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Heavy drinking during adolescence: Dire effects on the brain A review of the literature shows that the effects of heavy drinking among young people on the brain are serious -- binge drinking among young people is associated with a thinning or reduction of areas of the brain that play a key role in memory, attention, language, awareness and consciousness, which include cortical and subcortical structures.
Helping Patients in Eating Disorder Recovery to Cope with... Transitions and major life changes are often tough for people in general. However, for those who struggle with mental illness-life stressors can often serve to exacerbate their symptoms. As clinicians, it’s important that we are aware of how a patient’s life events and stressors might … ...
Epilepsy biomarkers pave way for noninvasive diagnosis, better treatments A unique metabolic signature associated with epileptic brain tissue that causes seizures has been identified by researchers. It will allow physicians to precisely identify small regions of abnormal brain tissue in early-stage epilepsy patients that can’t be detected today using current technology, they say.
New insights into complex processes The blood-brain barrier is a crucial protection mechanism: it is a highly selective physical barrier that prevents pathogens and toxins in the circulatory system from entering the central nervous system where they could create havoc. At the same time, however, it prevents many therapeutic drugs from reaching the brain, making it much more difficult to treat medical conditions such as stroke, brain tumors or edemas.
Language development starts in the womb A month before they are born, fetuses carried by American mothers-to-be can distinguish between someone speaking to them in English and Japanese. Using non-invasive sensing technology for the first time for this purpose, a group of researchers has shown this in-utero language discrimination. Their study has implications for fetal research in other fields.
Reversing fetal alcohol damage after birth: Study offers hope Two commonly used drugs erased the learning and memory deficits caused by fetal alcohol exposure when the drugs were given after birth, thus potentially identifying a treatment for the disorder, reports a new study. The scientists also newly identified a key molecular mechanism by which alcohol neurologically and developmentally harms the developing fetus.
Replacing a palatable high-fat diet with low fat food causes withdrawal-like symptoms in mice Researchers have found that mice fed a palatable high-fat diet experience stress responses that resemble drug withdrawal when their food is switched to a low-fat diet. A study has identified brain changes in the dopamine neurotransmitter system caused by stress when the palatable diet was removed.
Low-dose diazepam can increase social competitiveness Scientists have discovered how low-dose anxiolytics increase the social competitiveness of high-anxious individuals by boosting the energy output of mitochondria in an area of the mammalian brain that controls motivation and reward.
Best of Our Blogs: July 18, 2017 How do you prepare for difficult situations? Whether an upcoming test, presentation or event with a toxic family member, we usually avoid thinking about it. But preparing can mean the difference between leaving the situation victorious or feeling like a victim and failure. Don’t wait … ...
The Challenges of Intimacy Why intimacy requires constant vigilance.
In baby's dirty diapers, the clues to baby's brain development Can the kinds of microbes colonizing the gut at age 1 predict later cognitive development? New findings shed light on the surprising role of bacteria in how our brains develop during the first years of life.
Are Friends the Enemies of Wise Choices? Don't let your friends take you for a ride! Learn how to avoid letting them manipulate you into making bad decisions.
No, Empathy Isn’t a Universal Value Which countries score the highest on empathy?
Study examines: Does a larger wine glass make you drink faster — or slower? Larger wine glasses might not always encourage faster drinking, according to research published in the journal BMC Psychology. “Alcohol consumption is the fifth largest risk factor for premature mortality and disability in the UK and worldwide.  However, factors influencing alcohol consumption are unclear. Our recent Cochrane review found that larger portion sizes and tableware increased consumption [...]
Study finds social conservatives have heightened brain reaction to a wide variety of stimuli New neuroimaging research has uncovered a difference in how the brains of socially conservative and socially liberal individuals in Canada respond to images. The study, which was published in the scientific journal Emotion, provides evidence that our emotional predispositions influence our political orientation. “One of the fundamental assumptions of a well-functioning democracy is that the best [...]
How we learn to read another’s mind by looking into their eyes Eyes play a prominent role in our daily social encounters and are sometimes metaphorically referred to as windows to our souls. There now is compelling evidence to support the notion that much information about another person’s mind can be gleaned from his or her eyes. In one proof of concept, the Reading the Mind in [...]
The brain and the gut talk to each other: how fixing one could help the other It’s widely recognised that emotions can directly affect stomach function. As early as 1915, influential physiologist Walter Cannon noted that stomach functions are changed in animals when frightened. The same is true for humans. Those who stress a lot often report diarrhoea or stomach pain. We now know this is because the brain communicates with [...]
President Trump's Most Dangerous Enemy President Trump reveals his mind just about every time he says or does something extreme.
Get Out the Crayons: Study Shows Doodling Boosts Your... A few years back, I came across an old box that held notebooks from my college courses. As I leafed through the pages, I smiled at my prolific use of the margins as a space for doodling. A new study shows that in the act … ...
The life-changing science of photographing your clutter Students encouraged to photograph things before giving them away donated 35 percent more.