Fibromyalgia Can No Longer Be Called the “Invisible” Syndrome (Science Daily)
Using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), researchers in France were able to detect functional abnormalities in certain regions in the brains of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, reinforcing the idea that symptoms of the disorder are related to a dysfunction in those parts of the brain where pain is processed.
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Dentistry have found that a significant percentage of dental patients with the inflammatory diseases irreversible pulpitis and apical periodontitis also have the Epstein-Barr virus. The Epstein-Barr virus is an important human pathogen found in more than 90 percent of the world population. It is associated with many diseases, including infectious mononucleosis, malignant lymphomas, and naspharyngeal carcinoma.
The findings are published online in the Journal of Endodontics, one of the leading peer-reviewed endodontology journals.
How Cells Take Out the Trash to Prevent Disease (Science Daily)
Garbage collectors are important for removing trash; without them waste accumulates and can quickly become a health hazard. Similarly, individual cells that make up such biological organisms as humans also have sophisticated methods for managing waste.
For example, cells have developed complex systems for recycling, reusing and disposing of damaged, nonfunctional waste proteins. When such systems malfunction and these proteins accumulate, they can become toxic, resulting in many diseases, including Alzheimer’s, cystic fibrosis and developmental disorders.
Rare, Profound Postive Events Won’t Make You Happy, but Lots of Little Ones Will (BPS Research Digest)
“Our findings imply that, in contrast to the notion of an inescapable hedonic treadmill, it is not pointless for people to seek to improve their well-being,” the researchers said. “However, improvement may not come from major events such as winning the lottery, despite the seemingly life-changing nature of such examples. Rather it seems like the key for long lasting changes to well-being is to engage in activities that provide small and frequent boosts, which in the long run will lead to improved well-being, one small step at a time.”
Joyful Music May Promote Heart Health (Science Daily)
Listening to your favorite music may be good for your cardiovascular system. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have shown for the first time that the emotions aroused by joyful music have a healthy effect on blood vessel function.
Music, selected by study participants because it made them feel good and brought them a sense of joy, caused tissue in the inner lining of blood vessels to dilate (or expand) in order to increase blood flow. This healthy response matches what the same researchers found in a 2005 study of laughter. On the other hand, when study volunteers listened to music they perceived as stressful, their blood vessels narrowed, producing a potentially unhealthy response that reduces blood flow.
Weather Has Little Effect on Mood (PsyBlog)
Some psychological questions appear so obvious they are barely worth asking. Take the link between the weather and average mood. Surely sunshine and blue skies lift the spirits while black clouds and torrential rain send them plummeting?
Jaap Denissen from Humoboldt University and colleagues took a cue from previous research that suggested the answer might not be so intuitive. The results of their study, published recently in the journal Emotion (Denissen et al., 2008), come to the rather surprising conclusion that there is only a very small effect of weather on mood – and this is backed up by two previous studies.
Dietary Guidelines Committee: Conflicts of Interest (What to Eat)
Oh no, not again! Merrill Goozner of the Integrity in Science project at Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) writes that six of the 13 members of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines committee, including the chair, get research support or consulting fees from food or drug companies with vested interests in what the guidelines say.
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