Insomnia worsens insulin resistance in diabetics

UChospitals.edu – In the largest study of it kind to establish a link between sleep and diabetes, researchers found that people with diabetes who sleep poorly have higher (worse) insulin resistance, and a harder time controlling the disease. The findings, published in the June 2011 issue of Diabetes Care, suggest that insomnia or poor sleep […]

The Nrf2 knockout scare – can dietary antioxidants hurt you?

A recent UCLA study on the actions of a cellular antioxidant regulator, Nrf2, found that it had some connection to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque, and that reducing Nrf2 decreased atherosclerosis. But should these study findings scare you away from eating Nrf2-promoting dietary antioxidants found in broccoli, blueberries, and dark chocolate, or from taking the […]

Dim light at night worsens mood, dendritic spines in hippocampus

OSU.edu – Exposure to even dim light at night is enough to cause physical changes in the brains of hamsters that may be associated with depressed mood, a new study shows. Researchers found that female Siberian hamsters exposed to dim light every night for eight weeks showed significant changes in a part of the brain called the hippocampus. This […]

DHA may improve age-associated memory impairment

CRNUSA.org – Supplementing with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may improve memory and learning in older adults with mild cognitive impairments, according to a study published in the November 2010 edition of Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. This is promising news for many aging Americans who are searching for options to maintain memory and support overall […]

Sleep apnea linked to gray matter damage, cognitive deficits

Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may blame their daytime difficulties on simple sleepiness, but new research suggests that their brains may be to blame. Specifically, their cognitive challenges may be caused by structural deficits in gray matter, brought on by the intermittent oxygen deprivation that comes with OSA. The good news is that these deficits may be partially or […]

Taking sleeping pills linked to 36 percent higher mortality risk

ULaval.ca – Taking sleeping pills or medications to treat anxiety increases mortality risk by 36 percent, according to a study conducted by Geneviève Belleville, a professor at Université Laval’s School of Psychology. The details of this study are published in the latest edition of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Dr. Belleville arrived at these results through […]

Sleep reorganizes memories, helps creativity

PsychologicalScience.org – As humans, we spend about a third of our lives asleep. So there must be a point to it, right? Scientists have found that sleep helps consolidate memories, fixing them in the brain so we can retrieve them later. Now, new research is showing that sleep also seems to reorganize memories, picking out the emotional details […]

Sleep deprivation changes brain gene expression, cognition, emotional regulation

AllenInstitute.org – The most systematic study to date of the effects of sleep deprivation on gene expression in the brain have been described by researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science and SRI International. The findings, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, have implications for improving the understanding and management of the adverse effects of sleep deprivation on brain function. […]

Walking six miles per week prevents memory loss, brain shrinkage

AAN.com – New research suggests that walking at least six miles per week may protect brain size and in turn, preserve memory in old age, according to a study published in the October 13, 2010 online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “Brain size shrinks in late adulthood, which can cause memory problems. […]