Cannabis and the brain: Recent studies shed new light

Recent research sheds new light on the effects of cannabis on the brain. It reveals a complex pattern of potential harms and benefits that varies with age and disease.

The findings came from a number of studies that featured at the 2018 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held in San Diego, CA.

They reveal, for instance, that exposure to marijuana before birth and during teen years can affect the developing brain in several ways.

Full story at Medical News Today

How long-term depression alters the brain

Depression has become a common mental health problem. For some, this condition lingers for many years, and scientists now strive to understand how that might affect the brain, and how treatments should be adjusted to address these changes.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), across the United States, 8.1 percent of people over the age of 20 have depression over any given 2-week period.

For some people, depression might only be episodic and overcome within a matter of weeks or months.

Full story at Medical News Today

The road to wisdom runs through hardship, study finds

How does somebody become wise? A plethora of writers and philosophers has tried to answer that question. Now, research gives the answer, and the route is anything but straightforward.

A famous Japanese proverb says, “Fall down seven times, and stand up eight,” implying that there is much to be gained from resilience in the face of obstacles.

The idea that learning from hardship can help us to grow as people is one that spans centuries and continents.

Full story at Medical News Today

How to stop catastrophizing

Catastrophizing is a way of thinking called a ‘cognitive distortion.’ A person who catastrophizes usually sees an unfavorable outcome to an event and then decides that if this outcome does happen, the results will be a disaster.

Here are some examples of catastrophizing:

  • “If I fail this test, I will never pass school, and I will be a total failure in life.”
  • “If I don’t recover quickly from this procedure, I will never get better, and I will be disabled my entire life.”

Full story at Medical News Today

Smartphone addiction creates imbalance in brain, study suggests

Researchers have found an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 46 percent of Americans say they could not live without their smartphones. While this sentiment is clearly hyperbole, more and more people are becoming increasingly dependent on smartphones and other portable electronic devices for news, information, games, and even the occasional phone call.

Along with a growing concern that young people, in particular, may be spending too much time staring into their phones instead of interacting with others, come questions as to the immediate effects on the brain and the possible long-term consequences of such habits.

Full story at Science Daily