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Masculine boys, feminine girls more likely to engage in cancer risk behaviors

Masculine boys, feminine girls more likely to engage in cancer risk behaviors

Young people who conform most strongly to norms of masculinity and femininity — the most “feminine” girls and the most “masculine” boys — are significantly more likely than their peers to engage in behaviors that pose cancer risks, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. The most feminine teenage girls use tanning beds more frequently and are more likely to be physically inactive, while the most masculine teenage boys are more likely to use chewing tobacco and to smoke cigars, compared with their gender-nonconforming peers. The study, the first to look at cancer risk behaviors in teens based on their gender expression, appears online April 16, 2014 in the Journal of Adolescent Health Continue reading

Masculine boys, feminine girls more likely to engage in cancer risk behaviors

Masculine boys, feminine girls more likely to engage in cancer risk behaviors

Young people who conform most strongly to norms of masculinity and femininity — the most “feminine” girls and the most “masculine” boys — are significantly more likely than their peers to engage in behaviors that pose cancer risks, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. The most feminine teenage girls use tanning beds more frequently and are more likely to be physically inactive, while the most masculine teenage boys are more likely to use chewing tobacco and to smoke cigars, compared with their gender-nonconforming peers Continue reading

DNA modifications measured in blood signal related changes in the brain

DNA modifications measured in blood signal related changes in the brain

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have confirmed suspicions that DNA modifications found in the blood of mice exposed to high levels of stress hormone — and showing signs of anxiety — are directly related to changes found in their brain tissues. The proof-of-concept study, reported online ahead of print in the June issue of Psychoneuroendocrinology , offers what the research team calls the first evidence that epigenetic changes that alter the way genes function without changing their underlying DNA sequence — and are detectable in blood — mirror alterations in brain tissue linked to underlying psychiatric diseases. The new study reports only on so-called epigenetic changes to a single stress response gene called FKBP5, which has been implicated in depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder Continue reading

Experimental cancer drug reverses schizophrenia in adolescent mice

Experimental cancer drug reverses schizophrenia in adolescent mice

Johns Hopkins researchers say that an experimental anticancer compound appears to have reversed behaviors associated with schizophrenia and restored some lost brain cell function in adolescent mice with a rodent version of the devastating mental illness. The drug is one of a class of compounds known as PAK inhibitors, which have been shown in animal experiments to confer some protection from brain damage due to Fragile X syndrome, an inherited disease in humans marked by mental retardation. There also is some evidence, experts say, suggesting PAK inhibitors could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Continue reading

Patients with schizophrenia have impaired ability to imitate, brain mapping confirms

Patients with schizophrenia have impaired ability to imitate, brain mapping confirms

According to George Bernard Shaw, “Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery — it’s the sincerest form of learning.” According to psychologists, imitation is something that we all do whenever we learn a new skill, whether it is dancing or how to behave in specific social situations. Now, the results of a brain-mapping experiment conducted by a team of neuroscientists at Vanderbilt University strengthen the theory that an impaired ability to imitate may underlie the profound and enduring difficulty with social interactions that characterize schizophrenia. In a paper published online on Mar Continue reading

Qigong improves quality of life for breast cancer patients, study suggests

Qigong improves quality of life for breast cancer patients, study suggests

Jan. Continue reading

Researchers induce, relieve depression symptoms in mice with light

Researchers induce, relieve depression symptoms in mice with light

Dec. Continue reading

Targeting neurotransmitter may help treat gastrointestinal conditions

Targeting neurotransmitter may help treat gastrointestinal conditions

ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2012) — Selective targeting of the neurotransmitter that differentially affects brain cells that control the two distinct functions of the pancreas may allow for new medication therapies for conditions such as diabetes, dyspepsia and gastro-esophageal reflux, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. “This study differs from what’s been reported previously about brain neurons that control the gastrointestinal tract,” said R Continue reading