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)
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)
Researchers believe that social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are even more harmful than stipulated websites in support of anorexia due to the increased accessibility and wider target audience of as these mediums.
New Delhi, November 1, 2017 : I have grown up as a conscious kid; hours spent looking at pictures of strangers with perfectly toned bodies have been like an everyday ritual, carried out religiously, day after day. But thankfully, my fascination for the ‘ideal’ body that ruled the internet never materialized and it was not long before I became happy in my own skin.
Years later, I look at my 12 year old sister, who wishes to consume only watermelon juice because that’s what her favorite blogger does too, to maintain her fit body. She is my teenage sister’s ‘#fitspo’, she proudly announces.
Just a young teenager, where is she getting all this information from, you’d wonder.
The answers is; everywhere!
We are all chasing unrealistic expectations when it comes to our body image, courtesy the enormous content we consume over different social media.
Social media has completely radicalized the way we see body image- ourselves and other people, and transformed the way we interact with the larger society.
If analyzed duly,
aren’t we all seeking validation
on the internet at the
expense of a ‘like’?
You can never be sure which side you will be on – messages on social media can spread self-hatred, animosity, encouragement, joy and a myriad of other emotions. It is like this that movements have created not just ripples but waves on the social media; some positive while others more damaging than we are prepared to handle.
People are constantly being bombarded with pictures of the body image that is ‘goals’, the ‘ideal’ body; photos and videos of people dieting and exercise have become a part of mainstream generation, so much so that the hashtag fitspo is one of the most used hashtag of the present times.
This increased proliferation of the ‘ideal’ body image often has people comparing themselves to images of strangers and people online, hoping to be more like them.
We are at a phase of life when
images of strangers’ bodies and lifestyles not only affect but govern our lives-
in ways that may be far beyond
According to a study published in October, it was revealed that an increasing number of people are celebrating extreme thinness on various social media accounts. The research, carried out by researchers at University of Exeter, shed light on the hundreds of users, especially women, who were praising anorexic bodies on Twitter and Instagram under the umbrella term ‘thinspiration’.
Researchers analyzed 734 images that were posted on Twitter, Instagram and We Heart It with indicative hashtags- #thinspiration, #bonespiration and #fitspiration.
The images that came under the scanner were selfies taken by girls, boasting about their withered bodies by highlighting their protruding collar bones, spine, rib cage and hip bones.
It was revealed that an alarming amount of content online is dedicated to glorifying such shrunken bodies, plagued by eating disorders.
Shockingly, the researchers found that every shared image was complimented alongside proud captions boasting about the calories they had consumed that day, or how they ‘totally rock a thigh gap’.
The Instagram Effect
I remember being in school when the entire ruckus about a thigh-gap gained momentum. After almost 5 years, I am a 22 year-old adult now, and the world continues to rave about the thigh-gap.
Different eating orders, even umbrella terms like “Pro-Ana” and “Pro-Mia” that were essentially aimed at promoting anorexia and bulimia as an ideal lifestyle choice, are not new. However, the only difference is the dangerously new breeding platform that social media has provided to these hazardous body image campaigns.
Researchers are convinced that social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are even more harmful than stipulated websites in support of anorexia due to the increased accessibility and wider target audience of as these mediums.
Not very surprisingly, the Bonespiration movement has now become rampant – easily accessible with hashtags like needtobethin, thinspiration, fitspo, etc, pro-eating disorder and a specifically shrunken body image content drive this campaign on almost all social media platforms.
According to Claire Mysko, spokesperson for the National Eating Disorders Association, “Thinspiration is content that promotes weight loss but often in a way that actively glorifies eating disordered behavior and thoughts.”
#Thinspo and #Fitspo And Eating Disorders
#Thinspo : The thinspiration or the thinspo movement has an enormous presence with almost all bloggers and models using it as a hashtag in their posts. Although thinspo does not categorically promote eating disorders, it is dominated by images of unrealistically (and dangerously) thin women (and sometimes men), who portray themselves as the ideal body image; an inspiration for people to lose enormous amounts of weight.
#Fitspo :The fitspiration, or fitspo hashtag initially emerged as a counter movement to thinspo by promoting healthy eating and working out culture but it is popularly believed that the movement makes use of equally unrealistic and hence dangerous imagery.
These extreme behaviors foster unhealthy expectations in the minds of individuals who then begin to seek impossible results from their diets and exercise plans to look like the ‘ideal’ bodies that rule the internet.
Various researches are known to have noted that constant exposure to such content psychologically affects users.
According to another study published in January by researchers at University of Adelaide (Australia), it was found that women posting ‘fitspiration’ posts on Instagram are at a greater risk of suffering from eating disorders.
Additionally, anorexia nervosa reports nearly 10 per cent mortality rate, thus being the most dangerous psychological disorder. People who do not die from anorexia can still suffer health effects like loss of bone mass, damage to heart, and withered immune system.
In 2012, Instagram had banned the use of five hashtags “thinspiration”, “imugly”, “anorexia”, “proana”, and “thighgap”.
However, that did little to no help as propagators of these body image hashtag trends look for alternate spellings or combinations of words that are close to the original and can convey similar meanings. You would be surprised to know that despite the ban, there continue to be more than 1,44,000 posts tagged #bonespo on Instagram to date.
Is There No End?
Social media has garnered a lot of criticism for such gregarious body image content that propagates unhealthy behaviors and attitudes, because of which some social media sites have updated their guidelines and instructed users to strictly not post content promoting self-harm in any manner, doing which can lead to dismissal of their accounts. However, how practical is it to monitor the billions of posts that are shared on a daily basis?
While several hashtags like #pro-ana or #pro-mia have been banned by social media vigilantes, several users continue to post #thinspiration content with new hashtags that haven’t been recognized by the social media police.
Certainly, this has emerged as an online epidemic, now beyond the realm and control of social media.
Approach to Recovery
Every coin as a flip side.
Social media platforms also combine pro-recovery groups that make use of hashtags that people seeking a way out search for.
“It is like an intervention”.
– Claire Mysko, director of programs, the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), USA
Individuals seeking recovery from an unhealthy lifestyle or anorexia can connect with people who have been affected by similar notions of an unhealthy body image and eating disorders and receive comments of encouragement from all over the world – the warmth and the support are literally like getting a virtual hug.
Instagram has also now installed a filter that offers support every time a user searcher for similar dangerous words like anorexia.
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We urge you to go online and have a look yourself at all the ‘thinspiration’ posts. They tend to glamorize anorexia and promote frail models and starvation, ignoring their health and well being.
Anorexia is not photogenic.
Anorexia is not glamorous. Not from the outside, definitely not from the inside.
New Delhi, October 17, 2017: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have you ever wondered why we call this meal ‘breakfast’?
After waking up you must treat your poor belly with some love as it’s been on a FAST for 6 to 8 hours. That is the reason why the first meal of the day is called ‘breakfast.’ You must break your fast with a healthy, nutritious, carbs filled diet. And there are many reasons for that.
Here are the top 5 reasons Why you should not skip breakfast
1. Weight Loss
You may be skipping your breakfast thinking you are consuming fewer calories. But what you don’t realize is that you are unknowingly setting yourself up for a disappointment.
Skipping brings your blood sugar level down, and that results in you having less energy and later, cravings for calories. To make up for your feebleness, you gobble up whatever appears in front of you without caring about its nutritious value. Thus, it is important for weight loss as it keeps you energetic and stops you from consuming more calories as the day progresses.
2. Breakfast Helps You Stay Focused
When you are running low on calories, your body has to work extra hard to sustain you. During this process, you will find it extremely difficult to focus on the task before you as your body will keep reminding you of the struggle it is going through. This is another reason for eating breakfast so that you can focus on the job at hand.
Studies have proven the importance of breakfast by showing how our memory and concentration levels increase after our first meal of the day.
3. A Full Stomach Means A Happy Day
It is important that you start off your day with a smile on your face. Research suggests that consuming breakfast that is rich in carbs, proteins, whole grains can uplift your mood.
A healthy breakfast provides glucose to our brain after a long fast. What happens is, our blood glucose levels increase after having a healthy breakfast, giving more energy to our body, which in turn results in a happy mood.
If you a have a child, a good breakfast is very important. Children who don’t have a healthy become jaded in school and tend to have shorter attention spans.
4. Helps Avoid Heart Disease
According to a study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, heart disease has a slight association with breakfast. Men who admitted missing breakfast on a regular basis had a 27 percent higher chance of heart-related diseases than those who ate breakfast regularly.
It is quite clear how important is breakfast for our first meal of the day and there are multiple reasons for attending to it sincerely.
– prepared by Siddheshwar Sharma. Twitter: @MancSiddheshwar