Brain Shrink

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Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit

Victoria Toline would hunch over the kitchen table, steady her hands and draw a bead of liquid from a vial with a small dropper. It was a delicate operation that had become a daily routine — extracting ever tinier doses of the antidepressant she had taken for three years, on and off, and was …

Depression

If You Stop Thinking Of Exercise As A Way To Lose Weight, You May Actually Enjoy It

For years, I thought of exercise in terms of calories in and calories out: Eat too much pizza on Saturday night, take an extra spin class. Skip an …

Holistic Medicine

For Chronic Pain, A Change In Habits Can Beat Opioids For Relief

It took several months and a team of half a dozen doctors, nurses and therapists to help Kim Brown taper off the opioid painkillers she'd been on for two years.<p>Brown, 57, had been taking the pills since a back injury in 2010. It wasn't until she met Dr. Dennis McManus, a neurologist who specializes …

Pain

American Adults Just Keep Getting Fatter

American adults continue to put on the pounds. New data shows that nearly 40 percent of them were obese in 2015 and 2016, a sharp increase from a decade earlier, federal health officials reported Friday.<p>The prevalence of severe obesity in American adults is also rising, heightening their risks of …

Diabetes

A New Documentary About Adults On Adderall — And Not Just For ADHD

Stimulant drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are commonly prescribed to kids with what's known as ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But recently, adults became the biggest users of these drugs.<p>That's partially because more adults are being diagnosed with ADHD for the first time. But …

Medicine

Hearts Get 'Younger,' Even At Middle Age, With Exercise

Eventually it happens to everyone. As we age, even if we're healthy, the heart becomes less flexible, more stiff and just isn't as efficient in processing oxygen as it used to be. In most people the first signs show up in the 50s or early 60s. And among people who don't exercise, the underlying …

High Blood Pressure

Finally, proof: opioids are no better than other medications for some chronic pain

A first-of-its-kind study compared opioids to non-opioid drugs in patients with persistent back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis. Its results are devastating.<p>Long before opioids snowballed into one of the worst public health crises in American history, Dr. Erin Krebssuspected there might be a …

Medicine

People are dying because we misunderstand how those with addiction think

A philosopher explains why addiction isn’t a moral failure.<p>The American opioid epidemic claimed 42,300 lives in 2016 alone. While the public policy challenge is daunting, the problem isn’t that we lack any effective treatment options. The data shows that we could save many lives by expanding …

Daniel Kahneman

When Opioids Make Pain Worse

When patients arrive in the emergency room, nearly all but those with the most minor complaints get an IV.<p>To draw blood, give medications or administer fluids, the IV is the way doctors and nurses gain access to the body. Putting one in is quick and simple, and it's no more painful than a mild bee …

Medicine

Has dopamine got us hooked on tech?

Silicon Valley is keen to exploit the brain chemical credited with keeping us tapping on apps and social media<p>In an unprecedented attack of candour, Sean Parker, the 38-year-old founding president of Facebook, recently admitted that the social network was founded not to unite us, but to distract …

Neuroscience

'Heroin(e)': The Women Fighting Addiction In Appalachia

The opioid epidemic has hit Huntington, W.Va., very hard, with an overdose rate 10 times the national average.<p>Documentary filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon chose Huntington as the setting for her short doc about America's opioid crisis, <i>Heroin(e)</i>. It's now nominated for an Oscar.<p>One those heroines …

Prosthetics

Long-Term Effects Of Psychotropic Drugs Are 'Cloaked In Mystery'

Antidepressants and medications for bipolar disorder can be life-changing and even lifesaving, but journalist Lauren Slater warns that the long-term side effects of these drugs are "cloaked in mystery."<p><i>"</i>As a nation, we're consuming them; we're gobbling them down," she says. "And we don't really …

Magic Mushrooms

The keto diet, explained

Is eating a lot of fat really the best way to lose weight?<p>It’s why people are putting grass-fed butter in their coffee, downing ketone drinks, and replacing their cereal and pasta with eggs and avocados.<p>The ketogenic diet has become a Silicon Valley obsession and the diet du jour that supposedly …

Diabetes

The Key to Weight Loss Is Diet Quality, Not Quantity, a New Study Finds

Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows that the standard prescription for weight loss is to reduce the amount of calories you consume.<p>But a new study, published Tuesday in JAMA, may turn that advice on its head. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed …

Nutrition

Remembering The 17 Victims Who Died In This Week's School Shooting

As the nation looks for ways to honor the victims of this week's school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., we offer a remembrance of those who died.<p>Transcript<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST:<p>OK. We now have the names of all 17 victims who died in the shooting at a Florida high …

High School

Five major psychiatric disorders have overlapping patterns of genetic activity, new study shows

<i>This post has been updated.</i><p>Certain patterns of genetic activity appear to be common among five distinct psychiatric disorders — autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and alcoholism — according to a new study. The paper, appearing in the journal Science, was released …

The Brain

Major Neurological Conditions Have More In Common Than We Thought, Study Finds

Different neurological conditions like autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder appear to have more in common than scientists thought they did. A new study finds that they have important similarities at a molecular level.<p>And understanding the molecular basis of those disorders could help in …

The Brain

Risky Antipsychotic Drugs Still Overprescribed In Nursing Homes

A study published Monday by Human Rights Watch finds that about 179,000 nursing home residents are being given antipsychotic drugs, even though they don't have schizophrenia or other serious mental illnesses that those drugs are designed to treat.<p>Most of these residents have Alzheimer's disease or …

Health Care

Neuroscientists find differences in brain activity depending on whether people are outdoors or in a lab

The brain acts much differently when we're outdoors compared with when we're inside the lab, a new study shows.<p>"It happens when we're doing normal, …

According To One Study, There's An Unfortunate Downside To Being Intelligent

Ever found that you are quick to apply stereotypes to people? If so, you may have a higher cognitive ability than those who don’t.<p>That suggestion was …

We Just Got More Evidence For The Strange Link Between Sugar And Alzheimer's

Step away from the candy.<p>People with high blood sugar stand to experience worse long-term cognitive decline than their healthy peers, even if they're …

Most Personality Quizzes Are Junk Science. I Found One That Isn’t.

<i>Our science staff is trying to lead a more scientific life in 2018. Throughout the week, we’ll be questioning whether some of our favorite habits and</i> …

Psychology

This Incredible Virus Attacks Brain Cancer And Actually Boosts Our Immune System

The first therapeutic virus to pass the blood-brain barrier.<p>A study attempting to show that viruses could be delivered to brain tumours has delivered …

Immunotherapy

Intranasal formulation of ketamine helps clear treatment-resistant depressive symptoms

A ketamine-based nasal spray produces rapid improvement of depressive symptoms, according to new research published in the scientific journal JAMA …

Depression

There's even more evidence that one type of exercise is the closest thing to a miracle drug that we have

Aerobic exercise, or cardio, might be the closest thing we have to a miracle drug.<p>When we commit to regular workouts that raise our heart rate and get us moving and sweating for a sustained period, magical things happen to our mind and body. We start to think more clearly, feel better about …

Exercise

What is melatonin and can it help me sleep?

A perfect sleeping pill — one that gets people to fall asleep faster, and for a longer period of time, with no side effects — is still a dream.<p>Such a magic pill could potentially solve many problems. Millions of Americans don't get enough sleep. In a recent survey, the Centers for Disease Control …

Sleep

'How To Cook Everything Vegetarian' Author On The Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet

There was a time when people who ate a plant-based diet were considered weird or exotic or somehow out of the mainstream — by meat lovers anyway. But over the past decade that has changed, in large part because well-known figures, such as quarterback Tom Brady, musician Paul McCartney, and hip-hop …

Plant-Based Diet

Is exercise enough to improve the metabolic syndrome?

<i>Last Updated:</i><p>The effect of exercise training on clinical outcomes in patients with the metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and …

Light Therapy Might Help People With Bipolar Depression

As the months grow colder and darker, many people find themselves somewhat sadder and even depressed.<p>Bright light is sometimes used to help treat the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Researchers are now testing light therapy to see if it also can help treat depression that's part of …

Mental Health