are caused by blood clots that block blood flow to the brain. Sitting upright can harm the patient because it decreases blood flow and oxygen to the brain just when the brain needs more blood.
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders prevalence in U.S. revealed by study
Nearly 5 percent of U.S. children may be affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), according to a new study. FASD are a group of conditions that can occur in the children of mothers who drank alcohol during pregnancy. Characteristics are both physical and cognitive and can include abnormal facial features, smaller-than-average physical growth, poor coordination, learning disabilities and vision and hearing problems.
- Campaign to reduce firearm suicide wins support among firearm retailers in New Hampshire
Nearly half of firearm retailers in New Hampshire displayed materials from a firearm suicide prevention campaign generated by a coalition of gun owners and public health professionals.
- Toddlers copy their peers to fit in, but apes don't
From the playground to the board room, people often follow, or conform, to the behavior of those around them as a way of fitting in. New research shows that this behavioral conformity appears early in human children, but isn't evidenced by apes like chimpanzees and orangutans.
- One hormone, Two roles: Sugars differentiate seasonality, metabolism
The mechanism on how a single hormone manages to trigger two different functions, i.e. seasonal sensing and metabolism, without any cross activity has been identified by researchers.
- Sadness lasts longer than other emotions
Why is it that you can feel sad up to 240 times longer than you do feeling ashamed, surprised, irritated or even bored? It's because sadness often goes hand in hand with events of greater impact such as death or accidents. You need more time to mull over and cope with what happened to fully comprehend it, say researchers. This is the first work to provide clear evidence to explain why some emotions last a longer time than others.
- Why scratching makes you itch more
Turns out your mom was right: scratching an itch only makes it worse. New research reveals that scratching causes the brain to release serotonin, which intensifies the itch sensation. Scientists uncovered serotonin's role in controlling pain decades ago, but this is the first time the release of the chemical messenger from the brain has been linked to itch, they say.
- Together we are strong -- or insufferable
Everyone can have an impact on the dynamics of a group, particularly if they join forces with others, experts say. "What interested us most, however, was how the individual can contribute to the development of stable cooperation within the group," they say of their research, which was actually able to calculate mathematically which strategies promote cooperation.
- New molecule sneaks medicines across blood-brain barrier
Delivering life-saving drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) might become a little easier thanks to a new study. In the new report, scientists describe an antibody, called 'FC5,' is one-tenth the size of a traditional antibody and able to cross the BBB.
- Can parents make their kids smarter?
Reading bedtime stories, engaging in conversation and eating nightly dinners together are all positive ways in which parents interact with their children, but according to new research, none of these actions have any detectable influence on children's intelligence later in life. A criminology professor examined a nationally representative sample of youth alongside a sample of adopted children and found evidence to support the argument that IQ is not the result of parental socialization.
- Peripheral clocks don't need the brain's master clock to function correctly
New research further adds to our understanding of the circadian rhythm by suggesting that the suprachiasmaticus nucleus clock, a tiny region of the hypothalamus considered to be the body's 'master' timekeeper, is not necessary to align body rhythms with the light-dark cycle.
- Breakdown in gut barriers to bacteria may promote inflammation and craving in alcoholics
Bacteria in the GI tract fulfill many vital functions and are critical for digestion. Yet, these same bacteria can induce strong inflammatory responses by the immune system if they penetrate the gut and enter the bloodstream. Prior research has established the involvement of inflammatory processes in the development of psychiatric disorders, including major depression and alcohol dependence, but the origins of such inflammation have remained unclear. Now, researchers have found that inflammatory pathways are stimulated in alcohol-dependent patients by bacteria that escape the gut barrier, which correlated with alcohol craving.
- Even mild depressive symptoms result in poorer lumbar spinal stenosis surgery outcome
Even mild depressive symptoms can weaken the outcome of lumbar spinal stenosis surgery, according to a recent study. Patients with depressive symptoms had a weaker functional capacity post-surgery even five years after surgery. "The results indicate that attention should be paid to even mild depressive symptoms both before and after the surgery. This would allow health care professionals to recognize patients who might benefit from enhanced psychosocial support as part of their surgery-related treatment and rehabilitation process," says the first author.
- Greater inequality within UK, USA than some developing countries, trade 'footprint' shows
An inequality footprint has been devised by researchers, demonstrating the link that each country's domestic economic activity has to income distribution elsewhere in the world. "The footprint maps the movement of commodities around the world. It is a new tool which can assist businesses, government and non-government organisations in understanding the complex dynamics of inequality and trade," said the lead author of the paper.
- Minutes in Criminal Procedures: Writing Style Influences Judges
The formal style of interrogation records influences the reception of judges and the decisions they take – even when the actual content is the same. This was shown in a large scale study in which 645 Swiss judges participated. To date, it had only been understood that minutes containing wrong or missing statements could provoke false rulings.
- Lou Gehrig's disease study: Renewing brain's aging support cells may help neurons survive
Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, attacks muscle-controlling nerve cells – motor neurons – in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord. Patients typically survive only three to five years after diagnosis. Now ALS researchers know the effects of the attack are worsened, at least in part, by the aging and failure of support cells called astrocytes, which normally provide nutrients, housekeeping, structure and other forms of assistance for neurons.
- Possible cause of common dementia found, opening avenues for treatment
A major cause of dementia has been potentially discovered, scientists report. In the type of dementia studied, there is damage to the white matter (nerve fibres) of the brain apparent on computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of older individuals.
- Expectant mothers with epilepsy face tough choices over their medication
A new study highlights the difficult decisions women with epilepsy have to face when they become pregnant. Taking certain drugs used to control epilepsy during pregnancy may be linked to developmental problems in children. The authors of the study say evidence on the safety of anti-epileptic drugs is limited and that more research is needed to ensure women and their doctors make the most informed choices.
- Case study: Hearing loss in one infant twin affects mother's speech to both babies
Is it possible that hearing loss in one infant from a pair of twins can affect the mother’s speech to both infants? A new acoustics study zeroes in on this question and suggests that not only is this alteration of speech entirely possible, but that mothers speak to both infants as if they are hearing impaired.
- The science of charismatic voices: How one man was viewed as authoritarian, then benevolent
When a right-wing Italian politician named Umberto Bossi suffered a severe stroke in 2004, his speech became permanently impaired. Strangely, this change impacted Bossi’s perception among his party’s followers -- from appearing authoritarian to benevolent. Now researchers think they know why.
- Innovative study utilizing video games shows sleep apnea may affect memory of everyday events
Sleep apnea may affect your ability to form new spatial memories, such as remembering where you parked your car, new research suggests. The study demonstrates through the playing of a specific video game that disruption of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep as a consequence of sleep apnea impairs spatial memory in humans even when other sleep stages are intact.
- Low carb, high fat diets may reduce seizures in tough-to-treat epilepsy
Diets high in fat and low in carbohydrates, such as the ketogenic or modified Atkins diet, may reduce seizures in adults with tough-to-treat epilepsy, according to a review of research.
- New discovery could lead to more targeted head and neck cancer therapies
A protein usually linked to rare neurological disorders is also associated with human papilloma virus (HPV) positive head and neck cancers, scientists have discovered for the first time. The protein was also shown to help improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments, laying the groundwork for the development of more specialized therapies.
- Potential treatment target for cocaine addiction identified by study
A potential target for therapies to treat cocaine addiction has been identified by researchers. In their study, the investigators find evidence that changing one amino acid in a subunit of an important receptor protein alters whether cocaine-experienced animals will resume drug seeking after a period of cocaine abstinence.
- Bedside caregivers: Research shows opening visitation access improves patient satisfaction
Many believe that restrictive visitation policies affect the standard of care patients receive. Now, retrospective research from a team of nurses proves it. Put simply, the team concluded that open visitation improves patient care substantially, but only if the visitation policies are communicated clearly.
- Dozens of genes associated with autism in new research
Two major genetic studies of autism, involving more than 50 laboratories worldwide, have newly implicated dozens of genes in the disorder. The research shows that rare mutations in these genes affect communication networks in the brain and compromise fundamental biological mechanisms that govern whether, when, and how genes are activated overall.
- Parasite-schizophrenia connection: One-fifth of schizophrenia cases may involve the parasite T. gondii
Many factors, both genetic and environmental, have been blamed for increasing the risk of a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Some, such as a family history of schizophrenia, are widely accepted. Others, such as infection with Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite transmitted by soil, undercooked meat and cat feces, are still viewed with skepticism. A new study used epidemiological modeling methods to determine the proportion of schizophrenia cases that may be attributable to T. gondii infection. The work suggests that about one-fifth of cases may involve the parasite.
- Decades of research: Effectiveness of phone counseling for cancer patients still unknown
A new study asks an important question: after decades of use and study, can we definitely show that remote interventions improve psychosocial outcomes in cancer survivors, or might there be a required, in-person component of these interventions?
- Liberal or conservative? Reactions to disgust are a dead giveaway
The way a person's brain responds to a single disgusting image is enough to reliably predict whether he or she identifies politically as liberal or conservative. As we approach Election Day, the researchers say that the findings come as a reminder of something we all know but probably don't always do: 'Think, don't just react.'
- EEG test to help understand, treat schizophrenia
An EEG test to study and treat schizophrenia has been validated by researchers. The findings offer a clinical test that could be used to help diagnose persons at risk for developing mental illness later in life, as well as an approach for measuring the efficacies of different treatment options.
- Strong bonds with pets may help foster resiliency in military-connected children
Developing resiliency has important benefits for children, especially those from military families faced with significant challenges such as parental deployment and frequent moves. New research supports the idea that, along with other key resources, strong attachments to animals may help military-connected children develop resiliency and other positive developmental traits.
- Cinema-like environment helps audiences become immersed in movies even when shown on cell phones
If the surroundings are designed to be sufficiently stimulating, even a simple computer screen is enough to generate an intense cinematic experience. After observing some 300 study subjects, researchers concluded that the angle of viewing does not play a vital role in the cinematic experience, thus disproving various hypotheses. According to the results of their study, the presence of so-called contextual visual cues plays a greater role in actually drawing viewers into a movie.
- Black Republicans put most faith in US government
Black Republicans trust the United States government more than other political groups, finds a new study ahead of the mid-term US elections.
- To reap the brain benefits of physical activity, just get moving
Everyone knows that exercise makes you feel more mentally alert at any age. But do you need to follow a specific training program to improve your cognitive function? Science has shown that the important thing is to just get moving. It's that simple.
- Nano ruffles in brain matter
Researchers have deciphered the role of nanostructures around brain cells in the central nervous system. An accumulation of a protein called amyloid-beta into large insoluble deposits called plaques is known to cause Alzheimer's disease. One aspect of this illness that has not received much attention is which role the structure of the brain environment plays. How do macromolecules and macromolecular assemblies, such as polysaccharides, influence cell interaction in the brain?
- Tourism as a driver of illicit drug use, HIV risk in the Dominican Republic
A new study concludes three thing: (1) local demand shifts drug routes to tourism areas, (2) drugs shape local economies and (3) drug use facilitates HIV risk behaviors in tourism areas.
- Diets high in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and nuts among factors to lower first-time stroke risk
Eating Mediterranean or DASH-style diets, regularly engaging in physical activity and keeping your blood pressure under control can lower your risk of a first-time stroke, experts say. Additionally, these experts not updated prevention guidelines that focus on lowering stroke risk among women.
- Brain abnormalities found in chronic fatigue patients
An imaging study has found distinct differences between the brains of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and those of healthy people.
- Ghrelin stimulates an appetite for drinking alcohol
Ghrelin is a hormone released by the stomach and it stimulates appetite and food intake. Alcohol is commonly viewed as a psychoactive substance that primarily affects brain function, but it is also a highly caloric food. This knowledge, combined with findings from animal studies, led researchers to the hypothesis that ghrelin has the potential to stimulate alcohol craving.
- Evolution of competitiveness: Scientists explain diversity in competitiveness
Virtually all organisms in the living world compete with members of their own species. However, individuals differ strongly in how much they invest into their competitive ability. Some individuals are highly competitive and eager to get access to high-quality resources, while others seem to avoid competition, instead making prudent use of the lower-quality resources that are left over for them. Moreover, the degree of competitiveness in animal and human societies seems to fluctuate considerably over time. A new study sheds some new light on these findings.
- From age 8 to 80, expert reveals the price we pay for not sleeping
Most Americans who spend part of the year on daylight saving time look forward to the extra hour of sleep when it’s time to “fall back” to standard time. We are a nation of sleep-deprived people, and experts say all ages suffer in various, unhealthy ways.
- Heavy drinking in adolescence associated with lasting brain changes, animal study suggests
Heavy drinking during adolescence may lead to structural changes in the brain and memory deficits that persist into adulthood, according to an animal study. The study found that, even as adults, rats given daily access to alcohol during adolescence had reduced levels of myelin -- the fatty coating on nerve fibers that accelerates the transmission of electrical signals between neurons.
- Politics can interact with evolution to shape human destiny
Politics can have unintentional evolutionary consequences that may cause hastily issued policies to cascade into global, multigenerational problems, according to political scientists.
- Different brain tumors have the same origin, new findings show
Glioma is a common name for serious brain tumors. Different types of glioma are usually diagnosed as separate diseases and have been considered to arise from different cell types in the brain. Now researchers have shown that one and the same cell of origin can give rise to different types of glioma. This is important for the basic understanding of how these tumors are formed and can contribute to the development of more efficient and specific glioma therapies.
- 'Abandoned' stroke survivors need better longer-term care, expert says
Stroke patients need better long-term support to ensure their health and social care needs are met and prevent them feeling “abandoned”, an expert says. A third of stroke patients suffer some physical impairment as a result of a stroke, with a third left prone to depression. Patients can require help with mobility, managing emotions and maintaining relationships.
- Neglect of culture in medicine is 'single biggest barrier' to achieving better health
"Health is as much about caring as it is about curing,” experts argue in a new article. Culture is often blamed for clinical malpractice, such as in the case of the Francis Inquiry in the UK, where serious malpractice at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was ultimately attributed to the organisation's culture. But the authors point out that if culture can be responsible for such a serious lapse in standards of care, examining culture more deeply might also hold the key to better practice.
- Major factor in development of Huntington's disease uncovered
A major contributor to Huntington’s disease, a devastating progressive neurological condition that produces involuntary movements, emotional disturbance and cognitive impairment, has been uncovered by scientists. The new study shows that signaling by a specific protein can trigger onset of the disease and lead to exacerbation of symptoms.
- Sensors used to monitor dangerous hits on football field
In football, a tackle can supply 100 G’s of force or more, well above the amount that can cause a concussion and more than 10 times the force of an F-16 jet roll maneuver. Now, researchers are using the helmets of Gator football players to help measure the force of on-field hits as part of ongoing efforts to better understand and prevent concussions and treat them before they cause lasting damage.
- Universal helmet laws reduce traumatic brain injuries in young motorcyclists, according to trauma surgeons
Young motorcycle riders are significantly less likely to sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) if they live in a state with universal motorcycle helmet laws instead of a state with age-restricted ones, according to new findings.
- Pair bonding reinforced in the brain: Zebra finches use their specialized song system for simple communication
In addition to their song, songbirds also have an extensive repertoire of calls. While the species-specific song must be learned as a young bird, most calls are, as in the case of all other birds, innate. Researchers have now discovered that in zebra finches the song control system in the brain is also active during simple communication calls. This relationship between unlearned calls and an area of the brain responsible for learned vocalizations is important for understanding the evolution of song learning in songbirds.
- Higher suicide risk after served prison sentence
People who have been in prison run a higher risk of committing suicide; 18 times that of the general population. By far the highest risk of suicide comes in the first months after release and among individuals with a history of substance abuse and previous suicide attempts, experts report.