Guest Nicole -
Guest Nicole -
By Guest Nicole
As more and more people discuss mental health issues in public forums, it seems to be lifting some of the stigma surrounding the topic. New research reveals that the number of students seeking help for mental health problems has risen considerably between 2009 and 2015.
Anxiety, depression, and panic attacks are on the rise among U.S. college students, suggests a new study.
Sara Oswalt, from the University of Texas at San Antonio, is the lead author of the new study, which was published in the Journal of American College Health.
According to estimates that the scientists cite, around 26 percent of people aged 18 and above in the United States live with a mental health condition in any given year.
By Guest Nicole
April 13, 2018
NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Losing just one night of sleep led to an immediate increase in beta-amyloid, a protein in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to a small, new study.
Losing just one night of sleep led to an immediate increase in beta-amyloid, a protein in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to a small, new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. In Alzheimer's disease, beta-amyloid proteins clump together to form amyloid plaques, a hallmark of the disease.
While acute sleep deprivation is known to elevate brain beta-amyloid levels in mice, less is known about the impact of sleep deprivation on beta-amyloid accumulation in the human brain. The study is among the first to demonstrate that sleep may play an important role in human beta-amyloid clearance.
"This research provides new insight about the potentially harmful effects of a lack of sleep on the brain and has implications for better characterizing the pathology of Alzheimer's disease," said George F. Koob, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the study.
Beta-amyloid is a metabolic waste product present in the fluid between brain cells. In Alzheimer's disease, beta-amyloid clumps together to form amyloid plaques, negatively impacting communication between neurons.
Led by Drs. Ehsan Shokri-Kojori and Nora D. Volkow of the NIAAA Laboratory of Neuroimaging, the study is now online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Volkow is also the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at NIH.
To understand the possible link between beta-amyloid accumulation and sleep, the researchers used positron emission tomography (PET) to scan the brains of 20 healthy subjects, ranging in age from 22 to 72, after a night of rested sleep and after sleep deprivation (being awake for about 31 hours). They found beta-amyloid increases of about 5 percent after losing a night of sleep in brain regions including the thalamus and hippocampus, regions especially vulnerable to damage in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180413155301.htm
By Guest Nicole
March 12, 2018
University of British Columbia
Therapy dog sessions for stressed-out students are an increasingly popular offering at North American universities. Now, new research confirms that some doggy one-on-one time really can do the trick of boosting student wellness.
Therapy dog sessions for stressed-out students are an increasingly popular offering at North American universities. Now, new research from the University of British Columbia confirms that some doggy one-on-one time really can do the trick of boosting student wellness.
"Therapy dog sessions are becoming more popular on university campuses, but there has been surprisingly little research on how much attending a single drop-in therapy dog session actually helps students," said Emma Ward-Griffin, the study's lead author and research assistant in the UBC department of psychology. "Our findings suggest that therapy dog sessions have a measurable, positive effect on the wellbeing of university students, particularly on stress reduction and feelings of negativity."
In research published today in Stress and Health, researchers surveyed 246 students before and after they spent time in a drop-in therapy dog session. Students were free to pet, cuddle and chat with seven to 12 canine companions during the sessions. They also filled out questionnaires immediately before and after the session, and again about 10 hours later.
The researchers found that participants reported significant reductions in stress as well as increased happiness and energy immediately following the session, compared to a control group of students who did not spend time at a therapy dog session. While feelings of happiness and life satisfaction did not appear to last, some effects did.
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180312085045.htm
By Guest Nicole
Chester Bennington's widow says that she was "completely surprised" by her husband's passing, explaining that she believed Chris Cornell's death only two months earlier would serve as a deterrent against suicide to the LINKIN PARK singer.
Chester was found dead on July 20, 2017 — on what would have been the 53rd birthday of his late friend and fellow rocker, SOUNDGARDEN frontman Chris Cornell.
After Cornell died in May 2017 as a result of suicide by hanging himself inside his Detroit hotel room, Chester wrote a letter thanking him for inspiring him and hoping he would find peace in "the next life."
On Wednesday (January 31), Talinda Bennington touched upon her tragic loss during an appearance at the Canadian Event Safety Summit, where she spoke with Anna Shinoda(wife of Mike Shinoda, who is also in LINKIN PARK) and Jim Digby (LINKIN PARK's production manager). The event focused on mental illness in the music industry, but much of the panel's discussion centered on life after Chester's death.
Talinda, who married Chester in 2005 and had three kids with the late singer, said (see video below): "[Chester and I] were both very emotionally unhealthy in our own different ways, and over our time together — we were together for 12 and a half years — we both grew. He struggled with addiction and depression, two things that I've never struggled with. Although I do have my own demons, I did have my hardships growing up, we just handled them in very different ways. So I came from a point of complete — for lack of a better term — ignorance to his situation. But over time, I came to learn that taking care of your mental health is as important as your physical health."
Read more: http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/chester-benningtons-widow-says-her-husbands-suicide-was-a-complete-surprise/
By Guest Nicole
Everyone knows that a dog is a man’s best friend, but a recently released Swedish study is giving that hackneyed saying a whole new meaning for men — and women — everywhere.
The study, published in Scientific Reports on Friday, found that dog ownership may really help you live longer.
The study tracked, over a period of 12 years, more than 3.4 million Swedish adults without a history of heart disease. Overall, the study concluded, dog ownership was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and "all-cause mortality" in the general population.
The effects of dog ownership were especially pronounced in single-person households, where the presence of a pet lowered the risk of death by 33 percent and chances of a heart attack by 11 percent.
The study linked ownership of breeds originally bred for hunting, including terriers and retrievers, with the lowest risk of CVD.
Read more: https://www.today.com/health/new-study-shows-owning-dog-lowers-risk-cardiovascular-disease-t119021
By Guest Nicole
(CNN)The benefits that come with owning a dog are clear-- physical activity, support, companionship -- but owning a dog could literally be saving your life
Dog ownership is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and death, finds a new Swedish study published Friday in the journal Scientific Reports.
For people living alone, owning a dog can decrease their risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular related death by 36%, when compared to single individuals without a pet, according to the study. Chances of a heart attack were also found to be 11% lower.
Multi-person household owners also saw benefits, though to a lesser extent. Risk of death among these dog owners fell by 11% and their chances of cardiovascular death were 15% lower. But their risk of a heart attack was not reduced by owning a dog.
Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/17/health/dog-owners-heart-disease-and-death/index.html
By Guest Nicole
Feeling blue? You can now ask Google for help.
The search giant wants people with depression to seek treatment and will prompt US users when they search for depression-related terms: “Check if you’re clinically depressed.”
Users will then be directed to a clinically validated questionnaire, called a PHQ-9, to measure their level of depression, Google explained on its blog. The questionnaire is not meant to replace a mental health professional.
Google — which partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to create the self-evaluation — hopes the confidential survey will spur more people to broach the subject with their doctor.
Read more: http://nypost.com/2017/08/24/google-will-now-ask-if-youre-depressed/
By Guest Nicole
The age at which a male first sees pornography is associated with certain sexist attitudes later in life, according to a team of researchers from the University of Nebraska.
Their survey revealed the younger the first viewing occurred, the more likely a male was to want power over women.
While if they were older, they were more likely to be sexually promiscuous.
Of the 330 undergraduates surveyed, with a median age of 20, the average age they first saw pornography was 13.
The youngest was only five, while the oldest was 26.
The unpublished findings were presented at a convention in Washington.
Lead researcher Alyssa Bischmann and her team asked the men, the vast majority of whom were heterosexual and white, when they first saw porn and whether it was intentional, accidental or forced.
They were then asked 46 questions which measured how they conformed to one of two behavioural traits - seeking power over women or sexually promiscuous behaviour and living a playboy lifestyle.
Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40814082
By Guest Nicole
At an office for Healthy Minds in High Wycombe, England, psychological well-being practitioners perform hourlong evaluations over the phone to decide what type of therapy is most appropriate for people who call asking for help. CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times
LONDON — England is in the midst of a unique national experiment, the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses.
The rapidly growing initiative, which has gotten little publicity outside the country, offers virtually open-ended talk therapy free of charge at clinics throughout the country: in remote farming villages, industrial suburbs, isolated immigrant communities and high-end enclaves. The goal is to eventually create a system of primary care for mental health not just for England but for all of Britain.
At a time when many nations are debating large-scale reforms to mental health care, researchers and policy makers are looking hard at England’s experience, sizing up both its popularity and its limitations. Mental health care systems vary widely across the Western world, but none have gone nearly so far to provide open-ended access to talk therapies backed by hard evidence. Experts say the English program is the first broad real-world test of treatments that have been studied mostly in carefully controlled lab conditions.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/24/health/england-mental-health-treatment-therapy.html
By Guest Nicole
July 17, 2017
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
More than a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep, and growing evidence suggests it’s not only taking a toll on their physical health through heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and/or other conditions, but hurting their mental health as well.
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170717120048.htm
By Guest Nicole
June 6, 2017
Michigan State University
The power of friendship gets stronger with age and may even be more important than family relationships, indicates new research.
The power of friendship gets stronger with age and may even be more important than family relationships, indicates new research by a Michigan State University scholar.In a pair of studies involving nearly 280,000 people, William Chopik found that friendships become increasingly important to one’s happiness and health across the lifespan. Not only that, but in older adults, friendships are actually a stronger predictor of health and happiness than relationships with family members.“Friendships become even more important as we age,” said Chopik, assistant professor of psychology. “Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being. So it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest.”
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170606090936.htm
By Guest Nicole
As the Harvard Women’s Health Watch reported, “Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”
In a study of 7,000 men and women in Alameda County, Calif., begun in 1965, Lisa F. Berkman and S. Leonard Syme found that “people who were disconnected from others were roughly three times more likely to die during the nine-year study than people with strong social ties,” John Robbins recounted in his marvelous book on health and longevity, “Healthy at 100.”
This major difference in survival occurred regardless of people’s age, gender, health practices or physical health status. In fact, the researchers found that “those with close social ties and unhealthful lifestyles (such as smoking, obesity and lack of exercise) actually lived longer than those with poor social ties but more healthful living habits,” Mr. Robbins wrote. However, he quickly added, “Needless to say, people with both healthful lifestyles and close social ties lived the longest of all.”
In another study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1984, researchers at the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York found that among 2,320 men who had survived a heart attack, those with strong connections with other people had only a quarter the risk of death within the following three years as those who lacked social connectedness.
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center also found that social ties can reduce deaths among people with serious medical conditions. Beverly H. Brummett and colleagues reported in 2001 that among adults with coronary artery disease, the mortality rate was 2.4 times higher among those who were socially isolated.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/12/well/live/having-friends-is-good-for-you.html?_r=1
By Guest Nicole
Your morning cup of joe may have effects that reach beyond getting you alert and ready for the day. Researchers at Indiana University identified 24compounds that can increase the brain’s production of an enzyme that could help protect it against diseases like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. One of the strongest impacts on the enzyme came from caffeine, which was additionally shown to improve memory function in mice.
The enzyme, called NMNAT2, has a protective effect on the brain. Researchers previously found that the enzyme has two important functions - it can guard neurons from stress and work as a “chaperone” when it fights against misfolded proteins called tau which form age-related “plaques.”
The misfolded tau proteins are related to a host of neurogenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s as well as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS.
"This work could help advance efforts to develop drugs that increase levels of this enzyme in the brain, creating a chemical 'blockade' against the debilitating effects of neurodegenerative disorders," said Professor Hui-Chen Lu, who led the study.
Researchers went through 1,280 compounds, which included current drugs, in an effort to figure out what can influence the production of the NMNAT2 enzyme. Besides caffeine, the world's most popular drug, scientists found that a discontinued anti-depressant drug rolipram also gives a strong boost to the helpful enzyme’s production. Other compounds that have a weaker effect on increasing the amount of NMNAT2 include ziprasidone, canthardin, wortmannin and retonoic acid (found in vitamin A).
The scientists are excited about identifying the compounds, hoping they will lead to an increase in our overall understanding of what happens in the brain due to the brain disorders. They also found 13 compounds that lower the protective enzyme.
"Increasing our knowledge about the pathways in the brain that appear to naturally cause the decline of this necessary protein is equally as important as identifying compounds that could play a role in future treatment of these debilitating mental disorders," said Lu.
The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Cover photo: A young woman samples freshly-brewed cappuccino at Bonanza Coffee Roasters on January 24, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
By Guest Nicole
Dance your heart out
"As a model, it's my job to know my angles and my body for posing for the camera," Lee told Self magazine. "But saying affirmations and dancing in the mirror has become part of my self-care routine. Dancing in general makes me feel present and alive, but adding in positive sayings to myself makes me feel empowered and puts you in the right place mentally and emotionally before you leave your home." —Precious Lee
"The best way I know for sure to stay in steady makeover mode is to take care of yourself," Oprah Winfrey wrote in an issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. "To feed yourself with love and loving thoughts. To eat food that's delicious to you and to your body. To engage in loving practices, like giving yourself the gift of stillness at least five minutes a day. To surround yourself with people who bring you light, and to banish all forms of negative energy." —Oprah Winfrey
Make your body happy
"I mostly go for hourlong hikes with friends," Kristen Bell said to Self magazine, "but sometimes, I'll do Pilates or 20 minutes of calisthenics…I go through spurts. Working out for me has nothing to do with body image. I refuse to look in the mirror and hate myself. My goal isn't to change my body—it's to make my body happy." —Kristen Bell
Find joy in the little things
"You can't look to…anything from the outside to fill you up," Jennifer Garner told O, The Oprah Magazine. "You have to find it in the small things in everyday life—which I do a million times a day: a hot cup of tea, a hummingbird. Stop, take that in, receive it, get joy from it." —Jennifer Garner
As Lily Collins explained to Seventeen magazine, "It's important to relate to one another about issues that you're having, because the second you open up and someone else says, 'Oh, me too. I feel the same way,' then all of a sudden, you feel more at peace with yourself and you can feel more confident with who you are." —Lily Collins
Take a hiatus
At the end of last summer, Selena Gomez announced she was taking time off for herself. "I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness," she explained in a statement. It was later reported, that she checked into a Tennessee rehab facility to make her mental wellness top priority. Gomez's vocal support for self-care marked a shift in the collective dialogue, homing in on the need to take time for ourselves. —Selena Gomez
Carve quality time with your kids
"If I make my kids something delicious and we sit down to eat it, and I put my phone away and I really listen, that is such money in the bank," 43-year-old Gwyneth Paltrow told Self. Balancing a career with motherhood isn't easy for anyone, but it's a juggling act Paltrow has come to relish. "It's a fantastic age," she says, of being 44. "You can still find yourself at a party at 3 a.m., but you also know enough about who you are and how that informs the choices you make." —Gwyneth Paltrow
Purpose, not perfection
"It's really about changing the conversation. It's not about perfection. It's about purpose," the singing sensation told Elle U.K. "We have to care about our bodies and what we put in them. Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health—take time for self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself." —Beyoncé
Food is fuel
"Getting busy and realizing that food was fuel and simply getting older," said Lena Dunham in People was the key to body acceptance. "I really feel good with my size now," she said. "I know when I say that people are like, 'mm-hmm,' but I just do! It used to be when I went into a room with all thin women I felt like, what's wrong with me? Now I just feel special." —Lena Dunham
By Guest Nicole
Using a sauna may be more than just relaxing and refreshing. It may also reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, a new study suggests.
Researchers in Finland analyzed medical records of 2,315 healthy men ages 42 to 60, tracking their health over an average of about 20 years. During that time, they diagnosed 204 cases of dementia and 123 cases of Alzheimer’s disease.
The study, in Age and Ageing, controlled for alcohol intake, smoking, blood pressure, diabetes and other health and behavioral factors. It found that compared with men who used a sauna once a week, those who used a sauna four to seven times a week had a 66 percent lower risk for dementia and a 65 percent lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
The senior author, Jari Antero Laukkanen, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Eastern Finland, said that various physiological mechanisms may be involved. Sauna bathing may, for example, lead to reduced inflammation, better vascular function or lowered blood pressure.
“Overall relaxation and well-being can be another reason,” he added, though the findings were only an association. “We need more studies to clarify mechanisms and confirm our findings.”
By Guest Nicole
December 13, 2016
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A study of older adults links consumption of a pigment found in leafy greens to the preservation of 'crystallized intelligence,' the ability to use the skills and knowledge one has acquired over a lifetime.
Lutein helps with the preservation of “crystallized intelligence" and is acquire through the diet, primarily through eating leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, or egg yolks.
Credit: © nyul / Fotolia
A study of older adults links consumption of a pigment found in leafy greens to the preservation of "crystallized intelligence," the ability to use the skills and knowledge one has acquired over a lifetime.
The study is reported in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
Lutein (LOO-teen) is one of several plant pigments that humans acquire through the diet, primarily by eating leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, or egg yolks, said University of Illinois graduate student Marta Zamroziewicz, who led the study with Illinois psychology professor Aron Barbey. Lutein accumulates in the brain, embedding in cell membranes, where it likely plays "a neuroprotective role," she said.
"Previous studies have found that a person's lutein status is linked to cognitive performance across the lifespan," Zamroziewicz said. "Research also shows that lutein accumulates in the gray matter of brain regions known to underlie the preservation of cognitive function in healthy brain aging."
The study enrolled 122 healthy participants aged 65 to 75 who solved problems and answered questions on a standard test of crystallized intelligence. Researchers also collected blood samples to determine blood serum levels of lutein and imaged participants' brains using MRI to measure the volume of different brain structures.
The team focused on parts of the temporal cortex, a brain region that other studies suggest plays a role in the preservation of crystallized intelligence.
The researchers found that participants with higher blood serum levels of lutein tended to do better on tests of crystallized intelligence. Serum lutein levels reflect only recent dietary intakes, Zamroziewicz said, but are associated with brain concentrations of lutein in older adults, which reflect long-term dietary intake.
Those with higher serum lutein levels also tended to have thicker gray matter in the parahippocampal cortex, a brain region that, like crystallized intelligence, is preserved in healthy aging, the researchers report.
"Our analyses revealed that gray-matter volume of the parahippocampal cortex on the right side of the brain accounts for the relationship between lutein and crystallized intelligence," Barbey said. "This offers the first clue as to which brain regions specifically play a role in the preservation of crystallized intelligence, and how factors such as diet may contribute to that relationship."
"Our findings do not demonstrate causality," Zamroziewicz said. "We did find that lutein is linked to crystallized intelligence through the parahippocampal cortex."
"We can only hypothesize at this point how lutein in the diet affects brain structure," Barbey said. "It may be that it plays an anti-inflammatory role or aids in cell-to-cell signaling. But our finding adds to the evidence suggesting that particular nutrients slow age-related declines in cognition by influencing specific features of brain aging."
Materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Original written by Diana Yates. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Marta K. Zamroziewicz, Erick J. Paul, Chris E. Zwilling, Elizabeth J. Johnson, Matthew J. Kuchan, Neal J. Cohen, Aron K. Barbey. Parahippocampal Cortex Mediates the Relationship between Lutein and Crystallized Intelligence in Healthy, Older Adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2016; 8 DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00297
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Alexandria, VA—For the third year in a row, Mental Health America (MHA) released its annual State of Mental Health Report, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on several mental health and access measures. The results show a country that is indeed more insured, but still falling dramatically short in meeting the needs of those with mental health concerns.
Health care reform has reduced the rates of uninsured adults with mental health conditions—19 percent remain uninsured in states that did not expand Medicaid, 13 percent remain uninsured in states that did expand Medicaid. Over 40 million Americans are dealing with a mental health concern—more than the populations of New York and Florida combined. There are over 1.2 million people currently residing in prisons and/or jails with a mental health condition and lack of access to mental health care is linked with higher rates of incarceration. 56 percent of adults still don’t receive treatment. Youth mental health problems are on the rise, and 6 out of 10 young people with major depression do not receive ANY mental health treatment. In states with the lowest workforce, there’s only 1 mental health professional per 1,000 individuals—that includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors and psychiatric nurses combined. In the overall rankings, Connecticut came out as #1, while Nevada landed at #51. “Once again, our report shows that too many Americans are suffering, and far too many are not receiving the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, Mental Health America. “Mental illness touches everyone. We must improve access to care and treatments, and we need to put a premium on early identification and early intervention for everyone with mental health concerns.”
In developing the report, MHA looked at 15 different measures to determine the rankings. MHA hoped to provide a snapshot of mental health status among youth and adults for policy and program planning, analysis, and evaluation; to track changes in prevalence of mental health issues and access to mental health care; to understand how changes in national data reflect the impact of legislation and policies; and to increase the dialogues and improve outcomes for individuals and families with mental health needs.
“This is ultimately about policy decisions we make. It isn’t just about what states are red and what states are blue,” Gionfriddo added, “because there are some of each near the top and the bottom. But political environments in states do seem to matter. Those that invest more in mental health clearly have to throw away less money on jails and prisons.
“It’s time to act—we must invest in the overall physical and mental well-being of our citizens—every day,” concluded Gionfriddo. “We must address these mental health concerns before crisis and tragedy strikes—before Stage 4.”
By Guest Nicole
Do you see what I see? Not necessarily with these optical illusions! When you look at an image, your brain takes that information into perception. Sometimes, an image can trick the brain into perceiving it differently from what the picture actually is, creating an optical illusion.
Take a look at the following 10 images to find out if you can see the two images masking as one.
Is It a Man Playing a Horn or Woman’s Face?
When you stare at this black and white image, do you see woman’s face with hair on the right side of it or a man playing a horn? If you can’t see the man, look at the black shape. See him now?
Is It a Rabbit or a Duck?
If you look at this image one way, the two rectangular shapes on the left could be a duck’s bill. But if you look at it another way, those shapes might appear to you as a pair of rabbit ears.
Do You See One Face or Two?
When staring at this image, you might see two silhouettes facing each other. Look again and you may just see one face staring at a candlestick.
Do You See a Stream or People?
Some people may see a rushing stream going down a mountain in this picture, but if you take a closer look at that stream, you may see it as people wearing white robes. What do you see?
Is It a Frog or Horse?
At first glance, this image may just look like an illustration of a horse. However, if you tilt your head to the left you might see a frog sitting on a lily pad instead.
Is It a Vase or Two Faces?
In this popular optical illusion you might see a vase. Another person might look at it and see two silhouettes of faces. Do you see how the curves of the vase could form the shape of a face and vice versa?
Do You See an Old Man, an Old Woman, or a Girl?
Your eye might show you one, two or even three different images in this complex optical illusion. Do you see the large nose and mustache of a man who is wearing a hat? Perhaps you see the young girl wearing a hat who is looking away on her left. Or, you might see the old woman, also wearing a hat, who is facing to the left.
Are the Circles Intertwining or Concentric?
Do these circles look like they’re intertwining to you? Now, take another look and try to pinpoint the locations in which the circles meet. If you can’t find them, don’t worry. These circles are actual concentric and only have the illusion of intertwining with one another.
Are the Circles Moving?
Staring still at this image will show you two stationary circles with a black dot in the middle of the inner circle. Stare at the dot, but start moving your head closer to the image, and then pull it away. Did you see the circles move?
Do You See an Elderly Man and Woman or a Young Man and Woman?
When you look at this image do you see two elderly people gazing at each other? If not, you might see two people wearing sombreros while sitting down set against a larger scene. The man is playing the guitar. These people’s bodies make out the silhouettes of the elderly couple’s faces.
By Guest Nicole
New research suggests troubling links between job dissatisfaction and physical and mental health troubles.
You know that saying, "This job may be hazardous to your health?" Those words, according to a recent study, might not solely apply to careers spent around toxic waste or malfunctioning equipment—they could very well describe any career that’s leaving you unsatisfied.
Ohio State University (OSU) surveyed workers between 25 and 39 about both their job satisfaction and physical and mental health (building off a study from the ’70s), and found that those who expressed lower levels of fulfillment in their career were more likely to also report issues like depression or sleep difficulty.
Maybe that’s not too surprising: If you’re not happy at work, your emotional well-being is bound to take a hit. But the results suggest that the effects may go further: Those with low satisfaction throughout their careers were also more likely to be diagnosed with emotional issues, the study says, and tend to worry excessively.
Even your physical health can take a toll: Unsatisfied workers were more likely to report back pain, for instance, and also claimed to become ill with greater regularity than respondents who said they were content in their career.
"The higher levels of mental health problems for those with low job satisfaction may be a precursor to future physical problems," Hui Zheng, a sociology professor at OSU and author of the study, said in a statement. "Increased anxiety and depression could lead to cardiovascular or other health problems that won’t show up until they are older."
Though there’s no way to predict or guarantee how you’ll eventually feel about a given job, OSU’s study should serve as a wakeup call for job seekers. Take a close look at an employer’s workplace culture, whether you’re reading reviews on Kununu or simply observing your surroundings when you come onsite for an interview. Do people seem happy to be working there? It’s not a trivial question.
Of course, it also helps to have a short list of fields where workers love what they do. A recent survey conducted by Monster and social media analytics firm Brandwatch included just that, identifying which industries tended to employ people who love their jobs. Travel, education, and media all ranked highly—but location counts, too. According to the survey, workers in low-population states like Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota were more likely to express job satisfaction.
And if you’re still worried about your job potentially affecting your mental health, we’ve got good news: Another study ranked numerous careers by their likeliness tosafeguard your brain against Alzheimer’s disease. They key element? Working closely with other people: Physicians, lawyers, and speech pathologists were among the highest-ranking roles.
By Guest Nicole
FRIDAY, Aug. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Couch potatoes have a higher risk of developing dementia in old age, a new study reports.
Seniors who get little to no exercise have a 50 percent greater risk of dementia compared with those who regularly take part in moderate or heavy amounts of physical activity, the researchers found.
Moderate physical activity can include walking briskly, bicycling slower than 10 miles an hour, ballroom dancing or gardening, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"It doesn't require intensive physical activity to decrease risk of dementia," said senior researcher Dr. Zaldy Tan. He is medical director of the Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program at University of California, Los Angeles. "Even moderate amounts are fine."
Study participants aged 75 or older gained the most protective benefit from exercise against the onset of dementia, the findings showed.
"The message here is that you're never too old to exercise and gain benefit from it," Tan said. "These patients derive the most benefit from exercise because they are the ones who are at the age of greatest risk for dementia."
Brain scans of participants showed those who exercise are better able to withstand the effects of aging on the brain, the study authors said.
With age, the brain tends to shrink. But people who regularly exercised tended to have larger brain volumes than those who were sedentary, Tan and his colleagues found.
The new study involved about 3,700 participants in the Framingham Heart Study, a federally funded health research project begun in 1948. All were 60 and older.
Researchers measured how often the participants exercised, and tracked them over a decade. During the study, 236 people developed dementia.
To see how physical activity might have affected dementia risk, the researchers broke the study population down into fifths that ranged from sedentary to highly active.
The one-fifth containing the most sedentary people were 50 percent more likely to develop dementia than the other four-fifths, the investigators found. In other words, even a little exercise helped.
The research team also compared physical activity to brain scans taken of about 2,000 study participants, and found a direct connection between exercise and brain size as people aged. Those who worked out had more total brain volume.
There are several theories why exercise might help brain health. Increased blood flow caused by physical activity might "beef up" the brain, increasing its volume and promoting the growth of additional neurons, said Dr. Malaz Boustani. He is research director of the Healthy Aging Brain Center at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and a spokesman for the American Federation for Aging Research.
"Physical exercise might end up leading to increased density of the connections between the neurons and create alternative pathways for signals" that might otherwise be impeded due to age-related brain shrinkage, he added.
Boustani likened this process to a street system in a city. The more alternative routes are available to drivers, the less likely it is that a blockage on one street will lead to a city-wide traffic jam.
Exercise also promotes secretion of helpful brain chemicals such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Tan explained that "BDNF actually encourages the growth of new neurons, and the preservation of those we already have."
Heather Snyder, senior director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer's Association, said that the true answer is likely a combination of factors related to exercise.
"It's likely there are multiple benefits, and they all funnel together," Snyder said.
According to Boustani, these results support other studies that have shown an association between exercise and protection against dementia, but clinical trials aimed at proving a definite link have so far been disappointing.
"When we take it to the next step and start doing experiments, randomizing patients to physical exercise versus no physical exercise and see if that will protect their brain, the story becomes a little bit muddy and unclear," he said.
Regardless, Boustani said he prescribes moderate intensity physical exercise to his patients as one way to preserve their brain health -- 5,000 steps a day for about a month, increasing to 10,000 steps over time.
"Given that there's no harm, and there's a possible benefit to the brain that hasn't been fully explained, I work with my patients and their families to help improve their physical activity," he said.
The findings were published online recently in Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
By Guest Nicole
Un estudio encontró que las personas que son activas y comen bien tienen menos efectos cerebrales vinculados con la enfermedad.
Por Steven Reinberg
Reportero de HealthDay
MIÉRCOLES, 17 de agosto de 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Una dieta saludable y el ejercicio regular podrían ser las claves para mantener el cerebro libre de los cambios que conducen a la enfermedad de Alzheimer, sugiere un pequeño estudio.
Los investigadores estudiaron a 44 pacientes de 40 a 85 años de edad que tenían problemas leves de memoria. Encontraron que los cerebros de los que seguían una dieta mediterránea y eran físicamente activos tenían menos placas y nudos, una característica del Alzheimer, que aquellos cuyas dietas eran menos saludables y eran menos activos.
"Se sabe que la enfermedad de Alzheimer es incurable, pero hasta hace poco no se había pensado que puede ser prevenible", comentó el investigador líder, el Dr. David Merrill, profesor clínico asistente de psiquiatría y ciencias de la conducta de la Facultad de Medicina David Geffen de la UCLA, en Los Ángeles.
Numerosos estudios han sugerido que un estilo de vida saludable se relaciona con un encogimiento cerebral reducido y unas tasas más bajas de atrofia en el tejido del cerebro, señaló.
Pero este es el primer estudio en mostrar la forma en que los factores del estilo de vida influyen de forma directa en los niveles de depósitos anómalos de proteína en el cerebro que hace mucho se han vinculado con la enfermedad de Alzheimer. Además, los sujetos del estudio fueron personas con pérdida sutil de la memoria que todavía no habían sido diagnosticadas con demencia, anotó Merrill.
"El hecho de que pudiéramos detectar esta influencia del estilo de vida a un nivel molecular en un paciente con síntomas tan iniciales nos sorprendió", dijo.
Los hallazgos refuerzan la importancia de vivir una vida saludable para la "prevención del desarrollo de la patología cerebral del Alzheimer, incluso antes del desarrollo de una demencia clínicamente significativa", planteó Merrill.
El informe aparece en la edición del 16 de agosto de la revista American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
En el estudio, Merrill y sus colaboradores sometieron a los pacientes a TEP para determinar los niveles de depósitos de proteína en sus cerebros. Los investigadores observaron en específico los niveles de los depósitos de beta amiloidea en los espacios entre las células nerviosas, además de los nudos, que son ovillos de la proteína tau dentro de las células del cerebro. Ambos son indicadores del Alzheimer.
Los investigadores encontraron que los factores del estilo de vida, como un peso sano, la actividad física y una dieta mediterránea se vinculaban con unos niveles más bajos de placas y nudos.
Una dieta mediterránea es rica en frutas, verduras, legumbres, cereales y pescado, y baja en carne, lácteos y grasas saturadas.
Merrill dijo que el próximo paso es combinar escáneres del cerebro con estudios sobre los cambios en la dieta, el ejercicio y otros factores del estilo de vida, como el estrés y la salud mental.
Heather Snyder es directora principal de operaciones médicas y científicas de la Asociación del Alzheimer (Alzheimer's Association). "En el campo se está luchando con esta idea de que el estilo de vida puede influir en los cambios cerebrales vistos en la enfermedad de Alzheimer", comentó.
"De verdad deseamos comprender cómo las conductas pueden cambiar la biología subyacente vinculada con el Alzheimer", añadió Snyder.
Varias conductas parecen ser importantes para mantener el cerebro sano, sobre todo el ejercicio y gestionar los riesgos de enfermedad cardiaca, como la diabetes, la hipertensión y el colesterol alto, explicó.
"Hay muchas ideas distintas sobre qué podría estar sucediendo, pero todavía no sabemos cuál es la biología subyacente", dijo Snyder.
Mientras tanto, la Asociación del Alzheimer ofrece 10 formas de amar a su cerebro:
Ejercite el cuerpo.
Ejercite el cerebro yendo a una clase.
Controle la presión arterial y la diabetes.
Coma una dieta saludable.
Duerma bien. Trate el insomnio y la apnea del sueño.
Busque ayuda para la depresión y la ansiedad.
Sea socialmente activo.
Desafíe su mente con juegos, arte y pasatiempos.
Proteja su cabeza. Use un cinturón de seguridad, use un casco al andar en bicicleta, y tome medidas para prevenir las caídas.
La enfermedad de Alzheimer afecta a un estimado de 5.4 millones de personas en Estados Unidos, y resulta en más de 200 mil millones de dólares al año en costos de atención de la salud, según la Asociación del Alzheimer.
Depression is more than just a fleeting downer. We all have downers but they usually short lived. However, when a downer lasts several weeks, it is likely that a person has clinical depression. One's perception of themselves, others and their environment becomes noticeably negative and it can be very hard for a person to lift themselves out of the mire. Telling them to snap out of it, or that it is temporary often has the reverse effect desired. Often just a very patient listening ear is the best treatment that I've found with friends who suffer from depression. What do you think depression is? How do think it should be viewed? What do you think can help a person recover?
Mental health is the term used to describe the norm for society as to thinking and behaviour. When a person is mentally ill they may think or behave in a way that is not a widely accepted way to think or behave and thus concerns may rise regarding their mental health. Do you agree with this definition or do you have one of your own? Please share your views.
By Guest Nicole
WASHINGTON — The death rate in the United States rose last year for the first time in a decade, preliminary federal data show, a rare increase that was driven in part by more people dying from drug overdoses, suicide and Alzheimer’s disease. The death rate from heart disease, long in decline, edged up slightly.
Death rates — measured as the number of deaths per 100,000 people — have been declining for years, an effect of improvements in health, disease management and medical technology.
While recent research has documented sharp rises in death rates among certain groups — in particular less educated whites, who have been hardest hit by the prescription drug epidemic — increases for the entire population are relatively rare.
Federal researchers cautioned that it was too early to tell whether the rising mortality among whites had pushed up the overall national death rate. (Preliminary data is not broken down by race, and final data will not be out until later this year.) But they said the rise was real, and while it is premature to ring an alarm now, if it continues, it could be a signal of distress in the health of the nation.
“It’s an uptick in mortality and that doesn’t usually happen, so it’s significant,” said Robert Anderson, the chief of mortality statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “But the question is, what does it mean? We really need more data to know. If we start looking at 2016 and we see another rise, we’ll be a lot more concerned.”
The death rate rose to 729.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, up from 723.2 in 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. It was one of the few times in the past 25 years that the rate has increased. A bad flu season pushed it up in 2005, and AIDS and the flu contributed to a sharp increase in 1993. In 1999, there was a tiny increase.
Experts said the current rise was surprising.
“We are not accustomed to seeing death rates increase on a national scale,” said Andrew Fenelon, a researcher at the C.D.C. who did not work on the paper. “We’ve seen increases in mortality for some groups, but it is quite rare to see it for the whole population.”
He added that it would drag the United States further behind its European peers: “Many countries in Europe are witnessing declines in mortality, so the gap between the U.S. and other countries is growing.”
Others said the finding seemed to fit the broader pattern of rising mortality among working-class whites, a trend that has drawn significant attention recently. Last year, a paper by Anne Case and Angus Deaton documented rising death rates among middle-age white Americans, particularly those with no more than a high school education. Other research has found rising rates among younger whites.
“This is probably heavily influenced by whites,” said Sam Harper, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal. “It does sort of fit together.”
Chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease take by far the most American lives, far more, for example, than suicide or homicide, so any change in such causes can have a big effect on the final numbers. Dr. Anderson pointed out that the death rate from heart disease, which had been declining for decades — and offsetting the rises in drug deaths, for example — flattened. That gives other causes of death more of an influence, Dr. Anderson said, as they are no longer being offset by declines from heart disease.
The death rate from heart disease stood at 167.1 in 2015, up from 166.7 in 2014, though the rise was not statistically significant. It was the first time since 1993 that the rate did not decline, Dr. Anderson said.
The death rate from suicides rose to 13.1 in the third quarter of 2015, from 12.7 in the same quarter of 2014. (The last quarter of 2015 data was not yet available for suicides.)
The same was true for drug overdoses, whose data the report had for only the first two quarters of 2015. The death rate for overdoses rose to 15.2 in the second quarter of 2015, compared with 14.1 in the same quarter of 2014. The rate for so-called unintentional injuries, which include drug overdoses and car accidents, rose to 42 in the third quarter of 2015, up from 39.9 in the same quarter of 2014.
The rate for Alzheimer’s disease was also up, rising to 29.2 in 2015, compared with 25.4 in 2014, the continuation of some years of increases. Dr. Anderson said that part of the rise was more precise reporting of Alzheimer’s on death certificates, but that overalldementia-related deaths had increased over time.
By Guest Nicole
Eating seafood is linked to a reduced risk of dementia-associated brain changes in people who carry the ApoE4 gene variation, which increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Eating seafood was not linked to similar changes in those who carried other forms of the ApoE gene.
The study, published in JAMA, looked at 286 autopsied brains and also found that eating seafood was linked to increased mercury in the brain, but that mercury levels were not linked to brain abnormalities.
After controlling for age, sex, education and other factors, the researchers found that compared with those who ate less seafood, ApoE4 carriers who had one seafood meal or more a week had lower densities of the amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles typical of Alzheimer’s disease. Over all, they had a 47 percent lower likelihood of having a post-mortem diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
Consumption of fish oil supplements was not correlated with pathological brain changes.
The lead author, Martha Clare Morris, a professor of epidemiology at Rush University, said that mercury from fish appears to pose little risk for aging people. But, she said, there are studies that show that mercury consumption in pregnancy can cause cognitive problems in babies.
“Most studies in dementia have found that one seafood meal a week is beneficial,” she said, though “they haven’t found that the more you eat, the lower the risk.”
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