Mental Health

A recent small scale study looks for differences in connectivity in the brains of people who drink tea regularly and those who rarely drink tea. The findings seem encouraging, but much more work is needed. Spending just a few moments searching the internet for the health benefits of tea produces hundreds of supposed benefits. However,
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Antidepressants are more effective for some people than they are for others, but what factors influence how well they work? Research in mice suggests that exposure to external stimuli may play a key role. “Antidepressants” is the term by which people usually refer to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of drugs that doctors
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Today is Friday the 13th, and vast numbers of people across the world will avoid going about their usual business because they fear this day will bring them “bad luck.” In this Spotlight feature, we examine the psychological mechanisms behind superstitious thinking. Speaking of business, not only do airlines and airports routinely skip a 13th
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A clinical trial has reported the benefits of a text message-based parenting program for adolescent mental health. Globally, adolescent mental health is becoming increasingly recognized as a significant issue. In response to the National Mental Health Commission’s call for further investment in mobile health services that will ultimately reduce the demand for expensive mental health
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Post-traumatic stress disorder has proved difficult to treat in the long term. Mixing psychological therapy with a novel drug could help. In June, researchers carried out a review to determine whether medication or psychological therapy was the best treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Due to a lack of comparative studies, the researchers were unable
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A new study has challenged suggestions that the male sex hormone testosterone reduces cognitive empathy, or the ability to read other people’s emotional states. Lower cognitive empathy is a feature of autism, a condition that predominantly affects males. The new research takes the form of two large-scale randomized controlled trials that included a total of
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Restricting food intake to a specific time period each day could benefit people living with Huntington’s disease, a new study indicates. Restricting food intake to the same 6-hour period was found to benefit mouse models of Huntington’s disease. Having studied mouse models of the disease, researchers found that a strict eating schedule — which involved
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A new study in mice led by UCLA biologists strongly suggests that serotonin and drugs that target serotonin, such as anti-depressants, can have a major effect on the gut’s microbiota — the 100 trillion or so bacteria and other microbes that live in the human body’s intestines. Serotonin — a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger that
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Neurosurgery as we know it today only started to develop in the late 19th century. However, interventions that required drilling a hole in the skull, now known as “trepanation,” are much older. When did humans first perform these procedures, and why? The term “trepanation” derives from the ancient Greek word “trypanon,” which means “borer” or
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A recent study examined the impact of prenatal stress in first-time parents on the social, emotional, and psychological development of the child. Bringing a child into the world is an enormous responsibility. Any parent, especially a first-time mother or father, understands this without needing to read through the current scientific literature. Yet, psychologists have been
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New research examines the brains of people with schizophrenia and finds disrupted patterns of expression in genes linked with sleep-wake cycles. New research into schizophrenia finds disruptions in the rhythmicity with which some genes are expressed in the brain. Worldwide, schizophrenia is one of the top 15 leading causes of disability, affecting about 1% of
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