Tuesday January 16, 2018

Know why Sound of Chewing Food and Pen Clicking can cause Irritation!

The findings showed that the brains of people with such condition are known as 'misophonia' or 'hatred of trigger sounds'

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London, February 3, 2017: Ever wondered why the sound of people chewing food, breathing off, a pen clicking repeatedly cause irritation? It may be because of an abnormality in the emotional control mechanism which causes the brain to go into overdrive on hearing such trigger sounds, say researchers led by one of Indian-origin.

The findings showed that the brains of people with such condition — known as misophonia or hatred of trigger sounds — showed a physical difference in the frontal lobe between the cerebral hemispheres — with higher myelination in the grey matter of ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC).

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“For many people with misophonia…for the first time we have demonstrated a difference in brain structure and function in sufferers,” said Sukhbinder Kumar at Newcastle University in Britain.

Further, the study, published in the journal Current Biology, also showed abnormal connections between this frontal-lobe area and an area called the anterior insular cortex (AIC) — known to be involved in processing emotions and integrating signals both from the body and outside world.

In misophonic participants, the trigger sounds increased activity in both brain areas, while in normal participants, the increase was seen only in the AIC, not in the frontal area.

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This reflects an abnormality of a control mechanism between the frontal lobe and AIC, the researchers said.

“We now have evidence to establish the basis for the disorder through the differences in brain control mechanism in misophonia. This will suggest therapeutic manipulations and encourage a search for similar mechanisms in other conditions associated with abnormal emotional reactions,” added Tim Griffiths, professor at Newcastle University.

The trigger sound was also found to evoke a heightened physiological response with increased heart rate and sweating in people with misophonia, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Women can Boost their Working Memory with Hormone Therapy

Benefits of oestrogen therapy in women.

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oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress
oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress. wikimedia commons

New York, Nov 5: Undergoing a type of hormone replacement therapy — used for menopausal treatment — may help protect as well as improve working memory for some women as they age, according to a new study.

Hormone replacement therapy uses female hormones – oestrogen and progesterone – to treat common symptoms of menopause and ageing.

The findings showed that women taking oestrogen-only therapy had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and performed better on tests of “working memory” following exposure to stress compared to women taking a placebo.

“Our study suggests that oestrogen treatment after menopause protects the memory that is needed for short-term cognitive tasks from the effects of stress,” said lead author Alexandra Ycaza Herrera, a researcher at the University of Southern California – Davis.

To measure the effect of oestrogen therapy on working memory under stress, the team recruited 42 women with an average age of 66.

Half of the postmenopausal women had been on estradiol — a type of oestrogen therapy — for approximately five years, while the others had received a placebo.

The researchers, in the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, collected saliva to measure the women’s levels of cortisol, oestrogen, and progesterone.

They also ran a test of working memory called a “sentence span task”, in which the women were each given a series and then asked whether each sentence made sense. They also were asked to recall the last word of each one.

While women receiving oestrogen therapy had a smaller increase in cortisol and showed no decrease in working memory function, even after being exposed to stressful situation, those taking the placebo experienced a spike in cortisol levels as well as demonstrated a decrease in working memory function.

Previous studies have pointed to potential health risks — the Ahigher risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots — of the treatment.

Thus, Herrera noted that “hormone replacement therapy may not be right for every woman, but women need to be able to have the conversation with their doctors”.(IANS)

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