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Thu, 22 Oct 2020
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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.

Evil Rays

A Brave New World! New Drug Deletes Bad Memories

Do you have a really bad memory, or past heartache, that you would prefer to forget?

Researchers at Harvard and McGill University (in Montreal) are working on an amnesia drug that blocks or deletes bad memories. The technique seems to allow psychiatrists to disrupt the biochemical pathways that allow a memory to be recalled.

Comment: Don't feel, remember or learn. Become a machine via the happy drug.


Syringe

US tumbles down the world ratings list for life expectancy

A combination of expensive health insurance and an ever-increasing rate of obesity appear to be behind a startling fall by the US in the world rankings of life expectancy.

Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, America has dropped from 11th to 42nd place in 20 years, according to official US figures.

Comment: The American people have largely been duped into the belief that they now have more important things to worry about, like "terror" and huge military operations in other countries thousands of miles away. National resources and taxes paid by ordinary Americans has been diverted to a highly spurious project called "the war on terror", while politicians and their business associates earn huge sums of money along the way.


Heart

Has California's Anti-Smoking Campaign Reduced Lung Cancer Rates?

California authorities have recently claimed that, as a result of their anti-smoking campaigns, there has been a marked reduction in lung cancer death rates (LCDRs) in California. No doubt, there has been a reduction, but I suggest that it's entirely unrelated to smoking!

Sheeple

Babies Learn To Like Junk Food In The Womb

Pregnant women who "eat for two" by upping their intake of fatty and sugary food could unwittingly be putting their children at risk of obesity, new research suggests.