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11 posts from July 2010

08 July 2010

Frankfurt City Guide (Executive Travel - July 2010)

GW210H273 Forget Munich or Berlin, Frankfurt is one of Germany's booming business centers - and a place where business travelers will feel right at home.

Excerpt:

Frankfurt may not be the first German city that comes to mind when you think of global business centers. In terms of sheer size, it has little on fellow cities Berlin, Cologne or Dusseldorf, yet Frankfurt—or Frankfurt am Main, as it’s known within German borders—has been a bustling commercial hub in Europe for centuries...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

Exercise offers direct benefit to the brain (The Dana Foundation Website - 2 July 2010)

Dana_logo Researchers are now showing that exercise makes actual physiological changes to the brain.

Excerpt:

Now there are even fewer reasons to skip your daily run or that trip to the gym. It’s been well established that regular physical activity can help tone your muscles, prevent cardiovascular disease, and even help alleviate depressive symptoms [see story, "Should Psychiatrists Prescribe Exercise for Depression?"]. But exercise also has direct benefit to the brain: Research suggests that it makes physiological changes to neurons resulting in improved cognitive performance...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

Should psychiatrists prescribe exercise for depression? (The Dana Foundation Website - 30 June 2010)

Dana_logoStudy after study is showing that exercise can lift mood.  But is there enough evidence so psychiatrists will start writing "exercise" on their prescription pads?

Excerpt:

After Joshua Berman, 39, was diagnosed with depression, he tried several different antidepressant medications to alleviate his symptoms. He finally found some success with one medication—but that success came with a price.

“I didn’t have a lot of energy. It hindered me from getting up in the morning,” says Berman. “[The medication] stabilized my mood better than anything else had but I still had affect issues and trouble sleeping most nights.”

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

Taste: Malta's Pastizzi (Islands - June 2010)

June_2010_cover_300 In the June 2010 issue of Islands, I wrote a Taste column about my love for the Maltese pastizzi - and what lengths I'll go to get one.

Excerpt:

“It will be a long drive,” says our guide, Carmelo. He’s right, but I don’t care. My mother and I worked up an appetite exploring the southern part of Malta. Now we need pastizzi ta’ l-irkotta. I already ate two of the savory pastries filled with creamy ricotta at breakfast. These perfect, boat- shaped specimens have a crispy crust and velvety filling. Still, no matter how many pastizzi I eat, I always want more — even if it means driving to the other side of the island...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

Simplifying the search for genetic risk in alcohol dependence (The Dana Foundation Website - 10 June 2010)

Dana_logo Just taking a few measures about drinking frequency and amount may help researchers uncover critical genes involved in alcohol dependence.

Excerpt:

Epidemiological studies have long suggested that alcohol dependence is an inherited disorder. As genome-wide surveys became available over the past decade, scientists have hoped to find the gene (or genes) behind this relationship. An analysis by the researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine published in the April 5 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that simple measures of alcohol consumption may make that search a little easier...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

Maternal flu infection may lead to increased risk of schizophrenia in child (The Dana Foundation Website - 27 May 2010)

Dana_logo The body's natural immune response to the flu vaccine may lead to changes in brain development - and an increased risk of schizophrenia in offspring.

Excerpt:

During my first prenatal-care appointment, my obstetrician cautioned me to avoid the flu at all costs. Influenza has long been linked to severe illness and respiratory complications during pregnancy. But a recent animal study published in the Jan. 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry suggests that the flu also may indirectly lead to increased risk of schizophrenia in offspring...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

Maternal flu infection may lead to increased risk of schizophrenia in child (The Dana Foundation Website - 27 May 2010)

Dana_logo The body's natural immune response to the flu vaccine may lead to changes in brain development - and an increased risk of schizophrenia in offspring.

Excerpt:

During my first prenatal-care appointment, my obstetrician cautioned me to avoid the flu at all costs. Influenza has long been linked to severe illness and respiratory complications during pregnancy. But a recent animal study published in the Jan. 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry suggests that the flu also may indirectly lead to increased risk of schizophrenia in offspring...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

Does the brain use the scientific method? (The Dana Foundation Website - 4 May 2010)

Dana_logo How do our brains make sense of the world around us?  New research suggests they make use of something like the scientific method.

Excerpt:

Our senses—sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell—are bombarded with input from the ever-changing world around us. For centuries, philosophers and scientists have tried to make sense of just how our brains make sense of our environments. A neuroimaging study in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience by researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany suggests that our brain does so by a process similar to the scientific method...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

Breaches in blood-brain barrier might lead to later psychiatric illness (The Dana Foundation Website - 16 April 2010)

Dana_logo Individuals who suffer from traumatic brain injury may be at risk for later psychiatric illness due to "leaks" in the blood-brain barrier.

Excerpt:

In 2006, Matthew Stern, a 30-year-old soldier from Houston, Texas, was knocked unconscious for nearly four minutes when his military vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED) in Iraq.

“When I woke up in the hospital, the doctor said I had a bruise on my brain and we’d have to wait and see what the long term effects would be,” Stern says. Since the blast, he has developed epilepsy as well as dizziness, sleep problems, and recurring headaches and seizures. He expects to be on medication to control the seizures for the rest of his life...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).


Earlier bedtimes may protect teens from depression (The Dana Foundation Website - 6 April 2010)

Dana_logo A good night's sleep has long been known to have mood benefits.  But can enforcing earlier bedtimes help teens prevent depression?

Excerpt:

Parents, take note: Enforcing an earlier bedtime for your unruly teenager may be more than worth it. In the Jan. 1 issue of Sleep, researchers at Columbia University demonstrate a strong correlation between lack of sleep and depressive symptoms in adolescents. The study examined more than 15,000 adolescents and their parents...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

'Biosensors' may aid in drug development for brain diseases (The Dana Foundation Website - 23 March 2010)

Dana_logo Genetically engineered cells called bio-sensors are helping researchers find new treatments for brain disease.

Excerpt:

Psychiatric and neurological disorders such as schizophrenia can cause complex molecular changes in the brain that result in myriad behavioral symptoms. This has made creating a single, comprehensive pharmacological treatment for such diseases challenging...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).