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How stress can boost immune system

How stress can boost immune system

ScienceDaily (June 21, 2012) — A study spearheaded by a Stanford University School of Medicine scientist has tracked the trajectories of key immune cells in response to short-term stress and traced, in great detail, how hormones triggered by such stress enhance immune readiness. The study, conducted in rats, adds weight to evidence that immune responsiveness is heightened, rather than suppressed as many believe, by the so-called “fight-or-flight” response. The study’s findings provide a thorough overview of how a triad of stress hormones affects the main cell subpopulations of the immune system Continue reading

When being scared twice is enough to remember

When being scared twice is enough to remember

ScienceDaily (June 12, 2012) — One of the brain’s jobs is to help us figure out what’s important enough to be remembered. Continue reading

Novel brain imaging technique explains why concussions affect people differently

Novel brain imaging technique explains why concussions affect people differently

ScienceDaily (June 8, 2012) — Patients vary widely in their response to concussion, but scientists haven’t understood why. Continue reading

Antioxidant shows promise as treatment for certain features of autism

Antioxidant shows promise as treatment for certain features of autism

ScienceDaily (May 29, 2012) — A specific antioxidant supplement may be an effective therapy for some features of autism, according to a pilot trial from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital that involved 31 children with the disorder. The antioxidant, called N-Acetylcysteine, or NAC, lowered irritability in children with autism as well as reducing the children’s repetitive behaviors. The researchers emphasized that the findings must be confirmed in a larger trial before NAC can be recommended for children with autism Continue reading

‘Personality genes’ may help account for longevity

‘Personality genes’ may help account for longevity

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2012) — “It’s in their genes” is a common refrain from scientists when asked about factors that allow centenarians to reach age 100 and beyond. Up until now, research has focused on genetic variations that offer a physiological advantage such as high levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. But researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University have found that personality traits like being outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, and enjoying laughter as well as staying engaged in activities may also be part of the longevity genes mix Continue reading

‘Personality genes’ may help account for longevity

‘Personality genes’ may help account for longevity

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2012) — “It’s in their genes” is a common refrain from scientists when asked about factors that allow centenarians to reach age 100 and beyond. Continue reading

Almost one in three Americans have sleepwalked; Sleepwalking linked to depression and anxiety

Almost one in three Americans have sleepwalked; Sleepwalking linked to depression and anxiety

ScienceDaily (May 14, 2012) — What goes bump in the night? In many U.S. Continue reading

Deep brain stimulation may hold promise for mild Alzheimer’s disease

Deep brain stimulation may hold promise for mild Alzheimer’s disease

ScienceDaily (May 7, 2012) — A study on a handful of people with suspected mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) suggests that a device that sends continuous electrical impulses to specific “memory” regions of the brain appears to increase neuronal activity. Results of the study using deep brain stimulation, a therapy already used in some patients with Parkinson’s disease and depression, may offer hope for at least some with AD, an intractable disease with no cure. “While our study was designed mainly to establish safety, involved only six people and needs to be replicated on a larger scale, we don’t have another treatment for AD at present that shows such promising effects on brain function,” said the study’s first author, Gwenn Smith, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Continue reading

Awake mental replay of past experiences critical for learning

Awake mental replay of past experiences critical for learning

ScienceDaily (May 3, 2012) — Awake mental replay of past experiences is essential for making informed choices, suggests a study in rats. Without it, the animals’ memory-based decision-making faltered, say scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health. Continue reading

Anxiety increases cancer severity in mice, study shows

Anxiety increases cancer severity in mice, study shows

ScienceDaily (Apr. Continue reading