Posted: Thu, August 15, 2013 | By: Brain Health
By Hank Pellissier
the following info is from studies published between July 29 - August 12, 2013
A new study from Harvard indicates that seniors can improve their brain health by consuming two cups of hot chocolate per day. Blood flow to their brain improved by 8.3% and the time it took them to complete a memory test decreased by about 30%. Scientists don’t know what chemical produced the acceleration - was it the flavonoids, caffeine, or theobromine?
People with significant power over others lose their ability to empathize with others, claims a study by neuroscientist Sukhvinder Ohbi from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. NPR reported on the research here.
Mother’s Social Status
Child brain development is influenced by the mother’s perceived social status, claims a new study from Boston Children’s Hospital. Children who view their Moms as having low social status experience more stress, with subsequent higher cortisol levels. This delays hippocampus development and leaning ability. Cortisol was more impacted by this factor than income of mother’s education level, claimed the study which was published by the journal Developmental Science.
No Kids, Higher IQ?
Controversial researcher Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics recently asserted, via his examination of national data records, that: 1) The average IQ of women who want children is 5.6 points lower than those who don’t want children. 2) With each 15 point IQ gain, a woman’s urge to reproduce is diminished by 25%. 3) Women in the United Kingdom with college degrees are more than twice as likely to be childless at age 45, than women without college degrees.
Fighting = Brain Damage
A Florida State University study reported that boys involved in two physical fights lost IQ points equivalent to a year in school, with girls experiencing a similar drop after only one fight. Every fight cost boys a drop of 1.62 IQ points, and girls a drop of 3.02 points. Approximately 4% of high school students are involved in a fight annually.
Longterm Marijuana Use = 6 point IQ drop
The Dunedin Study in New Zealand examined 1,000 individual, testing their IQ at ages 13 and 38. Participants who reported NO marijuana usage exhibited a slight IQ increase from age 13-38. Participants who reported marijuana dependence lost an average of 6 IQ points. All mental functions were affected.
Fit, Smart Seniors
Physical fitness improves cognitive ability in old age, notes a study by the Scottish Mental Survey, that examined 460 men and women who were 79 years old.
Breastfeeding = Brain Gain of 4 IQ points
Brown University researchers examined over 1,000 infants who were exclusively breastfed for 3 months. They determined that breast-fed children attained a 4-point advantage, evidenced in higher scores on verbal and non-verbal tests.
“Magic Mushrooms” Cure Trauma
A new study by The University of South Florida discovered that low doses of psilocybin helped repair brain damage caused by extreme trauma. This discovery offers hope to victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Fluoride = Brain Damage
Fluoride is a brain toxic chemical that can lower intelligence, claims Dr. Phillipe Grandjean in his new book, “Only One Chance: How Environmental Pollution Impairs Brain Development.” A study on the negative impact of fluoride on children’s neurological development is available here.
Brain Bacteria Linked to Alzheimer’s
Poor dental hygiene can lead to loss of memory, claims a study published by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. A bacterium found in gum disease - Porphyromonas gingivalis - was found in 4 out of 10 samples of bran tissue from Alzheimer’s patients. The bacterium, initially located in the mouth, traveled to the brain - where it contributed to the memory-destroying malady. The study was financed by the University of Central Lancashire in England.
False Memories Embedded in Mouse Brains
A research team led by Susumu Tonagawa - neuroscientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology - encoded “false memories” in the brains of mice by manipulating individual neurons. The technique, known as optogenetics, activated certain cells in the hippocampus. The results were published in the journal Science.
Does Caffeine Injure Embryos?
Pregnant female mice at the French Institute of Health & Medical Research were given a daily dose of coffee equivalent to 3-4 cups for a human. The brains of the pups that emerged were more “excitable” - inclined to convulsions when exposed to a seizure-inducing compound. Additionally, the migration of certain neurons was delayed. The report was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.