Raising a Generation of Pill-Poppers; How Abuse of “Uppers,” “Downers,” and Stimulants Threatens an Entire Generation

Story at-a-glance 

ADHD drugs have gained a reputation as “cognition enhancers” among students and young professionals. 48.4 million prescriptions for ADHD stimulants were written in 2011, up 39 percent from 2007

Adverse effects of ADHD drugs include permanent brain damage, Continue reading

Alterations in Brain Activity in Children at Risk of Schizophrenia Predate Onset of Symptoms

Research from the University of North Carolina has shown that children at risk of developing schizophrenia have brains that function differently than those not at risk.

Brain scans of children who have parents or siblings with the illness reveal a neural circuitry that is hyperactivated or stressed by tasks that peers with no family history of the illness seem to handle with ease. Continue reading

Folate and Vitamin B12 Treat Schizophrenia Symptoms

Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder characterized by the inability to tell reality from imagination, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Symptoms are broken down into two types called “positive symptoms,” which include hallucinations and delusions, and “negative symptoms” which include social withdrawal, apathy, and a lack of emotional expressiveness. While drugs have been found Continue reading

Migraines and Nutrition

Researchers decided recently to test whether children with migraines would be better off taking nothing at all than consuming popular prescription drugs.

And guess what? Nothing won.

Here’s what happened. A group of Midwestern medical researchers banded together to analyze Continue reading

Finnish Government to Cover Lifetime of Medical Costs for Children Permanently Injured by Swine Flu Vaccine

Back in September, officials from the National Narcolepsy Task Force in Finland determined that Pandemrix, an H1N1 / swine flu vaccine developed by drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is responsible for causing narcolepsy in certain individuals, and particularly in children. In response, the Finnish government has agreed to cover any and all costs associated with treating the condition in affected children that go beyond what insurance companies are willing to pay.

The initial report determined that children who received Pandemrix, which was widely administered during the 2009 – 2010 swine flu scare, were nearly 13 times more likely to develop narcolepsy than children who did not receive the vaccine. The research team also found a link between Pandemrix and cataplexy, Continue reading

Which Diet Makes You Happy?

SYDNEY – In the ongoing debate about which diet is the best, here’s a question you may not have heard before: Which diet is most likely to make you happy?

A new study, surprisingly, indicates that when it comes to elevating your mood, not all diets are created equal.

Grant Brinkworth of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization-Food and Nutritional Sciences in Adelaide, Australia, and colleagues studied 106 overweight and obese subjects. Fifty-five of them were put on low-carb, high-fat diets, and 51 were put on a high-carb, low-fat diets.

After a year, both groups had lost about the same amount of weight–an average of about 30 pounds per person. Both groups also scored about the same on tests that measure general thinking abilities. And both groups reported feeling an improvement in mood after the first eight weeks.

But only those on the low-fat diet continued to feel better after that. The moods of those on the high-fat diet fell back to where they were before their diets, the researchers reported in the Nov. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The findings suggest that something about the low-carb diet negates the positive effects of losing weight on mood. They’re not sure what that might be. They speculate that it’s just too difficult to eat a low-carb diet in a culture full of pasta and bread. But maybe there is something about the effects of protein and fat on brain chemicals such as serotonin.

Sudoku Can Make You Fat

QUEBEC – Filling in a Sudoku grid or doing a crossword can make you fat, claims a new study.

The study conducted by Canadian researchers, reported in the journal Psychology and Health, claims that any person who taxes his or her brain on word games uses up energy needed to exercise.

To reach the conclusion, two groups of volunteers were sent for evening gym exercises for eight weeks but one were set a series of mental tests needing concentration by day, reports The Daily Express.

They did not exercise as hard, said Professor Kathleen Martin Ginis.

She added: “They were more likely to skip their exercise ­sessions. You only have so much willpower.”

The professor said: “Willpower is like a muscle. It needs to be ­challenged to build itself.”

White Wine, Beer Can Ruin Appetite

SYDNEY – Wine, developed as a substitute for water not fit for drinking, could have an unhealthy effect on your appetite.

“However, alcohol is a drug that is abused and the repercussion of alcohol abuse over a long time can seriously affect most of the major organs of the body,” says Anna Kokavec, psychologist at the La Trobe University.

Kokavec and colleague Simon Crowe, a professor, are finding out exactly how alcohol affects the body by focusing on the links between alcohol consumption and appetite.

Alcoholics often seek treatment in a highly malnourished condition, “an issue that can lead to health problems like Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (condition that can lead to forms of amnesia and hallucinations),” says Kokavec.

This malnourishment was often attributed to the ‘poor dietary habits’ of alcoholics, but now Kokavec has uncovered another reason to explain malnourishment in heavy drinkers and the results speak for themselves, according to a La Trobe release.

“We confirmed that certain biochemical processes associated with appetite regulation do change when alcohol was consumed,” says Kokavec.

“The research provides enough evidence to question whether malnutrition and poor dietary behaviour of alcoholics is the fault of the individual or whether it’s the consequences of alcohol and the role it plays in suppressing appetite,” says Kokavec.