Here’s what we are reading today:
“green tea is widely considered to be beneficial for the brain. The antioxidant and detoxifying properties of green tea extracts help fight catastrophic diseases such as Alzheimer’s. However, scientists have never fully understood how they work at the molecular level and how they could be harnessed to find better treatments.”
““Social and biological sciences over the years have demonstrated the profound desire of individuals to connect with others and the array of skills people possess to discern emotions or intentions. But, in the presence of both will and skill, people often inaccurately perceive others’ emotions,” said author Michael Kraus, PhD, of Yale University. “Our research suggests that relying on a combination of vocal and facial cues, or solely facial cues, may not be the best strategy for accurately recognizing the emotions or intentions of others.””
“Previous studies found morning bright light therapy reduced symptoms of depression in patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.). But patients with bipolar disorder can experience side effects such as mania or mixed symptoms from this type of depression treatment. This study implemented a novel midday light therapy intervention in an effort to provide relief for bipolar depression and avoid those side effects.”
“The consumption of energy-dense foods dramatically increases in developed and developing countries. The chronic consumption of high-fat/high sugar palatable foods leads to the development of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes, but also cognitive alterations.
Adolescents are especially sensitive to palatable foods and increase their consumption of high-fat/high-sugar obesogenic diet. However, adolescence is also a critical period for cognitive and brain development.
The long-term consequences of the chronic consumption of palatable foods during adolescence are still poorly understood but might involve alterations of the reward system.
Dopamine (DA) is a neuromodulator that plays a central role in motivational and learning processes for natural rewards like palatable foods, but also for drugs of abuse.
In particular, dopamine synthesized by specific neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) projecting to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is crucial for these processes.””
“Mother’s milk contains various nutrients, including oxytocin, which is derived from the blood. The digestive tract forms a barrier to avoid uptake of undesirable macromolecules, the gut closure, soon after birth. Therefore, it was thought that oxytocin would not be freely permeable from the digestive tract. On the other hand, the oxytocin level in the blood of babies drinking mother’s milk has been found to be elevated, suggesting oxytocin could somehow be transported even in the presence of such a barrier.”
““There is a need to include sex differences in neuropsychiatric research and endocrinology because men and women do respond differently to drugs,” says first author Jordan Marrocco, a postdoctoral associate in the neuroendocrinology lab of Bruce S. McEwen, Rockefeller’s Alfred E. Mirsky Professor