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Brain and Behavior

The Connection Between Obesity and the Blood-Brain Barrier


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is an important physiological formation tasked with protecting the brain from multiple chemicals that might circulate in our bloodstream. The BBB obstructs the exchange and movement of most molecules, cells, and proteins in and out of the central nervous system (CNS). This helps to keep the brain “cool” and unaffected by whatever we eat and the kind of infections we encounter.

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Brain Blogger

Could Marijuana Contribute to Sexual Dysfunction?


Marijuana consists of a mixture of dried plant leaves, flowers, and/or stems of the Cannabis Sativa plant. In addition, there is a resin-based version of marijuana that is called hash. Most people either smoke marijuana or vape it (warming it, but not cooking it), but it can also be ingested in oil form. The most common way to ingest marijuana is to roll it up and smoke it like you would a cigarette or cigar, or use a smoking tool like a pipe. Some users, however, consume weed by infusing foods (i.e., butter and cooking oil) or teas.
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Health-related

Your Personality Type Might Help You Live Longer


Stubborn, positive personality types likely to live longer, new study says.

I love reading about the oldest people in the world, because the details are so fascinating, and because the people themselves are living links to history. For example, Italy’s Emma Morano was 117 when she passed—and with her, so went a connection to an era. She was the last person born in the 19th century.
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Communication

Manage the Unspoken Messages You’re Sending Others


Clear your negative thoughts and align with a more loving and warm-hearted energy before you speak or act.

We have all experienced the impact of our words and actions in relationships. When we say something mean or snarky, people tend to react with either a return attack or defensiveness. What we tend to be far less aware of is the power of the energy we are holding when we say and do things. For instance, if you are visiting family during the holidays and say, “So great to see you again!” while thinking far less kind sentiments, the negative energy transmitted may well get a negative reaction in spite of the kind words.

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Anxiety and Panic

5 Anxiety Warning Signs You Might Not Notice


Anxiety does its job by getting your attention. But what if you're not noticing it?

Signs of anxiety can be obvious, and not so obvious.

Anxiety can ‘yell’ at you, flash you into panic, and fuel that familiar pit in your stomach that tells you something’s wrong. Most of us know and understand this kind of acute anxiety. But this isn’t the only kind of anxiety and certainly isn’t the only kind of anxiety that’s useful.
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Brain Blogger

Clinical Observations: Combat and Its Ensuing Trauma


I am now retired and conducting research on killing in combat zones. I served as a medic in the Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base (AFB) in the emergency room of Malcolm Grow hospital. I served from Nov. 1969 to Nov. 1973. There I was, also part a team who started to process prisoner of war (POW) airmen. I also served temporary duty (TDY) at Lackland AFB treating airmen who were transferred out of Vietnam and presenting with substance use disorder (SUD). I never served in Nam. Upon discharge and with the GI Bill, I obtained my advanced degrees in clinical social work and psychology.

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Addiction

5 Ways to Cope with Addiction as a Family


Addiction is a family issue and needs to be treated as such.

Nowadays, the unfortunate reality is that many of us have been affected in some way by addiction.

We personally may not be the person suffering from the addiction but odds are there is someone in your family or circle of friends who are either currently addicted or working on a program of recovery. The latest opioid crisis has brought addiction to the spotlight, but addiction as a problem has been around for decades.

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Children and Teens

Smoking in Movies: How Does It Affect Teens?


Youth who are exposed to images of smoking in movies are more likely to smoke.

A long-time sober friend and I were exiting a 12-step meeting a few weeks ago and caught a whiff of cigarette smoke exhaled by a passerby. “Ya know,” I said, “I still crave cigarettes, even though I quit almost three decades ago.”

He agreed. “Yeah, I started smoking when I was 12. When I finally quit 15 years ago, I’d turned 40 and had a ridiculous amount of health problems. It always looked so glamourous in those old Hollywood movies. It still does and I still want to smoke.”

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Disorders

Beat Commitment Phobia by Being True to Yourself


Healthy relationships shouldn't feel like a trap.

Marilee, a client of mine, was a commitment-phobe.

"I'd love to be in a loving relationship," she told me in one of our counseling sessions, "but I'm not willing to give up my freedom. I have a great life. I love my work and my friends. I love to travel and take workshops and classes. I don't want anyone telling me what I can or can't do. I don't want to deal with someone feeling hurt because I want to work rather than be with him. It's just not worth all the hassle."

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Children and Teens

How Pets Can Teach Children about Life, Love and Loss


Why kids and pets are the perfect pairing.

As parents, we try to protect our children from life’s pain, so we tend to keep them in an illusion -- a rosy bubble -- as if life is a one-sided experience. At least, I do, while knowing full well that life is both pain and joy, highs and lows, light and darkness. But recently I had to reconsider my parenting approach, as the time had come for me to outgrow it and step out of my own bubble of fear.

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