“Sugar May be as Damaging to the Brain as Extreme Stress or Abuse”

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“The fact that drinking sugar or exposure to early life stress reduced the expression of genes critical for brain development and growth is of...

A Quiet Rise in Wildland-Firefighter Suicides

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From The Atlantic: Over the past decade, there has been a quiet acknowledgement that suicide is widespread within the wildland firefighting community. Both the trauma...

New Bill Targets Asian-American, Pacific Islander Community

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From NBC News: Representative Judy Chu recently introduced the Stop Mental Health Stigma in Our Communities Act, a bill to reduce mental health stigma in...

“Nature and Nurture: Human Brains Evolved to be More Responsive to Environmental Influences”

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"We found that the anatomy of the chimpanzee brain is more strongly controlled by genes than that of human brains, suggesting that the human brain is extensively shaped by its environment no matter its genetics," said Aida Gómez-Robles, postdoctoral scientist at the GW Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology and lead author on the paper. "So while genetics determined human and chimpanzee brain size, it isn't as much of a factor for human cerebral organization as it is for chimpanzees."

Puerto Rico’s Mental Health Crisis (Podcast)

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From The New York Times: Months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the island is experiencing a severe mental health crisis. Public health officials say...

Free Online Course: Psychology and Mental Health- Beyond Nature and Nurture

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MIA contributor, Peter Kinderman, from the University of Liverpool, is teaching a free online course that explores new perspectives on the “nature vs nurture” debate, and how we are affected by life experiences.

“Can You Think Yourself into a Different Person?”

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Will Storr, for Mosaic Science, wades into the world of neuroplasticity and explores to what extent our brains are capable of changing through adulthood. He asks if the tendency to overemphasize the findings of epigenetics and neuroplasticity isn’t tied to our cultural belief that individuals are totally free to create themselves and pursue the American dream.

If Money can Make you Happy, can Debt Make you Sad?

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From Aeon: While research shows that having financial resources contributes to our happiness and satisfaction, borrowing money and being in debt add to our dissatisfaction and...

Emphasis on Nutrition Needed to Reform Mental Health Treatments

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Even thought current mental health treatments are “suboptimal,” there is a lack of attention paid to the preventative effects of diet and nutrition. Recent studies suggests that nutritional changes can influence the risk for mental health issues and that nutritional supplements, called nutraceuticals, can be prescribed for existing conditions.

Climate Change Puts Cambodians at Risk of Mental Health Issues

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From Eco-Business: Many Cambodians are still healing from a tragic recent past, from the Lon Nol regime in 1970 to the collapse of the Pol...

“Childhood Poverty Linked to Brain Changes”

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“Children from poorer families are more likely to experience changes in brain connectivity that put them at higher risk of depression, compared with children from more affluent families,” according to new research covered by Medical News Today. "Poverty doesn't put a child on a predetermined trajectory, but it behooves us to remember that adverse experiences early in life are influencing the development and function of the brain. And if we hope to intervene, we need to do it early so that we can help shift children onto the best possible developmental trajectories."

“Can Madness Save the World?”

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Writing for CounterPunch, Paris Williams writes that when an individual is experiencing what has been termed “psychosis,” it is important to recognize that this may also be the manifestation of a breakdown in their larger social groups, the family, society, and even the species.

“Post-Katrina Stress Disorder: Climate Change and Mental Health”

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Writing for Truth-Out, hurricane Katrina survivor G. Maris Jones writes: “To adapt to a changing climate, survivors of these catastrophes - especially those in marginalized, low-income communities - need long-term physical and mental health services.” She adds a concurrent call to “assume our responsibility to make positive change through action on climate change.”

Environmental Neurotoxins and Autism

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-A discussion of some of the links that have been found between neurotoxins polluting the environment and higher risks of developing autistic symptoms.

“A Community Faces the Mental Health Impact of Climate Change”

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“In Nunatsiavut, climate change is already a terrible reality, and it’s taking a heavy toll on mental health,” Ellie Robins reports for the influence....

Intensive Care Patients at High Risk for PTSD, Psychiatric Symptoms

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People who survive life-threatening illnesses in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital are at high risk for depression and anxiety and nearly...

Personalized Medicine may Treat Rather Than Prevent Diseases

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From The Conversation US: Although personalized medicine, which involves tailoring health care to each person's individual genetic makeup, has helped make progress in the treatment...

“Tylenol in Pregnancy Tied to Behavior Problems in Children”

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For the New York Times’ Well blog, Nicholas Bakalar reports on a new study, in JAMA Pediatrics, that found that using acetaminophen (Tylenol) during...

One in Four Resident Physicians Suffer from Depression

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A new study in JAMA reveals that, on average, 25% of beginning physicians meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression. In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Thomas Schwenk, added: "Everybody asks me, because of some of my prior studies, should we have more intense work in diagnosing depression in students? Of course, the answer is 'yes,' but how do you go about that without further stigmatizing them, further labeling them, further singling them out to even greater stigma? It's not just an issue of, 'Let's make better diagnoses and let's provide better treatment'; it’s more complicated than that."

“The Search for Schizophrenia Genes”

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MIA contributor Jonathan Leo, writing for Slate, weighs in on the research that claims to have discovered a genetic basis for schizophrenia. “We now...

“How Poverty Affects Children’s Brains”

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New research is investigating how “poverty reduction promotes cognitive and brain development.”

Is The Microbiome our Puppeteer?

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“My message today is that your state of gut will affect your state of mind. To have a healthy brain, we may need a...

“Drugs in the Drinking Water? Don’t Ask and Officials Won’t Tell”

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"There's no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations...

“Seattle Salmon Contaminated with Drugs Including Antidepressants”

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Researchers in Seattle found the worrying cocktail of over 81 drugs when testing water quality in nearby Puget Sound. They even found drugs in...

From Phrenology to Brain Scans: How Shaky Neuroscience has Influenced Courts

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In “When Phrenology Was Used in Court,” Geoffrey S. Holtzman writes for Slate about the spurious use of brain science in legal cases. In the 1800’s the “science of phrenology” promised to reveal criminal psychological traits by measuring the skull and today defense teams still employ neurogenetic explanations for their client’s violent behavior.