Being overweight makes brain '10 years older' than if you are slim

Being overweight in middle-age makes the brain age by 10 years, research by the University of Cambridge has found. The study, which scanned 473 brains, found changes in the brain structure of overweight people which are normally seen in those far older. The volume of white matter - the tissue that connects areas of the brain and allows information to be communicated between regions - shrunk far...

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9 Ways To Make Yourself Smarter

I recently spoke with the technology journalist Clive Thompson, author of Smarter Than You Think. I came away with nine lessons on how we can improve our thinking and become smarter—with and without technology: 1. Spend Significant Chunks of Time Offline “I think it’s good to spend significant chunks of time offline. For example, I don’t check my email on weekends.  This means I’m usually...

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Why am I always hungry?

Your habits, surroundings and diet choices could all be driving your insatiable appetite. Too little sleep and too much stress can make you hungry. Watching TV can make you hungry. Your hormones and mood and even the wrong-sized fork can make you hungry. “Hunger is not as simple as needing food to meet physical needs,” says Aner Tal, a research associate at Cornell University’s Food & Brand...

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Does Paracetamol reduce empathy?

Researchers from The Ohio State University have found evidence that acetaminophen not only dulls physical pain, it also reduces our ability to predict pain in others and empathize. If the results are to be believed, this common drug might hamper our ability to imagine each other's discomfort. Used to relieve pain and fever, acetaminophen - known as paracetamol in the United Kingdom - is present...

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Can Lupus cause Psychosis?

Systemic lupus erythematosus can cause inflammation of virtually any tissue of the body. Depending on the tissue affected and the intensity of the inflammation, the function of the organs can be disturbed. Brain inflammation in lupus is referred to as cerebritis. When lupus affects the brain, it can lead to headache, seizure, stroke, or psychosis. Psychosis is a serious mental disorder featuring...

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5 Reasons We Tell People More Than We Should

I once worked with a woman who told me and several other people in our office that she was having an affair. In fact, her love interest sometimes sent her flowers at work. As if that weren't awkward enough, I happened to work with her husband at my part-time job. Although I didn't really know him, I knew who he was, and I was uncomfortable every time I passed him in the hallway. I have no idea...

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What are "Friends with Benefits"?

Some of my colleagues and I have published a series of studies on friends with benefits (FWBs) over the last few years, which I have written about before on the blog. Among the many things we have found in our research is that people get into these relationships for a range of reasons and, as a result, sometimes have wildly different expectations for what they hope will happen to their FWB in the...

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Zika Virus - What you need to know

So, what is the Zika virus? The Zika virus is a virus spread to humans by a mosquito bite. The Zika virus is from the same family as: yellow fever west nile virus chikingunya and dengue virus The areas with active mosquito bourn transmission of Zika virus are Latin America, areas of Africa, southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. About 2.2 billion people live in the “at...

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