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Mind & Brain In the News ...

Chronic opioid therapy can disrupt sleep, increase risk of sleep disorders
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

Patients and medical providers should be aware that chronic opioid use can interfere with sleep by reducing sleep efficiency and increasing the risk of sleep-disordered breathing.

Daily cannabis use lowers odds of using illicit opioids among people who have chronic pain
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

For those using illicit opioids to manage their chronic pain, cannabis may be a beneficial -- and a less dangerous -- alternative, according to new research.

Evidence in mice that childhood asthma is influenced by the neurotransmitter dopamine
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

Neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine communicate with T cells to enhance allergic inflammation in the lungs of young mice but not older mice, researchers report. The findings potentially explain why asthma susceptibility is higher in children. By highlighting the important role of interactions between the nervous system and the immune system in childhood asthma, the results could lead to new strategies for treating the common chronic disease.

Boredom is on the rise for adolescents, especially girls
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

New research has found that boredom is rising year after year for teens in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades, with greater increases for girls than boys.

Yoga and physical therapy as treatment for chronic lower back pain also improves sleep
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

Yoga and physical therapy (PT) are effective approaches to treating co-occurring sleep disturbance and back pain while reducing the need for medication, according to a new study. The research showed significant improvements in sleep quality lasting 52 weeks after 12 weeks of yoga classes or 1-on-1 PT, which suggests a long-term benefit of these non-pharmacologic approaches.

Husbands' stress increases if wives earn more than 40% of household income
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

Husbands are least stressed when their wives earn up to 40% of household income but they become increasingly uncomfortable as their spouse's wages rise beyond that point.

Catatonia in Down syndrome
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

Down syndrome, due to an extra chromosome 21, occurs in 250,000 children and adults in the United States, making it the country's most common chromosomal disorder. Inherited heart defects, thyroid cancer, celiac disease and developmental disabilities are common Down syndrome complications. Only recently has catatonia, a behavioral condition marked by new onset immobility, mutism, withdrawal and other behavioral abnormalities, been recognized in Down syndrome.

Trash talk hurts, even when it comes from a robot
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

Trash talking has a long and colorful history of flustering game opponents, and now researchers have demonstrated that discouraging words can be perturbing even when uttered by a robot.

Ayahuasca compound changes brainwaves to vivid 'waking-dream' state
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

Scientists have peered inside the brain to show how taking DMT affects human consciousness by significantly altering the brain's electrical activity.

Get over it? When it comes to recycled water, consumers won't
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

If people are educated on recycled water, they may come to agree it's perfectly safe and tastes as good -- or better -- than their drinking water. They may even agree it's an answer to the critical water imbalance in California. But that doesn't mean they're going to use recycled water -- and it sure doesn't mean they'll drink it. And the reason lies in the word 'disgust.'

Virtual 'moonwalk' for science reveals distortions in spatial memory
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

In order to orient ourselves in space, and to find our way around, we form mental maps of our surroundings. But what happens if the coordinate system of our brain, which measures our mental maps, is distorted?

Research reveals no link between statins and memory loss
Posted on Tuesday November 19, 2019

Over 6 years, researchers evaluated the cognitive effects of statins in elderly consumers, revealing no negative impact and potential protective effects in those at risk of dementia.

Older adults and wearable activity trackers
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

For older adults, wearable activity trackers may be popular gifts, but they may not be used for very long. While counterintuitive, engaging in competition with family and friends decreases the odds of long-term use among older adults, perhaps because they feel it's demotivating, according to a new study.

Mechanism connects early binge drinking to adult behaviors
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

Intermittent exposure to high levels of alcohol in adolescent animals leads to increased levels of microRNA-137 in the brains of adults. Blocking microRNA-137 helps to reverse or the lasting effects of youth drinking, such as increased alcohol use and anxiety.

Money spent on beer ads linked to underage drinking
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

Advertising budgets and strategies used by beer companies appear to influence underage drinking, according to new research. The findings show that the amount of money spent on advertising strongly predicted the percentage of teens who had heard of, preferred and tried different beer brands.

Helicopter parents and 'hothouse children' -- exploring the high stakes of family dynamics
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

The phenomenon of helicopter parenting most often occurs in middle- to upper-class families where stakes are high for parents to be able to show off their children's success. Her research, which focuses on young adults 18- to 24- years-old, indicates that high helicopter parenting leads to 'low mastery, self-regulation and social competence.'

HIV drug exposure in womb may increase child risk of microcephaly, developmental delays
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

Children born to women on HIV therapy containing the drug efavirenz were 2 to 2.5 times more likely to have microcephaly, or small head size, compared to children born to women on regimens of other antiretroviral drugs, according to a new analysis. The children with microcephaly also had a higher risk for developmental delays, compared to children with normal head size.

People in counties with worse economies are more likely to die from heart disease
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

Communities in the United States that experienced the most economic distress in the wake of the Great Recession saw a significant increase in death rates from heart disease and strokes among middle-aged people. While the death rates remained nearly unchanged in counties with the least economic distress, areas experiencing worsening economic trends saw a sharp increase, from 122 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2010 to 127.6 deaths in 2015.

The difference between an expert's brain and a novice's
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

In learning new tasks, neuron networks in the brain of mice become more refined and selective. Charting changes in neural activity can help inform the design of better computational models for understanding decision making and cognition.

Don't confuse luck with skill when rewarding performance
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

Managers and those who evaluate the performance of others, whether in the workplace or on the sporting field, are likely to be often confusing luck with skill, and over rewarding those who are just lucky, a new study reveals.

Opioid prescription doses are increasingly being tapered, often more rapidly than recommended
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

Stigma and safety fears have made daily dose tapering of opioid prescriptions more common. New research, however, shows tapering can occur at rates as much as six times higher than recommended, putting patients at risk of withdrawal, uncontrolled pain or mental health crises.

Personality traits affect retirement spending
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

How quickly you spend your savings in retirement may have as much or more to do with your personality than whether you have a lot of debt or want to leave an inheritance.

Side effects mild, brief with single antidepressant dose of intravenous ketamine
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

Researchers found that a single, low-dose ketamine infusion was relatively free of side effects for patients with treatment-resistant depression. Widespread off-label use of intravenous subanesthetic-dose ketamine has raised concerns about side effects, especially given its history as a drug of abuse. The most common short-term side effect of the rapid-acting treatment was 'feeling strange or loopy.'

Schools less important than parents in determining higher education aspirations
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

A new study shows that the elementary school a child attends has almost no influence on their desire to progress to higher education -- as factors including parental aspirations, academic support from their mother and having a desk to work on are much more important.

Researchers bring gaming to autonomous vehicles
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

Researchers have designed multiplayer games occupants of autonomous vehicles can play with other players in nearby self-driving cars. A new study details three games created for level three and higher semi-autonomous vehicles. The researchers also made suggestions for many exciting types of in-car games for future exploration.

Link between inflammation and mental sluggishness shown in new study
Posted on Saturday November 16, 2019

Scientists have uncovered a possible explanation for the mental sluggishness that often accompanies illness.

New cell therapy improves memory and stops seizures following TBI
Posted on Friday November 15, 2019

Researchers have developed a breakthrough cell therapy to improve memory and prevent seizures in mice following traumatic brain injury.

Many patients with iNPH develop Alzheimer's disease, too
Posted on Friday November 15, 2019

Up to one in five patients treated for idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus, iNPH, also develop Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study. The researchers were able to predict the development of Alzheimer's disease by using the Disease State Index, DSI, that combines patient-specific data from various sources.

Smart people may learn music faster
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

Why do some people learn music more quickly than others? Intelligence could play a role, according to a new study that investigated the early stages of learning to play piano.

People who cannot read may be three times as likely to develop dementia
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

New research has found that people who are illiterate, meaning they never learned to read or write, may have nearly three times greater risk of developing dementia than people who can read and write.

Americans maintain high levels of trust in science
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

A new report analyzing decades of public opinion surveys reveals that the public's trust in scientists has remained stable and high over decades.

Subcellular computations within brain during decision-making
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

New research suggests that during decision-making, neurons in the brain are capable of much more complex processing than previously thought.

Tool for studying decision-making is ineffective for training better behavior
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

A two-step task commonly used to study people's decision-making behaviors does not appear to be effective for training people to rely more on goal-oriented behaviors and less on habitual behaviors.

Zika virus can cause immune and brain abnormalities in asymptomatic pig offspring
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

Zika virus infection in the womb produces altered immune responses and sex-specific brain abnormalities in apparently healthy pig offspring, according to a new study.

Restoring protein homeostasis improves memory deficits in Down syndrome model
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

Researchers found that that defects in a conserved stress pathway known as the 'integrated stress response,' or ISR, could explain the cognitive deficits in a mouse model of Down syndrome.

Study dissects attitudes on short-term vacation rentals
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

Feelings of neighborhood pride, interactions with tourists and a community's laws can all influence how neighbors feel about short-term vacation rentals.

New research quantifies how much speakers' first language affects learning a new language
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

Linguistic research suggests that accents are strongly shaped by the speaker's first language they learned growing up. New research sheds light on just how strong these effects can be. This work is the first to evaluate these effects on a large scale and may lead to novel methods of instruction for adults learning to speak foreign languages.

How maternal Zika virus infection results in newborn microcephaly
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

Researchers have discovered that the Zika virus protein NS4A disrupts brain growth by hijacking a pathway that regulates the generation of new neurons.

Earthquake-like brain-wave bursts found to be essential for healthy sleep
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

New research in rats shows that cortical arousals and brief awakenings during sleep exhibit non-equilibrium dynamics and complex organization across time scales necessary for spontaneous sleep-stage transitions and for maintaining healthy sleep.

Study reveals urban hotspots of high-schoolers' opioid abuse
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

A new study has found that in several cities and counties the proportion of high-schoolers who have ever used heroin or misused prescription opioids is much higher than the national average.

DNA data offers scientific look at 500 years of extramarital sex in Western Europe
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

Researchers have put DNA evidence together with long-term genealogical data to explore questions of biological fatherhood on a broad scale among people living in parts of Western Europe over the last 500 years. The study found evidence of extra-pair paternity events turned up more often in people of lower socioeconomic status who lived in densely populated cities in the 19th century.

Link between hearing and cognition begins earlier than once thought
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

A new study finds that cognitive impairment begins in the earliest stages of age-related hearing loss -- when hearing is still considered normal.

New role for dopamine in gene transcription and cell proliferation
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

The dopamine D2 receptor has a previously unobserved role in modulating Wnt expression and control of cell proliferation, according to a new study. The research could have implications for the development of new therapeutics across multiple disciplines including nephrology, endocrinology, and psychiatry.

Get your game face on: Study finds it may help
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

Could putting on a serious face in preparation for competition actually impact performance? According to a new study, there may be substance to game face.

Diverging trends: Binge drinking and depression
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

Binge drinking among U.S. adolescents precipitously declined from 1991 to 2018, according to a new study. Depressive symptoms among U.S. adolescents have sharply increased since 2012. And for the first time in the past 40 years, binge drinking and depressive symptoms among adolescents are no longer associated.

Human-machine interactions: Bots are more successful if they impersonate humans
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

An international research team sought to find out whether cooperation between humans and machines is different if the machine purports to be human. They carried out an experiment in which humans interacted with bots. The scientists show that bots are more successful than humans in certain human-machine interactions -- but only if they are allowed to hide their non-human identity.

At what point does click-bait susceptibility become a mental health disorder?
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

A new study found that one third of a group of patients seeking treatment for buying-shopping disorder (BSD) also reported symptoms of addictive online shopping. These patients tended to be younger than the others in the study sample, experienced greater levels of anxiety and depression, and were likely to exhibit a higher severity of BSD symptoms.

Women more likely to survive stroke but have poorer recovery than men, study shows
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

Women are more likely to survive a stroke, but have worse disability and poorer quality of life afterwards compared to men, according to new research.

New study dispels myths about what makes youth sports fun for kids
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

A new study looks at what makes organized sports fun for kids, and some of the findings might surprise you. The new study dispels the popular myth that what makes sports the most fun for girls are the social aspects, like friendships, while for boys the fun factor has to do with competition.

Inoculating against the spread of viral misinformation
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

In the first study of public health-related Facebook advertising, newly published in the journal Vaccine, researchers at the University of Maryland, the George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University show that a small group of anti-vaccine ad buyers has successfully leveraged Facebook to reach targeted audiences and that the social media platform's efforts to improve transparency have actually led to the removal of ads promoting vaccination and communicating scientific findings.

Lithium can reverse radiation damage after brain tumor treatment
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

Children who have received radiotherapy for a brain tumor can develop cognitive problems later in life. In their studies on mice, researchers have now shown that the drug lithium can help to reverse the damage caused long after it has occurred. The researchers are now planning to test the treatment in clinical trials.

Puberty may offer window to reset effects of early deprived care on stress-response system
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

The ability to recalibrate how children respond to stress could offer a way to promote resilience.

First look at thermostat wars suggests women may be losing these battles
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

Your characterization of the thermostat war going on in your house is likely to depend at least in part on whether you're a man or a woman, new research suggests. The study has taken an initial glimpse at these skirmishes in a sample of Ohio homes, offering the first known data on joint consumer decision-making around household temperature settings and potential effects of those actions on energy use.

Improving trauma pain outcomes
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

Improving acute pain management after traumatic injury remains a priority for policymakers and clinicians as rates of injury and subsequent pain-related disability rise nationally. Yet, innovations in trauma pain management remain understudied.

Men and women perceive their own health differently
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

A new study investigates differences in how men and women perceive their own health. The study finds that confidence in maintaining good health habits can be influenced by gender.

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, problematic use increased among adults and teens
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

Problematic use of marijuana among adolescents and adults increased after legalization of recreational marijuana use, according to a new study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

Over 77,000 Canadians are living with multiple sclerosis, a disease whose causes still remain unknown. Presently, they have no hope for a cure. Researchers have now identified a molecule named ALCAM which, once blocked, delays the progression of the disease. Their results, obtained from in vitro human and in vivo mouse studies, could lead to the development of a new generation of therapies to treat this autoimmune disease.

Firefighters can ease one another's job stress, but loving spouses may increase it
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

Strong same-sex friendships among male firefighters can help cut down on their stress -- but loving relationships with their wives may increase anxiety for those who constantly face danger, according to a new study.

Study teases out factors associated with postpartum overdose
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

A new study uncovers several risk factors associated with postpartum opioid overdose.

Just what the doctor ordered: Take a yoga class and depression, anxiety improve
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

Scientific studies already support yoga practice as a means to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Now a new study provides evidence that yoga and breathing exercises can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety in both the short term -- with each session as well as cumulatively in the longer term, over three months.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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