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Baby cries show evidence of cocaine exposure during pregnancy

Baby cries show evidence of cocaine exposure during pregnancy

A new study conducted by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers provides the first known evidence of how a similar acoustic characteristic in the cry sounds of human infants and rat pups may be used to detect the harmful effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on nervous system development. “These findings are important because studies of prenatal drug exposure in humans are always limited by not knowing if infant nervous system damage was due to the effects of a specific drug, such as cocaine, or the effects of other associated factors, such as maternal depression, poor prenatal care and other drug use, that are often linked with maternal drug use during pregnancy,” said Philip Sanford Zeskind, PhD, lead author of the study published October 22 in the journal PLOS ONE . “The discovery of the similar spectral characteristic in rat pup vocalizations will allow for translational analyses that can be used to detect the isolated effects of cocaine or similar drugs on brain limbic mechanisms common to humans, rodents and other mammals,” said Zeskind, a researcher at Levine Children’s Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina and a research professor of psychology and pediatrics at UNC Continue reading

Smoking interferes with neurocognitive recovery during abstinence from alcohol

Smoking interferes with neurocognitive recovery during abstinence from alcohol

Numerous studies have shown that individuals with an alcohol use disorder perform worse than those without one on multiple neurocognitive domains of function following detoxification from alcohol, although the level of impairment can vary widely among individuals. A new study of the degree of neurocognitive recovery in treatment-seeking alcohol dependent individuals (ALC) — with varied degrees of smoking status — during the first eight months of sustained abstinence from alcohol has found that smoking status influenced the rate and level of recovery Continue reading

Smoking interferes with neurocognitive recovery during abstinence from alcohol

Smoking interferes with neurocognitive recovery during abstinence from alcohol

Numerous studies have shown that individuals with an alcohol use disorder perform worse than those without one on multiple neurocognitive domains of function following detoxification from alcohol, although the level of impairment can vary widely among individuals. A new study of the degree of neurocognitive recovery in treatment-seeking alcohol dependent individuals (ALC) — with varied degrees of smoking status — during the first eight months of sustained abstinence from alcohol has found that smoking status influenced the rate and level of recovery Continue reading

Understanding drinking behaviors among women with unwanted pregnancies

Understanding drinking behaviors among women with unwanted pregnancies

Most women reduce or stop drinking alcohol upon discovery of pregnancy. However, little information exists about changes in alcohol use, and factors contributing to these changes, among women with unwanted pregnancies Continue reading

Understanding drinking behaviors among women with unwanted pregnancies

Understanding drinking behaviors among women with unwanted pregnancies

Most women reduce or stop drinking alcohol upon discovery of pregnancy. However, little information exists about changes in alcohol use, and factors contributing to these changes, among women with unwanted pregnancies Continue reading

Diet for your DNA: Novel nutrition plan sparks debate around data protection

Diet for your DNA: Novel nutrition plan sparks debate around data protection

Personalized diet plans will not be widely accepted by the public until regulations are in place to protect information about our DNA, new research has shown. Led by Newcastle University, the Food4Me project is a €9 million EU project investigating the potential of nutrigenomics — a relatively new branch of nutrition which looks at how the food we eat affects the behaviour of our genes Continue reading

Overweight women lose in the labor market, study finds

Overweight women lose in the labor market, study finds

Overweight women are more likely to work in lower-paying and more physically demanding jobs; less likely to get higher-wage positions that include interaction with the public; and make less money in either case compared to average size women and all men, according to a new Vanderbilt study. “Starting when a woman becomes overweight, she is increasingly less likely to work in a personal interaction or personal communication occupation Continue reading

Novel approach for treating non-cardiac chest pain suggested

Novel approach for treating non-cardiac chest pain suggested

Chest pain doesn’t necessarily come from the heart. An estimated 200,000 Americans each year experience non-cardiac chest pain, which in addition to pain can involve painful swallowing, discomfort and anxiety. Continue reading

Cosmic rays threaten future deep-space astronaut missions

Cosmic rays threaten future deep-space astronaut missions

Crewed missions to Mars remain an essential goal for NASA, but scientists are only now beginning to understand and characterize the radiation hazards that could make such ventures risky, concludes a new paper by University of New Hampshire scientists. Continue reading

Resetting the circadian clock: Shift workers might want to skip high-iron foods at night

Resetting the circadian clock: Shift workers might want to skip high-iron foods at night

Workers punching in for the graveyard shift may be better off not eating high-iron foods at night so they don’t disrupt the circadian clock in their livers. Continue reading