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

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

U.S. Deaths From Suicide, Substance Abuse Reach Record High

Deaths from drugs, alcohol and suicide in the United States hit an all-time high in 2017 — more than 150,000 in all.

That number was more than double 1999 levels, according to a chilling new analysis of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by the Trust for America’s Health and Well Being Trust, two health policy organizations.

Nationwide, the death rate due to alcohol, drugs and suicide rose 6 percent between 2016 and 2017, from nearly 44 to 46.6 deaths per 100,000, the study found. Though that increase was smaller than in the two preceding years, it was higher than the 4 percent average annual increase since 1999.

Full story at US News

How does Zoloft affect bipolar disorder?

Zoloft is a type of medication that doctors call a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI. They may recommend it for mental health conditions, including certain types of bipolar disorder.

There are some side effects to consider before using this drug, however, and some may be cause for concern.

Anyone who is uncertain about their treatment should see a doctor, as there may be alternatives to Zoloft that they may wish to try.

Full story at Medical News Today

Underdiagnosed Male Eating Disorders Are Becoming Increasingly Identified

In a recent episode of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, journalist Soledad O’Brien introduces viewers to 24-year-old Logan Davis.

Davis sports a classic hockey helmet haircut: his brown hair is long, reaching to his ears and sticking out to the side. Viewers first see Davis in his element: on the ice, tending a goalie net in his Ohio State Buckeye’s college hockey uniform.

Playing hockey had been his passion since he was 5, and being a starter goalie for a Big Ten hockey conference team as a college freshman was nothing short of a dream come true for Davis.

Full story at npr.org