grief studies
March 31, 2021
life change

How to Cope with Major Life Changes During the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it. While it’s no secret that the pandemic has had a negative impact on people and businesses around the world, you may still be able to see a silver lining in all of this. The changes brought on by the pandemic have forced many of us to adopt new routines, healthy habits, and stress coping mechanisms that will stick around long after the pandemic is over. Here’s how to make the best of any tough life changes you may be facing right now.
March 29, 2021

Loneliness and Life Connected to Healthy Gut

The evolving science of wisdom rests on the idea that wisdom's defined traits correspond to distinct regions of the brain, and that greater wisdom translates into greater happiness and life satisfaction while being less wise results in opposite, negative consequences. Scientists have found in multiple studies that persons deemed to be wiser are less prone to feel lonely while those who are lonelier also tend to be less wise.
April 1, 2021

Male and Female Brains – New Study Shows Very Little Differences

How different are men and women's brains? The question has been explored for decades, but a new study led by Rosalind Franklin University neuroscientist Lise Eliot is the first to coalesce this wide-ranging research into a single mega-synthesis. And the answer is: hardly at all. "Men and women's brains do differ slightly, but the key finding is that these distinctions are due to brain size, not sex or gender," Dr. Eliot said. "Sex differences in the brain are tiny and inconsistent, once individuals' head size is accounted for."
March 26, 2021
child

Harsh Parenting Impacts Brain

A study shows that harsh parenting practices in childhood have long-term repercussions for children's brain development. Repeatedly getting angry, hitting, shaking or yelling at children is linked with smaller brain structures in adolescence, according to a new study published in Development and Psychology. It was conducted by Sabrina Suffren, PhD, at Université de Montréal and the CHU Sainte Justine Research Centre in partnership with researchers from Stanford University. The harsh parenting practices covered by the study are common and even considered socially acceptable by most people in Canada and around the world.
October 26, 2020
Over 70

Loneliness Prevalent Since Pandemic – 70 and Older Impacted Most

A joint report published by researchers at the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) and ALONE examines issues of loneliness and social isolation in older adults. The report offers fresh insight into the experiences of those over 70 who were advised to 'cocoon' as part of public health measures to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus. New data from ALONE which documents increased feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and isolation in older adults throughout the pandemic is compared with experiences of loneliness and isolation in older adults before the COVID-19 outbreak.
October 26, 2020
Healthier Adults

Regular Social Engagement – Healthier Adults

Older people who report greater levels of social engagement have more robust gray matter in regions of the brain relevant in dementia, according to new research led by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. It is the first to use a particularly sensitive type of brain imaging to conduct such an evaluation. The findings, reported today in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, suggest that "prescribing" socialization could benefit older adults in warding off dementia, much the way prescribing physical activity can help to prevent diabetes or heart disease.
October 26, 2020
Increase Sleep

Increasing Sleep Right After May Help With PTSD

Increasing the amount of time spent asleep immediately after a traumatic experience may ease any negative consequences, suggests a new study conducted by researchers at Washington State University's Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Published today in Scientific Reports, the study helps build a case for the use of sleep therapeutics following trauma exposure, said William Vanderheyden, an assistant research professor and the lead author on the study. "Basically, our study has found that if you can improve sleep, you can improve function."
September 4, 2020
Covid Depression

Covid Depression

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have identified a set of modifiable factors from a field of over 100 that could represent valuable targets for preventing depression in adults. In a study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, the team named social connection as the strongest protective factor for depression, and suggested that reducing sedentary activities such as TV watching and daytime napping could also help lower the risk of depression. "Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, but until now researchers have focused on only a handful of risk and protective factors, often in just one or two domains," says Karmel Choi, PhD, investigator in the Department of Psychiatry and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and lead author of the paper.
August 17, 2020
social featured

Social Connection Strong Tool For Depression

The study demonstrates an important new approach for evaluating a wide range of modifiable factors and using this evidence to prioritize targets for preventive interventions for depression. "Depression takes an enormous toll on individuals, families, and society, yet we still know very little about how to prevent it," says Smoller. "We've shown that it's now possible to address these questions of broad public health significance through a large-scale, data-based approach that wasn't available even a few years ago. We hope this work will motivate further efforts to develop actionable strategies for preventing depression." The study's two-stage approach could also be used to inform the prevention of other health conditions.
July 20, 2020
nurse-3624463_1920

In Gratitude For Healthcare Workers

In Leanne O’Sullivan’s poem “Leaving Early,” the poet writes to her ill husband, entrusting him into the care of a nurse named Fionnuala. As the novel coronavirus sweeps the globe, many of us can’t physically be there for loved ones who are sick. Instead, it is the health care workers — and all involved in the health care system — who are tirelessly present, caring for others in spite of exhaustion and the risk it brings to their own wellbeing. We offer this episode of Poetry Unbound in profound gratitude toward all who are working in healthcare right now.
July 16, 2020
emotions

Why Are Memories Attached To Emotions So Strong?

Memories linked with strong emotions often become seared in the brain. Most people can remember where they were on 9/11, or what the weather was like on the day their first child was born. Memories about world events on Sept 10, or lunch last Tuesday, have long been erased. Why are memories attached to emotions so strong? "It makes sense we don't remember everything," says René Hen, PhD, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. "We have limited brain power. We only need to remember what's important for our future wellbeing."
July 9, 2020
Pandemic information

Good Pandemic Information

With graduation ceremonies, weddings, funeral, annual parades, and many other gatherings called off, it is apparent that our lives are filled with rituals. UConn Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dimitris Xygalatas studies rituals and how they impact our health. In research published today in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Xygalatas and collaborators from Masaryk University, Czech Republic, including former UConn student Martin Lang, examine the important roles rituals play in reducing our anxiety levels.