May 3, 2012

Born-Again Brains Shrink Faster

1 Religious Faith May Influence Brain Loss

Researchers engaged in multi-year studies of older people using MRI scans have found that those who are long-term members of major Protestant denominations display less shrinkage of the hippocampus, a part of the brain vitally involved with memory and learning, than members of minority religious groups, or those Protesants or Catholics who've had a life-altering religious experience and become "born-again" as Christians. The authors of the Duke University Medical Center study, which ran from 2 to 8 years, suggest that stress arising from having unconventional beliefs, or from questioning or even abandoning one's lifelong religious convictions, may accelerate the natural rate of hippocampal shrinkage, thus in turn possibly hastening the onset of dementia and/or depression.

More at Philly.com | Posted 5 years ago by Robert S. Wieder

Previously: Religion Fails to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Tags: Brain Shrinkage, Religion and the Brain, Born-Again Christians, Faith and the Brain, Hippocampal Atrophy, Causes of Dementia, Dementia and Religion

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Here Come Those Tears Again

2 Antidepressants May Do More Harm Than Good

Antidepressants work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain to regulate mood - and they may do more harm than good says Paul Andrews, evolutionary biologist, McMaster U. "We need to be much more cautious about the widespread use of these drugs," says Andrews, who examined patient studies into the effects of antidepressants. The majority of serotonin produced by the body is used for things such as digestion, forming blood clots at wound sites, reproduction and development. “... when you interfere with these things you can expect, from an evolutionary perspective, that it's going to cause some harm." This includes development problems in infants, problems with sexual stimulation, problems with sperm development, digestive problems, abnormal bleeding and stroke in the elderly.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 5 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Exercise, the Magic Drug for Depression

Tags: Antidepressant Side Effects, Antidepressants, McMaster University, Serotonin, Paul Andrews, Digestive Problems, Abnormal Bleeding, Reproductive Problems, Stroke in Elderly

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (41%) / No! (59%)

Women Gain 5.6 Years, Men 6.2

3 Jogging Often Can Add Years to Life

Jogging regularly may add several years to your life, suggests a new study. The findings reveal that women who jogged regularly lived 5.6 years longer compared to women who didn't jog. Men lived 6.2 years longer. Researchers found that jogging for one to 2.5 hours weekly at a slow to average pace carried the greatest benefit. MSNBC reports that the researchers say that those who jogged less than one hour or more than 2.5 hours each week were more likely to die over the course of the study. The research, which followed joggers and non-joggers for 35 years, will be presented this week at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Dublin.

More at MSNBC | Posted 5 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Jogging Strollers Recalled

Tags: Copenhagen City Heart Study, Jogging Health Benefits, Expanding Lifespan, How Live Longer, Joggers Live Longer, European Society of Cardiology Meeting in Dublin

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Julia Wants One Real Spread

4 Girl Asks Seventeen to Stop Doctoring Photos

Julia Bluhm, 14, thinks girls need a bit more reality when reading Seventeen magazine, and she's started an online petition to convince the magazine to publish one unaltered or "real" photo spread per month. Julia believes that the girls in Seventeen just don't look like the girls she sees walking down the street, reports New York Times. The change.org petition is called "Seventeen Magazine: Give Girls Images of Real Girls!" It's been signed by nearly 50,000 people so far. On the petition description, Julia writes, "Girls want to be accepted, appreciated, and liked. And when they don’t fit the criteria, some girls try to “fix” themselves. This can lead to eating disorders, dieting, depression, and low self esteem." Julia is a blogger for Spark, which fights the sexualization of girls.

More at New York Times | Posted 5 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Teen Self Image, Teen Girls Self Image, Doctoring Photos Seventeen Magazine, Changeorg Petition Seventeen Magazine Photos, Julia Bluhm, Causes Eating Disorders

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (57%) / No! (43%)

One Way to Get Hot

5 Smokers Experience More Hot Flashes

Women who smoke may experience more hot flashes during the transition through menopause than women who don't light up, say researchers. The finding is particularly true for women who carry certain genes, reports WebMD. This is the first study to look at the impact of genes and smoking on hot flashes. Findings reveal that women who smoked had more hot flashes, but researchers also found that women with gene variations linked to estrogen metabolism and susceptibility to toxins in the environment had the most hot flashes of all women. The study, conducted by University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, included 300 women and lasted for just over 10 years.

More at WebMD | Posted 5 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Future Genetic Tests May Predict Early Menopause

Tags: Reasons Not to Smoke, Health Risks Smoking, Things Make Menopause Worse, Hot Flash Triggers

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (42%) / No! (58%)

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