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Tue, 27 Oct 2020
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Mystery mite going under the microscope

Several samples of mites trapped over recent days in northern Illinois were sent to Nebraska for identification, state health officials said Thursday, spurring hopes the culprit behind a mysterious outbreak of rashes will be caught at last.

Arrow Up

Ability to cope with stress can increase 'good' cholesterol in older white men, study finds

Older white men who are better able to cope with stress experience higher levels of so-called "good cholesterol" than men who are more hostile or socially isolated, according to a study released at the 115th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

But that same coping ability had no effect on the subjects' "bad cholesterol" levels, the research found.

Researchers gathered data from 716 men who participated in the Normative Aging Study to look at the complex interrelations among hostility, stress and coping processes and cholesterol levels. The average age in the sample was 65. Most of the men were white and were evenly split between white-collar and blue-collar occupations.

Info

The disorder that must not be named: So called 'cynical shyness' can precipitate violence in males and may be factor in school shootings

After performing an analysis of school shootings in the last decade, researchers at the Shyness Research Institute in Indiana say that the perpetrators are likely to suffer from cynical shyness-an extreme form of shyness that predominantly affects males and can lead to violent behavior.

Presenting at the 115th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA), psychologist Bernardo Carducci, PhD, and Kristin Terry Nethery, BA, examined the cases involving eight individuals between 1995 and 2004 who had committed shootings at their high schools. They examined the news accounts of these shootings for personal and social indicators of cynical shyness-lack of empathy, low tolerance for frustration, anger outbursts, social rejection from peers, bad family relations and access to weapons.

Comment: It seems that psychologists of Shyness Research Institute contracted a form of "academic shyness", because there is no other explanation why they chose to invent a new name for a well known disorder called psychopathy, which has the same traits as so called "cynical shyness"

Health

Plain Soap As Effective As Antibacterial But Without The Risk

Antibacterial soaps show no health benefits over plain soaps and, in fact, may render some common antibiotics less effective, says a University of Michigan public health professor. In the first known comprehensive analysis of whether antibacterial soaps work better than plain soaps, Allison Aiello of the U-M School of Public Health and her team found that washing hands with an antibacterial soap was no more effective in preventing infectious illness than plain soap.

Moreover, antibacterial soaps at formulations sold to the public do not remove any more bacteria from the hands during washing than plain soaps.

Life Preserver

Depression may play a bigger role in readjustment than previously thought in troubled vets

Depression may be an unrecognized readjustment problem for recently returning veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a study released today at the American Psychological Association 115th Annual Convention. Researchers working with veterans referred for psychiatric evaluation from a primary care service found that major or minor depression was associated with domestic abuse and other family problems.

The researchers, at the University of Pennsylvania and the Mental Illness, Research Education, and Clinical Center at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, looked at the family problems of 168 veterans who were referred for behavioral health evaluation and who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001. More than 40 percent were currently married or cohabiting, some 21 percent were recently separated or divorced and almost 55 percent had at least one child.

Attention

A codeine warning for nursing mothers. FDA says patients, infants may be at risk for overdose

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday warned nursing mothers who are taking the painkiller codeine to be vigilant for unusual drowsiness or other signs of overdose in their babies, because a significant fraction of women carry a gene that leads to high concentrations of narcotic substances in their breast milk.

The warning is not meant to discourage women who are prescribed codeine from breast-feeding. But it should spur them to contact their doctors if they or their babies seem overly sleepy while taking usual doses of the painkiller, an agency official said.

Magic Wand

Humans mispredict their emotions after decision making

Behavioral research over the past 15 years has confirmed what anyone who has purchased a house or dumped a significant other could tell you: When people make decisions, they anticipate that they may regret their choices. It is important that we maintain this ability, because as the aforementioned house-buyers and spouse-dumpers know, regret can be a terrible feeling.

How accurate are people in their anticipations of regret - and of other post-decisional emotions, such as disappointment" It is a topic has been rather neglected by scientists, but new research published in the August issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, aims to fill this gap.

Health

New research shows how chronic stress worsens neurodegenerative disease course

The evidence is accumulating on how bad stress is for health. Chronic stress can intensify inflammation and increase a person's risk for developing central nervous system infections, neurodegenerative diseases, like multiple sclerosis (MS), and other inflammatory diseases, say researchers presenting at the 115th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA). These researchers have demonstrated for the first time that stress-related increases in central nervous system inflammation are behind the adverse effects of stress in an animal model of MS.

Researchers from Texas A & M University used mice to show what role social stress plays in the immune process to influence the course of an MS-like disease. They proposed that stress-induced increases of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are proteins that regulate immune and inflammatory functions, inhibit the clearing of a virus and allow the inflammatory process to run amok. Stress, say the authors, may interact with viral infections to increase vulnerability to diseases such as MS. Meta-analysis of studies investigating the impact of stressful events in patients with MS show an increased risk of worsening symptoms of the disease.

Health

Loneliness is bad for your health

Two University of Chicago psychologists, Louise Hawkley and John Cacioppo, have been trying to disentangle social isolation, loneliness, and the physical deterioration and diseases of aging, right down to the cellular level.

The researchers suspected that while the toll of loneliness may be mild and unremarkable in early life, it accumulates with time. To test this idea, the scientists studied a group of college-age individuals and continued an annual study of a group of people who joined when they were between 50 and 68 years old.

Their findings, reported in the August issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, are revealing. Consider stress, for example. The more years you live, the more stressful experiences you are going to have: new jobs, marriage and divorce, parenting, financial worries, illness. It's inevitable.

Arrow Down

UK: 'Thousands wrongly being treated for depression'

DOCTORS are over-diagnosing depression, resulting in thousands of people wrongly being prescribed drugs to treat it, an expert warns today.

Professor Gordon Parker says the current threshold for what is considered to be "clinical depression" is too low and he fears that it might lead to the condition becoming less credible.