Brain Blogger

How Obesity Affects the Human Brain


The number of overweight and obese people (those with BMI above 25) around the world is approaching the two billion mark. This is more than 20% of estimated 7.4 billion people currently populating the planet. The connection between obesity and various chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some types of cancer is well established. Not much, however, is known about how the excess body weight influences the structure and function of brain.

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Psychology Around the Net: December 3, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

It's pretty dark and rainy in my neck of the woods today, which doesn't give me much Christmas spirit (I'm finally decorating today...or hoping to, anyway); however, such weather does do a little something interesting for my overall spirit.

Have you ever heard the term "pluviophile"? Basically, a pluviophile (a term that derives from "pluvial," meaning "of or relating to rain") is someone who -- you guessed it -- can find joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

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Antidepressant

Could an Antidepressant Prevent Depression After Traumatic Brain Injury?


The prevalence and functional effects of depressive disorder following traumatic brain injury are significant. Now, sertraline may be effective for preventing depressive symptoms after TBI.

A group of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine evaluated 94 patients aged 18 to 85 years who had been hospitalized for mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Most of the patients (n=92) were Caucasian and more than half (n=56) were male. The research team randomized the patients to receive either 100 mg daily of sertraline (48 patients) or placebo (46 patients) for 24 weeks or until symptoms of a mood disorder occurred.

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Anger

Psychology Around the Net: November 26, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Also, Happy Belated Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans!

I hope each and every one of you had a day (or, are still have a few days!) of time spent with your loved ones appreciating all the blessings in your life -- and, if you don't already, I hope you spend some time to do that every day.

This week's Psychology Around the Net takes a look at the latest on sexism related to men's mental health, the stigma of mental illness in the hip-hop community, how creativity benefits or hampers emotional wellbeing, and more.

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Brain and Behavior

Fake News: Facebook Helps You Feel Well-Informed, Regardless of Actual Reading

After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook faces the spotlight for spreading fake news stories. There are now hundreds (perhaps thousands) of fake news web sites -- sites that publish news articles that look and seem to be real, but are complete fiction. Unlike older, well-known satirical websites, such as The Onion, many of these sites don't indicate their fakeness.

But even if Facebook is helping spread fake news more than any other service ever, it begs the question -- do people even read the news stories that appear in their Facebook feed? Let's turn to the science...

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Psychology Around the Net: November 12, 2016


I won't begin this edition of Psychology Around the Net by saying "Happy Saturday!", as I usually do, because I -- like the rest of the country, and the world -- am well aware that many of you are not happy.

Whether you voted for Hillary Clinton and are outraged that -- and perhaps feeling scared and threatened because -- Donald Trump won the election, or you voted for Donald Trump (or a third-party candidate) and are hurt because some of your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers are accusing you of not caring about important human concerns such as racism, sexism, and the safety of the LBGTQ community, chances are you're not happy.

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Brain and Behavior

How Immune Systems Can Influence Social Behavior


The immune system is our main defense mechanism against disease. Dysfunctions in the immune system are therefore associated with a myriad of complications, including several neurological and mental disorders.

Yet, for a long time the brain and the immune system were considered to be isolated from each other -- it was believed that the brain was not supplied by the lymphatic system (which carries white blood cells and other immune cells through a network of vessels and tissues) because no evidence of lymphatic supply to the brain had ever been found.
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Addiction

New Study Reports Diabetes Medication Could Treat Addiction


A relatively new class of drugs, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, have had much success in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Now, these drugs may offer support in the treatment of addiction and drug abuse.

A new study, published in Translational Psychiatry, reports that GLP-1 receptors may be a target for treating drug abuse. The study was conducted in mice, but it calls attention to previous reports with similar findings.
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ADHD and ADD

Psychology Around the Net: November 5, 2016


I'm going to the mountains today; in fact, I might be there by the time you read this.

Of course, this isn't exactly unusual, given my state is fairly well known for its mountains. I'm sort of always surrounded by mountains, even when I'm grocery shopping. Nevertheless, earlier this week, a friend of mine sent a random text asking if I'd be interested in spending a day in an especially beautiful area of the state a couple of hours away.

"YES."

Without hesitation.

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Anxiety and Panic

5 Times to Embrace the Power of Negative Thinking


Yes, REALLY.

My whole life I have been told to embrace the power of positive thinking. This was something a lot of adults said to me, a negative, nervous little girl, riddled with anxiety.

Well, that and "stop worrying or you'll give yourself an ulcer."

Thanks, Mrs. Nicholson! Ulcers don't work that way! Anxiety is more than something other than an annoyance for you to deal with from 9 to 3! Fourth grade was a living nightmare and also I hate you!

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Books

Psychology Around the Net: October 29, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

This week's Psychology Around the Net covers a myriad of interesting topics, if I do say so myself!

Keep reading for information on how the way you twist your paperclips could highlight your personality (yes, really), a new three-second brain exercises to help you find joy (it's a lot deeper, and yet just as simple, as it sounds), a few misconceptions some of us might have about male sexuality, and more.

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