Archive | Mental Health


Love-hormone oxytocin also triggers anxiety and fear

It seems that oxytocin is two-faced. The hormone that promotes feelings of love, social bonding, and well-being can also cause emotional pain, an entirely new, darker identity for the much studied hormone. The new findings, by researchers from Northwestern University, come from two experiments detailed in the journal Nature Neuroscience. In the first experiment, three […]

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Evidence that probiotics alter brain function

In a discovery that carries significant implications for changing brain function through dietary interventions, UCLA researchers say they now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect how the human brain works. The study, which focused on women who consumed yogurt containing the bacteria known as probiotics, appears in the journalGastroenterology. Researchers […]

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Study reveals “staggering” over-diagnosis and over-treatment of depression

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say that the number of Americans over-diagnosed and over-treated for depression is “staggering.” Their study examined adults with clinician-identified depression and individuals who experienced major depressive episodes within a 12-month period. It found that when assessed for major depressive episodes using a structured interview, only […]

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Knowledge of sport no advantage in sports gambling

Sports gamblers frequently see themselves as cleverer than other gamblers, believing that their intimate knowledge of player statistics, coaching styles, and other details will give them an edge. But new research shows that neither betting experience nor knowledge of the details of the game is connected to successful sports betting outcomes. The new findings, say […]

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Peptide discovery could lead to happiness pill

The neurochemical changes that underlie human emotions are still largely unknown, but UCLA scientists have for the first time identified a specific peptide called hypocretin that is released in large quantities when subjects are happy. The finding, reported in Nature Communications, suggests that boosting hypocretin could elevate both mood and alertness in humans. This, according […]

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Are close friends on Facebook the enemy?

“Likes” or positive comments from close friends on Facebook appear to inflate users’ self-esteem and reduce self-control, resulting in higher body-mass indexes and higher levels of credit-card debt. That’s according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia Business School who have analyzed five separate Facebook studies in the Journal of Consumer Research. “To […]

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Successful clinical trial for ketamine-like antidepressant

Researchers are reporting a successful phase IIa clinical trial of GLYX-13, a first-of-its-kind ketamine-like antidepressant that takes effect within 24 hours and delivers double the antidepressant effect of traditional selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatments. Details of the clinical development of GLYX-13 appear in the current issue of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology and the trial results were […]

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Revealed: how social isolation atrophies the brain

A study in Nature Neuroscience has found that animals socially isolated for prolonged periods make less myelin (the brain’s white matter) in the region of the brain responsible for emotional and cognitive behavior. Myelin is the fatty material that wraps the axons of neurons and allows them to signal effectively. Normal nerve function is lost […]

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