Health & Wellness
Weill Cornell Medical College
Fri, 21 Dec 2007 13:55 CST
Innovative Brain Imaging Brings Into View Centers Linking Poor Impulse Control with Negative Emotion, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Team Reports
Accompanying AJP Commentary Commends Study's Unique Systematic Approach.
Using new approaches, an interdisciplinary team of scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City has gained a view of activity in key brain areas associated with a core difficulty in patients with borderline personality disorder - shedding new light on this serious psychiatric condition.
"It's early days yet, but the work is pinpointing functional differences in the neurobiology of healthy people versus individuals with the disorder as they attempt to control their behavior in a negative emotional context. Such initial insights can help provide a foundation for better, more targeted therapies down the line," explains lead researcher Dr. David A. Silbersweig, the Stephen P. Tobin and Dr. Arnold M. Cooper Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and attending psychiatrist and neurologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
The New York Times
Fri, 21 Dec 2007 05:41 CST
Psychologists have long believed that growing up in an institution like an orphanage stunts children's mental development but have never had direct evidence to back it up.
Now they do, from an extraordinary years-long experiment in Romania that compared the effects of foster care with those of institutional child-rearing.
Medical News Today
Fri, 21 Dec 2007 05:35 CST
A new US study found that the sexual behaviour of teenagers is linked to whether or not they have had formal school sex education.
The study is available as an early online issue of the January 2008 imprint of the Journal of Adolescent Health, and was conducted by lead author and epidemiologist Trisha Mueller and colleagues, from the Division of Reproductive Health at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Thu, 20 Dec 2007 18:24 CST
For some women premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a minor monthly annoyance, but for others, more severe symptoms seriously disrupt their lives. However despite the number of women affected, science has yet to offer a full explanation or universal treatment. Now intriguing new findings published in the online open access journal BioPsychoSocial Medicine suggest not only that PMS is tied to decreased nerve activity each month, but also that those with extreme symptoms may have a permanently depressed nervous system.
A team of Japanese researchers led by Tamaki Matsumoto from the International Buddhist University in Osaka investigated whether the activity of the autonomic nervous system, which plays a vital role in equilibrium within the human body, changed during the menstrual cycle. The team measured heart rate variability and hormone levels and used questionnaires to evaluate physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms accompanying 62 women's menstrual cycles.
University of Michigan
Thu, 20 Dec 2007 18:13 CST
New evidence suggests our brains are hardwired before birth to recognize faces and places. But in contrast, the neural circuitry we use to recognize words develops mainly as a result of experience.
That's according to new findings from the University of Michigan.
"There's been a big debate about whether face recognition is a function we're wired to perform for survival. This is the first study to look at that question using brain imaging in twins," said psychology professor Thad Polk, the first author of a paper on the results that are published in the Dec. 19 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience.
Polk and his colleagues used functional MRI to examine brain activity in sets of identical and fraternal twins who viewed pictures of faces, houses, chairs, made-up words and abstract control images. Faces, houses, and words are known to elicit distinct patterns of activity in the brain's ventral visual cortex, on the bottom of the brain, behind and around the ears.
Bryan C. Daniels
University of Missouri
Thu, 20 Dec 2007 18:05 CST
There are two guarantees in every person's life: happiness and sadness. Although lost opportunities and mistaken expectations are often unpleasant to think and talk about, these experiences may impact personality development and overall happiness. A seven-year study conducted by Laura King, a researcher at the University of Missouri, indicates that individuals who take time to stop and think about their losses are more likely to mature and achieve a potentially more durable sense of happiness.
"People are generally in a hurry to be happy again, but they need to understand that it's okay to feel bad and to feel bad for a while," said King, who teaches psychology in the College of Arts and Science. "It's natural to want to feel happy right after a loss or regrettable experience, but those who can examine 'what might have been' and be mindfully present to their negative feelings, are more likely to mature through that loss and might also obtain a different kind of happiness."
University of Exeter
Thu, 20 Dec 2007 17:33 CST
Scientists have found an explanation for runners who struggle to increase their pace, cyclists who can't pedal any faster and swimmers who can't speed up their strokes. Researchers from the University of Exeter and Kansas State University have discovered the dramatic changes that occur in our muscles when we push ourselves during exercise.
We all have a sustainable level of exercise intensity, known as the 'critical power'. This level can increase as we get fitter, but will always involve us working at around 75-80% of our maximal capacity. Published in the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, this research shows why, when we go beyond this level, we have to slow down or stop altogether. This is the first time that scientists have looked at processes taking place inside the muscles when we exceed the critical power.
Wed, 19 Dec 2007 18:50 CST
As we pass through the season of toy recalls into the season of Christmas consumerism, none of the presidential candidates on either side of the aisle have focused on a singular issue that would send a powerful signal of commitment to protecting Americans. The question of ensuring the security of Americans from the hazards to their health contained in hundreds of consumer products hangs like a ripe fruit for any candidate willing to pick it.
Who is out there protecting Americans from these hidden hazards? The answer: practically nobody.
University of Texas at Austin
Wed, 19 Dec 2007 16:12 CST
Employees who have more control over their daily activities and do challenging work they enjoy are likely to be in better health, according to a new study from The University of Texas at Austin published in this month's Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
"The most important finding is that creative activity helps people stay healthy," said lead author John Mirowsky, a sociology professor with the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin. "Creative activity is non-routine, enjoyable and provides opportunity for learning and for solving problems. People who do that kind of work, whether paid or not, feel healthier and have fewer physical problems."
Although people who work do give up some control over their daily activities, the study found that being employed leads to better health generally, regardless of the amount of creativity required in their work.
"One thing that surprised us was that the daily activities of employed persons are more creative than those of non-employed persons of the same sex, age and level of education," Mirowsky said.
Wed, 19 Dec 2007 15:27 CST
Lack of sunlight may increase the risk of lung cancer, a study suggests.