Alcohol intake may be key to long-term weight loss for people with Diabetes

Research shows that losing weight can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. While best practice for weight loss often includes decreasing or eliminating calories from alcohol, few studies examine whether people who undergo weight loss treatment report changes in alcohol intake and whether alcohol influences their weight loss.

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) suggests that alcohol consumption may attenuate long-term weight loss in adults with Type 2 diabetes.

In the study, close to 5,000 people who were overweight and had diabetes were followed for four years. One group participated in Intensive Lifestyle Intervention (ILI) and the other in a control group consisting of diabetes support and education. Data showed that participants in the ILI group who abstained from alcohol consumption over the four-year period lost more weight than those who drank any amount during the intervention. Results from the study also showed that heavy drinkers in the ILI group were less likely to have clinically significant weight loss over the four years.

Full story at Science Daily

Through my eyes: My bipolar journey

“She has blue eyes.” That was the first thing my dad said about me when I was born. He had blue eyes. It deeply saddens me to think that he was already looking for something that we had in common from the first moment he saw me.

All babies have blue eyes at birth, but mine turned hazel. As long as he lived, my dad never knew that we actually did have something in common. We both had bipolar disorder.

When I was a kid, my mom told me that my dad had “manic depression.” To me, that brought to mind a pot of boiling water with the lid vibrating and steam escaping, ready to explode at any moment.

Full story at Medical News Today

School-Based Counselors Help Kids Cope With Fallout From Drug Addiction

When Maddy Nadeau was a toddler, her mother wasn’t able to care for her. “I remember Mom was always locking herself in her room and she didn’t take care of me. My mom just wasn’t around at the time,” she says.

Every day, her older sister Devon came home from elementary school and made sure Maddy had something to eat.

“Devon would come home from school and fix them cold hot dogs or a bowl of cereal — very simple items that both of them could eat,” says Sarah Nadeau, who fostered the girls and later adopted them.

The girls’ parents struggled with drug addiction, and for several years, the sisters moved in with different relatives and eventually, foster homes. Nadeau says when they arrived at her home, both girls were anxious and depressed and had a hard time focusing in school — especially Maddy, who had been exposed to drugs in utero.

Full story at npr.org

This brain circuit is key to both depression and addiction

New research conducted in mice identifies a neural pathway crucial to both depression and addiction. Can we treat these problems by simply manipulating this pathway?

The pleasure and reward system is one of the most important systems governed by the brain.

It spurs us to enjoy the activities that have contributed to our survival as a species, such as eating, drinking, and having sex, so that we feel motivated to pursue them.

The activity of the reward system, however, is also a key factor in various types of addictive behavior.

Full story at Medical News Today

ABCD study completes enrollment, announces opportunities for scientific engagement

The National Institutes of Health announced today that enrollment for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study is now complete and, in early 2019, scientists will have access to baseline data from all ABCD Study participants.

There are 11,874 youth, ages 9-10, participating in the study, including 2,100 young people who are twins or triplets. All will be followed through young adulthood.

The ABCD Study is a landmark study on brain development and child health that will increase understanding of environmental, social, genetic, and other biological factors that affect brain and cognitive development and can enhance or disrupt a young person’s life trajectory. Coordinated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the study is supported by eight other NIH institutes and offices, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal partners.

Full story at drugabuse.org