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- Doctors have ethical obligation to educate, protect athletes from concussion, experts say
The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the largest professional association of neurologists and a leading authority on sports concussion, is releasing a new position paper that states doctors have an ethical obligation to educate and protect athletes from sports concussion and clear them to play only when the athlete is medically ready, standing firm against objections from players, parents or coaches.
- Effect of depressed mood on pulmonary rehab completion
People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who are also depressed have difficulty sticking to a pulmonary rehabilitation program, a study shows. This appears to be particularly true for women, and screening and brief treatment of depression should be considered as part of treatment. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a common and often disabling inflammatory lung disease characterized by a progressive airway obstruction that is not fully reversible. An important component of non-medication treatment for COPD is multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation.
- L-dopa medication could be helpful in treatment of phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder
A drug used to treat Parkinson's disease could also help people with phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), scientists report. They are currently exploring the effects of psychotherapy to extinguish fears in combination with L-dopa. This drug does not only help movement disorders, but might also be used to override negative memories.
- Study cracks how brain processes emotions
Although feelings are personal and subjective, the human brain turns them into a standard code that objectively represents emotions across different senses, situations and even people, reports a new study. “Despite how personal our feelings feel, the evidence suggests our brains use a standard code to speak the same emotional language,” one researcher concludes.
- My brother's keeper: How siblings teach one another about the world
While researchers have long known that brothers and sisters teach each other about the world, most of their observations about this have been made in a lab setting. A new study has investigated a step further by observing how children interact in their natural habitat: their homes. Through the study, investigators not only confirmed that teaching occurs naturally and spontaneously, but that both older and younger siblings initiate learning activities. What's more, siblings acting as teachers use a variety of instructional techniques during these informal lessons.
- NameExoWorlds: A contest to name exoplanets and their host stars
For the first time, in response to the public’s increased interest in being part of discoveries in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union is organizing a worldwide contest to give popular names to selected exoplanets along with their host stars. The proposed names will be submitted by astronomy clubs and non-profit organzsations interested in astronomy, and votes will be cast by the public from across the world through the web platform NameExoWorlds.
- Discovery of new drug targets for memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease
Reactive astrocytes, which have been commonly observed in Alzheimer's patients, aberrantly and abundantly produce the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA and release it through the Best1 channel, researchers have discovered. The released GABA strongly inhibits neighboring neurons to cause impairment in synaptic transmission, plasticity and memory. This discovery will open a new chapter in the development of new drugs for treating such diseases.
- Adults with special needs see gains, challenges with long term oral care
Among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the likelihood of having cavities decreased as the number of years receiving dental care increased, researchers report. "Based on these results, patients had a significant decrease in cavities. Dental pain, infection, cooperation level, and hygiene also tended to improve over time; however, results for these outcomes were not statistically significant," said one researcher.
- Think fun when exercising and you'll eat less later
If you think of your next workout as a 'fun run' or as a well-deserved break, you'll eat less afterward, research has shown. However, if you think of it as exercise or as a workout you'll later eat more dessert and snacks, to reward yourself. For beginning or veteran exercisers, the bottom line is this: "Do whatever you can to make your workout fun. Play music, watch a video, or simply be grateful that you're working out instead of working in the office," said one author.
- Nearly 50 percent of grade 12 students in Ontario report texting while driving
An ongoing survey of Ontario students in grades seven to 12 reveals a number of significant behavioral trends, including an alarming number of young people who are texting while driving. More than 80 per cent of students visit social media sites daily, with about one in ten spending five hours or more on these sites daily. One in five students play video games daily or almost daily with males being almost four times as likely as females to do so.
- Discovery of new means to erase pain
It is possible to relieve pain hypersensitivity using a new method that involves rekindling pain so that it can subsequently be erased, a study by two neuroscientists shows. This discovery could lead to novel means to alleviate chronic pain. The scientists were inspired by previous work on memory conducted some fifteen years ago. These studies had revealed that when a memory is reactivated during recall, its neurochemical encoding is temporarily unlocked.
- Why people with bipolar disorder are bigger risk-takers
Circuits in the brain involved in pursuing and relishing rewarding experiences are more strongly activated in people with bipolar disorder, guiding them towards riskier gambles and away from safer ones, researchers report. The study used brain imaging to identify neural pathways that are responsible for the symptoms of the disorder. The findings will help to design, evaluate and monitor therapies for bipolar disorder.
- Will genomics soon explain the human brain gain?
Three geneticists at the forefront of human evolutionary genomics assess the changing state of the field and how we are moving closer to understanding the evolution of the human brain.
- Cinnamon may be used to halt progression of Parkinson's disease, study suggests
Using cinnamon, a common food spice and flavoring material, can reverse the biomechanical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice with Parkinson’s disease (PD), neurological scientists have found. “This could potentially be one of the safest approaches to halt disease progression in Parkinson’s patients,” the study's lead researcher said.
- Rehabilitation helps prevent depression from age-related vision loss
Depression is a common risk for people who have lost their vision from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but a new study shows that a type of rehabilitation therapy can cut this risk in half. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in the United States. About 2 million Americans age 50 and over have vision loss from AMD, and about 8 million have an earlier stage of the disease, with or without vision loss.
- Huntington's disease protein helps wire young brain
A surprising new role for the Huntington's disease protein has been uncovered: it helps wire connections in early brain development. Understanding more about how the protein works may help inform treatment for early stages of the disease. Huntington's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes a wide variety of symptoms, such as uncontrolled movements, inability to focus or remember, depression and aggression.
- Varenicline combined with nicotine patch improves smoking cessation rates
Combining the smoking cessation medication varenicline with nicotine replacement therapy was more effective than varenicline alone at achieving tobacco abstinence at 6 months, according to a study. The combination of behavioral approaches and pharmacotherapy are of proven benefit in assisting smokers to quit. Combining nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) with varenicline has been a suggested treatment to improve smoking abstinence, but its effectiveness is uncertain.
- Virtual reality crowds produce real behavior insights
Scientists are advancing virtual reality technology in the service of studying the science of the swarm: how patterns of crowd movement emerge from individual behaviors. They have developed a wireless virtual reality system to study how pedestrians interact with each other and how those individual behaviors, in turn, generate patterns of crowd movement. It's an everyday experience for all kinds of animals including ants, birds, fish and people.
- Health most common major stressful event in Americans' lives last year, poll finds
A new poll released today that examines the role of stress in Americans' lives finds that about half of the public (49 percent) reported that they had a major stressful event or experience in the past year. Nearly half (43 percent) reported that the most stressful experiences related to health.
- Harmful hookahs: Many young smokers aren't aware of danger
Despite warnings that hookah smoking can be just as dangerous as cigarettes, many young adults believe that using the water pipes is not harmful to their health, according to a study. "With hookah smoking on the rise, particularly among young adults, our goal was to identify factors influencing perceptions, attitudes and preferences toward hookah smoking," said the lead researcher.
- Cognitive assessment provides window into proficiency level of robot-assisted surgeons
Cognitive assessment can effectively measure the expertise of robotic surgeons with varying levels of experience, researchers have determined. For the cognitive testing, the participants’ cognitive engagement, mental workload and mental state were calculated from the measured EEG during each task. When they compared the results of both testing approaches among the three groups, the researchers found that cognitive assessment detected significant differences that were not identified by the tool-based metrics available through the surgical robot.
- Link shown between inflammation in maternal blood, schizophrenia in offspring
Maternal inflammation as indicated by the presence in maternal blood of early gestational C-reactive protein -- an established inflammatory biomarker -- appears to be associated with greater risk for schizophrenia in offspring. "Inflammation has been shown to alter brain development in previous studies, and schizophrenia is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Thus, this study provides an important link between inflammation and schizophrenia and may help us to better understand the biological mechanisms that lead to this disorder," one author explained.
- No rest for the bleary: Interrupted sleep can be as physically detrimental as no sleep at all
Interrupted sleep can be as physically detrimental as no sleep at all, researchers explain in a first of its kind study. In the study, the investigators establish a causal link between interrupted sleep patterns and compromised cognitive abilities, shortened attention spans, and negative moods. The researchers discovered that interrupted sleep is equivalent to no more than four consecutive hours of sleep.
- Same genes drive mathematics and reading ability
About half of the genes that influence how well a child can read also play a role in their mathematics ability, say scientists who led a study into the genetic basis of cognitive traits. While mathematics and reading ability are known to run in families, the complex system of genes affecting these traits is largely unknown. The finding deepens scientists' understanding of how nature and nurture interact, highlighting the important role that a child's learning environment may have on the development of reading and mathematics skills, and the complex, shared genetic basis of these cognitive traits.
- Drowning remains a top cause of death for children with autism
Many families beat the summer heat with trips to swimming pools, beaches, and water parks; but water safety concerns are particularly heightened for families of children with autism. In fact, drowning remains a leading cause of death in children with autism because they often become overstimulated with crowds and escape to unsafe environments.
- New smartphone app offers easy and inexpensive solution for hearing screening
A lightweight, automated and easy-to-use mobile health solution called hearScreen is ideal for developing countries and use in rural areas.
- Adults with mental illness twice as likely to use tobacco
Adults with mental illness are twice as likely to use tobacco as adults without mental illness, according to a new American report. The report found 37.8 percent of adults with mental illness smoke, compared to 17.3 percent of adults without mental illness. Nearly one-half of adults in the study who experience mental illness reported smoking in the last 30 days. Smoking rates are highest among those with serious mental illness, multiple disorders and substance use disorders.
- Underage drinkers heavily exposed to magazine ads for alcohol brands they consume
Underage drinkers between the ages of 18 and 20 see more magazine advertising than any other age group for the alcohol brands they consume most heavily, raising important questions about whether current alcohol self-regulatory codes concerning advertising are sufficiently protecting young people.
- Working memory is key to early academic achievement
Working memory in children is linked strongly to reading and academic achievement, a new study has shown. Moreover, this finding holds true regardless of socio-economic status. This suggests that children with learning difficulties might benefit from teaching methods that prevent working memory overload.
- Contradictory findings about effect of full moon on sleep
According to folklore, the full moon affects human sleep. International researchers are trying to determine whether there is any truth to the belief. Studies have found that people actually sleep 20 minutes less when the moon is full, take five minutes longer to fall asleep and experience 30 minutes more of REM sleep, during which most dreaming is believed to occur.
- Significant step towards blood test for Alzheimer's
Scientists have identified a set of 10 proteins in the blood which can predict the onset of Alzheimer's, marking a significant step towards developing a blood test for the disease. A blood test could be used to identify patients in the early stages of memory loss for clinical trials to find drugs to halt the progression of the disease.
- Tremors, shuffling and confusion may not be Parkinson's but Lewy Body Dementia
The importance of an accurate Lewy body dementia diagnosis, which may have life-saving implications, have been highlighted by experts. Affecting more than 1.3 million Americans, Lewy body dementia (LBD) is the most misdiagnosed form of dementia and, following Alzheimer’s disease, is the second most common cause of progressive dementia. It is associated with abnormal protein deposits in the brain, called Lewy bodies, that affect thinking, movement, behavior and mood, and is difficult to diagnose.
- Neuroeconomists confirm Warren Buffett's wisdom: Brain research suggests an early warning signal tips off smart traders
Investment magnate Warren Buffett has famously suggested that investors should try to 'be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy only when others are fearful.' That turns out to be excellent advice, according to the results of a new study that looked at the brain activity and behavior of people trading in experimental markets where price bubbles formed.
- Smart and socially adept increases labor market value
Data shows an increase over time in the labor market valuation of individuals who possess cognitive ability as well as social skills. No matter how you cut it, individuals who reach the highest rungs on the corporate ladder are smart and social, new research shows.
- Holistic approach to POW trauma
The compounding effects of war captivity and war trauma on prisoners of war has been the focus of a recent study. While symptoms of psychological illness are often pigeon-holed as specific individual disorders, one researcher argues against a narrow 'tunnel vision' in treating POWs.
- Of non-marijuana drug users in the ER, nearly all are problem drug users
Of emergency patients who reported any drug other than marijuana as their primary drug of use, 90.7 percent met the criteria for problematic drug use. Among patients who reported cannabis (marijuana) as their primary drug, almost half met the criteria for having a drug problem, according to a study.
- Mathematical model illustrates our online 'copycat' behavior
Researchers examined how users are influenced in the choice of apps that they install on their Facebook pages by creating a mathematical model to capture the dynamics at play.
- Understanding of how hearing works advanced by new research
Understanding how hearing works has long been hampered by challenges associated with seeing inside the inner ear, but technology being developed by a team of researchers is generating some of the most detailed images of the inner ear to date. Employing a technique that generates high-resolution, three-dimensional images, researchers are mapping the tissues within the cochlea, the portion of the inner ear responsible for hearing.
- Dodging dots helps explain brain circuitry
Neuroscientists looked cell by cell at the brain circuitry that tadpoles, and possibly other animals, use to avoid collisions. The study produced a model of how individual inhibitory and excitatory neurons can work together to control a simple behavior. The basic circuitry involved is present in a wide variety of animals, including people, which is no surprise given how fundamental collision avoidance is across animal behavior.
- Moral beliefs a barrier to HPV vaccine, researchers find
The biggest barrier to receiving a human papillomavirus vaccine was moral or religious beliefs, a survey of first-year students has indicated. The HPV vaccines are commonly recommended for children ages 11-12 to protect against cervical cancers in women, and genital warts and other cancers in men.
- Support team aiding caregivers of cancer patients shows success, researchers report
Many caregivers of terminal cancer patients suffer depression and report regret and guilt from feeling they could have done more to eliminate side effects and relieve the pain. So researchers devised and tested an intervention that quickly integrates a cancer support team to guide caregivers and their patients through difficult end-of-life treatment and decisions.
- Retired NFL players may be at risk for hearing loss and tinnitus
Retired NFL players may be at risk for permanent hearing loss and tinnitus, according to an ear surgeon. Many NFL players suffer one or more concussions during their careers. And Leonetti notes that such blunt head trauma has been associated with hearing loss and tinnitus (chronic ringing or buzzing in the ears).
- Alzheimer's disease: Simplified diagnosis, with more reliable criteria
How many patients receive an incorrect diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease? The answer is a surprisingly high number: over a third, researchers report. To reduce the number of errors, researchers have developed a simplified diagnosis based on the most specific criteria of the disease. A challenge primarily for research, but also for clinical practice.
- Sleep deprivation leads to symptoms of schizophrenia, research shows
Twenty-four hours of sleep deprivation can lead to conditions in healthy persons similar to the symptoms of schizophrenia. This discovery was made by an international team of researchers, who point out that this effect should be investigated more closely in persons who have to work at night. In addition, sleep deprivation may serve as a model system for the development of drugs to treat psychosis.
- Taking a short smartphone break improves employee well-being, research finds
Short smartphone breaks throughout the workday can improve workplace productivity, make employees happier and benefit businesses, a researcher reports. "By interacting with friends or family members through a smartphone or by playing a short game, we found that employees can recover from some of their stress to refresh their minds and take a break," the researcher said.
- Teen dating violence cuts both ways: 1 in 6 girls, guys have been aggressors, victims or both
Dating during the teen years takes a violent turn for nearly 1 in 6 young people, a new study finds, with both genders reporting acts like punching and throwing things. The data, drawn from a survey of over 4,000 patients ages 14 to 20, indicate that dating violence is common & affects both genders.
- Important piece in brain tumor puzzle found by scientists
A member of the protein family known as SUMO -- small ubiquitin-like modifier -- is a key to why tumor cells multiply uncontrollably, especially in the case of glioblastoma, scientists have discovered. Glioblastoma is the most common and lethal brain cancer. Current standard treatments include surgical resection, adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Despite the treatments, patients survive about a year and half. The cancer continues growing in part due to the presence of the cancer stem cells.
- College athletes with abusive coaches more willing to cheat
College athletes who have abusive coaches are more willing to cheat in order to win than players with more ethical coaches, according to new research based on surveys from almost 20,000 student athletes at more than 600 colleges across the country. Men’s teams were much more willing to cheat than women’s teams, according to the study, and men’s football, basketball and baseball teams reported the highest willingness to cheat at large universities where players are often under intense pressure to win.
- How two simple questions could help GPs identify patients with drinking problems
Alcohol problems are often undetected in primary care but by asking two simple questions, GPs could quickly uncover which patients have drinking problems -- including patients who would otherwise remain undetected -- according to new research.
- 18% of high school seniors smoke hookah, researchers find
While cigarette use is declining precipitously among youth, evidence indicates that American adolescents are turning to ethnically linked alternative tobacco products, such as hookahs, cigars, and various smokeless tobacco products, according to a recent report. A new study identifies how prevalent Hookah use is and which teens are most likely to be using it.
- Does depression require hospitalization?
A new study has analyzed the difference between day hospital and inpatient stay in depression. Depending on the severity of depression, patients may be treated at different levels of care with psychotherapy and/or antidepressant medication. While several previous studies compared the efficacy of different levels of care for psychotherapy of personality disorders, sufficient data is lacking for the comparison of day-clinic and inpatient psychotherapy for depression. The current pilot study evaluates the feasibility of randomization in a routine hospital setting and compares preliminary efficacy for day-clinic and inpatient psychotherapy for depression.
- The long-term effects of psychotherapy on borderline personality disorder
A new study has analyzed the long-term effects of psychotherapy on borderline personality disorder. Authors report the effect of DBT compared to TAU on inpatient service use, and a follow-up 6 months after the end of treatment.
- Personality and heart attacks: A new look
A new study has addressed the relationship between personality and heart attacks. Distressed (type D) personality (TDP), characterized by high negative affectivity (NA) and social inhibition (SI), along with depression, anxiety and other negative affects (such as demoralization, hopelessness, pessimism and rumination) have been implicated as potential risk factors for coronary artery disease. While some evidence suggests that the NA dimension of TDP overlaps at least partially with depression, other studies underline how ‘TDP refers to a chronic, more covert form of distress that is distinct from depression'.
- Temperament may contribute to cardiac complications in high blood pressure
Temperament has been traditionally associated with high blood pressure. A new study has substantiated this issue. Major depression and coronary heart disease have a strong, bidirectional relationship.
- New optogenetic tool for controlling neuronal signalling by blue light
Scientists have developed a new technology in the field of optogenetics that can remotely control specific receptors by light. They have named this new technology “OptoTrk” and it has succeeded with neuronal differentiation inducement.
- Headbanging: Doctors highlight potential dangers at hardcore rock 'n' roll acts
German doctors highlight the potential dangers surrounding headbanging. Authors detail the case of a man who developed a chronic subdural haematoma after headbanging at a Motörhead concert. "This case serves as evidence in support of Motörhead's reputation as one of the most hardcore rock'n'roll acts on earth, if nothing else because of their music's contagious speed drive and the hazardous potential for headbanging fans to suffer brain injury," authors conclude.
- Burst spinal artery aneurysm linked to Ecstasy use
Taking the street drug Ecstasy could lead to a potentially fatal weakening and rupture of the spinal cord artery, doctors warn. Posterior spinal artery aneurysms -- a blood-filled swelling of the spinal cord artery, caused by a weakening and distension of the vessel wall -- are rare, with only 12 cases reported to date. But all of them caused spinal bleeding which affected the function of the spinal cord. Doctors discovered one of these aneurysms in a previously healthy teenager who had taken Ecstasy or MDMA.
- A dominant hemisphere for handedness and language?
Through an innovative approach using a large psychometric and brain imaging database, researchers have demonstrated that the location of language areas in the brain is independent of left- or right-handedness, except for a very small proportion of left-handed individuals whose right hemisphere is dominant for both manual work and language.
- Compounded outcomes associated with comorbid Alzheimer's disease, cerebrovascular disease
Anecdotal information on patients with both Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular disease have been confirmed by researchers using mouse models in two different studies. The findings, which found elevated levels of homocysteine is associated with a number of disease states, have potentially significant implications for patients with both disorders.
- Doing something is better than doing nothing for most people, study shows
People are focused on the external world and don’t enjoy spending much time alone thinking, according to a new study. The investigation found that most would rather be doing something -- possibly even hurting themselves -- than doing nothing or sitting alone with their thoughts.