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Buildup of amyloid in brain blood vessels promotes early cognitive impairment A team of researchers has discovered in a model of Alzheimer's disease that early accumulation of a small protein, known as amyloid β, in the blood vessels of the brain can drive early cognitive impairment.
Surviving survival In the largest study of its kind, researchers have investigated the caregivers of 186 mothers to childhood brain tumor survivors aged 14-40 whose care needs last long into adulthood. They discovered that a complex interaction among the health of the caregivers, the demands experienced by the caregiver, the caregiver's perceptions about the health of the survivor, and the family's support interact to explain how the caregiver assesses herself in her role.
Happiness study finds that UK is passing point of peak life satisfaction Economists say that per capita incomes above UK's adjusted level of $37,000 make people less contentedThe latest addition to the burgeoning field of "happiness economics" has a sobering message for Britain: this is as good as it gets.For years, economists have debated if there is a cut-off point beyond which growth adds nothing to wellbeing. Now – in a study published on Thursday, the day that official figures show the fastest growth for three years – two economists have gone a step further and estimated that "sweet spot" with some precision. And the UK has reached it.According to Eugenio Proto of Warwick University and Aldo Rustichini of University of Minnesota, life satisfaction peaks when incomes per head – adjusted so that money buys the same basket of goods and services worldwide – reach $36,000 (£22,000) a year. Per capita incomes in the UK on this basis are $37,000. Beyond this point, they say, we get richer but less contented.Proto said: "Our new analysis has one very surprising finding which has not been reported before – that life satisfaction appears to dip beyond a certain level of wealth. In our study we see evidence that this is down to changes in the aspiration levels of people living in the richest countries."As countries get richer, higher levels of GDP lead to higher aspiration. There is a sense of keeping up with the Joneses as people see wealth and opportunity all around them and aspire to having more. But this aspiration gap – the difference between actual income and the income we would like – eats away at life satisfaction levels."In other words, what we aspire to becomes a moving target and one which moves away faster in the richest countries, causing the dip in happiness we see in our analysis."Using a mixture of survey evidence and GDP data, the study found a strong link between rising incomes and happiness for poor countries.Nations with a GDP per head below $6,700 were 12% less likely to report the highest level of life satisfaction than countries with a figure of about $18,000.But at about $20,000 GDP per capita, the link becomes less obvious, with people only 2% less likely to attain the highest levels of life satisfaction than in countries with the highest average incomes ($54,000). After $36,000, happiness falls slightly.The study used a combination of survey evidence, adjusted to reflect cultural differences, and GDP data to judge if higher incomes make people happier.Some economists are sceptical about this approach, saying life satisfaction does rise as incomes go up.Philip Booth, editorial director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: "There are well-known problems in using happiness data in studies such as these, though the most comprehensive evidence suggests wellbeing does continue to rise with income."However, there are simple solutions if people feel happier on lower incomes – they can work less or they can migrate from countries such as the US to countries such as Greece or South Korea. Neither of these things seem to be happening."Happiness indicesHealth & wellbeingEconomic growth (GDP)EconomicsPsychologyLarry © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
New clues to memory formation may help better treat dementia Do fruit flies hold the key to treating dementia? Biologists have taken a significant step forward in unraveling the mechanisms of Pavlovian conditioning. Their work will help them understand how memories form and, ultimately, provide better treatments to improve memory in all ages.
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Gene mutation for excessive alcohol drinking found Researchers have discovered a gene that regulates alcohol consumption and when faulty can cause excessive drinking. They have also identified the mechanism underlying this phenomenon.
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Piers Morgan: a psychiatric assessment Piers Morgan's recent Twitter comments suggest he thinks people with mental health issues shouldn't be allowed to perform meaningful jobs. However, given his history, does this mean he himself shouldn't be employed?Dean Burnett
10 Smart Studies that Help Unlock the Mysteries of Intelligence Reveals the links between intelligence and sleep, mental illness, politics, atheism, happiness and more...→ Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
ADHD linked to social, economic disadvantage A team of researchers has analyzed data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a database of more than 19,500 UK children born between 2000 and 2002, and has resolved that ADHD is linked to social and economic disadvantage.
MR spectroscopy shows differences in brains of preterm infants Premature birth appears to trigger developmental processes in the white matter of the brain that could put children at higher risk of problems later in life, according to a study.
Reputation Building and Fresh Starts In experiments in which participants play a series of games with choice of partners, then start a new series with clean reputation, we asked: What lessons do people take from experience? We found the answer to sometimes be: cooperating pays. Understanding how trusting and cooperative orientations are nurtured may one day help us to build healthier more