Archive for April, 2012

New Stem Cell Found in Brain: Finding Could Be Key to Developing Methods to Heal and Repair Brain Injury and Disease

Posted by on Monday, 23 April, 2012

Stem Cell To Heal and Repair Brain Injuries and DiseaseResearchers at Lund University in Sweden have discovered a new stem cell in the adult brain. These cells can proliferate and form several different cell types — most importantly, they can form new brain cells. Scientists hope to take advantage of the finding to develop methods to heal and repair disease and injury in the brain.

Analyzing brain tissue from biopsies, the researchers for the first time found stem cells located around small blood vessels in the brain. The cell’s specific function is still unclear, but its plastic properties suggest great potential.

"A similar cell type has been identified in several other organs where it can promote regeneration of muscle, bone, cartilage and adipose tissue," said Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D., Jay Van Andel Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Research at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), Head of the Neuronal Survival Unit at Lund University and senior author of the study.

Full story of heal and repair brain injuries and disease at Science Daily

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Opium Study Raises Questions About Opium-Derived Painkillers

Posted by on Friday, 20 April, 2012

Opium Painkiller Study Raising QuestionsA new study that links opium use with serious health problems, including cancer, circulatory diseases and respiratory problems, has implications for opium-derived painkillers such as morphine and codeine, CNN reports.

The study of more than 50,000 people in Iran found an 86 percent increased likelihood of death from major causes among those who used opium, even at modest levels. The researchers took into account factors such as poverty and cigarette smoking, which could affect the outcome. The article notes the study does not prove opium causes the increased risk of death, since it did not randomly assign participants to use opium or not.

Full story of opium study at DrugFree.org

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It Doesn’t Mean You’re Crazy – Talking to Yourself Has Cognitive Benefits, Study Finds

Posted by on Thursday, 19 April, 2012

Talking to Yourself Has Cognitive BenefitsMost people talk to themselves at least every few days, and many report talking to themselves on an hourly basis. What purpose is served by this seemingly irrational behavior? Previous research has suggested that such self-directed speech in children can help guide their behavior. For example, children often talk themselves step-by-step through tying their shoelaces, as if reminding themselves to focus on the job in hand.

"One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening." Franklin P. Jones once said.

Can talking to oneself also help adults?

In a recent study published in Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, psychologists Gary Lupyan (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Daniel Swingley (University of Pennsylvania) conducted a series of experiments to discover whether talking to oneself can help when searching for particular objects. The studies were inspired by observations that people often audibly mutter to themselves when trying to find, for example, a jar of Peanut Butter on a supermarket shelf, or the stick of butter in their fridge.

Full story of talking to yourself at Science Daily

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Feelings of Immaturity Accompany Alcohol Misuse Into Adulthood

Posted by on Wednesday, 18 April, 2012

Red wineTipping back one too many cocktails during an individual’s early 20s doesn’t correlate to a personal sense of immaturity; however if this habit doesn’t stop as they reach age 30, young adults can feel psychologically underdeveloped, according to a University of Missouri study. Helping young adults acknowledge their mental impulse to "sober up" as they mature can improve substance abuse intervention programs.

"When a heavy drinking 30-year-old comes in for therapy and says he doesn’t feel like an adult, we can present this study and suggest that cutting back on alcohol could help him feel more mature," said lead researcher Rachel Winograd, a doctoral student in psychology at MU.

"People in their early 20s who accept their own heavy drinking and experience alcohol-related consequences may not realize that these behaviors can be associated with identity issues later on," said Winograd. "We can apply this research to nip the problem in the bud and help young adults become aware that their alcohol use behaviors may conflict with their long-term goals."

Full story of adult alcohol misuse at Science Daily

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Sleep disorder multiplies depression risk

Posted by on Tuesday, 17 April, 2012

alarm clockPeople with sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that causes frequent sleep disturbances, often feel tired and unfocused during the day. But that may not be the only fallout: New research suggests the disorder also dramatically increases the risk of depression.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that men with diagnosed sleep apnea are more than twice as likely as other men to exhibit signs of clinical depression, such as feeling hopeless and uninterested in everyday activities. The picture was even worse among women: A sleep apnea diagnosis increased the risk of depression symptoms fivefold.

What’s more, the study suggests that sleep apnea is underdiagnosed. More than 80% of the people who reported classic symptoms such as snorting or gasping for breath on most nights of the week had never received an official diagnosis. This group, too, had a threefold higher risk of depression compared to people who had no trouble breathing at night.

Full story of sleep disorder at CNN Health

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