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- Sleep difficulties common among toddlers with psychiatric disorders
Sleep difficulties -- particularly problems with falling asleep -- were very common among toddlers and preschool-aged children who were receiving clinical treatment for a wide range of psychiatric disorders, a study has found. "This study is a great reminder that it's critical for mental health providers working with young children and their families to ask about children's sleep," said one expert.
- California's tobacco control efforts losing steam, finds report
California’s position as a leader in tobacco control is under threat, according to a new report. Once a highly successful program and international model, the state's anti-tobacco efforts now appear to be waning due to the decreased spending power of the California Tobacco Control Program, a resurgence of the tobacco industry in state politics, and the emergence of new unregulated tobacco products.
- Reminiscing can help boost mental performance
Engaging brain areas linked to so-called 'off-task' mental activities (such as mind-wandering and reminiscing) can actually boost performance on some challenging mental tasks, a new research led by a neuroscientist shows for the first.
- ALS is a protein aggregation disease, research shows
Using a technique that illuminates subtle changes in individual proteins, chemistry researchers have uncovered new insight into the underlying causes of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
- Bullying in schools still prevalent, american national report finds
Despite a dramatic increase in public awareness and anti-bullying legislation nationwide, the prevalence of bullying is still one of the most pressing issues facing our nation's youth, according to a report.
- New window of opportunity to prevent cardiovascular, diseases
Future prevention and treatment strategies for vascular diseases may lie in the evaluation of early brain imaging tests long before heart attacks or strokes occur, according to a systematic review conducted by a team of cardiologists, neuroscientists, and psychiatrists.
- Babies' interest in faces linked to callous, unemotional traits
An infant's preference for a person's face, rather than an object, is associated with lower levels of callous and unemotional behaviors in toddlerhood, scientists have found. Callous and unemotional behaviours include a lack of guilt and empathy, reduced concern for other's distress and difficulties with understanding emotions. In older children and adults, callous unemotional traits have been associated with reduced attention to important social features such as other people's faces and eyes.
- Dispositional mindfulness associated with better cardiovascular health
A new study that measured 'dispositional mindfulness' along with seven indicators of cardiovascular health found that persons reporting higher degrees of awareness of their present feelings and experiences had better health. The research suggests that interventions to improve mindfulness could benefit cardiovascular health, an idea researchers can test.
- Precise, programmable biological circuits
Several new components for biological circuits have been developed by researchers. These components are key building blocks for constructing precisely functioning and programmable bio-computers. "The ability to combine biological components at will in a modular, plug-and-play fashion means that we now approach the stage when the concept of programming as we know it from software engineering can be applied to biological computers. Bio-engineers will literally be able to program in future."
- A new tune: There is intonation in sign language too
Intonation is an integral part of communication for all speakers. But can sign languages have intonation? A new study shows that signers use their faces to create intonational ‘melodies’ just as speakers use their voices, and that the melodies of the face can differ from one sign language to another.
- If you're over 60, drink up: Alcohol associated with better memory
For people 60 and older who do not have dementia, light alcohol consumption during late life is associated with higher episodic memory -- the ability to recall memories of events -- researchers report.
- Two days later: Adolescents' conflicts with family spill over to school, vice versa
Family conflict and problems at school tend to occur together on the same day. A new study has found that these problems spill over in both directions for up to two days after. The study found that teens with more pronounced mental health symptoms, anxiety and depression, for example, are at risk for intensified spillover. The study followed over a hundred 13 to 17 year olds and their parents over a 14-day period.
- Teens whose parents exert more psychological control have trouble with closeness, independence
Teens whose parents exerted psychological control over them at age 13 had problems establishing healthy friendships and romantic relationships both in adolescence and into adulthood, a new longitudinal study has found. The study followed 184 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse teens from age 13 to 21. It found that giving in to 'peer pressure' was more common among teens whose parents used guilt, withdrawing love, fostering anxiety, or other psychologically manipulative tactics.
- Music therapy reduces depression in children, adolescents
Music therapy reduces depression in children and adolescents with behavioral and emotional problems, a study has found.
- Omega 3 can help children with ADD, experts say
Supplements of the fatty acids omega 3 and 6 can help children and adolescents who have a certain kind of ADHD. New research also indicates that a special cognitive training program can improve problem behavior in children with ADHD.
- Exposure therapy appears helpful in treating patients with prolonged grief
Cognitive behavioral therapy with exposure therapy, where patients relive the experience of a death of a loved one, resulted in greater reductions in measures of prolonged grief disorder than CBT alone, a study finds.
- Bipolar disorder discovery at the nano level
A nano-sized discovery helps explain how bipolar disorder affects the brain and could one day lead to new drug therapies to treat the mental illness, researchers report.
- Baby cries show evidence of cocaine exposure during pregnancy
A new study provides the first known evidence of how a similar acoustic characteristic in the cry sounds of human infants and rat pups may be used to detect the harmful effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on nervous system development.
- Bariatric surgery success influenced by how people view their own weight
Negative feelings about one's own weight, known as internalized weight bias, influence the success people have after undergoing weight loss surgery, according to research. The study is considered the first and only study to examine internalized weight bias in relation to post-surgical weight loss success in adults.
- Brain simulation raises questions
What does it mean to simulate the human brain? Why is it important to do so? And is it even possible to simulate the brain separately from the body it exists in? These questions are discussed in a new paper.
- Project screenings show need for more mental health services in youth detention
More mental health screenings and services are needed for juvenile offenders, experts say. The intent of this study was to implement mental health screening; determine the percentage of youth detainees in need of services; assess the availability and extent of detention center mental health follow-up and referral services; and assess whether a disparity exists due to the size and geographic location of the detention center.
- Aging in place: Does a loved one need a geriatric assessment?
By a tremendous margin – over 95 percent – older Americans choose to live at home or with relatives. Families making that choice should consider seeking the assistance of a geriatric specialist, especially when they see changes in their loved one’s behavior, an expert says.
- Early intervention could boost education levels
Taking steps from an early age to improve childhood education skills could raise overall population levels of academic achievement by as much as 5%, and reduce socioeconomic inequality in education by 15%, according to international research.
- Mathematical model shows how brain remains stable during learning
Complex biochemical signals that coordinate fast and slow changes in neuronal networks keep the brain in balance during learning, according to an international team of scientists. Neuronal networks form a learning machine that allows the brain to extract and store new information from its surroundings via the senses. Researchers have long puzzled over how the brain achieves sensitivity and stability to unexpected new experiences during learning -- two seemingly contradictory requirements.
- Human skin cells reprogrammed directly into brain cells
Scientists have described a way to convert human skin cells directly into a specific type of brain cell affected by Huntington’s disease, an ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Unlike other techniques that turn one cell type into another, this new process does not pass through a stem cell phase, avoiding the production of multiple cell types, report researchers.
- Association between air toxics, childhood autism
Children with autism spectrum disorder were more likely to have been exposed to higher levels of certain air toxics during their mothers' pregnancies and the first two years of life compared to children without the condition, according to the preliminary findings of an investigation of American children.
- Criminologists try to solve murder mystery: Who will become a killer?
In a study of 1,354 youths charged with serious crimes, the youths charged with homicide had lower IQs and more exposure to violence.
- Clinical trial could change standard treatment for stroke
A large international clinical trial has shed new light on the effectiveness of current hospital protocols for managing blood pressure in stroke patients. The study has tried to solve two major conundrums faced by doctors when treating people who have suffered a stroke -- should blood pressure be lowered using medicated skin patches, and should existing blood pressure medication be stopped or continued after a stroke?
- Susceptibility for relapsing major depressive disorder can be calculated
The question if an individual will suffer from relapsing major depressive disorder is not determined by accident. Neuroscientists have chosen a new research approach, using computer-based models to study the disease. They show that chronic depression is triggered due to an unfortunate combination of internal and external factors.
- Genes exhibit different behaviours in different stages of development
The effect that genes have on our brain depends on our age, researchers say. It has been known for a number of years that particular genetic variations are of importance for the functioning of neural circuits in the brain. Just how these effects differ in the various stages of life has until recently not been fully understood. This international study has been able to demonstrate that genetic variations at different times in our lives can actually have opposite effects on the brain, which provides an explanation for the differences that clinicians observe in the psychiatric symptoms and response to medications of adolescents and adults.
- Clot dissolver tpa's tardy twin could aid in stroke recovery
uPA appears to help brain cells recover from the injuries induced by loss of blood flow. Treating mice with uPA after an experimental stroke can improve their recovery of motor function, researchers have found.
- Unsteady on your feet? Little touches could make all the difference
When a toddler takes their first steps we observe an uncertain sway in their walking. Being unsteady on our feet is something we can experience throughout life -- and a new study has shown how even the lightest fingertip touch can help people to maintain their balance.
- Teenage self-harm linked to problems in later life
Those who self-harm as teenagers are more at risk of developing mental health and substance misuse problems as adults, new research from the biggest study of its kind in the UK has revealed.
- Boosting use of multi-sensory environments in dementia care
A new guide has shed fresh light on the positive impact multi-sensory environments can have when caring for people with dementia. The guide contains advice about different materials and tools that can be used to stimulate senses, such as scents like lavender to relax and calm, sounds from the great outdoors and foods with particular flavours. These can all help to improve mood, trigger memories and engage people living with dementia.
- Nursery places for three-year-olds: introduction of free entitlement did not deliver long-term benefits for children’s development, new research finds
Free part-time nursery places for three- year-olds enabled some children to do better in assessments at the end of Reception, but overall educational benefits are small and do not last, a study shows.
- Smoking interferes with neurocognitive recovery during abstinence from alcohol
Researchers know that alcohol-dependent individuals (ALC) sustain neurocognitive impairment even after detoxification. A new study examines specific domains of cognitive recovery in conjunction with smoking status. Findings show that smoking status influenced the rate and level of neurocognitive recovery during eight months of abstinence in the ALC group.
- Bar attendance supports heavy drinking by young adults in the US-Mexico border region
Mexico is a nearby destination where younger US residents can legally drink heavily. However, high levels of drinking on the US side are not always linked to recent travel to Mexico. New findings show that higher levels of drinking among US-Mexico border youth are closely linked to their patterns of bar attendance, but not to how they think about drinking.
- Understanding drinking behaviors among women with unwanted pregnancies
Most women reduce or stop drinking alcohol upon discovery of pregnancy. A new study looks at changes in alcohol use, and factors contributing to these changes, among women with unwanted pregnancies. Findings indicate that most women with unwanted pregnancies quit or reduce alcohol consumption once they discover their pregnancies, and that some may be substituting alcohol for drugs once they discover their pregnancies.
- Bogus recycling bins help identify drinking patterns among low-income seniors
Substance abuse is the fastest growing health concern for older adults. New findings show that drinking levels are high enough to be concerning and tend to spike around the times older adults receive their social security checks. These results may have prevention implications for social workers working with low-income seniors.
- How troubled marriage, depression history promote obesity
The double-whammy of marital hostility and a history of depression can increase the risk for obesity in adults by altering how the body processes high-fat foods, according to new research.
- Immersed in violence: How 3-D gaming affects video game players
Playing violent video games in 3-D makes everything seem more real -- and that may have troubling consequences for players, a new study reveals. Researchers found that people who played violent video games in 3-D showed more evidence of anger afterward than did people who played using traditional 2-D systems -- even those with large screens.
- Most published medical research is false; Here's how to improve
In 2005, in a landmark paper viewed well over a million times, John Ioannidis explained in PLOS Medicine why most published research findings are false. To coincide with PLOS Medicine's 10th anniversary he responds to the challenge of this situation by suggesting how the research enterprise could be improved.
- Impressions shaped by facial appearance foster biased decisions
Research in recent years has shown that people associate specific facial traits with an individual's personality. People consistently associate trustworthiness, competence, dominance, and friendliness with specific facial traits. According to a new article, people rely on these subtle facial traits to make important decisions, from voting for a political candidate to convicting a suspect for a crime. The authors present its real-world consequences and discuss potential ways of overcoming it.
- Significant rise in e-cigarette use among youth in Poland
Use of electronic cigarettes among students in Poland has increased dramatically, rising more than threefold in just the last three years, research finds. Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated products that heat a liquid solution that vaporizes nicotine and other additives, which are then inhaled by the user.
- Research highlights extent, effects of school violence in U.S.
Six percent of U.S. children and youth missed a day of school over the course of a year because they were the victim of violence or abuse at school. "This study really highlights the way school violence can interfere with learning," says the lead author. "Too many kids are missing school because they do not feel safe."
- Survey shows what Americans fear most
The Chapman Survey on American Fears included 1,500 participants from across the nation and all walks of life. The research team leading this effort pared the information down into four basic categories: personal fears, crime, natural disasters and fear factors.
- Fight against Alzheimer's disease: New research on walnuts
An new animal study reveals potential brain-health benefits of a walnut-enriched diet. Researchers suggest that a diet including walnuts may have a beneficial effect in reducing the risk, delaying the onset, slowing the progression of, or preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Animal therapy reduces anxiety, loneliness symptoms in college students
Animal-assisted therapy can reduce symptoms of anxiety and loneliness among college students, according to researchers who provided animal-assisted therapy to 55 students in a group setting at a small arts college. They found a 60 percent decrease in self-reported anxiety and loneliness symptoms following animal-assisted therapy, in which a registered therapy dog was under the supervision of a licensed mental health practitioner.
- Seven ways to feel full without overeating
Not feeling full after or between meals can result in overeating. Eating certain nutrients and foods may help curb appetite and keep one feeling fuller longer, according to an expert.
- Immune proteins moonlight to regulate brain-cell connections
When it comes to the brain, 'more is better' seems like an obvious assumption. But in the case of synapses, which are the connections between brain cells, too many or too few can both disrupt brain function. Researchers recently found an immune-system protein that moonlights in the nervous system to help regulate the number of synapses, and could play an unexpected role in conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes and autism.
- Memory decline among menopausal women could be next research frontier for hypnotic relaxation therapy
Memory decline — a frequent complaint of menopausal women — potentially could be lessened by hypnotic relaxation therapy, say researchers who already have done studies showing that such therapy eases hot flashes, improves sleep and reduces stress in menopausal women.
- Hungry or not, kids will eat treats
Even though they are not hungry, children as young as three will find high-energy treats too tempting to refuse, new research has confirmed. In a study of three and four year olds, 100 per cent of children opted for a sweet or savory snack despite eating a filling healthy lunch only 15 minutes prior.
- Child's poor decision-making skills can predict later behavior problems, research shows
Children who show poor decision-making skills at age 10 or 11 may be more likely to experience interpersonal and behavioral difficulties that have the potential to lead to high-risk health behavior in their teen years, according to a new study.
- Sleep duration affects risk for ulcerative colitis
If you are not getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, you may be at increased risk of developing ulcerative colitis, according to a new study.
- Analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs may have impact on depression
Ordinary over the counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs purchased from pharmacies may also be effective in the treatment of people suffering of depression, as demonstrated by the largest ever meta-analysis based on 14 international studies with a total 6,262 patients who either suffered from depression or had individual symptoms of depression.
- Tarantula venom illuminates electrical activity in live cells
A cellular probe that combines a tarantula toxin with a fluorescent compound has been developed to help scientists observe electrical activity in neurons and other cells. This is the first time researchers have been able to visually observe these electrical signaling proteins turn on without genetic modification.
- Alternate approach to traditional CPR saves lives
Survival and neurological outcomes for patients in cardiac arrest can be improved by adding extracorporeal membrane oxygenation when performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a study shows.
- Even depressed people believe that life gets better
Adults typically believe that life gets better -- today is better than yesterday was and tomorrow will be even better than today. A new study shows that even depressed individuals believe in a brighter future, but this optimistic belief may not lead to better outcomes.
- A rich vocabulary can protect against cognitive impairment
Some people suffer incipient dementia as they get older. To make up for this loss, the brain's cognitive reserve is put to the test. Researchers have studied what factors can help to improve this ability and they conclude that having a higher level of vocabulary is one such factor. 'Cognitive reserve' is the name given to the brain's capacity to compensate for the loss of its functions. This reserve cannot be measured directly; rather, it is calculated through indicators believed to increase this capacity.
- Key factor in transition from moderate to problem drinking
A tiny segment of genetic material known as a microRNA plays a central role in the transition from moderate drinking to binge drinking and other alcohol use disorders, researchers have discovered.