Early life adversity and high levels of FKBP5 protein amplify anxiety-like behavior

Researchers continue to dig for molecular clues to better understand how gene-environment interactions influence neuropsychiatric disease risk and resilience. An increasing number of studies point to a strong association between the FKBP5 gene and increased susceptibility to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health disorders.

Adding to the growing evidence, a new preclinical study by University of South Florida neuroscientists finds that anxiety-like behavior increases when early life adversity combines with high levels of FKBP5 – a protein capable of modifying hormonal stress response. Moreover, the researchers demonstrate this genetic-early life stress interaction amplifies anxiety by selectively altering signaling of the enzyme AKT in the dorsal hippocampus, a portion of the brain primarily responsible for cognitive functions like learning and memory.

Full story at news-medical.net

Could singing relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s?

According to a recent pilot study, singing therapy might reduce some of the difficult-to-treat motor and mood symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that affects more than 10 million people worldwide.

Because Parkinson’s predominantly affects older adults, as the population of the United States ages, its prevalence is increasing.

Symptoms include tremor and difficulty coordinating movements. Also, mood changes can occur, with anxiety and depression being relatively common.

Full story at Medical News Today

Researchers find children experience concussion symptoms three times longer than adults

Concussion symptoms for children under 13 years old typically last three times longer than they do for older teens and adults, but keeping them out of the classroom during recovery is not necessarily the preferred treatment, according to a comprehensive research review in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Parents should be aware that significant changes in the treatment of concussion — including a major shift to promoting active recovery — have emerged in recent years, said Hallie Zwibel, DO, Director of Sports Medicine at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, and lead researcher on this study.

“It used to be thought that rest was best for a concussion. Kids were told to stay home from school and sit in a dark room for two weeks,” says Dr. Zwibel. “Now we encourage them to get back to school after two days and progressively get more active, so long as symptoms don’t return or worsen.”

Full story at Science Daily

Osteopathy can be used to treat mental health related to back pain – new study

Millions worldwide suffer from chronic musculoskeletal back pain (lasting more than three months). The problem is so big that in the UK alone, it is estimated that 116m days of work are lost, a million hospital appointments are made and five million GP visits are scheduled – just for low back pain.

The physical agony is often not a standalone problem, however. 35% of people who suffer with low back pain are also diagnosed with depression, anxiety and social isolation.

NICE guidelines suggest that chronic back pain sufferers should have physical therapy as part of a broader package of treatment which includes psychological help. But we have been exploring how one single type of osteopathic treatment can be used to treat both the physical and mental conditions.

Full story at Medical Xpress

Meditation could help reduce anxiety levels and some heart health risk factors

It sounds like a late-night commercial: In just one hour you can reduce your anxiety levels and some heart health risk factors. But a recent study with 14 participants shows preliminary data that even a single session of meditation can have cardiovascular and psychological benefits for adults with mild to moderate anxiety.

John Durocher, assistant professor of biological sciences, is presenting the work of a team of Michigan Technological University researchers about mindfulness meditation and its ability to reduce anxiety at the 2018 Experimental Biology meeting April 21-25 in San Diego, which is attended by approximately 14,000 people.

In “Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Aortic Pulsatile Load and Anxiety in Mild to Moderately Anxious Adults,” Durocher, along with fellow researchers Hannah Marti, a recent Michigan Tech graduate, Brigitte Morin, lecturer in biological science, and Travis Wakeham, a graduate student, explains the finding that 60 minutes after meditating the 14 study participants showed lower resting heart rates and reduction in aortic pulsatile load–the amount of change in blood pressure between diastole and systole of each heartbeat multiplied by heart rate. Additionally, shortly after meditating, and even one week later, the group reported anxiety levels were lower than pre-meditation levels.

Full story at News-Medical.net

Sports-related concussion symptoms linger twice as long for adolescent girls

Adolescent female athletes suffer concussion symptoms twice as long as their male counterparts, according to a new study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Researchers found the extended recovery period may be due to underlying conditions including migraines, depression, anxiety and stress.

The research analyzed the medical records of 110 male and 102 female athletes, ages 11 to 18, with first-time concussion diagnoses. The median duration of symptoms was 11 days for boys and 28 days for girls. The data also showed that symptoms resolved within three weeks for 75 percent of boys, compared to 42 percent of girls.

“These findings confirm what many in sports medicine have believed for some time,” said lead researcher John Neidecker, DO, a sports concussion specialist in Raleigh, North Carolina. “It highlights the need to take a whole person approach to managing concussions, looking beyond the injury to understand the mental and emotional impacts on recovery when symptoms persist.”

Full story at Science Daily

7 Steps to Reduce Stroke Risk

A man’s last years ought to be spent strapped to the fighting chair of a game-fisher while battling a black marlin, not tethered to a nursing-home bed, incontinent and unable to talk.

Steps to Reduce Stroke RiskBut the latter is a likely scenario if you’re one of approximately 600,000 Americans who will have a stroke this year.

“Your chance of dying is 20 percent-but you have a 40 percent chance of being disabled and a 25 percent chance of being severely disabled,” says Dr. David Spence, director of the stroke-prevention center at the Robarts Research Institute in Canada.

10 Questions Every Man Must Ask His Doctor

An ischemic stroke—the kind that affects most men—occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked by arterial plaque that has broken loose and caused a blood clot. In fact, it’s just like a heart attack, only instead of heart cells dying for lack of blood, brain cells are kicking off-thousands of brain cells. Perhaps paralyzing half of your body. Or slurring your speech. Or plunging you into senility.

But a “brain attack” is not inevitable.

“Fifty to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented,” says Dr. David Wiebers, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic and author of Stroke-Free for Life. “Making the simple choices at 25, 35, or 45 years of age can make an enormous difference in preventing stroke when you’re in your 60s, 70s, or 80s.”

Full story of reducing stroke risk at ABC News

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12 odd pain relief tricks that work

pain-reliefAfter, oh, age 8 or so, you no longer get away with wailing when you get stung by a bee or stub your toe. But unfortunately—whether it’s a much-needed bikini wax or your annual mammogram—pain is a part of our everyday lives. It turns out, though, that you don’t have to rely only on your OTC aspirin to get relief. Research reveals some quirky but effective natural ways to reduce aches without popping a pill.

1. Shout a four-letter word

Next time you take a spill, don’t hold your tongue. Swearing can increase your tolerance for discomfort, found British researchers. People could keep their hands submerged 35% longer in a tub of ice-cold water when they repeated an epithet in lieu of a more acceptable word. Swearing may trigger a series of physical and hormonal reactions that ease the sting of an injury.

2. Flip through photos

Scanning your iPhone for loving faces before an uncomfortable test like a mammogram may make it more bearable. Women who viewed pictures of their partners during a lab test reported less pain than those who looked at inanimate objects or strangers. A loving face may spur the release of chemicals that shut down pain-processing areas of the brain.

Full story of pain relief tricks at Fox News

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BioHug offers hug therapy in an automatic vest

BioHug Offers Hug Therapy for PTSDBioHug’s Israeli pressure garment provides custom soothing for people with autism, PTSD and others prone to high stress.

Most of us have moments when we could really use a hug – when we’re sad, lonely, scared or stressed. The therapeutic value of a good squeeze for emotional wellbeing is well documented.

For people affected by autism, post-traumatic stress and anxiety or attention disorders, research has shown that hugging is an especially effective soother.

That is the scientific fact behind the development of the BioHug Vest by Haifa-based BioHug Technologies. Already in use and soon to roll out to a wider market, the vest provides an effective, portable, non-restraining stress-relief solution using deep, hug-like pressure.

“We’re all familiar with stress, which is associated with lots of health problems,” says BioHug CEO Andrew Schiffmiller. “For some populations it can be associated with much more severe symptoms – someone with autism under stress may injure himself or others, while someone with ADHD under stress may be unable to stay on task.”

Full story of BioHug at Isreal 21

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Yoga’s physical, mental benefits touted

Yoga Health BenefitsDon Ammon took up yoga 15 years ago as a way to combat the anxiety he felt as a result of his multiple sclerosis.

He didn’t anticipate getting a physical benefit as well.

Ammon, who was diagnosed with MS in 1991 and said he “was limping around with an AFO (ankle-foot orthotic) by 1995,” no longer needs the brace.

He credits yoga.

“It’s helped with focus and balance,” said Ammon, 49, of Monroeville. “I was able to strengthen the whole right side of my body. I’m more flexible, (and) I’m stronger now than I was then.”

Ammon said his last MS flare-up occurred in 2005, although he still deals with numbness in his hands and feet.

Dr. Betsy Blazek-O’Neill, medical director of the integrated medical program in Allegheny General alHospital, said Ammon’s isn’t an isolated case. She said yoga can benefit many people, no matter their age or condition.

Full story of yoga benefits at Trib Live

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