Social factors trump genetic forces in forging friendships, study finds

ScienceDaily: Relationship News

Social factors trump genetic forces in forging friendships, study finds
Genetic similarities may help to explain why human birds of a feather flock together, but the full story of why people become friends is contingent upon the social environment in which individuals interact with one another.

More than good vibes: Researchers propose the science behind mindfulness

ScienceDaily: Spirituality News

More than good vibes: Researchers propose the science behind mindfulness

Achieving mindfulness through meditation has helped people maintain a healthy mind by quelling negative emotions and thoughts, such as desire, anger and anxiety, and encouraging more positive dispositions such as compassion, empathy and forgiveness. Those who have reaped the benefits of mindfulness know that it works. But how exactly does it work?

Traumatic consequences long after fall of the Berlin Wall

Remember, we have several articles on transgenerational trauma. Dr. Bunch

ScienceDaily: Stress News

Traumatic consequences long after fall of the Berlin Wall
One in three former political prisoners of the German Democratic Republic still suffers from sleeping disorders, nightmares and irrational fear. Researchers reveal these post-traumatic stress disorders in a study — the first to examine the post-traumatic consequences in former political prisoners over a period of 15 years.

Does true love wait? Age of first sexual experience predicts romantic outcomes in adulthood

ScienceDaily: Relationship News

Does true love wait? Age of first sexual experience predicts romantic outcomes in adulthood
It’s a common lament among parents: Kids are growing up too fast these days. Parents worry about their kids getting involved in all kinds of risky behavior, but they worry especially about their kids’ forays into sexual relationships. A new study examines whether timing of sexual initiation in adolescence predicts romantic outcomes — such as whether people get married or live with their partners, number of romantic partners, and relationship satisfaction — later in adulthood.

Link between creativity and mental illness confirmed in large-scale Swedish study

Danger Will Robinson

I believe there are some problems with this article and bringing the research forward to the US.  While there is documentation of creativity and bipolar disorder, schizophrenia in the US is seen as decreasing cognition and creativity due to brain damage that occurs as young as childhood. It has been my experience that patient artists and writers are often bipolar, but have not once found that with schizophrenic patients.

The question I have is how the article and research were translated, and how is a disorder defined differently in Sweden. The American system of diagnosis and disorder description is not accepted or followed by all other countries.

Further, one must look deeply at the purpose of creativity in humanity. What is disordered and what is survival of species? What is innate brilliance and what is from dysfunction of the brain? 

Dr. Bunch

ScienceDaily: Bipolar Disorder News
Link between creativity and mental illness confirmed in large-scale Swedish study
People in creative professions are treated more often for mental illness than the general population, there being a particularly salient connection between writing and schizophrenia (I think here they mean bipolar, Dr. Bunch), according to researchers whose large-scale Swedish registry study is the most comprehensive ever in its field.

Compounds that could thwart post-traumatic stress disorder identified

It appears there may be a problem with this article. It is my understanding that nitrous oxide is a gas and this article may be in fact be referring to nitric oxide. It is a good idea to always question research, and in particular to see if there could be problems in the research design and especially in the conclusion. This article makes some conclusions that could leave many to believe that this is now that path for pharmaceutical treatment of ptsd.

I try to filter out most “research” that is questionable.

One other thing you need to know about research: most all research done by pharmaceutical companies is not altruistic research: they have set up the double blind research to prove a point, that their medication works. They never do research comparing it to other meds nor do they look at harmful effects. The research is driven only with proving the medication is effective, and will sell. On the other hand, truly independent research and university research that is not funded or influenced by a private company is highly more valuable.

Nitrous oxide is a gas we’re familiar with in dentist offices and aerosol whip cream. Some research on nitrous and the brain ended up blank but nitric oxide functions in the brain. Likely an secondary writer erred? If you have other info on this and can correct me, please add to the comments. Here are links on nitric oxide in the brain:

Dr. B

ScienceDaily: Stress News

Compounds that could thwart post-traumatic stress disorder identified
A brain pathway that is stimulated by traumatic or fearful experiences can be disrupted by two compounds that show promise for preventing post-traumatic stress disorder, researchers have reported.

The relationship between trauma ptsd and life illness. Missing link between mental health disorders and chronic diseases in Iraq war refugees

ScienceDaily: Stress News

Missing link between mental health disorders and chronic diseases in Iraq war refugees
Researchers may have discovered why people exposed to war are at increased risk to develop chronic problems like heart disease years later. And the culprit that links the two is surprising.


Missing Link Between Mental Health Disorders and Chronic Diseases in Iraq War Refugees

ScienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2012) — Wayne State University School of Medicine researchers may have discovered why people exposed to war are at increased risk to develop chronic problems like heart disease years later. And the culprit that links the two is surprising.

Beginning in the mid-2000s, WSU researchers interviewed a random sample of 145 American immigrants who left Iraq before the 1991 Gulf War, and 205 who fled Iraq after the Gulf War began. All were residing in metropolitan Detroit at the time of the study. Study subjects were asked about socio-demographics, pre-migration trauma, how they rated their current health, physician-diagnosed and physician-treated obstructive sleep apnea, somatic disorders and psychosomatic disorders. Those who left Iraq after the war began and suffered from mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, and self-rated their physical health as worse than their actual health, were 43 times more likely than pre-Gulf War immigrants to report obstructive sleep apnea (30.2 percent versus 0.7 percent) and later develop major chronic health issues such as cardiovascular disease.
“I was surprised, but we had a specific theory we wanted to test. Changes in the stress system would contribute to sleep apnea. What happens? Maybe it’s the stress that leads to this fractured sleep,” said Bengt Arnetz, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., School of Medicine professor of occupational and environmental health, deputy director of the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at Wayne State, and the study’s principal investigator and first author. “No one had explored this possible link before, although basic research suggests it as plausible.”
The results are featured in the October 2012 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Psychosomatic Society.
According to the article, “Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Health in Immigrants,” obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles supporting the soft palate at the back of the throat relax, but less is known about the reasons behind this neuromuscular malfunctioning.
“It’s a known fact that the more exposure to violence you have, the more likely you are to report PTSD and depression, and the worse your self-rated health is, the more likely your actual health will suffer in five to 10 years,” Arnetz said.
Hikmet Jamil, M.D., Ph.D., professor of occupational and environmental health in WSU’s School of Medicine, and Thomas Templin, Ph.D., research professor in WSU’s College of Nursing, also contributed to the article.
The obstructive sleep apnea and chronic disase link has been observed among many trauma-exposed populations, including refugees, Arnetz said.
“Iraqis were exposed to harsh conditions during the entirety of Saddam Hussein’s more than 20 years of reign. However, trauma and environmental exposures increased measurably and dramatically after the initiation of the 1991 Gulf War,” the article states.
The study can now be used as a model for other populations, including U.S. soldiers returning home from battle.