MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Archives of psychology news blog


Go Back to the main psychology news blog

Subscribe To Health Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Archives Of Psychology News Blog From Medicineworld.Org


October 8, 2010, 8:03 AM CT

Childhood adversity may lead to unhealthy stress

Childhood adversity may lead to unhealthy stress
Linda Carpenter
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
Seemingly healthy adults, if they were abused or neglected during childhood, may suffer physiological consequences decades later. In research published online last week by the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, a team led by psychiatry experts at Brown University and Butler Hospital observed that healthy adults who reported being mistreated as kids appear to have an elevated inflammatory response to stress in comparison to adults who had happier childhoods.

Main author Linda Carpenter, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior, said that previous research has revealed preliminary associations between inflammatory markers, (such as cytokines or proteins released in the bloodstream such as interleuken-6) and depression and anxiety disorders, so this new finding could ultimately improve doctors' understanding of how stressors in childhood shape the risk people face for developing those conditions during the later part of life.

"Animal models have given us some signals about how the functioning of an organism's stress response system can run amok for the rest its life as a result of some of the earliest environment exposures - adverse ones in particular," said Carpenter, who also treats patients as chief of the mood disorders practice at Butler. "This is one of many studies we've been doing with generally healthy adults, looking at the effects of adverse early environment and how it might create a biological abnormality that could predispose somebody to future depression or another medical disorders".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 25, 2010, 8:26 AM CT

How stress controls our genes

How stress controls our genes
Stress has become a main disease states in the developed world. But what is stress? It depends on from where you look. You may experience stress as something that affects your entire body and mind, the causes of which are plentiful. But if we zoom in on the building bricks of the body, our cells, stress and its causes are defined somewhat differently. Stress can arise at the cellular level after exposure to pollution, tobacco smoke, bacterial toxins etc, where stressed cells have to react to survive and maintain their normal function. In worst case scenario, cellular stress can lead to development of disease.

Scientists from Dr.Klaus Hansen's group at BRIC, University of Copenhagen, have just shown that external factors can stress our cells through the control of our genes. "We observed that stress-activating factors can control our genes by turning on certain genes that were supposed to be silenced. It is very important that some genes are on and others are off in order to ensure normal foetal development and correct function of our cells during the later part of life" says Dr. Klaus Hansen. Simmi Gehani, PhD-student in the Hansen group, observed that exposing human cells to a stress-activating compound turned on silenced genes. Even brief changes in gene activation can be disastrous during foetal development as establishment of correct cellular identity can be disturbed in our cells. But altered gene activity can also have consequences in the adult body. "For example, one could imagine that prolonged stress causes nerve cells in the brain to produce hormones and other signalling molecules they do not normally produce and this can disturb normal brain function" says Simmi Gehani.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 25, 2010, 8:01 AM CT

Maybe it's the wrong time of month

Maybe it's the wrong time of month
Feeling a little sluggish and having trouble concentrating? Hormones might be to blame as per new research from Concordia University reported in the journal Brain and Cognition The study shows that high estrogen levels are linked to an inability to pay attention and learn the first such paper to report how this impediment can be due to a direct effect of the hormone on mature brain structures.

"Eventhough estrogen is known to play a significant role in learning and memory, there has been no clear consensus on its effect," says senior author Wayne Brake, an associate professor at Concordia's Center for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology. "Our findings, using a well-established model of learning called latent inhibition, shows conclusively that high estrogen levels inhibit the cognitive ability in female rodents".

Human females have high estrogen levels while they are ovulating. These high levels have also been shown to interfere with women's ability to pay attention.

"The similarity between human studies and our findings suggest that we have a good model for human learning," says first author Matthew Quinlan, a former Concordia doctoral student now a lecturer at California State University San Bernadino. "Rodent research is invaluable to us. We can tease out the real contributors and their respective roles in these systems. It is much more difficult to conduct comparable experiments in humans".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 23, 2010, 6:56 AM CT

Less pain for learning gain

Less pain for learning gain
Researchers long have recognized that a number of perceptual skills important for language comprehension and reading can be enhanced through practice. Now research from Northwestern University suggests a new way of training that could reduce by at least half the effort previously thought necessary to make learning gains.

The research also appears to be the first behavioral demonstration of metaplasticity -- the idea that experiences that on their own do not generate learning can influence how effective later experiences are at generating learning.

"Previous to our work much of the research into perceptual learning could be summed up as 'no pain, no gain,'" says Beverly Wright, first author of a study in the Sept. 22 Journal of Neuroscience and communication sciences and disorders professor at Northwestern. "Our work suggests that you can have the same gain in learning with substantially less pain".

The findings could lead to less effortful therapies for children who suffer from language learning impairments involving perceptual skills. And they hold potential for members of the general population with an interest in enhancing perceptual abilities -- for musicians seeking to sharpen their sensitivity to sound, people studying a second language or physicians learning to tell the difference between regular and irregular heartbeats.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 11, 2010, 8:56 AM CT

Neural proteins linked to autism disorders

Neural proteins linked to autism disorders
An international team of scientists, led by scientists at the University of California, San Diego, has identified misfolding and other molecular anomalies in a key brain protein linked to autism spectrum disorders.

Palmer Taylor, associate vice chancellor for Health Sciences at UC San Diego and dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and his colleagues report in the September 10 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry that misfolding of a protein called neuroligin-3, due to gene mutations, results in trafficking deficiencies that may lead to abnormal communications between neurons.

Genetic misfolding of neuroligins is thought to prevent normal formation and function of neuronal synapses. The gene mutation has been documented in patients with autism.

"It makes sense that there's a connection," said Taylor. "The neuroligins are involved in maintaining neuronal synapses and their malfunction is likely to affect a neurodevelopmental disease".

Neuroligins are post-synaptic proteins that help glue together neurons at synapses by connecting with pre-synaptic protein partners called neurexins. They are part of a larger family of alpha-beta-hydrolase fold proteins that includes a number of molecules with diverse catalytic, adhesion and secretory functions.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 9, 2010, 6:37 AM CT

High stress levels and mortality

High stress levels and mortality
High levels of the stress hormone cortisol strongly predict cardiovascular death among both persons with and without pre-existing cardiovascular disease as per a newly released study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

In stressful situations, the body responds by producing the hormone cortisol. The effects of cortisol are intended to help the body recover from stress and regain a status of homeostasis, however chronically elevated cortisol levels have been linked to cardiovascular risk factors, such as the metabolic syndrome and accelerated atherosclerosis.

"Prior studies have suggested that cortisol might increase the risk of cardiovascular mortality, but until now, no study had directly tested this hypothesis," said Nicole Vogelzangs, PhD, of VU University Medical Center in The Netherlands and main author of the study. "The results of our study clearly show that cortisol levels in a general older population predict cardiovascular death, but not other causes of mortality".

In this study, scientists reviewed 861 people aged 65 years and older who participated in a prospective cohort study. Within six years of the beginning of the study 183 participants had died. Urinary cortisol levels of subjects were measured at the beginning of the study and cause of death was ascertained from death certificates. Scientists observed that urinary cortisol did not increase the risk of non-cardiovascular mortality but did increase cardiovascular mortality risk. The third of the subjects with the highest urinary cortisol had a five-fold increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 9, 2010, 6:33 AM CT

Using medication for insomnia or anxiety?

Using medication for insomnia or anxiety?
Taking medications to treat insomnia and anxiety increases mortality risk by 36%, as per a research studyconducted by Genevive Belleville, a professor at Universit Laval's School of Psychology. The details of this study are reported in the latest edition of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry

Dr. Belleville arrived at these results through analysis of 12 years of data on over 14,000 Canadians in Statistics Canada's National Population Health Survey. The data includes information on the social demographics, lifestyle, and health of Canadians age 18 to 102, surveyed every two years between 1994 and 2007.

During this period, respondents who reported having used medicine to treat insomnia or anxiety at least once in the month preceding the survey had a mortality rate of 15.7%. Respondents who reported not having used such medications had a rate of 10.5%. After controlling for personal factors that might affect mortality risk, notably alcohol and tobacco consumption, physical health, physical activity level, and the presence or absence of depressive symptoms among participants, Dr. Belleville established that the consumption of sleeping pills or anxiety-relieving medications was linked to a 36% increase in the risk of death.

Many hypotheses have been put forward to explain the link between use of these medications and increased mortality. Sleeping pills and anxiolytics affect reaction time, alertness, and coordination and are thus conducive to falls and other accidents. They may also have an inhibiting effect on the respiratory system, which could aggravate certain breathing problems that may occur during sleep. These medications are also central nervous system inhibitors that may affect judgment and thus increase the risk of suicide.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 8, 2010, 7:05 AM CT

Addressing negative thoughts

Addressing negative thoughts
Changing how a person perceives and thinks about others was the most effective intervention for loneliness, a sweeping analysis of prior research has determined. The findings may help physicians and psychology experts develop better therapys for loneliness, a known risk factor for heart disease and other health problems.

Recently, scientists have characterized the negative influence of loneliness upon blood pressure, sleep quality, dementia, and other health measures. Those effects suggest that loneliness is a health risk factor, similar to obesity or smoking, which can be targeted to improve patients' health in several dimensions.

"People are becoming more isolated, and this health problem is likely to grow," said John Cacioppo, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago. "If we know that loneliness is involved in health problems, the next question is what we can do to mitigate it".

To determine the most effective method for reducing loneliness, Cacioppo and a team of scientists from the University of Chicago examined the long history of research on the topic. Reported in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, their quantitative review observed that the best interventions targeted social cognition rather than social skills or opportunities for social interaction.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 7, 2010, 7:41 AM CT

Depression in the first year after child's birth

Depression in the first year after child's birth
More than one-third of mothers and about one-fifth of fathers in the United Kingdom appear to experience an episode of depression between their child's birth and 12th year of age, with the highest rates in the first year after birth, as per a report posted online today that will appear in the November print issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Depression in parents is linked to adverse behavioral, developmental and cognitive outcomes in their children," the authors write as background information in the article. "While the maternal depression and child outcome literature is well established, there are fewer studies on paternal depression. There is evidence that paternal depression is not uncommon, with rates higher than those in the general adult male population; however, a wide range of prevalence rates for paternal depression have been reported".

Shreya Dav, Ph.D., M.Sc., B.Sc., of the Medical Research Council, London, England, and his colleagues examined incidence, trends and correlates of parental depression in 86,957 families seen in U.K. primary care facilities between 1993 and 2007. Mothers and fathers with depression were identified using diagnostic codes and pharmacy records.

Overall, between their children's birth and age 12, 19,286 mothers had a total of 25,176 episodes of depression and 8,012 fathers had a total of 9,683 episodes of depression. The depression rate was 7.53 per 100 mothers per year and 2.69 per 100 fathers per year. The highest rates were observed in the first year after the birth of a child, with 13.93 per 100 mothers and 3.56 per 100 fathers experiencing depression in that period.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


August 31, 2010, 7:11 AM CT

Destination amnesia

Destination amnesia
Elderly adults are more likely to have destination memory failures forgetting who they've shared or not shared information with, as per a newly released study led by Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute.

It's the kind of memory faux pas that can lead to awkward or embarrassing social situations and even miscommunication in the doctor's office. Ironically, after making these memory errors elderly adults remain highly confident in their false beliefs.

The study appears online, ahead of print publication, in the Online First Section of Psychology and Aging

"What we've found is that elderly adults tend to experience more destination amnesia than younger adults," said lead investigator and cognitive scientist Dr. Nigel Gopie, who led the study with internationally-renowned experts in memory and attention, Drs. Fergus Craik and Lynn Hasher.

Typically "destination amnesia is characterized by falsely believing you've told someone something, such as believing you've told your daughter about needing a ride to an appointment, when you actually had told a neighbour".

Why are elderly adults more prone to destination memory failures? The ability to focus and pay attention declines with age, so elderly adults use up most of their attentional resources on the telling of information and don't properly encode the context (ie. who they are speaking to) for later recall.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



Older Blog Entries   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   66   67   68   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   76   77   78   79   80   81   82   83   84   85   86   87   88   89  

Did you know?
Too little evidence exists to recommend or rule out estrogen as a treatment for schizophrenia in women, a new review of studies finds.People diagnosed with schizophrenia suffer distorted perceptions of reality and hallucinations. Today, estrogen is strictly an experimental therapy for the psychotic symptoms associated with the mental illness.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of psychology news blog

Acute bacterial meningitis| Alzheimer's disease| Carpal tunnel syndrome| Cerebral aneurysms| Cerebral palsy| Chronic fatigue syndrome| Cluster headache| Dementia| Epilepsy seizure disorders| Febrile seizures| Guillain barre syndrome| Head injury| Hydrocephalus| Neurology| Insomnia| Low backache| Mental retardation| Migraine headaches| Multiple sclerosis| Myasthenia gravis| Neurological manifestations of aids| Parkinsonism parkinson's disease| Personality disorders| Sleep disorders insomnia| Syncope| Trigeminal neuralgia| Vertigo|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.