Possible Link between Virus and Obesity

Study Strengthens Link between Virus and Weight Gain

Unlike some news outlets that are shortening this story down to "viruses cause obesity," I appreciated Scientific American's balanced and well-written article that explains how preliminary this research is (it was done on chickens, for gawdsakes!). While it may have relevance to people combatting weight gain in the future, this line sums up our current understanding:

"Obesity has multiple causes and viruses may be one of those causes," said researcher Nikhil Dhurandhar of the Pennington Biomedical Research...
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Scientific brain linked to autism? Maybe, maybe not.

Scientific brain linked to autism

I wish I had access to the full text of this article, because it looks like one of those articles which is not a study at all, just an opinion piece (it's in a section entitled, Perspectives, which seems to me to suggest it is exactly just that). Opinion pieces, while providing food for thought, are sometimes mistaken by the mainstream media as new research or confirmatory data, of which they are usually neither.

If anyone would like to...
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The Internet Brings People Together, Does Not Isolate

There's been some contradictory research as to whether the Internet is, on the whole, more socially isolating or more socially connecting. A previous study found that the Internet time was cutting into socializing and television watching. According to the most recent research however, it appears that this isn't entirely the case. The Internet brings people together, adding one more communication modality to the it doesn't take anything away. Which is what I've been saying all along -- the sky is not falling,...
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Single workout can lift mood in depressed patients

Single workout can lift mood in depressed patients

A single 30-minute walk on a treadmill can give a temporary emotional lift to patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder, the results of a small study suggest.

Researchers found that among 40 men and women recently diagnosed with major depression, those who spent just a half hour on a treadmill reported a short-term improvement in energy and emotional well-being.

Though a single workout is not the answer to clinical depression, the researchers say, exercise could offer depressed patients...
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Psychologists prescribe movies for self-help

Helping Patients Help Themselves

Increasingly psychologists are extending the impact of their work by recommending self-help groups, books, movies and more. With insurers limiting the number of sessions available to the client, "homework" or actions consumers can take to understand their problems and care for themselves enhance therapy.

As well, psychologists are expanding their services to teaching workshops, writing books and web sites, and appearing on TV.

When she and her colleagues appear on TV, she [psychologist Jean Cirillo] says, they are "helping the...
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Judge rips state on care for mentally ill children

Judge rips state on care for mentally ill children

It's very sad that I live in what is perceived to be a very progressive state, but that when you look beyond the facade of state government and services here in Massachusetts, you find quality no better than many very poor states.

The Boston Globe reports today how broken and sad the mental health system here is within Massachusetts, stranding mentally ill children without access to services they so desperately need.

In a state known...
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Coping with Addictions

Drinking and smoking a dangerous duo

A new study finds that the combination of alcohol and nicotine causes more brain damage than alcohol alone, and also breaks a treatment myth:

Generally, it has been thought it was too much to ask patients to battle smoking and drinking at the same time, just as it was thought that no one should be asked to quit smoking marijuana when they were recovering from cocaine addition.

"But that is not supported by empirical evidence," Bisaga says. "It's easier to...
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