Brain Injury Risk in Children


Brain injuries can occur at any age, but we worry about them a lot in children.  The reason why we worry about them in children and young adults is because kids tend to be a little more aggressive and a little more active.  As a result, they find themselves in situations where they can put themselves at risk for brain injury.  It’s very important that when we’re dealing with young adults and teenagers, we understand that they have to be very careful and have to be told the importance of using proper judgment when they are exercising and not being a little too risky.


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Risks Associated with Concussions


There are professional football players who have won great awards, but they have also suffered incredible injuries. Some of the most severe are through concussions. Basically, when a person sustains a concussion, they have a certain degree of pain, a certain amount of problems, some neurologic changes, but it’s hard to measure what the long-term effects are. Once a person has a concussion, we know this. There is a greater risk of multiple concussions and potential brain damage. Rest can help, but not in all cases.


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Common Medical Myths Proven False


The British Medical Journal has rounded up many of the commonly held beliefs that many doctors think are true. Despite the fact that these myths have either been proven false or they lack supporting evidence, they looked at them closely. The myths include: We use only 10% of our brains, eating turkey makes you sleepy, reading in dim light will damage your eyesight, that we need to drink eight glasses of water each day, shaving causes hair to grow back faster, darker and coarser, and hair and fingernails continue to grow after we die. All of them false! It’s pretty interesting that these myths are out there and we fall for them. The researchers who combined the literature, and they looked at all sorts of things for proof of the myths, found their doctor colleagues also found it hard to believe many of these myths are not true.


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New Research on Dreams


Dreams have served as a source of confusion and wonder since people started dreaming.  Scientists have studied them, most famously Dr. Sigmund Freud, and there are thousands of theories out there.  Now, new research is providing insight into how most people interpret dreams.  According to a Carnegie Mellon researcher, people believe that hidden truths present themselves in dreams.  This view is consistent across cultural lines and around the globe.  According to the latest report, 149 university students in the United States, India, and South Korea made exactly that point.  According to the findings, dreams also affect how people act when they are awake.  A survey of Boston commuters found that when they dreamed of a plane crash the night before a scheduled air trip, they would be more likely to change their travel plans.  Another key point is people attribute the meaning of dreams when it corresponds to preexisting issues.  


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Over-Consumption of Junk Food Can Trigger Addiction-Like Responses in the Brain


Doctors and researchers have suspected this for quite some time, but a study in rats reported in the journal Neuroscience has found that over-consumption of high-calorie food can trigger addiction-like responses in the brain, and that junk food can turn rats into compulsive eaters in a laboratory setting.  When the researchers regularly offered rats a choice of high-calorie foods such as bacon, sausage, cake, and chocolate in addition to their regular food choices, the animals over-consumed calories and gained weight rapidly.  The study gets even more interesting, the team trained their rats to expect painful foot shocks when seeing a light signal.  Although normal rats stop eating even the most delicious junk food when the light comes on, the obese rats used to the high-calorie diet just keep feeding.  The desire for junk food overcame the fear of pain.

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Relaxation Techniques Can Protect Against Stress

Relaxation Techniques Can Protect Against Stress

There is no doubt that stress plays a major role in all of our lives. Stress can actually have a major impact and our body’s reaction to it is not necessarily always a bad thing. If you think about our development as a species, we use stress and the ‘fight or flight’ response to ward off predators to stay alive. Of course, when the predators are a fear of losing a job or failing a test of some sort, that same mechanism of dealing with stress can be a problem. That’s why relaxation techniques like meditation can help. According to a report in the International Journal of Psychophysiology, meditation might help protect college students against stress and improve their ability to learn. It makes sense and during the formal study, students who meditated showed positive results on brain studies including greater breadth of planning, thinking, and perception of the environment.

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The Stress Hormone Cortisol Can Affect Your Health

The Stress Hormone Cortisol Can Affect Your Health

At the turn of the 19th century, a book was written by a physician trained at that time with the best medical knowledge it could offer. A key part of the book was a concept; it was a concept that happiness and the ability to give to others and live in harmony could lead to a long and healthy life. At the time, they did not know about hormones like Cortisol, the stress hormone, but as we look at the complex relationship between our brain and our body, it’s becoming abundantly clear that the words written over a hundred years ago are true. We definitely do not thrive under negative energy and stress and excessive Cortisol levels can raise blood pressure and add increasing levels of anxiety. Long-term wear and tear can clearly take its toll and we can measure a direct relationship between hormone release and cardiac changes. The doctors of that day used physical exams and observations to make their conclusions, and it worked in many cases.

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