Humans news stories

Uncovering why playing a musical instrument can protect brain health
11th June 2017 | | Humans

A recent study conducted at Baycrest Health Sciences has uncovered a crucial piece into why playing a musical instrument can help older adults retain their listening skills and ward off age-related cognitive declines. This finding could lead to the development of brain rehabilitation interventions through musical training.

Drinking coffee may help prevent liver cancer, study suggests
8th June 2017 | | Humans

Increasing coffee consumption may help to stave off liver cancer, a new study has suggested.

Researchers have found that people who drink more coffee are less likely to develop hepatocellular cancer (HCC), the most common form of primary liver cancer – and the effect was even found in decaffeinated coffee.

Related: Starving prostate cancer with what you eat: Apple peels, red grapes, turmeric

A radical new hypothesis in medicine: give patients drugs they know don’t work
8th June 2017 | | Humans

Harvard medicine professor Ted Kaptchuk is at the bleeding edge of a radical new treatment in medicine: giving patients pills that don’t work.

“Our patients tell us it’s nuts,” he says. “The doctors think it’s nuts. And we just do it. And we’ve been getting good results.”

Oxytocin reduces cravings for methamphetamine
8th June 2017 | | Humans

Many people have suggested that addiction hijacks the body’s natural drives in the service of compulsive drug use. A new study now suggests that hijacking another natural system in the brain may help overcome drug addiction. Published in Biological Psychiatry, the study shows that administration of oxytocin — a naturally occurring molecule well known for its role in social bonding and childbirth — reduces drug-seeking behavior in methamphetamine-addicted rats.

Ketamine could help thousands with severe depression, doctors say
8th June 2017 | | Humans

Thousands of people with severe depression could obtain urgent relief if experimental treatment using ketamine were made more widely available, medical experts say.

Related: ‘I can stop and breathe’: the people taking ketamine for depression

Meditation reduces cancer survivors’ fear of disease coming back, study finds
8th June 2017 | | Humans

Practicing meditation and other relaxation techniques can reduce cancer survivors’ fear that they will face a recurrence of the disease, a new study has shown.

Related: The Role Of Yoga In Healing Trauma

When You Eat Can ‘Reset’ Your Biological Clock
8th June 2017 | | Humans

Want to reset your biological clock? Try eating at a different time of day.

New research suggests that shifting your meal time can also shift your body’s internal clock, meaning that recovering from jet lag or adjusting to a shift-work schedule might be easier if you also adjust your eating times.

Another reason to exercise: burning bone fat – a key to better bone health
4th June 2017 | Humans

It’s a fat-burning secret anyone interested in bone health should know. For the first time, UNC School of Medicine researchers show that exercising burns the fat found within bone marrow and offers evidence that this process improves bone quality and the amount of bone in a matter of weeks.

You Have the Power to Physically Reshape Your Brain
4th June 2017 | Humans

Neuroplasticity is the idea that we can shape our brains mentally and physically through controlling our stimulus. Meditation and physical exercise have been shown as two of the most effective ways of doing this.

Rock climbing envisioned as new treatment for depression
4th June 2017 | | Humans

Scientists involved more than 100 individuals in a bouldering (rock climbing) intervention in Germany, where some hospitals have begun to use climbing as a therapeutic treatment. The team found the social, mental and physical endurance of bouldering could be successful psychotherapy for treating depression in adults.

Dirt has a microbiome, and it may double as an antidepressant
4th June 2017 | Earth, Humans

No one would blame you for not wanting your body to be infested with creatures from your garden. But maybe you should rethink your position.

Your garden has its own microbiome, and research suggests it’s good for you. Our health depends on the flourishing microbiome in our guts—and on how much of the natural world’s microbiome we let infiltrate.

Air pollution is significantly weakening our hearts, major new study finds
4th June 2017 | | Earth, Humans

The hearts of people who live in polluted areas are weaker than those who regularly breathe cleaner air, according to a new study which adds to the growing volume of evidence that fossil fuels are killing us.

Trouble Sleeping? Air Pollution Could Be the Culprit
4th June 2017 | | Earth, Humans

The air pollution around you could affect how well you sleep, a new study finds.

Researchers found that people in the study who lived in areas with high levels of air pollution were 60 percent more likely to sleep poorly

Reading may make us kinder, student’s research into fiction habits and personality types reveals
2nd June 2017 | | Humans

A postgraduate research student has produced a study that examines the effects of reading and watching television on social behavior – concluding that literature lovers have the edge over their remote control-loving counterparts when it comes to being nicer people.

Study links Facebook use to reduced gray matter volume in the nucleus accumbens
2nd June 2017 | | Humans

People who frequently check Facebook on their smartphone tend to have less gray matter in a reward-related area of the brain, according to new research.

“Smartphones, Facebook – in short the digital world – is a major part of our lives,” the study’s corresponding author, Christian Montag of Ulm University, told PsyPost.

Changing our diet to save the planet
2nd June 2017 | Earth, Humans

Global food consumption and production is seriously unbalanced. In the UK alone we threw away 4.4 million tonnes of “avoidable” food waste in 2015 – that is food that was edible before it was discarded – which equates to £13 billion worth of food wasted, or £470 per household. Meanwhile, nearly 800 million people globally are chronically undernourished.

News stories covering humans, psychology and health.