Based on a new study done by researchers at the UC Berkeley and Harvard Medical School, lack of sleep at night can lead to short-term euphoria, which can eventually lead to poor judgment and additive behaviors.
This study was done on healthy young adults, where researchers found that due to the lack of sleep, the neural pathways of stimulating euphoria increases. Mathew Walker an associate professor indicated that the brain will not be in it optimal state and swings towards both extremes not allowing wise decisions to be made. Two specific targets of sleep are disrupted: the Rapid Eye Movement (REM)- for body and brain activity which promote dreaming, and another is the Non-Rapid Eye Movement where muscles and brain resting is affected (Gujar 2011).
A study was done to compare images and rating of positive and neutral were conducted. The group who had gotten a good night’s sleep managed to have more accurate and moderate answers, whereas the ones who lacked sleep the night before gave all similar answers with positive rating. This is supported when the brains activity was compared. Those who pulled all-nighters had increased activity of the mesolimbic pathway- a brain circuit driven by hormone dopamine. This hormonal activity increase leads to positive feelings, motivation, sex drive, addiction, cravings and decision making (Gujar 2011).
Walker explains that “short -term boost in dopamine levels, may seem advantageous, it can be detrimental if people are making impulsive decisions because they’re feeling overly optimistic. All in all, these positive activities are based on the brain’s key planning and decision making being shut down, and only the fight or flight reflex is active.
Therefore, as much as you think it is a good idea to stay up late night and study, know that your brain will not react positively. Time yourself, and allow at least 6 hours of sleep in order to avoid all-nighters.
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New research done by Vera Mazurak, PhD, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada explains how consumption of fish oil will prevent weight loss and muscle loss in patients who undergo chemotherapy. Chemotherapy, being a chemical treatment that will kill cancerous cells shows to decrease a persons muscle and weight. Researchers show that cancer patients that undergo chemotherapy are most vulnerable to these reactions. This may lead to fatigue, a decreased quality of life, an inability to receive necessary treatments, and shorter survival (Blackwell 2011).
This study compared 2 groups one who consumed the fish oil (16 people) and those who were cured from chemotherapy without taking fish oil (24 people). This test was done on a 10 week duration where muscle and fat were measured in blood samples for data collection. Results showed that patients who took the fish oil maintained similar weight after chemotherapy, whereas the patients who did not consume fish oil lost 2.3kg in body weight.
The phenomenon behind the fish oil is due to its chemical reactions. The eicosapentaenoic acid (fish oil) concentration increase in the blood following fish oil supplementation had the greatest gains in muscle (Blackwell 2011). Therefore, patients who receive chemotherapy by consumption of 2 grams of fish oil per day can prevent the muscle and weight loss associated with it.
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An Article posted on ScienceDaily is very interesting as it goes into talking about women who have eating disorders. There is a study conducted at the University of Haifa in Israel. There is the comparison of women who suffer from anorexia and bulimia to two different groups of women; women who had no eating disorders but were overweight, and women who had no eating disorders and were normal weight. A research conducted was for 76 women to ”complete two standardized questionnaires for screening eating disorders and were then asked to draw themselves” (Guez et al 2010).
The results were correlating as women who suffered from anorexia and bulimia drew their respective body parts differently. As stated in the ScienceDaily the following results were obtained
- The neck: women suffering from anorexia or bulimia tended to draw a larger neck, a disconnected neck or no neck at all;
- The mouth: this feature was more emphasized in drawings by women suffering from anorexia or bulimia;
- The thighs: women with eating disorders drew wider thighs than the other groups in the study;
- The feet: women with eating disorders tended to draw pictures without feet or with disconnected feet.
This allowed researchers to summarize that women with anorexia and bulimia ” tended to omit breasts from their drawings, drew less defined body lines and smaller figures relative to the page size” (Guez et al 2010).
Here is an image of the women drawings.
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This is a very amazing idea where medical students around the world no longer use humans but to turn to Noell- the model Pregnant Robot. Noell was built in order to give the opportunity to medical students to have hands on practice with pregnancies, without needing human. Paper written on msn news, indicates that that this blond ‘mannequin’ is technologically set up to detect factors such as oxygen deficiencies, as well as sending of ‘pulse rate and urination abilities’. ‘Noell’ is an expensive robot costing $20,000 however it is worth it as the medical errors on humans may be avoided. Noell is becoming very powerful study tool and is already making progress in more than 30 hospitals nationwide (msnnews.com)
Here is a video of this fascinating invention Robot.
For more information read the following article.