Monday December 18, 2017

Energy drinks tied to serious brain injuries in teens


By NewsGram Staff Writer

Toronto: Teenagers who consume energy drinks are much more likely to sustain traumatic brain injury(TBI), new research suggests.


“We have found a link between increased brain injuries and the consumption of energy drinks or energy drinks mixed with alcohol,” said Michael Cusimano, neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital in Ontario in Canada.

Teenagers who reported a traumatic brain injury in the past year were seven times more likely to have consumed a lots of energy drinks than those without a history of serious brain injury, the findings showed.

The researchers also found that teenagers who reported sustaining a TBI within the past year were at least twice as likely to have consumed energy drinks mixed with alcohol than those who reported sustaining a TBI more than a year ago.

“It is particularly concerning to see that teens who report a recent TBI are also twice as likely to report consuming energy drinks mixed with alcohol,” Robert Mann, senior scientist at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

For the study, researchers analysed information from a survey of more than 10,000 students ages 11 to 20 in Ontario in 2013.

However, the researchers do not know whether energy drink consumption leads to brain injuries or it is the other way around.

It is possible that people who consume energy drinks also have other underlying factors that predispose them to experiencing a TBI, the researchers said.

For example, these individuals could have a personality type that tends to take risks, Live Science reported.

“While we cannot say this link is causal, it is a behaviour that could cause further injury and so we should be looking at this relationship closely in future research,” Mann noted.

The study also cautioned that energy drink consumption could interfere with recovery efforts for teens who have sustained a TBI.

“Energy drinks, such a Red Bull and Rockstar, contain high levels of caffeine and change the chemical state of the body, which can prevent people from getting back on track after a TBI,” Cusimano said.

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE along with inputs IANS.

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25 Surprising Facts that you should know about a Teen’s Mind!

Facts on teenage habits

Teenage girls are very sensitive about their looks. Wikimedia Commons.

October 28, 2016: Teenagers form an important part of society. Adolescence is also a very tricky stage of life when one is neither a child nor an adult. Lack of proper understanding of the stage leads to confusion and as a result, creates circumstances when most of the teenagers are often misunderstood by society.


Here are some facts about teenagers and their habits:

  • Looks are very important to teenagers, especially girls! Around 70 percent of girls aged between 15 to 17 years try avoiding daily routine, even attending school because they think they don’t look good enough.
  • Low self-esteem can a have very serious impact on adolescents. Statistics show that 75 percent of girls with low self-esteem engaged in self-detrimental activities such as smoking, cutting etc. , whereas only 25 percent of girls with high self-esteem engaged in such negative activities.
  • Depression is becoming shockingly common among teenagers. Studies show that nearly 20 percent teens go through depression at least one before reaching adulthood.
  • Teenagers, especially girls, strongly wish to have better communication with their parents.
  • Around 6 percent of middle and high school boys admit that they have tried steroids. 38 percent admitted using protein supplements.
  • 7 out of every 10 girls don’t feel confident about their looks, school performance and social life.
  • The self-esteem of a girl depends more on her own perspective of her body and weight rather than the actual facts.
  • Prescription drugs have killed more teenagers than heroin and cocaine combined!
  • Statistics show that 1 out of 9 high school seniors has tried synthetic marijuana.
  • Nearly 64 percent teenagers who have admitted to using pain relievers admit that they got them from their friends and relatives.
  • Youngsters who drink alcohol regularly are around 50 times more likely to abuse the teens who don’t drink.
  • In 2012, a total of 15 percent high school seniors used prescription drugs. Almost 35 percent of them admit that regular use is risky.
  • Nearly 28 percent of adolescents know a friend who has tried ecstasy. 17 percent of them know multiple users.
  • By the time teenagers reach 8th grade, 29.5 percent of them have tried alcohol, 15.5 percent have smoked cigarettes, and 15 percent have tried marijuana.
  • Teens whose parents communicate with them on a regular basis about the dangers of drugs are 42 percent less likely to try drugs than those whose parents don’t. However, only one- fourth  of the teens report having these talks.
  • Less than 2% of teenagers have had sex by the time they reach 12 years of age. But teenage  is a time of quick change. Only 6% of teens have had sex by age 15, compared with one-third of those aged 16, nearly half (48%) of those aged 17, 61% of 18-year-olds and 71% of 19-year-olds. There is a little difference by gender in the timing of first sex.
  • More than 50 percent of all teenagers aged 15-19 has tried oral sex. 55 percent of boys and 54 percent of girls have given or received oral sex, while 49 percent of boys and 53 percent of girls have had intercourse.
  • On average, young people have sex for the first time when they become 17 years old.
  • Around  1 million adolescents  every year becomes pregnant. Up to 95 % of those pregnancies were unplanned and unwanted.
  • 3 in 10 teenage mothers do not finish  high school. The ones who do complete high school are less likely to start  college than non-teen mothers.
  • The rate of Teenage pregnancy  is  directly dependent  on  the income and education  of the adolescent ‘s  family. Almost 50 percent  of the girls living in poverty will become pregnant before reaching adulthood.
  • For every sexually active teenager, one out of four will get an STD within a year.
  • European adolescents  are more likely than American  teens to use contraceptives  ; hence they  have considerably lower pregnancy rates.
  • Three percent of males and 8% of females between 18 and 19 years of age in 2006–2008 admitted  their sexual orientation as homosexual or bisexual. During the same period, 12% of females aged 18–19 admitted same-sex behaviours (any sexual experience, including oral sex), compared to 4% of males in the same age-group.
  • CDC researchers have studied that 2.2 percent of American adults aged 14-39 had Chlamydia. Almost  1 out of 20 women aged 14-19, 4.6 percent, were infected. In 2003, 877,478 such cases were reported in the U.S, making it the most commonly reported STD, the CDC said.
  • Around 50 percent of all new STDs in 2000 occurred among youth aged between 15 to 24.

– by Pragya Arora of NewsGram. Twitter: @Wanderlust6400


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On an average, One in Four Americans reported to have had a Concussion

The progression of recovery from a concussion depends on the severity of the injury itself. The most common victims of concussions are young, active individuals

A lateral view of the human brain. Wikimedia COmmons
  • 1 in 4 Americans claim they have had a concussion at one point in time
  • The most common victims of concussions are young, active individuals
  • The progression of recovery from a concussion depends on the severity of the injury itself

Today in our society we see more attention drawn to concussions and the aftermath of the injury. Most recently Hollywood put out a new movie, Concussion, starring Will Smith. The movie follows the story of a doctor who is researching the effects of repeated concussions in football players. Now, not all of us are out on the field wearing shoulder pads and helmets.

The reality of the situation is that concussions are not only common in contact sports. According to a NPR poll conducted, almost 1 in 4 Americans claim they have had a concussion at one point in time. Luckily over 75% of these Americans sought medical attention.

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Smaller hits to the head can be categorized as sub-concussive hits. These smaller hits build up over time; what starts out as a small bump every now and then, overtime, may result in a full-blown concussion. According to Dr. Harry Kerasidis, it all depends on the health of your brain.

To clarify, every time you hit your head does not mean you will be diagnosed as concussed. After hitting your head in small doses overtime, one more minuscule hit to the head may result in a concussion due to the fact that you had hit your head in smaller doses overtime.

Concussions have the tendency to be sneaky and have various symptoms. What you may think is just a relentless headache, may actually be a concussion. Other symptoms include a loss of consciousness, nausea and/or vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, cloudy thinking and problems with memory. Unfortunately, it is common for these symptoms to go unnoticed for minutes, hours, and sometimes even days. These delayed symptoms push back the aid that medical attention can provide.

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Before diving into treatment of concussions, it is important to point out what happens to the brain when a concussion occurs. The brain floats in cerebral spinal fluid inside the skull. The fluid acts as a buffer between the organ and the skull itself.

A concussion is when the brain rapidly moves within the skull and the cerebral spinal fluid cannot protect the brain from hitting the inner skull. When a blow to the head occurs, the brain accelerates and quickly hits one side of the skull. In the deceleration process, the brain hits the opposite side of the skull before settling back into place.

Causes of concussion in children. Image source:
Causes of concussion in children. Image source:

Another potential reaction of the brain to a traumatic blow is known as a rotational concussion. During this, the brain moves from one side to the other in a rapid movement. More often than not this results in shearing and straining of brain tissues. Either situation can cause long term neurological issues.

Treatment of concussions typically follows one major guideline; the injured person needs to rest. Simply laying down on the couch will not suffice. It is advised that the concussed person physically and mentally rest to allow the brain to fully rest. Avoiding stimulating situations such as classrooms, reading, and watching television is advised. Physical activity is frowned upon. Easing back into everyday activities is advised. Going back to life all at once can cause overstimulation, and symptoms may reappear.

Different concussion effects. Image source:
Different concussion effects. Image source:

The progression of recovery from a concussion depends on the severity of the injury itself. When not properly treated long term effect may ensue in the individual, if all seems fine, the next head injury they sustain may be that much worse. It is best to seek and obtain medical attention regardless of the severity of the concussion.

The most common victims of concussions are young, active individuals. Most of these young folks are concussed due to participation in a contact sport. As previously stated, Hollywood produced the film Concussion, stemming from football players.

Today, concussions are gaining notoriety because many professional athletes are speaking out on the matter. Is the attention surrounding concussions too much? In the same poll conducted by NPR, 11 percent of people said the attention concussions receive is exaggerated, 80 percent thought it was appropriate, and the remaining 7 percent simply did know.

-by Abigail Andrea. Abigail is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter @abby_kono