While science has yet to replicate the memory-erasing technology of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it has found a way to do the opposite, determining that exercise and a healthy diet are excellent ways to bolster fading memories. Staying active, socially engaged and eating right helps you maintain your internal hard drive to avoid an unintentional memory wipe. [More]
According to a new study, women who drink caffeinated coffee showed a 20% lower risk of depression than non-coffee drinkers. [More]
It’s settled, money can buy happiness, and it tops out at $75,000. That’s the result of a new Princeton study which found that the way people evaluated their lives got steadily better as their annual income increased. A lower income makes things like divorce, bad health and being alone more emotionally painful. However, the way respondents rated the quality of their everyday experiences and feelings did not increase after passing the $75,000 mark. [More]
I know of two great ways to deal with issues in one’s life: drinking heavily, or seeing a therapist. I’ve tried both, and I have to say that the therapy route is more efficient, because if done correctly it can help you figure out why you do what you do, so that you can properly enjoy your liquor without all the tears.
The problem is that therapy sounds expensive, but there are actually affordable options out there if you know where to look. Here are some tips.
Is [it] a biologically driven disease of the brain, a learned habit run amok, an addiction in its own right or a symptom of the other dysfunctions—most notably depression—that so often accompany it?
Zyprexa, Lilly’s best-selling drug to treat schizophrenia, has been shown to cause “cause weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and other metabolic problems,” but until now, the company has refused to add any warnings about these side effects to the label. Now, sparked in part by lower sales, Lilly has announced that Zyprexa will warn consumers that it can cause high blood sugar. The American Diabetes Association claims that Zyprexa causes diabetes, but this isn’t addressed on the new warning labels.
Maybe Television Idiot Syndrome (a term we just made up) is reversible: a new study says you can reduce the risk of having an antisocial, depressive child if you reduce his television viewing to less than two hours per day by age 5 1/2. Just make sure you don’t fill up those two hours with Baby Einstein vids. [Reuters]
“Brain Age” and its recently released sequel are hugely popular video games in Japan and the US. What’s unusual about this is that the games are made for and marketed to “older people” (which in video game language means “anyone over 25″) as a way to improve your mental acuity by keeping your cognitive skills at peak levels. Does any of it work, or is it just a self-help fad for the 21st century? Sharpbrains.com interviews Go Hirano, a Japanese entrepreneur (their description, not ours) who provides a general overview of the current state of “brain training” and its borderline-scientific underpinnings.
Some psychiatrists are claiming that the government’s “black box” warnings on the risks of antidepressants for teenagers have worked too well, to the point that they’ve scared off worried parents and lawsuit-sensitive doctors, leaving depressed teens undiagnosed and untreated. The rate of suicide among children and young adults jumped 8% in 2004, one year after the warnings went into effect—it was the biggest one-year spike in suicides for that demographic in 15 years, and psychiatrists worry it was caused in part by the 22% drop in prescriptions of antidepressants.