Mental Health News

  • Color coded: Matching taste with color
    Color can impact the taste of food, and our experiences and expectations can affect how we taste food, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest this may have implications for how food and beverage industries should market their products.
  • How head injuries lead to serious brain diseases
    Biologists reveal the hidden molecular basis of brain disorders and provide the first cell atlas of the hippocampus -- the part of the brain that helps regulate learning and memory -- as it is affected by traumatic brain injury. The researchers propose gene candidates for treating brain diseases associated with traumatic brain injury such as Alzheimer's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Playing high school football changes the teenage brain
    A single season of high school football may cause microscopic changes in the structure of the brain, according to a new study. A new type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed significant changes in the structure of the grey matter in the front and rear of the brain and changes to structures deep inside the brain.
  • Social isolation linked to higher risk of death
    A large study links social isolation with a higher risk of death from all causes combined and heart disease for all races studied, and with increased cancer mortality in white men and women.
  • To monitor 'social jet lag,' scientists look to Twitter
    Social jet lag -- a syndrome related to the mismatch between the body's internal clock and the realities of our daily schedules -- has been tied to obesity and other health problems. Now, researchers have found a clever way to measure social jet lag in people all over the country: by analyzing patterns of activity on the social media platform Twitter.
  • Gut hormone and brown fat interact to tell the brain it's time to stop eating
    Researchers have shown that so-called 'brown fat' interacts with the gut hormone secretin in mice to relay nutritional signals about fullness to the brain during a meal. The study bolsters our understanding of a long-suspected role of brown adipose tissue (BAT) -- a type of body fat known to generate heat when an animal is cold -- in the control of food intake.
  • Brain, muscle cells found lurking in kidney organoids grown in lab
    New research has identified rogue cells -- namely brain and muscle cells -- lurking within kidney organoids. Such cells make up only 10 to 20 percent of an organoid's cells, but their presence indicates that the 'recipes' used to coax stem cells into becoming kidney cells inadvertently are churning out other cell types.
  • Making moves and memories, are they connected?
    Researchers report the first direct evidence that the cerebellum does more than just control muscle activity. It also plays a role in cognitive functions.
  • Scorpion venom to shuttle drugs into the brain
    Biologists have described the capacity of a small protein (a peptide) derived from chlorotoxin, found in scorpion venom (Giant Yellow Israeli scorpion), to carry drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB).
  • Killer whales share personality traits with humans, chimpanzees
    Killer whales display personality traits similar to those of humans and chimpanzees, such as playfulness, cheerfulness and affection, according to new research.
  • Why we shouldn't like coffee, but we do
    The more sensitive people are to the bitter taste of caffeine, the more coffee they drink, reports a new study. The sensitivity is based on genetics. Bitterness is natural warning system to protect us from harmful substances, so we really shouldn't like coffee. Scientists say people with heightened ability to detect coffee's bitterness learn to associate good things with it.
  • A world without brick-and-mortar stores? Even avid online shoppers say, 'no, thanks'
    The majority of consumers, even those who prefer online shopping, think the extinction of brick-and-mortar stores would be bad for society, according to a new study that explores consumers' perceptions of today's transforming retail environment.
  • How we use music as a possible sleep aid
    Many individuals use music in the hope that it fights sleep difficulties, according to a new study.
  • Parents shouldn't worry if their infant doesn't sleep through the night by a year old
    The authors of a study found that a large percentage of healthy babies don't start sleeping through the night even at a year old. The research team also examined whether infants who didn't sleep for six or eight consecutive hours were more likely to have problems with psychomotor and mental development, and found no association. The researchers also found no correlation between infants waking up at night and their mothers' postnatal mood.
  • Alcohol ads with pro-drinking comments on Facebook boost desire to drink, study finds
    Alcohol advertisements on social media sites such as Facebook can increase young adults' desire to drink if the ads contain pro-drinking comments from users, according to new research.
  • Bias-based bullying does more harm, is harder to protect against
    A new study finds that bias-based bullying does more harm to students than generalized bullying, particularly for students who are targeted because of multiple identities, such as race and gender. What's more, the study finds that efforts to mitigate these harms are less effective against bias-based bullying.
  • How exercise could help fight drug addiction
    The siren call of addictive drugs can be hard to resist, and returning to the environment where drugs were previously taken can make resistance that much harder. However, addicts who exercise appear to be less vulnerable to the impact of these environmental cues. Now, research with mice suggests that exercise might strengthen a drug user's resolve by altering the production of peptides in the brain.
  • Older adults' abstract reasoning ability predicts depressive symptoms over time
    Age-related declines in abstract reasoning ability predict increasing depressive symptoms in subsequent years, according to data from a longitudinal study of older adults in Scotland.
  • Quantum science turns social
    Researchers developed a versatile remote gaming interface that allowed experts as well as hundreds of citizen scientists all over the world through multiplayer collaboration and in real time to optimize a quantum gas experiment in a lab. Both teams quickly used the interface to dramatically improve upon the previous best solutions, that scientists had established after months of careful optimization. The experiment aims to unravel how humans solve complex, natural science problems.
  • Checking very preterm babies' head size can help identify long-term IQ problems
    Regular early head circumference assessments add valuable information when screening for long-term neurocognitive risk - according to new research.
  • When boy fish build castles to impress girls, boy genes get 'turned on' and 'tuned in'
    What if we could observe genes firing off signals to cause some behaviors? We're getting closer. Researchers were able to directly match gene regulation with ritual mating behavior in fish. Their research field may also give some insight into autism spectrum disorder.
  • Colder, darker climates increase alcohol consumption and liver disease
    People living in colder regions with less sunlight consume more alcohol and experience more alcoholic liver disease.
  • So, you think you're good at remembering faces, but terrible with names?
    The cringe-worthy experience of not being able to remember an acquaintance's name leads many of us to believe we are terrible with names. However, new research has revealed this intuition is misleading; we are actually better at remembering names than faces.
  • Pain can be a self-fulfilling prophecy
    A new brain imaging study of 34 people found that when people expect to feel intense pain, they do, even if they aren't subjected to painful stimuli. Surprisingly, these false expectations can persist even when reality demonstrates otherwise, the study found.
  • New methods to identify Alzheimer's drug candidates with anti-aging properties
    Old age is the greatest risk factor for many diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cancer. Geroprotectors are a recently identified class of anti-aging compounds. New research has now identified a unique subclass of these compounds, dubbed geroneuroprotectors (GNPs), which are AD drug candidates and slow the aging process in mice.
  • Why your number of romantic partners mirrors your mother
    A new national study shows that people whose mothers had more partners -- married or cohabiting -- often follow the same path. Results suggest that mothers may pass on personality traits and relationship skills that make their children more or less likely to form stable relationships.
  • The illusion of multitasking boosts performance
    Our ability to do things well suffers when we try to complete several tasks at once, but a series of experiments suggests that merely believing that we're multitasking may boost our performance by making us more engaged in the tasks at hand.
  • Nationality likely a key factor in life-and-death decisions
    People making decisions about life-and-death situations consider individuals' nationalities when deciding who should be sacrificed to save others, according to a new study.
  • Emotional intelligence: A new criterion for hiring?
    The cognitive skills of a future employee are examined during a job interview. However, qualifications and a nice character don't necessarily mean that the interviewee will be a competent colleague. The individual's emotional intelligence has to be factored in, that is, his capacity to understand, regulate and manage emotions in the specific context of the work environment. Researchers have now devised an emotional intelligence test that measures emotional competences at work.
  • Autism behaviors show unique brain network fingerprints in infants
    A new study has identified unique functional brain networks associated with characteristic behaviors of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 12- and 24-month old children at risk for developing ASD.
  • Soccer coaches between victories, defeats and emotions
    Soccer (football) coaches who have their emotions under control are more successful. Because emotions and how they are dealt with have a great impact on the performance of coaches and therefore also the team as a whole. Emotional processes in coaches are cyclic and can become stronger and stronger in a crisis. Trainers with great emotional competence, on the other hand, can break through a vicious circle easier.
  • Wishes help keep pediatric patients out of the hospital
    In the retrospective study patients granted a wish were 2.5 times more likely to have fewer unplanned hospital admissions and 1.9 times more likely not to have to use the emergency department. This led to a decline in cost of care even after accounting for the average cost of the wish.
  • Cognitive decline -- radiation -- brain tumor prevented by temporarily shutting down immune response
    Scientists report the first animal model of glioma -- the most aggressive and most common form of brain cancer in the US -- that can also be used to study the long-term effects of radiation therapy in tumor-bearing brains. Using this mouse model, the researchers showed that a drug that temporarily suppresses a key component of the brain's immune system can prevent radiation-associated cognitive decline.
  • Insufficient sleep in children is associated with poor diet, obesity and more screen time
    A new study conducted among more than 177,000 students suggests that insufficient sleep duration is associated with an unhealthy lifestyle profile among children and adolescents.
  • No cooperation without open communication
    In models that explore how humans act when their reputation is at stake, usually assumptions were made that are at odds with reality. In a new, more realistic model, scientists explore what happens when information is incomplete and people make mistakes. In their model, previously successful strategies do not lead to sustained cooperation, and in most cases do not evolve at all.
  • In live brain function, researchers are finally seeing red
    For years, green has been the most reliable hue for live brain imaging, but after using a new high-throughput screening method, researchers have identified a new fluorescent protein that will make it possible for live neurons to glow red when activated.
  • Largest ever study of psychological sex differences and autistic traits
    Scientists have completed the world's largest ever study of typical sex differences and autistic traits. They tested and confirmed two long-standing psychological theories: the Empathizing-Systemizing theory of sex differences and the Extreme Male Brain theory of autism.
  • Phone app effectively identifies potentially fatal heart attacks with near accuracy of medical ECG
    Can your smart phone determine if you're having the most serious -- and deadly -- form of heart attack? A new research study says it can -- and may be a valuable tool to save lives.
  • How pneumococci challenge our immune system
    Pneumococci are the most common cause of respiratory tract infections, such as otitis and sinusitis, as well as of severe infections like pneumonia and meningitis. A new study shows how the bacteria can inhibit immune cell reaction and survive inside cells to give rise to pneumonia.
  • Dynamic audiovisuals increase spectator attention, but inhibits conscious processing
    According to a new study, scene changes diminish a spectator's blink rate, producing an increase in attention. The results of the study demonstrate that a dynamic and chaotic audiovisual editing causes more activity in the visual processing areas, while continuous and orderly editing produces more cognitive processing activity.
  • New clues to the origin and progression of multiple sclerosis
    Mapping of a certain group of cells, known as oligodendrocytes, in the central nervous system of a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), shows that they might have a significant role in the development of the disease. The discovery can lead to new therapies targeted at other areas than just the immune system.
  • Parents put nature in the shopping basket
    In a world of vast consumer choice, ambiguous product descriptions and self-appointed experts, parents face a minefield when picking out food, toys or other products for their children. A new qualitative study indicates that naturalness is the current benchmark for consumer choice among parents.
  • Family, school support makes kids more likely to stand up to bullying
    A recent study finds young people with good family relationships are more likely to intervene when they witness bullying or other aggressive behavior at school -- and to step in if they see victims planning to retaliate. The study found that kids who were already excluded, or discriminated against by peers or teachers, were less likely to stand up for victims of bullying.
  • New concussion recommendations for kids
    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its concussion recommendations to support children and teens engaging in light physical activity and returning to school as they recover. The report, revised for the first time in eight years, also advises against complete removal of electronic devices.
  • New insights into the aging brain
    A group of scientists investigated why the choroid plexus contains so much more klotho than other brain regions.They showed that klotho functions as a gatekeeper that shields the brain from the peripheral immune system.
  • Developing instruments to detect language problems earlier
    Using the Computerized Comprehension Task, the team measured concepts by asking children to touch images on a touch-sensitive screen that represented words they were learning. The team used a measure of vocabulary that focused on stable concepts, finding that it was superior to prior measures in predicting children's general language ability at age 3. The team also identified individual children at risk for language problems a full two years earlier than prior studies.
  • 'Strongest evidence yet' that being obese causes depression
    New research has found the strongest evidence yet that obesity causes depression, even in the absence of other health problems.
  • Children with autism thrive in mainstream pre-schools
    In a world first, breakthrough research has shown that toddlers with autism are just as capable of learning important life skills through early-intervention delivered in mainstream pre-schools as in specialized settings.
  • Decrease in specific gene 'silencing' molecules linked with pediatric brain tumors
    Experimenting with lab-grown brain cancer cells, researchers have added to evidence that a shortage of specific tiny molecules that silence certain genes is linked to the development and growth of pediatric brain tumors known as low-grade gliomas.
  • Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease share common genetics in some patients
    Genetics may predispose some people to both Alzheimer's disease and high levels of blood lipids such as cholesterol, a common feature of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.
  • Grief linked to sleep disturbances that can be bad for the heart
    People who have recently lost a spouse are more likely to have sleep disturbances that exacerbate levels of inflammation in the body, according to new research. These elevated levels of inflammation may increase risk for cardiovascular illness and death.
  • Mild blast forces cause brain pathology and deficits, despite lack of macroscopic damage
    Using a rat model of bTBI, researchers show how even mild exposure to a single blast shock wave is able to induce small but potentially very meaningful pathogenic effects that accumulate with time. These effects, detected at the microscopic level, included microvascular damage, injury to nerve axons and signs of neuroinflammation in various brain regions. Brain function also changed, as shown by impaired short-term synaptic plasticity.
  • Eye contact reduces lying
    A new study found that eye contact can make us act more honestly.
  • Excessive posting of selfies is associated with increase in narcissism
    A new study has established that excessive use of social media, in particular the posting of images and selfies, is associated with a subsequent increase in narcissism by an average of 25 percent.
  • Scalpel-free surgery enhances quality of life for Parkinson's patients
    A high-tech form of brain surgery that replaces scalpels with sound waves improved quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease that has resisted other forms of treatment, a new study has found.
  • Leading researchers call for a ban on widely used insecticides
    Public health experts have found there is sufficient evidence that prenatal exposure to widely used insecticides known as organophosphates puts children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Community choirs reduce loneliness and increase interest in life for older adults
    An innovative San Francisco program of community choirs for older adults found that singing in a choir reduced loneliness and increased interest in life, but did not improve cognition or physical function, according to a new study.
  • Psychological science can make your meetings better
    Meetings are the bane of office life for many professionals but they don't have to be. Drawing from almost 200 scientific studies on workplace meetings, a team of psychological scientists provides recommendations for making the most out of meetings before they start, as they're happening, and after they've concluded.
  • Scientists solve century-old neuroscience mystery; answers may lead to epilepsy treatment
    Scientists have solved a 125-year-old mystery of the brain, and, in the process, uncovered a potential treatment for acquired epilepsy. Perineuronal nets modulate electrical impulses in the brain, and, should the nets dissolve, brain seizures can occur.
  • Autism and zinc deficiency in early development
    Autism has been associated with zinc deficiency in infancy. While it is not yet known whether zinc deficiency in early development causes autism, scientists have now found a mechanistic link. Their study connects zinc, autism risk genes and abnormal neuronal connections associated with autism spectrum disorders.

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