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Mon, 26 Sep 2016
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Stress: Don't Let It Grind You Down

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Stress
People who are stressed by daily problems or trouble at work seem to be more likely to grind their teeth at night. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Head & Face Medicine studied the causes of 'sleep bruxism', gnashing teeth during the night, finding that it was especially common in those who try to cope with stress by escaping from difficult situations.

Maria Giraki, from Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany, worked with a team of researchers to study the condition in 69 people, of whom 48 were 'bruxers'. She said, "Bruxing can lead to abrasive tooth wear, looseness and sensitivity of teeth, and growth and pain in the muscles responsible for chewing. Its causes are still relatively unknown, but stress has been implicated. We aimed to investigate whether different stress-factors, and different coping strategies, were more or less associated with these bruxism symptoms."

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Critical Brain Chemical Shown to Play Role in Severe Depression

The next advance in treating major depression may relate to a group of brain chemicals that are involved in virtually all our brain activity, according to a study published today in Biological Psychiatry. The study is co-authored by Drs. Andrea J. Levinson and Zafiris J. Daskalakis of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

This study shows that compared to healthy individuals, people who have major depressive disorder have altered functions of the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). In the study, individuals with the most treatment-resistant forms of illness demonstrated the greatest reductions of GABA levels in the brain.

This points to the possibility that medications which correct a GABA imbalance could advance the treatment of major depressive disorder. Approximately 4% of Canadians experience major depressive disorder each year.

Ambulance

Psychiatrists want to call being angry a mental illness. How utterly mad!

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People who become very angry, like Mr. T in the A Team, could have 'intermittent explosive disorder'
Do you live surrounded by clutter - ancient copies of magazines, your children's old toys, articles you've clipped out of newspapers over the years?

If you find it hard to throw out things of limited or no value, you could be suffering from hoarding disorder.

'Hoarding' is just one of the new mental conditions being added to the psychiatrists' bible, or the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders (DSM), to give it its proper name.

Other new conditions identified as possibly needing professional help include binge eating - which is said to affect many people who are seriously obese - and 'cognitive tempo disorder', which seems very like laziness (symptoms include dreaminess and sluggishness).

Comment: The impulse to label reactions that are more or less a normal part of human nature as 'disorders' very probably originates with individuals who simply do not experience normal human emotions - aka Psychopaths.


Blackbox

What In The World Are They Spraying?

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Chemtrails over Kanab, Utah
What would you say if you were told that airplanes were regularly spraying toxic aerosols in the skies above every major region of the world? That is exactly what a group of protestors were claiming outside of the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting that was held in San Diego from February 18-22. However, inside the convention center was a different story. The scientists gathered to discuss the "plausibility" of implementing various Geo-engineering campaigns throughout the world, all under the guise that the Earth has a man-made global warming problem that can be solved in-part by spraying aerosol aluminum and other particles into the sky to block the sun. When these scientists were asked about the possibility of existing aerosol programs; they stated that no aerosol spraying programs have been implemented to date. A little confused? Why would protestors gather outside of a meeting making claims that world-wide aerosol programs were under way if scientist were only now discussing the possibility of implementing these programs? Could it be that one of these groups is being deceived?

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Glaucoma Begins in Mid-Brain, Not in Eye, Research Shows

Animal study shows degeneration occurring in reverse order than commonly believed

Early signs of glaucoma can be detected in the brain, according to a new study that may trigger a major change in how the disease is treated.

It has long been believed that glaucoma -- the leading cause of blindness in the United States -- results from pressure within the eye that damages the retina and optic nerve, so treatments have focused on reducing pressure within the eye. However, this new study suggests that glaucoma is a central nervous system disease that requires different treatment approaches.

"This is a paradigm shift in how we think about the disease," study author David Calkins, director of research at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, said in a news release from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "This will have global implications. This information opens up an entirely new domain of nerve-derived therapeutics."

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Learning "Promotes Brain Health"

Mental activity could stave off age-related cognitive and memory decline, suggest researchers.

UC Irvine neurobiologists have provided the first visual evidence that learning promotes brain health - and that mental stimulation could limit the debilitating effects of aging on memory and the mind.

Using a novel visualization technique they devised to study memory, a research team led by Lulu Chen and Christine Gall found that everyday forms of learning animate neuron receptors that help keep brain cells functioning at optimum levels.

These receptors are activated by a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which facilitates the growth and differentiation of the connections, or synapses, responsible for communication among neurons. BDNF is key in the formation of memories.

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Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain

Meditation appears to build up cortex, MRI scans find

If you're trying to reduce your sensitivity to pain, Zen meditation may help by actually thickening your brain, new research suggests.

The authors of a new study, published in a special issue of the journal Emotion, reached their conclusions after comparing brain thickness in 17 Zen meditators and a control group of 18 people who didn't meditate and hadn't practiced yoga or suffered from chronic pain, brain disease or mental illness.

The researchers applied heat to the participants' calves and used MRI scans to study how their brains reacted to the pain.

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Speaking or Signing, It's the Same to Your Brain

Language is universal whether it comes from voice or hands, study finds

Language is created in the same areas of the brain, regardless of whether a person speaks English or uses American Sign Language to communicate, new research found. The discovery suggests that something about language is universal and doesn't depend on whether people use their voices or their hands to talk.

Two centers in the brain - Broca's area, which is thought to be related to speech production, and Wernicke's area, which is associated with comprehending speech - have long been associated with verbal communication. But now scientists have found the brain areas might be tied to language, no matter whether it's spoken or signed.

Scientists suspected these areas might be particular to speaking, because they are located spatially near areas that are connected to moving the vocal chords, and to the auditory cortex, which is used to hear sounds. In that case, it stood to reason that deaf people who use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate should use other brain areas to create language, such as parts located near the visual cortex, used for seeing.

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Child Abuse Can Cause Brain Changes

Childhood abuse or emotional neglect can result in structural brain changes, say researchers at Ireland's Trinity College Dublin.

Thomas Frodl at the School of Medicine and Trinity Institute for Neuroscience said the finding was based on a study of 24 patients 18-65, who were being treated for major depression.

The researchers used high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging scans of the brain and childhood stress assessments. Special analysis programs were used to measure brain regions and the results were compared with 27 healthy control subjects matched for age and gender.

"These structural alterations of the brain are associated with a higher vulnerability to depression and a more chronic course of the depression might be associated with further structural changes," Frodl said.

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Reading Remediation Seems to Rewire the Brain

Study findings could have implications for autism, stroke and other conditions

Scientists studying the anatomy of children's brains during reading discovered something rather unexpected: Remedial training for poor readers results in a growth of white matter tracts in the brain, and the increase correlates with the level of improvement in sounding out words.

"This is the first evidence for an increase in white matter in response to a remedial behavioral intervention," said lead author Marcel Just, a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and director of its Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging. "It provides evidence that repeated cognitive exercises can alter the cortical connectivity of the human brain."

The finding could have potential beyond enhancing reading ability. If a behavioral intervention can cause brain growth, benefits might be reflected in any number of brain conditions, including autism, stroke, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury, experts say.