InvitoHealth: Health News Headlines

Researchers Discover How Cocaine Becomes Addictive

By Selena Chavis
December 10th, 2022

It’s no secret that cocaine is a highly addictive drug. Until recently, though, the mechanisms behind its ability to alter and control the brain as an addictive substance have not been known. A new study conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine has uncovered the process for how cocaine corrupts the brain, and researchers believe the information will provide key insights into the development of new therapies to treat cocaine addiction. Mary Kay Lobo, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the department of neuroscience and lead author of the study said that the findings are the first to connect the [More]

Daily Appreciation Helps Romance

By Rick Naurert PhD
December 10th, 2022

It really is the little things that can make a big difference in a relationship. A new article in Personal Relationships points the way to the methods of gratitude we can use to give a boost to our romantic relationships, and help us achieve and maintain satisfaction with our partners. Our busy lives sometimes feel like they are spinning out of control, and we lose track of the little things we can do to add meaning to our lives and make our loved ones feel appreciated. Humans are interdependent, with people doing things for each other all the time. Simply [More]

Texts Help Prevent Skin Cancer

By Rick Naurert PhD
December 9th, 2022

While most of North America is struggling with a cold winter, researchers from the land down under are studying how text messages can reduce the risk of skin cancer. A 12-month study by the Cancer Council of Queensland and University of Queensland targeted individuals aged between 18 and 42 — an age group in which mobile phone use is almost universal. Investigators tested the impact and value of SMS-delivered messages which promoted sun protection along with skin self-examination for early detection of skin cancer, while a third group received texts encouraging physical activity. Weekly texts for the first 12 weeks [More]

Teens More Into Music Than Reading More Likely To Be Depressed

By Rick Naurert PhD
December 9th, 2022

The link between media exposure and adolescent emotional health continues to be a hot research area. In a new study, researchers found that teens who spend more time listening to music, rather than   reading books, are more likely to be depressed. Researchers said this study was unique as it sampled the behaviors of study participants in real time using a technique called ecological momentary assessment. The method is more reliable than standard surveys and helped researchers recognize this large association between exposure to music and depression, said Brian Primack, M.D., Ed.M., M.S., assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at [More]

Local Economy Affects Opioid Prescribing to Disabled on Medicare

By Janice Wood
December 9th, 2022

A new study shows that prescribing of opioid pain medications for non-elderly Americans on disability is “significantly” related to county-level economic factors, such as unemployment and income levels. According to the study, published in Medical Care, about half of Medicare beneficiaries under age 65 received an opioid prescription in 2014. Researcher Chao Zhou, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that opioid prescribing for disabled adults is higher outside of “large central metro” counties, even after accounting for local economic factors. The researchers analyzed data on nearly 3.5 million adults younger than 65 who were [More]

Defiance, Not Hyperactivity, Linked to Drug Dependence

By Rick Naurert PhD
December 9th, 2022

A new population-based, multi-year study suggests that children who exhibit oppositional behavior are more likely to become addicted to nicotine, cannabis and cocaine. Researchers from the University of Montreal say that inattention symptoms are associated with a specific additional risk of nicotine addiction. But contrary to some earlier findings,  hyperactivity in itself does not seem to be associated with any specific risk of substance abuse or dependence. The conclusion stems from a 15-year study published in Molecular Psychiatry. Investigators studied the behavior of 1,803 children between 6 and 12 years of age as they were evaluated annually by their mothers [More]

Believers in American Dream Less Likely to Spend Impulsively

By Janice Wood
December 8th, 2022

When consumers believe in the American dream — that it’s possible to improve their economic status through hard work — they are less likely to spend impulsively, according to a new study. “When materialistic people believe they have the power to change their financial circumstances, they’re more likely to save money and focus on long-term success, rather than the short-term pleasure of having the latest technology or products,” said  Sunyee Yoon, Ph.D., an assistant professor of marketing in the University at Buffalo School of Management. On the flip side, those who were pessimistic about their potential to move up the [More]

Ability to Perceive Multiple Objects is Limited

By Rick Naurert PhD
December 8th, 2022

New research finds only  a limited ability to perceive mixed color-shape associations among objects that exist in several locations. In the study, published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers studied how the brain encodes objects with multiple features, a a fundamental task for the perceptual system. Experts say the research suggests the neurons that encode a certain feature — shape or color, for example — fire in synchrony with neurons that encode other features of the same object. In the study, psychological scientists Dr. Liat Goldfarb of the University of Haifa and Dr. Anne Treisman of Princeton University hypothesized that [More]

Cocaine Users Have a Hard Time Predicting Loss

By Traci Pedersen
December 8th, 2022

In people with a cocaine addiction, brain circuits responsible for predicting emotional loss become impaired, according to new research conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.  That is one reason why many continue to use the drug even after facing devastating consequences such as imprisonment or the loss of a relationship The researchers focused on the difference between a likely reward (or loss) and its relationship to a given behavior and a person’s ability to predict that outcome, a measurement known as Reward Prediction Error, or RPE. It is believed that RPE signaling drives [More]

Teen Brains More Susceptible to Pervasive Anxiety

By Traci Pedersen
December 8th, 2022

Teens are more susceptible to continuous feelings of stress due to a difference in the way their brains process fear.   Adolescents rely on earlier-maturing brain regions that aren’t as proficient as their adult counterparts in differentiating between danger and safety. Jennifer Lau, Ph.D., of Oxford University and a research team compared the brain activity of healthy young people with healthy adults during a threat stimulus study. For the test, volunteers were asked to view a series of photographs, including the following:   a person with a neutral expression at first, then a fearful expression coupled with a loud scream; [More]