Groundbreaking study identifies 44 genetic risk factors for depression

A 200-strong team of researchers from across the globe have identified 44 genetic variants that can increase the risk of developing major depression and found that all humans carry at least some of them

Groundbreaking study identifies 44 genetic risk factors for depressionThe new findings could help explain why not everyone treated with antidepressants sees their condition improve, the scientists said, and could also point the way toward new medicines. In the largest study of its kind, scientists also found that the genetic basis for depression is shared with other psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and that […]

Here’s how to stop your brain from shrinking and improve your thought process

Researchers say shrinking the brain may be worth it because it decreases the dopamine activity that controls reward and pleasure centres of the brain by decreasing hallucinations and psychosis

Here’s how to stop your brain from shrinking and improve your thought processShrinking brains sound frightening and painful, but it could actually be caused by a mindless activity, drug, or habit that you’re unknowingly doing every single day. Brain shrinkage has been linked to a declining memory, difficulty thinking, or putting together metaphorical puzzle pieces together. By changing a few aspects in your life and adding a […]

Here’s how you can boost your brain power

Adding just a few of these activities to your weekly schedule will enhance your mind and give your brain a boost. If you only have time to fit one brain-enriching task into your week, we recommend getting out for a brisk walk. Physical activity has no end of benefits for your body and mind

Here’s how you can boost your brain powerHumans have brain plasticity, or neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to change for better or worse at any age. This flexibility of the brain plays a significant role in the development or decline of our brains, and how our distinct personalities are shaped. Neural connections can be forged or severed, and grey […]

Use of antidepressants in pregnancy can affect child’s brain development

Researchers at Columbia University found changes in the way babies brains developed if their mothers took certain antidepressants. Babies whose mothers took the drugs had more core connections in parts of their brains that control negative emotional responses. Other research has found links to antidepressant use in pregnancy and risks for autism and low birth weights in babies   

Use of antidepressants in pregnancy can affect child’s brain developmentBabies’ brains may develop differently when their mothers take antidepressants during pregnancy, a small U.S. study suggests. Researchers examined brain scans of 16 newborns whose mothers took medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression during pregnancy. They also studied 21 babies whose mothers had untreated depression during pregnancy, and 61 infants born […]

Immune cells in the brain may cause weight gain, if you follow a high-fat diet

Immune cells in the brain may cause weight gain, if you follow a high-fat dietNew research suggests that microglia, which are brain-resident immune cells, may offer a new target for obesity treatments. In mice, the scientists found that fat-rich diets cause microglia to trigger overeating and weight gain. A paper on the work – led by the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) and the University of Washington Medical Center […]

Do’s and don’ts for a good night’s sleep

Sleep is one of the most significant of human behaviours, occupying roughly one third of human life. It makes you feel better, the next morning but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing dark circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart

Do’s and don’ts for a good night’s sleepSleep and well-being go hand in hand, and getting a good night’s sleep is just as important to your overall health as eating well and exercising regularly. When you sleep your body gets to work by healing damaged cells, boosting your immune system, recovering from the day’s activities and prepares your heart and cardiovascular system […]

Pregnancy changes the brain structure helping women to cope with motherhood

Using MRI, scientists have been able to show that the brains of women who have undergone a first pregnancy present significant reductions in grey matter in regions associated with social cognition

Pregnancy changes the brain structure helping women to cope with motherhoodPregnancy involves radical hormone surges and biological adaptations, but the effects on the brain are still unknown. In this study a team of researchers compared the structure of the brain of women before and after their first pregnancy. This is the first research to show that pregnancy involves long-lasting changes – at least for two […]

Rare condition: Doctors discover 9cm air-filled pocket in 84-year-old man’s brain

Doctors in Northern Ireland feared that the 84-year-old had suffered a stroke. He complained of weakness on the left-side of his body and had multiple falls. Tests showed an air pocket in the area that controls the left side of his body. Doctors discovered it had been caused by a bone tumour in his sinuses. The cavity had also triggered a mini-stroke in the patient's brain

Rare condition: Doctors discover 9cm air-filled pocket in 84-year-old man’s brainUpon closer inspection they found it had been caused by a bone tumour in his sinuses that had also triggered a mini-stroke. But the patient, whose identity is unknown, declined surgery and was discharged and put on a secondary stroke prevention programme. Doctors in Northern Ireland were so intrigued by the patient that they published […]

Want to keep your brain sharp and young? Follow these 6 simple tricks

As we age, we transition from “broad learning” to “specialized learning,” focusing on our careers and specific areas of expertise. It’s that increasingly narrow specialization that leads to cognitive slowdown, she theorises—initially in unfamiliar situations, but eventually all the time

Want to keep your brain sharp and young? Follow these 6 simple tricksThere is an old adage in society that says ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ meaning that it’s harder for adults to learn new skills than it is for kids. And in many ways, that’s true: Babies have nothing to do but eat, sleep, and learn, while grown-ups are faced with all sorts […]

Larger waistline interlinked with anxiety in middle-aged women

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders, and it's more likely to affect women, especially middle-aged women. Although anxiety can be caused by many factors, a new study suggests that the amount of abdominal fat a woman has could increase her chances of developing anxiety

Larger waistline interlinked with anxiety in middle-aged womenAccording to a new study published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), a larger waistline may be a strong indicator of anxiety in middle-aged women. The researchers analysed data from 5,580 middle-aged women from 11 Latin American countries who were between 40 and 59 years old. Of the participants, 57.9% […]