New Research: Childhood Music Lessons Have Neural Benefit Decades Later
New research shows brain benefits from early music lessons decades later. Results of this study showed that the subjects in the study who had had
early music training (between 4 to 14 years of music training early in life), had a faster neurologic response to the targeted speech sound, on the order of about
1 millisecond. This was despite the fact that many subjects in the study had not played an instrument in nearly 40 years. In reviewing the study,, Medscape
reports that "Commenting on these findings in a press release issued by the Journal of Neuroscience, Michael Kilgard, PhD,
who studies how the brain processes sound at the University of Texas at Dallas and was not involved in this study, said, "Being a
millisecond faster may not seem like much, but the brain is very sensitive to timing and a millisecond compounded over millions of
neurons can make a real difference in the lives of older adults." "These findings confirm that the investments that we make in our brains early in life
continue to pay dividends years later," Dr. Kilgard added."
Recent research has shown that the first evidence from human research that daily consumption of blueberry juice improves memory.
Blueberries are one of the richest sources of healthful antioxidants and other so-called phytochemicals.
In this study the research had one group of individuals in their 70s with early memory decline drink the equivalent of 2-2 l/2 cups of a commercially available blueberry juice every day for two months. A second
control group drank a beverage without blueberry juice. The individuals drinking blueberry juice group showed significant improvement on learning
and memory tests. This is a preliminary study with a very small sample group. Additional research is needed to replicate and expand the
findings from this very small study Click this link to read the article
Brain Training Programs
So you're thinking about train-the-brain therapies?
A nice review of the positives and negatives of brain-training therapies.
New research has shown that older adults who participated in a brain training program and who also received "health education
on the value of a diet rich in antioxidants, the importance of daily physical exercise and stress reduction" improved
in their self-perceived memory, which the study authors note is an important factor in maintaining a positive outlook on life.
New Research shows that "New evidence has emerged on the role that breastfeeding could have in preventing diabetes. Early results from a Canadian study suggest that breastfeeding reduces the risk of mothers and their offspring developing the condition."
New Research shows that "Breast-feeding for at least 6 months was associated with a lower risk for childhood leukemia compared with breast-feeding for a short time or not at all, according to an article published online June 1 in JAMA Pediatrics. Leukemia accounts for about 30% of all childhood cancers, but its causes are poorly understood. Incidence increased from 1975 through 2011 at a rate of about 0.7% per year."
Breastfeeding linked to higher intelligence and educational attainment and income at 30 years of age
New Research shows that "Breastfeeding is associated with improved performance in intelligence tests 30 years later, and might have an important effect in real life, by increasing educational attainment and income in adulthood."
Working Moms have new breastfeeding rights under the Afordable Care Act
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers must provide time and space for new mothers to express milk for their babies until the child
turns one year old. "This is a terrific opportunity to show businesses that lactation is important and that women should be accorded the right
to provide milk for their babies," said Dr. Richard J. Schanler, director of neonatal services at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York
in New Hyde Park. This requirement has been "sort of on the books for a while," Schanler told Reuters Health, but the ACA provision makes the
New Research: Longer Breastfeeding tied to better development
Children who were breastfed for more than six months scored the highest on cognitive, language and motor development tests
as toddlers, in a new study from Greece. Medscape notes that "Most evidence "pretty clearly shows there are significant medical
benefits of breast-feeding," Dr. Dimitri Christakis told Reuters Health in an email. Christakis, who directs the Center
for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute, was not involved in the new study."
New Research: New Clinical Report on Drugs and Breast Feeding
Many breastfeeding women are advised to stop taking necessary medications or to discontinue nursing because of potential harmful effects on their infants.
The reality is that few medications are contraindicated in breastfeeding mothers. This new report reviews the literature and finds that most drugs do not need
to be stopped during breast feeding.
A new study finds that babies who are primarily breast fed during the first year of life have higher cognitive
scores at 14 months of life. The researchers believe the higher rates of Omega 3s and 6s in breast milk may
be the reason for the difference.
Breast Fed Babies have few behavioral problems as children
A new recent study finds that breast feeding leads to few behavioral problems in children. The authors speculate that this
may be due to the fact that bread feed children receive more essential fatty acids through breast milk.
Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! is a coordinated federal effort to encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for the families and providers who care for them. The Website provides a wealth of information and a number of downloadable pdfs.
The Compendium of Screening Measures for Young Children (PDF) is a collection of research-based screening tools for children under the age of 5. Practitioners in early care and education, primary health care, child welfare, and mental health can use this reference to learn cost, administration time, quality level, training required, and age range covered for each screening tool.
Veterans Health Administration: Be Physically Active
Avoid inactivity. Some activity is better than none. Aim for at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Every 10 minute session counts. Do strengthening activities at least 2 days each week.
NIH Physical Activity and Cancer
"There is substantial evidence that higher levels of physical activity are linked to lower risks of several cancers"
NASAT reports that "Previous studies have shown that adults and young people who are physically active have a lower risk of developing depression. But the same effect has not been studied in children -- until now. Results from a new study are showing that children receive the same beneficial effect from being active. We're talking about moderate to vigorous physical activity that leaves kids sweaty or out of breath. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and NTNU Social Research have followed hundreds of children over four years to see if they could find a correlation between physical activity and symptoms of depression"
Exercise can help adults better cope with ADHD symptoms
Exercise, even a small amount, can help alleviate symptoms of ADHD in adults, according to a recent study by University of Georgia researchers. The study, released in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, found a single bout of exercise has psychological benefits for adults with these elevated ADHD symptoms. About 6 percent of American adults report symptoms consistent with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, which lead to anxiety, depression, low energy and motivation, poor performance at work or school and also increased traffic accidents.
Disabilityscoop reports that "Researchers say there may be a simple way to reduce challenging behaviors among those with autism and similar disorders during the school day — add in some exercise. A new study looking at the impact of structured, aerobic exercise in kids on the spectrum and those with other behavioral disorders found that youngsters who participated in “cybercycling” at school as opposed to traditional physical education classes were far less likely to act out."
Physical Activity and Preventing Depression in Children
Medscape reports that "Children who get more exercise may have fewer symptoms of depression than their peers who are less active, a recent study suggests. Researchers used activity trackers to see how much physical activity children got, then interviewed kids and their parents to assess whether kids had symptoms of depression. When kids got more moderate to vigorous physical activity at ages 6 and 8, they were less likely to have symptoms of major depressive disorder two years later, the study found."
A study published in the journal in the British Journal of Sports Medicne shows that People can lower their blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat, weight and total cholesterol by joining outdoor walking groups.
Exercise Boosts Kids' Cognitive Performance, Brain Function
Medscape reports that "Moderate to vigorous physical exercise may increase children's cognitive performance and brain function, new research shows. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 221 prepubertal children showed that those who participated in a structured afterschool exercise program for 9 months experienced improved executive function, including cognitive flexibility, compared with their counterparts who did not participate in the program."
The Exercise Effect on attention, mood, and anxiety
The American Psychological Association reports that "Evidence is mounting for the benefits of exercise, yet psychologists don’t often use exercise as part of their treatment arsenal. Here’s more research on why they should."
Walking, biking to work seems to have mental health benefits
"Daily commuters who stopping driving to work and started walking or riding a bike were under less stress and were able to concentrate better, the
study showed. And the authors noted that using public transportation also resulted in an improvement in commuters' psychological well-being."
From NPR "Sports medicine doctor Jordan Metzl says he's found a miracle drug that prevents almost every illness, is 100
percent effective, and has very few side effects: exercise. In his new book The Exercise Cure, he prescribes specific cardio
and strength training regimens to treat everything from depression and stress to heart disease and diabetes."
My patients know that I strongly encourage regular exercise and Vitamin D (from sunlight). Many of my patients are
what we call "summer kids", meaning that over the summer, they are happier, less anxious, and more up in their moods.
The combination of exercise, sunlight (vitamin D), and fresh air does wonders. This study from last year shows a
similar effect for children with ADHD.
Exercise and Positive environments help protect against mood problems
Is it possible that exercise or other positive changes to our environment can help build up resistance to stress-induced depression? Dr. Michael Lehmann is with a team of National Institute of Mental Health scientists investigating how our brains process the connection between a positive environment and fighting off depression.
Exercise helps grow new brain cells and moderates depression
A recent study has found that exercise helps grow new brain cells and that exercise helps moderate depression.
This mouse study exposed mice to a toxic environment (bullying) that lead to depressive behavior. When these mice were then placed in an enriched
environment and allowed to exercise their moods and behavior improved in part due to new brain growth. Mice that were placed in the same enriched environment
but were genetically modified to not be able to grow new brain cells did not show an improvement in their mood or behavior.
The authors of the study "point out that in humans, physical exercise and positive psychosocial activity have beneficial effects on depression and stress resilience. Forms of entertainment that encourage mental activity, according to Lehmann, such as reading, video games, exercise and outdoor recreation could have longer lasting changes for many suffering from mild depressive symptoms than pharmacologic treatment, without the accompanying side effects."
Parental Monitoring of Children's Media Consumption related on childhood Obesity
New research shows a link between parents who monitor their children's media consumption and their children's body mass index. Specifically, children whose mothers pay close attention to how much time they spend watching TV and playing video games tend to weigh less.
Children with family routines more emotionally and socially advanced
New research shows that children who engage in family routines with their families tend to be emotionally healthier and better
adjusted socially than children who do not have such routines. Researchers examined how often children participated in five family
routines: having dinner as a family at least five times a week; reading, storytelling or singing at least three times a week; and
playing at least a few times a week. The researchers found that only 11% of the children who had no family routines had high social-emotional
health, compared with 25% of those whose families engaged in all five routines.
Flame retardant chemicals may affect social behavior in young children
"Some chemicals added to furniture, electronics and numerous other goods to prevent fires may have unintended developmental consequences for young children, according to a pilot study released today. Researchers from Oregon State University found a significant relationship between social behaviors among children and their exposure to widely used flame retardants, said Molly Kile, an environmental epidemiologist and associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU. "When we analyzed behavior assessments and exposure levels, we observed that the children who had more exposure to certain types of the flame retardant were more likely to exhibit externalizing behaviors such as aggression, defiance, hyperactivity, inattention and bullying," said Kile, the corresponding author of the study, which was published today in the journal Environmental Health. "
Healthy Homes, Healthy Families: A Guide to Protecting your Family's Health By Making Your Home A Safer Environment
The Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning (CPLP) and the Rochester Healthy Homes Partnership are pleased to announce the publication of the newly revised "Healthy Homes, Healthy Families: A Guide to Protecting your Family's Health By Making Your Home A Safer Environment." The full-color 32-page booklet includes practical tips for reducing environmental hazards in your home and regional information from organizations that offer resources to improve home health.
Available in English and Spanish, the "Healthy Homes, Healthy Families" guide covers ways to reduce asthma triggers, improve indoor air quality, reduce lead paint poisoning hazards, as well as reducing general home hazards including safe water temperatures, safe sleeping practices for babies, household chemicals, pesticides and poisons. The guide also provides information about summer meal programs and regional farmers markets, legal and financial information, and national and state healthy housing resources.
To request free copies of the "Healthy Homes, Healthy Families" resource guide, please call (585) 224-3125.
From the NY Times "The benefits of mindfulness meditation, increasingly popular in recent years, are supposed to be many: reduced stress and risk for various diseases, improved well-being, a rewired brain. But the experimental bases to support these claims have been few. Supporters of the practice have relied on very small samples of unrepresentative subjects, like isolated Buddhist monks who spend hours meditating every day, or on studies that generally were not randomized and did not include placebo control groups."
Medscape reports that "Practicing simple meditation or listening to music may help reverse early memory loss in adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), according to the results of a pilot study. SCD, in which people feel that their memory is becoming impaired, may be a harbinger of Alzheimer's disease, the researchers, led by Kim E. Innes, PhD, from West Virginia University, Morgantown, write an article published online January 18 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease."
Mindfullness Meditation offers relief for low-back pain
"Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may prove more effective than usual treatment in alleviating chronic low-back pain, according to a new study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), part of the National Institutes of Health."
Meditation helps with sleep disturbance and cuts fatigue
Medscape reports that "Older adults who follow a mindful meditation program have improved sleep quality as well as less daytime fatigue and depression compared with their counterparts who take part in a sleep hygiene education (SHE) program, new research shows."
Mindfulness training may help college students tame a wandering mind, new research hints. University of Miami students
who participated in brief mindfulness training (MT) during an academic semester said they felt more "on task" after the
training period – a feeling backed up by an objective test of mind wandering.
Mindfulness Meditation may ease Depression, Anxiety, Pain
A new systematic review and meta-analysis, shows that meditation may provide small to moderate improvement in negative
aspects of psychological stress, including anxiety, depression, and even pain in some individuals. As reported by Medscape "In this study the
investigators reviewed 47 randomized clinical trials that included a total of 3515 participants. Most of the trials
ranged from 3 weeks to 5.4 years in length, although most of them were short term. The 2 types of meditation in the
trials were mantra meditation and mindfulness meditation. The research showed low evidence of no effect or insufficient
evidence of any effect on psychological stress and well-being outcomes for mantra meditation programs. Mindfulness
meditation programs, on the other hand, showed moderate evidence of improved anxiety.
In addition, mindfulness meditation improved depression and also pain. The researchers also found that mindfulness
meditation showed "low evidence" of improving stress, distress, and mental health–related quality of life, as well as low
evidence of no effect or insufficient evidence of an effect on positive mood, attention, sleep, and weight."
Lower Adherence to a mediterranean Diet Linked to ADHD
Medscape reports that "A new cross-sectional study shows a higher risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children and adolescents who are less adherent to a Mediterranean diet than those who are more adherent to the diet. "Previous studies done in other countries showed that low-quality diets are persistently associated with a higher risk of ADHD [but] no studies had been done regarding the Mediterranean diet and ADHD," senior author Maria Izquierdo-Pulido, PharmD, PhD, University of Barcelona, Spain, told Medscape Medical News."
Medscape reports that "Two researchers, Felice Jacka and Michael Berk, led a consortium of Australian Institutions based at the Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia. Over 3 years, they recruited several hundred patients with moderate to severe depression and entered 67 into a 12-week parallel group trial. The treatment group received seven 60-minute sessions of dietary counselling. The parallel control group received a matching social support protocol. All but nine of the 67 participants were receiving another active treatment—either psychotherapy, medications, or both."
Mediterranean-Style Diet Linked to Higher Total Brain Volume
Medscape reports that "More research is suggesting that adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet (MeDi) may be protective for the aging brain. In a cohort of more than 400 individuals from Scotland who were in their 70s, those who were low consumers of the MeDi had significantly lower total brain volume over a 3-year period than those who regularly adhered to this type of diet. Interestingly, an increased consumption of fish or lower consumption of red meat did not drive this finding, "suggesting that other components of the MeDi or, possibly, all of its components in combination are responsible for the association," write the investigators."
Diet, Exercise can affect the brain at a the molecular level and reduce amyloid buildup
Medscape reports that "Modifiable risk factors, such as exercise and consuming a Mediterranean-style diet (MedDiet), can reduce amyloid plaque in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), lowering their risk for conversion to Alzheimer's disease, suggests new imaging research. The small study of 44 participants with MCI or subjective memory impairment (SMI) showed that those with a higher adherence to a MedDiet had significantly lower positron emission tomography (PET) measures of amyloid plaques and tau tangles than those with a lower adherence."
Medscape reports that "A new study provides more evidence that following a Mediterranean-type diet (MeDi) is good for the brain. In a multiethnic cohort of elderly dementia-free adults, those more adherent to the MeDi had larger brain volume than their less adherent peers. And the difference between the groups is equal to about 5 years of aging. "Our study adds to the existing literature showing that Mediterranean diet is a healthy diet," Yian Gu, PhD, from Columbia University in New York City, and member of the American Academy of Neurology, told Medscape Medical News."
Mediterranean Diet may protect against Breast Cancer
Medscape reports that "A Mediterranean diet (MeDiet) appears to protect against more than just cardiovascular disease — it might also prevent breast cancer, according to results from the randomized controlled Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) trial. The diet is characterized by an abundance of plant foods, fish, and olive oil, and has been repeatedly shown to be cardioprotective in major clinical trials. The PREDIMED study — conducted from 2003 to 2009 — is one of those trials. It was stopped early because of the cardiovascular benefit seen with a MeDiet, compared with a low-fat diet. The researchers now report on breast cancer incidence — a secondary outcome. And the news is promising. "The results of the PREDIMED trial suggest a beneficial effect of a MeDiet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil in the primary prevention of breast cancer," write the study authors, led by Miguel Á. Martínez-González, MD, from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Madrid."
Mediterranean Diet with Nuts, Olive Oil linked to better Cognition
Medscape reports that "Adding nuts and olive oil to a Mediterranean diet could protect cognitive function in older adults, new research suggests. The study showed that adding nuts to the Mediterranean diet boosted measures of memory, while supplementing the diet with extra-virgin olive oil improved global and frontal cognition. The results suggest that nutritional interventions to protect brain function should be started "at the preclinical stage, before any impairment," even in older adults, said study author Emilio Ros, MD, PhD, consultant, Endocrinology Department, Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Spain."
Mediterranean Diet Linked to Larger Brain Volume in Elderly
Medscape reports that "Adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) may prevent brain atrophy in old age, new research suggests. A large cross-sectional study by investigators at Columbia University in New York linked adherence to the MeDI to larger brain volume in an elderly population, suggesting this type of diet has the potential to prevent brain atrophy and, by extension, preserve cognition in the elderly. "Our study suggests that adhering to MeDi may prevent cognitive decline or AD [Alzheimer's disease] by maintaining the brain structure or delaying aging-related atrophy," said study investigator Yian Gu, PhD.".
A new study finds that older adults eating a Mediterranean diet (a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, fish, and moderate amounts of wine) appear to have less mental decline with age. Overall the study participants who most closely followed the diet knocked two years off their test scores, so that a 65 year old scored in the typical range for a 63-year-old. The study also found that even individuals who came close to following the diet had benefits, so that strict adherence to the diet was not necessary to receive benefit.
Food insecurity in early childhood linked to young children's skills in kindergarten
NASAT reports that "In the United States, estimates show that a substantial number of children under age 5 live in households that are food insecure. That means that they do not have food, or they lack sufficient quantity or quality of food to fuel a healthy and active lifestyle. A new study has found that children who experience food insecurity in early childhood are more likely to start kindergarten less ready to learn than their peers from homes that are food secure. The findings come from researchers at Georgetown University and the University of Virginia. They are published in the journal Child Development"
NIH reports that "Having too much sugar, salt, or fat in your diet can raise your risk for certain diseases. Healthy eating can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other health conditions. A healthy eating plan emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products; includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and limits saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars."
Fruit, Veg Consumption May Lower Psychological Stress
Medscape reports that "Consumption of fruits and vegetables, either separately or combined, is linked to a lower prevalence of psychological stress primarily in women, results of a large longitudinal study suggest. "Our study, which is based on a large sample of more than 60,000 Australians, adds to the limited evidence base for a longitudinal association between mental well-being and fruit and vegetable intake. Our study is also novel in that it compares findings in men and women," first author Binh Nguyen, a PhD candidate and research officer in the Prevention Research Collaboration at the Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, in Australia, told Medscape Medical News."
Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle, staff writer reports that " No one could say the Greece Athena High School cafeteria was lacking creative and healthy options this day. Yet a quick survey of the cafeteria showed more brown bags than meal trays. h “I’ve got to be honest, I just find it very gross,” 12th-grader Jake McDermott said of the school offerings. “It’s just mass-produced frozen stuff.” h Some of his classmates listed a few entrées they do like: for instance, the turkey paninis and the buffalo chicken pizza. But most said they either brought food from home or skipped lunch altogether. Tyler Graves stood up for the cafeteria food, but even his review wouldn’t play well on Yelp. “At the end of the day, it’s cheap food and it serves its purpose,” he said. “It’s not terrible.”"
See LUNCH, Page 16A Percentage free and reduced-price among all lunches in Monroe County suburban districts. By the numbers 1.2M the drop in lunches served (16%) in Monroe County’s suburban school districts from 2010-11 to 2014-15 46.4% of school lunches that were free or reduced-price in 2014-15, up from 37.7 in 2011-12 $2.59 average lunch cost in 2015-16, up 38 cents from 2010-11.
Children who eat Breakfast daily at lower risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Medscape reports that "Nine and 10-year-olds who ate breakfast daily, particularly a high-fiber cereal, had lower fasting blood sugar and insulin levels and fewer other risk
factors for type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from England."
Prenatal use of Folate leads to fewer Autistic traits
Medscape reports that "A new study confirms that children of women who take prenatal folic acid supplements have fewer autistic traits. But the link isn't explained by maternal
folate concentrations, at least not at 13 weeks of gestational age." The researchers "measured folate concentrations in nearly 5,600 mothers for their study, online July 31 in the
European Journal of Public Health. The team also surveyed the women about their folic acid supplement use. Later, when their children were
an average of six years old, the researchers were able to follow up with 3900 mothers to ask them to assess their children's autistic
traits. The mothers scored their children according to the Social Responsiveness Scale and a subscale of the Child Behavior Checklist. They
found that women who started using folic acid supplements before conception, within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy or after the first 10 weeks
all had children with lower scores on the autistic traits scales than those who did not report taking the supplements."
A fun and family friendly page from the Check out these resources from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to help
families and communities better understand nutrition and the important role healthy eating plays in maintaining a
A Mother's Depression, Poor Diet affect Children's Cognitive Function
Depression during pregnancy may contribute to poor eating habits among women, this then can have a negative impact on
their child's cognitive function later in life, new research suggests. Investigators at King's College London in the
United Kingdom found that women who had symptoms of depression during pregnancy were more likely to have unhealthy
diets and that the children of these mothers had lower scores on tests for cognitive functioning at age 8 years. The
researcher's studied 6979 mother-child pairs participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children
(ALSPAC) in the United Kingdom. Maternal symptoms of depression were assessed 5 times between 18 weeks' gestation
and when the child was 33 months old. The women completed a food questionnaire to assess their eating habits at 32
weeks' gestation and again when their child was 47 months old. The children's cognitive function was assessed at
age 8 years. The researchers defined a healthy diet as one with nutrient-rich foods, with limited intake of salt,
solid fats, and added sugar. An unhealthy diet was defined as being high in saturated fat, trans fat, salt, and
Daily multivitamin use has been found to lower the risk of cancer. The NY Times reports that "After a series of
conflicting reports about whether vitamin pills can stave off chronic disease, researchers announced on Wednesday
that a large clinical trial of nearly 15,000 older male doctors followed for more than a decade found that those
taking a daily multivitamin experienced 8 percent fewer cancers than the subjects taking dummy pills."
Two new studies have shown a connection between diet and better mental health.
Medscape reports that in the first study based on work with Australian adolescents that the authors "found individuals with
better quality diets were less likely to be depressed, whereas a higher intake of processed and unhealthy
foods was associated with increased anxiety," the researchers write that the researchers found "that
better diet quality was associated with better mental health in adolescents cross-sectionally and over time."
The researcher's found that it might be possible to prevent depression by having adolescents eat diets
that have sufficient nutrition. A healthy diet in this study was defined in this study as
"one that included fruit and vegetables as "core food groups" and included both 2 or more servings of fruit per day
and 4 or more servings of vegetables, as well as general avoidance of processed
foods including chips, fried foods, chocolate, sweets, and ice cream." In the longitudinal study,
adolescents who followed this diet over time showed improvements in their mental health. Adolescents who
ate a poor diet showed worsening in their mental health over time.
In the second study, the same authors looked at Norwegian adult men and women. In this study
Medscape reports that the authors found that "individuals with better quality diets were less likely to be depressed,
whereas a higher intake of processed and unhealthy foods was associated with increased anxiety."
Fish-rich diet may significantly reduce depression risk
Medscape reports that "Eating fish may protect against depression, a new meta-analysis suggests. "Fish is rich in multiple beneficial nutrients, including n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals. Furthermore, fish have been hypothesized to protect against chronic diseases generally, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore, we suggest people should eat more fish," first author Fang Li, from the Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, Medical College of Qingdao University, in China, told Medscape Medical News."
Medscape reports that "Alterations in fatty acid (FA) metabolism and the way it is regulated by cortisol may be linked to response to antidepressant treatment in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). In addition, increasing fatty fish intake may "boost" treatment response, new research suggests."
Total normal brain and hippocampus volumes were directly associated with levels of omega-3 fatty acids in a study of
more than 1000 postmenopausal women. The study, published online in Neurology on January 22, was conducted by a team
led by James Pottala, PhD, University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls. Medscape reports that "These results are consistent
with the idea that higher omega-3 levels may slow the loss of brain volume that occurs as we age," senior author, William
Harris, PhD, also from the University of South Dakota, told Medscape Medical News.
New Study shows the Omega 3s are effective in treating the symptoms of ADHD
A new study in Nutrition suggests that high intake of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA helps improve the condition
of ADHD. More specifically the researchers found increased intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was associated with improved
word reading and better behaviors.
Study links low Omega 3 levels to suicide risk among U.S. military personnel
A new study in the military matched 800 members of the military who had committed suicide with 800 service members who had not. The study found that
those with the lowest DHA levels had the highest rate of suicide. The study also found overall low levels of Omega 3s among all participants
DHA is the major Omega 3 fatty acid concentrated in the brain.
New research finds that older individuals who eat fish on a regular basis had less macular degeneration that other older individuals who
did not. Specifically the researchers found that "The women who ate more tuna and dark-meat fish, like salmon and sardines, had 38 percent
less risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Darker, oilier fish have more of the long-chain omega-3s DHA and EPA, which
have been associated with reduced inflammation. Inflammation is probably part of the disease process for macular degeneration,
which destroys the central part of the retina crucial for vision."
NPR: Is Organic More Nutritious? New Study Adds To The Evidence
NPR reports that a recent study found that "The study finds that organic dairy and meat contain about 50 percent more omega-3 fatty acids. The increase is the result of animals foraging on grasses rich in omega-3s, which then end up in dairy and meats. The findings are based on data pooled from more than 200 studies, and research in the U.S. has pointed to similar benefits."
Phthalates Linked to Testosterone Reductions in Both Genders
Medscape reports that "Increased urinary levels of endocrine-disrupting phthalates, found in flexible plastic and some personal-care products,
are associated with significant declines in testosterone levels not just in men, but in women and children as well, according to research published
online August 14 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. "We found associations between markers of phthalate exposure and
testosterone levels among multiple age groups and in both sexes, including children — 6- to 12-year-old boys and girls, and girls ages 12 to
20," lead author John D. Meeker, ScD, CIH, told Medscape Medical News.
A new research study finds that families can avoid the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) by giving up on canned foods
and food and beverages prepared and packaged using plastic containers. In this study families who changed their diet avoided the above foods
and ate more freshly prepared, organic foods. The researchers found a 60% drop in BPA in three days.
Dietary Supplement Kit may head off Postpartum blues
Medscape reports that "A dietary supplement kit containing tryptophan, tyrosine, and blueberry juice/extract appears to markedly reduce vulnerability to postpartum blues (PPB), a new open-label study suggests. "The supplement taken on days 3 to 5 post partum had a very strong effect on preventing sad mood in postpartum," Dr Jeffrey Meyer, head of the neuroimaging program in mood and anxiety at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, Toronto, Canada, told Medscape Medical News."
1 in 9 new mothers suffer from Postpartum Depression
Medscape reports that "Approximately one in nine women in the United States experience depressive symptoms after giving birth, according to a surveillance analysis published in the February 17, 2017 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. However, the proportion of mothers who experience postpartum depression has recently declined in some states. The overall prevalence of self-reported postpartum depressive symptoms (PDS) was 11.5% in 2012 for the 27 states included in the current analysis. Individual states showed wide variation, however, ranging from a low of 8.0% in Georgia to a high of 20.1% in Arkansas, according to data from the CDC Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System."
Is licorice intake during pregnancy linked to ADHD in offspring?
NASAT reports that "There is an abundance of foods that should be avoided during pregnancy, and a new study suggests that licorice should sit firmly in this category. Researchers have found that children born to mothers who consume large amounts of licorice during pregnancy may be more likely to develop behaviors associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Study co-author Katri Räikkönen, from the University of Helsinki in Finland, and colleagues hypothesize that glycyrrhizin (the active ingredient in licorice) may interfere with fetal neurodevelopment by increasing levels of "the stress hormone" cortisol. The researchers recently reported their findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Though licorice is often hailed for its medicinal benefits - such as the alleviation of peptic ulcers and canker sores - studies have indicated that the plant-derived product has some downsides."
Flu in Pregnancy May Quadruple Child’s Risk for Bipolar Disorder
Pregnant mothers’ exposure to the flu was associated with a nearly fourfold increased risk that their child would develop bipolar disorder in adulthood, in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings add to mounting evidence of possible shared underlying causes and illness processes with schizophrenia, which some studies have also linked to prenatal exposure to influenza.
“Prospective mothers should take common sense preventive measures, such as getting flu shots prior to and in the early stages of pregnancy and avoiding contact with people who are symptomatic,” said Alan Brown, M.D., M.P.H, of Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, a grantee of the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). “In spite of public health recommendations, only a relatively small fraction of such women get immunized. The weight of evidence now suggests that benefits of the vaccine likely outweigh any possible risk to the mother or newborn.”
High-quality preschool program produces long-term economic payoff
An early education program for children from low-income families is estimated to generate $4 to $11 of economic benefits over a
child's lifetime for every dollar spent initially on the program, according to a cost-benefit analysis funded by the National
Institutes of Health. In the study, the researchers evaluated the effectiveness of the Chicago Public Schools federally funded
Child-Parent Centers, The Child-Parent centers were staffed by certified teachers, and offered instruction in reading and math, as
well as educational field trips. The centers provided meals and health screening for children ages 3 through 9, and
they also provided skills training for parents. The researchers found that the economic benefits included increased earning power,
once the children become adults. Benefits also included reduced costs to society, for example less special education and less
interaction with the judicial system.
Early Puberty in Girls Raises the Risk of Depression
The NY Times reports that "When girls come in for their physical exams, one of the questions I routinely ask is “Do you get your period?” I try to ask before I expect the answer to be yes, so that if a girl doesn’t seem to know about the changes of puberty that lie ahead, I can encourage her to talk about them with her mother, and offer to help answer questions. And I often point out that even those who have not yet embarked on puberty themselves are likely to have classmates who are going through these changes, so, again, it’s important to let kids know that their questions are welcome, and will be answered accurately."
Boys Now Enter Puberty Younger, Study Suggests, but It’s Unclear Why
A new study echoing research on girls, shows that on average American boys are beginning puberty earlier than in the past.
On average, the study found that black boys in the study showed signs of puberty, primarily identified as growth of the
testicles, at a little older than 9, while white and Hispanic boys were a little older than 10. This compares with the
the fact that historically boys have started puberty at 11 ½ years of age.
Untreated sleep apnea in children can harm brain cells tied to cognition and mood
NASAT reports that "A study comparing children between 7 and 11 years of age who have moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea to children the same age who slept normally, found significant reductions of gray matter -- brain cells involved in movement, memory, emotions, speech, perception, decision making and self-control -- in several regions of the brains of children with sleep apnea. The finding points to a strong connection between this common sleep disturbance, which affects up to five percent of all children, and the loss of neurons or delayed neuronal growth in the developing brain. This extensive reduction of gray matter in children with a treatable disorder provides one more reason for parents of children with symptoms of sleep apnea to consider early detection and therapy"
Poor sleep in early childhood may lead to cognitive, behavioral problems in later years
NASAT reports that "A study led by a Massachusetts General Hospital pediatrician finds that children ages 3 to 7 who don't get enough sleep are more likely to have problems with attention, emotional control and peer relationships in mid-childhood. Reported online in the journal Academic Pediatrics, the study found significant differences in the responses of parents and teachers to surveys regarding executive function -- which includes attention, working memory, reasoning and problem solving -- and behavioral problems in 7-year-old children depending on how much sleep they regularly received at younger ages. "We found that children who get an insufficient amount of sleep in their preschool and early school-age years have a higher risk of poor neurobehavioral function at around age 7," says Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, chief of General Pediatrics at MassGeneral Hospital for Children , who led the study. "The associations between insufficient sleep and poorer functioning persisted even after adjusting for several factors that could influence the relationship.""
The NIMH reports that "People spend about a third of their lives asleep. When we get too little shut-eye, it takes a toll on attention, learning and memory, not to mention our physical health. Virtually all animals with complex brains seem to have this same need for sleep. But exactly what is it about sleep that’s so essential?"
Children who don't get enough sleep might be more tempted by food, a new study suggests. Five-year-olds who slept less than 11 hours a night were more eager to eat at the sight or reminder of a favorite snack, compared to those who slept longer, researchers reported August 11 in the International Journal of Obesity.
Medscape reports that "US adolescents became progressively more sleep-deprived after 1990, researchers report in an article published online February 16 in Pediatrics. Girls were more likely to be affected than boys, as were racial/ethnic minorities, city dwellers, and those from poor families. Teenagers from racial/ethnic minorities and from poor families were likely to think they were getting enough sleep even when they were not. Katherine M. Keyes, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data from 1991 through 2012 on 272,077 adolescents from Monitoring the Future, a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of adolescent birth cohorts. Participants were asked how often they got at least 7 hours of sleep per night, and how often they got less sleep than they should. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 9 hours of sleep per night for adolescents.".
Young adults who exercise strenuously before night get better sleep
Young adults who exercised vigorously before bed ended up getting better sleep than their peers who reported less strenuous evening activity, a new study
found. The results, based on sleep patterns during a single night, go against the usual advice to avoid being too active before bed.
A new study from Spain shows the children who watch more daily TV get less sleep then their peers who watch less. The study found
that 9 year olds who watched 5 hours of TV a day, for example, slept on average one hour less a night than nine year olds who only
watched less than an hour and a half of TV a day. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that the average child spends 8 hours
a day in front of a screen.
Study shows kids who unplug sleep better than kids who are plugged in
Medscape reports that "Kids who regularly plugged into social networking sites before bedtime reported sleeping nearly
an hour less on school nights than those who rarely connected online, a new study shows. "Using technology in the bedroom
may result in sleep loss, delays in initiating sleep, daytime sleepiness and more," the study's lead author, Teresa Arora,
told Reuters Health in an email. "In turn, this may affect daytime performance, particularly at school," Arora, from
Weill Cornell Medical College in Doha, Qatar, said. The researchers found kids ages 11 to 13 slept significantly less
when they frequently communicated on a cell phone, surfed the Internet, played video games, watched television, listened
to music and even if they used a computer to study before going to bed. Social networking was associated with the
biggest loss of sleep. Those who said they usually connected to friends online before getting into bed reported sleeping
the least - an average of 8 hours and 10 minutes a night - compared with 9 hours and 2 minutes among those who never
Sleep deprived teens struggle with behavior and emotions
Another study again shows the importance of sleep and teens learning and emotions. Generally teens are recommended to receive 9 hours
a night of sleep. Research shows that one quarter of adolescents go to bed after 11:30 on school nights, according to a new U.S. study,
which also finds those kids tend to perform worse in school and to have greater emotional distress than peers who go to bed earlier. Medscape
reports that "If teens' sleep patterns are in conflict with their natural circadian rhythms, then that also has
repercussions on cognitive function and emotional regulation as well as potential health consequences," said Dr. Judith Owens, director
of Sleep Medicine at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, who was not involved in the study."
New Research shows media in the bedroom disrupts sleep in boys, particularly boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Sleep in important. Past research has shown that having screens in bedrooms lead to less sleep. This maybe because the light from the screens
disrupt the light sensitive hormone system that helps us fall asleep, or because we are doing other things (playing video games, watching TV, etc...) that
keep us awake. This new research compared boys with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), or with ADHD, with normal peers. The research showed that
In all 3 groups, bedroom access to media was associated with less time spent sleeping each night. Boys with a computer in their room got 7.9 hours of sleep
nightly compared with 8.7 hours for boys who did not have a computer. Boys with an in-room video game system got 8.3 hours of
shuteye nightly on average compared with 8.8 for boys without a video game system in their room. The research also showed that of the 3 groups
the boys with ASD got the least amount of sleep in each condition compared with the boys with ADHD and the normal controls.
New Research shows how sleep can help clean the brain
While we all know that sleep is important, new research from the University of Rochester suggests that sleep actually helps clean out
the brain. Dr. Maiken Nedergaard and her colleagues at the U of R Medical Center recently discovered a system that drains waste
products from the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid, a clear liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, moves through the brain along a
series of channels that surround blood vessels. The system is managed by the brain’s glial cells, and so the researchers called it the
glymphatic system. The researchers found that this system is much more active when mouse sleep.
Early Sleep problems may be predictive of later need for Special Education
A new study from England has found strong support for an association between early childhood sleep problems and later Special
Education Needs on a population basis. The authors note the need for "early screening, because early treatment is often effective"
for sleep disordered breathing and behavioral sleep problems."
Tired Neurons Caught Nodding Off in Sleep-deprived Rats
A new study in rats is shedding light on how sleep-deprived lifestyles might impair functioning without people
realizing it. The more rats are sleep-deprived, the more some of their neurons take catnaps - with consequent
declines in task performance. Even though the animals are awake and active, brainwave measures reveal that
scattered groups of neurons in the thinking part of their brain, or cortex, are briefly falling asleep,
scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health have discovered.
Sleep Disorders are a growing field. Many of my patients struggle with
sleep and while many do not have specific sleep disorders, there lack of sleep
significantly interferes with their performance and learning and worsens their
other problems. The following video from Frontline explores Adolescents and
Sleep, and how a lack of sleep seriously interferes with learning and behavior.
FDA proposes new rule on antibacterial hand soaps and body washes
In good news on many fronts, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a proposed rule to require manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps
and body washes to demonstrate that their products are safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap
and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections. Under the proposal, if companies do not demonstrate
such safety and effectiveness, these products would need to be reformulated or relabeled to remain on the market.
Children who grow up in New England and the Upper Midwest get better health care than children in other states,
especially those who live in the South and Southwest. That’s according to a new report card that ranks all the
states based on their children’s health care policies.