Why Watch Sports? Fans Get a Self-Esteem Boost, Study Finds

When your favorite college team wins the big game, it can boost your self-esteem for days — especially if you watch the game with others, a new study suggests.

Researchers assessed 174 students from Ohio State (OSU) and Michigan State (MSU) universities before and after a key 2015 football game. Michigan State, then ranked No. 9, beat No. 3 OSU on a field-goal as time expired.

Before the game on Saturday, fans from both schools had similar levels of self-esteem when asked to rate their body, appearance, academic ability and other measures. But two days after the faceoff, elated MSU students were riding high, while disappointed OSU fans’ self-esteem saw little change.

Researchers said how and if the students saw the matchup was key.

Full story at HealthDay

Nasal spray drug related to ketamine approved by FDA to treat depression

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved esketamine, an experimental nasal spray that delivers the active ingredients of the “club drug” ketamine, as a new treatment for severe depression.

The Johnson & Johnson nasal spray is a variation of the anesthetic ketamine — a pain reliever that was widely abused as a street drug, Special K, in the 1980s and 1990s. The newly approved drug by the FDA is the first major depression treatment to reach the U.S. market in decades. It is especially effective in patients who have not benefited from at least two different therapies, also known as treatment-resistant depression, the FDA said.

“There has been a long-standing need for additional effective treatments for treatment-resistant depression, a serious and life-threatening condition,” Dr. Tiffany Farchione, acting director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement Tuesday.

Full story at NBC News

Binge drinking in adolescence may increase risk for anxiety later in life

A growing body of evidence supports the idea that alcohol exposure early in life has lasting effects on the brain and increases the risk of psychological problems in adulthood. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that adolescent binge drinking, even if discontinued, increases the risk for anxiety later in life due to abnormal epigenetic programming. The findings of the study, which was conducted in animals, was published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

“Binge drinking early in life modifies the brain and changes connectivity in the brain, especially in the amygdala, which is involved in emotional regulation and anxiety, in ways we don’t totally understand yet,” said Subhash Pandey, professor of psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine, director of the UIC Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics and lead author of the study. “But what we do know is that epigenetic changes are lasting, and increase susceptibility to psychological issues later in life, even if drinking that took place early in life is stopped.”

“Epigenetics” refers to chemical changes to DNA, RNA, or specific proteins associated with chromosomes that change the activity of genes without changing the genes themselves. Epigenetic alterations are required for the normal development of the brain, but they can be modified in response to environmental or even social factors, such as alcohol and stress. These kinds of epigenetic alterations have been linked to changes in behavior and disease.

Full story at Science Daily

Potential way to improve cancer surgery outcomes by managing nontraditional risk factors

In a study of 142 patients preparing for cancer surgery, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that psychological or social risk factors such as depression, limited resilience and lack of emergency resources along with standard medical risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes are linked with higher risks of surgical complications.

“When it comes to cancer surgery, the conventional strategy has always been to treat the cancer as fast as you can,” says Ira Leeds, M.D., M.B.A., a research fellow in the Department of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “But our study suggests that there are things related to their psychosocial lives that we could and should be managing ahead of time, and that would help our patients have better outcomes after their surgery.”

The researchers caution that their study wasn’t designed to determine cause and effect, but to identify associations between risk factors and outcomes.

Full story at Science Daily

Is it safe to mix ibuprofen and alcohol?

Many people are aware that taking ibuprofen at the same time as alcohol is not always safe, but what are the risks, and when is it dangerous?

Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter medication that people use to reduce pain, inflammation, and fever. It is available under various brand names, such as Advil and Motrin, and in some combination medications for colds and the flu.

Alcohol and ibuprofen can both irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines. Mixing the two can cause side effects that vary in severity from mild to serious depending on the dose and how much alcohol a person ingests.

Full story at Medical News Today