Atrial fibrillation: Daily alcoholic drink riskier than binge drinking

A new study suggests that drinking small amounts of alcohol frequently rather than having infrequent bouts of binge drinking is more likely to increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation (A-fib), a condition in which the heart beats irregularly.

“Recommendations about alcohol consumption have focused on reducing the absolute amount rather than the frequency,” says study author Dr. Jong-Il Choi, a professor in the department of internal medicine at the Korea University College of Medicine in Seoul.

“Our study suggests that drinking less often may also be important to protect against atrial fibrillation,” he adds.

Full story at Medical News Today

Can a heart treatment lower depression and anxiety?

Many people who have atrial fibrillation experience symptoms of mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Do particular treatments for this condition help resolve such symptoms? A new study suggests they might.

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is a common condition characterized by an irregular heart rhythm.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2.7–6.1 millionpeople in the United States have A-fib.

Studies show that about a third of people with this heart condition also have symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Full story at Medical News Today

Treacherous correlation in the brain from smoking

Out with the cigarette pack, put a cigarette in the mouth and light up. That is a well-known action for a smoker and, at the same time, behavior which has a stronger connection to actual drug dependency than was previously believed, research at the Sahlgrenska Academy has revealed.

“In the future we hope that this can contribute towards the development of pharmacological tools to help those who are dependent,” says Amir Lotfi Moghaddam, thesis defendant in addiction biology at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology.

In his pre-clinical thesis he has employed tests on rats in order to research factors which can be decisive in, for example, a party smoker becoming an habitual smoker. In addition to nicotine he has studied amphetamines. Both agents are centrally stimulating but have different molecular mechanisms.