Moving the motivation meter

Two novel drugs kickstart motivation in rats suffering from apathy and a lack of oomph, UConn researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego on Nov. 5.

Apathy steals the excitement from life. It’s a feeling of being fatigued, uninterested, and emotionally flat. People who suffer from apathy find it hard to exert effort, and life can seem tremendously difficult. One of the primary symptoms of depression, it’s also a side effect of certain medications. It can also be caused by inflammation from an infection or chronic disease such as multiple sclerosis.

Apathy and lack of motivation are hard to treat. Many medications that help with other symptoms of depression don’t help much with them.

But now, UConn behavioral neuroscientist John Salamone and graduate student Renee Rotolo have found that two new drugs can restore normal behavior in rats who lack motivation, pointing the way to potential treatments.

Full story at Science Daily

What are the treatments for addiction?

Addictive disorders are a group of disorders that can cause physical and psychological damage. Receiving treatment is essential for breaking the cycle of addiction.

However, as a chronic disease, addiction is difficult to treat and requires on-going care.

In the United States, around 8.1 percent of the population, or 21.7 million people, either need or regularly receive treatment for substance use disorders, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

First steps

The first step towards recovery is acknowledging that substance use has become a problem in the person’s life which is disrupting the quality of their life. This can result from impairment in school, work, social, recreational or other important areas of function.

Full story at Medical News Today

Many Teen Hookah Smokers Don’t Recognize Health Risk

Hookah Effects on your HealthMany teenage hookah smokers do not recognize that the practice carries serious health risks, suggests a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An estimated 18.5 percent of 12th graders said they used a hookah in the previous year.

More needs to be done to decrease the number of teens who smoke flavored tobacco from hookahs, the CDC states in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. The report notes hookah smoke contains many of the same toxins as cigarettes. It has been associated with lung cancer and respiratory illness, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The researchers conclude the same interventions used in reducing cigarette smoking can be successfully used to reduce hookah smoking. These include raising the price of flavored tobacco smoked from hookahs, called shisha. They point out the price for a pound of hookah pipe tobacco is $22 lower than that for cigarette tobacco.

Full story on hookahs and health at DrugFree.org

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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education