Max Planck Florida Institute Study Shows: Persistent Sensory Experience Is Good For the Aging Brain

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Despite a long-held scientific belief that much of the wiring of Continue reading

Cure Acne at Home with Five Lesser Known Home Remedies

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Acne is the scourge of adolescence… and for many adults too. Many readers are likely familiar with the more common home remedies for curing acne… tea tree oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and burdock root. However, because acne is such a wide-spread and troubling problem, scientists are continuing to research new natural substances that are effective against this common issue. Both in vitro and human studies conducted over the last four years around the world have uncovered even more natural substances which are effective against acne.

Propionibacterium acnes is the bacteria most frequently linked to acne. This bacteria is almost always present on the skin of adults and adolescents. The bacteria feed off fatty acids found in sebum. If a follicle becomes blocked, the bacteria grow rapidly and secrete substances which break down the skin and form an acne lesion. Continue reading

Good Fat Most Prevalent in Thin Children

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Study at Joslin Diabetes Center and Children’s Hospital Boston Finds Boosting Brown Fat Levels May Combat Obesity Epidemic

Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center and Children’s Hospital Boston have shown that a type of “good” fat known as brown fat occurs in varying amounts in children – increasing until puberty and then declining — and is most active in leaner children.

The study used PET imaging data to document children’s amounts and activity of brown fat, which, unlike white fat, burns energy instead of storing it. Results were published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

“Increasing the amount of brown fat in children may be an effective approach at combating the ever increasing rate of obesity and diabetes in children,” said Aaron Cypess, MD, PhD, an assistant investigator and staff physician at Joslin and senior author of the paper. Continue reading

Smoking May Increase Depression In Teens

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Teens may smoke to “self-medicate” against depression but researchers in Canada say smoking may increase depressive symptoms in some adolescents.

Lead author Michael Chaiton of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit of the University of Toronto and co-author Jennifer O’Loughlin of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre say the study involved 662 high-school teenagers who completed as many as 20 questionnaires from grades 7-11 about their use of cigarettes to affect mood.

“This observational study is one of the few to examine the perceived emotional benefits of smoking among adolescents,” Chaiton says in a statement. “Although cigarettes may appear to have self-medicating effects or to improve mood, in the long-term we found teens who started to smoke reported higher depressive symptoms.”

Study participants were divided into groups of: teens who never smoked; smokers who did not use cigarettes to self-medicate, improve mood or physical state; and smokers who used cigarettes to self-medicate.

Study participants were asked to rate on a rating scale depressive symptoms such as: felt too tired to do things; had trouble going to sleep or staying asleep; felt unhappy, sad, or depressed; felt hopeless about the future; felt nervous or tense; and worried too much about things.

“Smokers who used cigarettes as mood enhancers had higher risks of elevated depressive symptoms than teens who had never smoked,” O’Loughlin says.

Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Brain Tumor Risk

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Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Brain Tumor Risk

WASHINGTON – Physical activity during adolescence may help guard against a deadly form of brain tumor in adulthood, says a new study.

Although very less is known about the causes of glioma, researchers at the National Cancer Institute have found that this rare but often deadly form of brain cancer may be linked to early life physical activity and height.

“Our findings suggest that biological factors related to energy expenditure and growth during childhood may play a role in glioma etiology. This clue could help researchers better understand important features of glioma biology and the potentially modifiable lifestyle factors that could be important in preventing this disease,” said Steven C. Moore, Ph.D., research fellow in the Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, NCI. Moore also added that “engaging in regular physical activity throughout the lifespan conveys many benefits.”

Results of this prospective study are published online first in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Gliomas are the most common type of brain cancer, accounting for nearly 80 percent of brain and central nervous system cancers. Though little is known about the causes of glioma, some evidence suggests that early life exposures may play a role in disease etiology. Because the brain develops rapidly during childhood and adolescence, it may be more susceptible to environmental influences during this time.

Moore and colleagues examined whether markers of early life energy expenditure and intake (physical activity, body mass index and height) are related to glioma risk.

Between 1995 and 1996, researchers distributed a baseline questionnaire about dietary intake and other lifestyle exposures to participants in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study.

Nearly 500,000 men and women answered questions about physical activity, body weight and height. The researchers then followed study participants for eight years, during which time 480 glioma cases occurred.

Participants who were physically active during adolescence had a decreased risk of glioma; their risk was about 36 percent lower than those who were inactive, according to the study.

The researchers also found that those who were obese during adolescence had an increased risk of glioma; their risk was approximately three to four times that of individuals who were normal weight during adolescence.

However, Moore cautioned that “we did not have many people in the study who were obese during adolescence.”