More research that bullying and childhood abuse changes the brain

A psychologist at the University of Ottawa was frustrted that the media, policy makers and the public seemed to only pay attention to research on bullying if she could show that it created biological damage (vs. "just" psychological/emotion I suppose).She did a study in 2008 that showed that while boys who were bullied had higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) compared to boys who weren't bullied, girls had much lower levels of cortisol compared to girls who weren't bullied....more

Exposure to environmental pollution in first 2 years of life is linked to greater autism risk

A new study from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health found that kids who were "highly exposed" to styrene and chromium (two specific air pollutants) while in utero or before age 2 were twice as likely to have autism.This is on the heels of another study from earlier this year that found that pregnant women exposed to pesticides were more likely to have kids with autism....more

Meditation and daydreaming boosts future learning

A new study from The University of Texas at Austin has shown that daydreaming and resting the mind (which I somewhat equate with meditation) not only helps strengthening memories and their storage, but also improves future learning.The team had participants do two learning taskes that required memorization. One group of participants was free to rest and think about anything between taskes. Those who used the free time to reflect on what they had learned during the day performed better in tests the second time. ...more

Don't wait until cardiac arrest reduces your brain function; Protect Your Brain NOW!

Here are some things you can do NOW to improve brain function later if you or your loved one goes into cardiac arrest:1. Make sure they're getting enough vitamin D. A recent study of patients who were resuscitated after sudden cardiac arrest found that those who were deficient in vitamin D were at higher risk for poor brain function (or death).SOURCE:

Do you struggle with procrastination? Take this test

This is a great piece about Caroline, a woman who struggled with serious procrastination and starting projects only to not finish them. A friend called her "butterfly brain" and her brother would call unfinished projects "a Caroline job."So she contacted the Boston Attention and Learning Lab and they brought her in for brain training. In this case, it wasn't one-on-one cognitive skills training, but rather "zapping" her head with an electromagnet for 8 minutes and some online brain training....more

Decoy drug created new brain connections in adult mice

Big news for the future of blindness, strokes and Alzheimer's (and perhaps many others)!Scientists at Stanford Bio-X created a decoy drug that mimics PirB (a protein), which allowed the brains of adult mice to create new connections in the brain. Besides the obvious implications for stroke and TBI victims, there's also a lot of excitement in terms of Alzheimer's. ...more

The link between gum disease and Alzheimer's

Plaque is plaque when it comes to your body.A new study (2014) corraborated previous studies linking gum inflammation and Alzheimer's.In this study, the researchers found that 2 of the 3 types of bacteria that cause gum disease have also been found in the brain. Apparently, the either hop into the bloodstream or move directly up the nerve that runs from the tooth to the brain....more

Celiac disease may be affecting your brain

A woman in front of me at the grocery store was telling me her son was on the autism spectrum. I mentioned something about the correlation with autism and digestive issues and allergies and she looked shocked. "I've never heard that!" she said. "So kids with autism are more likely to have allergies? And digestive problems?" I was shocked her pediatrician hadn't mentioned it.So when I ran across this article on celiac and the brain, I knew there would surely be some mention of autism (which there is), but I found out some other interesting things, such as:...more

Long-term study on exercise improving kids' cognitive skills

There have been quite a few short-term studies on exercise and improved cognitive skills, but these researchers wanted a long-term study that proved causation (not just association). So they went to an elementary school and recruited 220 kids between 8 and 9. (This is thought to be an important age because it's when the brain "experiences a leap" in executive function.)...more

Fibromyalgia sufferers have hypersensitivity to non-painful events

Yes, it's another post about fibromyalgia. But apparently I hit a nerve (excuse the pun) in a GOOD way when I wrote about some of the latest fibromyalgia research.So here's more research:In a  new study, neuroscientists used fMRIs to look at the brain's response to visual, auditory and tactile stimulation in 35 women with fibromyalgia (and 25 women without it). Most had endured the disease for 7 years and the mean age of the participants was 47....more