Stressful relationships may raise death risk
People who have stressful relationships with friends, family and at work may have an increased risk of premature death, according to a study from the University of Copenhagen.
Scientists examined data on 9,870 adults in their 30s through 50s between the year 2000 and 2011. Relationship stress was measured through questionnaires about which relationships—with partners, children, relatives, friends and neighbors—caused worry and conflict. The researchers then examined the influence of relationship stress on all causes of death.
The researchers found that frequent conflicts were linked to an increased risk of dying during the study’s time period. Specifically, they found that people who had frequent conflicts with partners or friends had more than double the risk of dying. Additionally, they found that worrisome and demanding relationships with partners or children led to about a 50 percent increase in risk of death.
The study’s findings, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, suggest that both relationships that result in worries and demands and relationships in which there are frequent conflicts have significant health consequences. The researchers concluded that their study reinforces the importance of resolving conflicts in all social relationships and working to build on the positive aspects of those relationships.
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Sourced from: Reuters, Stressful relationships may raise risk of death
Psychiatric risks differ for boys and girls
A new study has determined that during puberty, cerebral blood flow levels differ significantly in girls and boys–increasing in females and decreasing in males. And that may make them more susceptible to different psychiatric disorders.
Previous studies have shown that cerebral blood flow (CBF) declines in both sexes during childhood. But, for this study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, researchers looked at MRI images of the brain in more than 900 young people between the ages of 8 and 22.
The scientists discovered age-related differences in the amount and location of blood flow in males and females. At age 16, the CBF in males continued to decline while it increased in females. By the end of adolescence females had significantly higher CBF than males, which was most prominent in the area of the brain involved with social behavior and emotion regulation.
Researchers say this could put women at higher risk for depression and anxiety disorders, and men more at risk for schizophrenia.
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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Psychiatric risks differ for boys and girls: brain blood flow diverges in puberty
Human muscle may be unique
It’s pretty clear that when it comes to brains, humans are unique creatures. But a new study suggests that it also appears to be true of our muscles.
The research, published in PLOS Biology, looked at the evolution of metabolites, which are small molecules like sugars, vitamins, amino acids and neurotransmitters that are important to our physiological functions. Researchers found that metabolite concentrations rapidly evolved in two tissues during human evolution–in the brain and the muscle. Unlike the steady evolution of the genome, the human brain has evolved four times faster than that of the chimpanzee, but the human muscle changed 10 times faster than a chimpanzee’s.
To ensure the change didn’t reflect a couch potato lifestyle adopted by humans, researchers did some tests on macaque monkeys. The monkeys were moved from a spacious countryside facility to a small indoor enclosure and served fatty and sugary food for a few weeks. These lifestyle changes hadd only a small effect on the muscle metabolome of the monkeys. In another test with macaque monkeys and chimpanzees, researchers analyzed their muscle strength compared to humans in a pulling strength competition. In all these tests, the primates won the strength tests by twofold over the humans.
This suggests that the metabolic role of the brain and muscles are intertwined and, the researchers suggested, that perhaps the brain takes more energy for cognitive powers, which weakens the muscles.
NEXT: Scientists say Wikipedia full of medical errors
Sourced from: ScienceDaily, Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn
Scientists say Wikipedia full of medical errors
The next time you think about looking for health infomation on Wikipedia, you may want to consider another choice. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, the online encyclopedia contains significant medical errors.
Ten researchers looked at online articles for 10 of the most expensive conditions in the U.S., including osteoarthritis, back pain and asthma. They printed articles on April 25, 2012, and analyzed the content, and they found that 90 percent of the entries made statements that contradicted the latest medical research. They also found that Wikipedia contained errors in nine out of 10 health entries.
Wikipedia, which provides 30 million articles in 285 languages, can be edited by anyone. Many volunteers from the medical community do check the pages for inaccuracies, but the information doesn’t go through the peer review process of scientific research.
Based on what they found, the researchers recommended that if you have health or medical questions, talk to your doctor or a health professional instead of relying on Wikipedia.
NEXT: Psychiatric risks differ for boys and girls
Sourced from: BBC, Trust your doctor, not Wikipedia, say scientists