Heavy drinking in teens causes lasting changes in emotional center of brain

Binge drinking in adolescence has been shown to have lasting effects on the wiring of the brain and is associated with increased risk for psychological problems and alcohol use disorder later in life.

Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics have shown that some of these lasting changes are the result of epigenetic changes that alter the expression of a protein crucial for the formation and maintenance of neural connections in the amygdala — the part of the brain involved in emotion, fear and anxiety. Their results, which are based on the analysis of postmortem human brain tissue, are published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

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 modifications are involved in the normal development of the brain, but they can be influenced by 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

How does smoking marijuana affect sperm?

With the increased legalization of cannabis, especially medical marijuana, researchers are interested in finding out more about its effects on health. One area that is currently under exploration is that of marijuana’s effect on fertility.

As recent research shows, men in Western countries are facing a fertility crisis. Sperm count in males of reproductive age more than halved between 1973 and 2011.

According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, approximately 9 percent of men in the United States have faced infertility.

Full story at Medical News Today

How are bipolar disorder and ADHD different?

Bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are two distinct health conditions. They share some similar symptoms but have several key differences.

ADHD is more common than bipolar disorder. As the two conditions can coexist, misdiagnosis can occur.

In this article, we compare bipolar disorder and ADHD. Read on to learn about the symptoms of each and how they can overlap. We also explain treatments and when to see a doctor.

Full story at Medical News Today

Quantum Units Education: New CEU Courses

Behavioral Health Among College Students

Alcohol, illicit drug, and tobacco use is more common among young adults than in any other age group.  This CE course aims to increase awareness of the wide range of issues faced by young adults enrolled in colleges due to underage and excessive alcohol use, use of tobacco products, illicit drug use (including the increasing prevalence of the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications for nonmedical purposes), and mental health issues.

Supporting Service Providers in Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Updated)

The consequences of child abuse and neglect ripple across the lifespan, negatively impacting a child’s chances to succeed in school, work, and relationships.  This CE course aims to support community-based child abuse prevention professionals who work to prevent child maltreatment and promote well-being.  Sample scenarios are used to illustrate how multiple protective factors supports and strengthen families who are experiencing stress.

For more on these courses and many more, visit our course page

 

Is there a cure for bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a long-term mood disorder that may affect how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Bipolar is not curable, but there are many treatments and strategies that a person can use to manage their symptoms.

Without treatment, bipolar disorder may cause unusual mood episodes. People with the condition may alternate between high periods, called manic episodes, and low periods, or depressive episodes.

During a manic episode, a person will often feel happy, have lots of energy, and be very sociable. During a depressive episode, they may feel sad, have low energy, and withdraw socially.

Full story at Medical News Today