Monday October 23, 2017

Stress during Pregnancy may cause Female Children to Exhibit binge-eating-like behaviour in Adulthood: Study

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Stress during Pregnancy may cause Female Children to exhibit binge-eating-like behaviour in Adulthood. Pixabay

New York, June 1, 2017: Stress during pregnancy may cause female children to exhibit binge-eating-like behaviour in adulthood, a study conducted on mice has showed.

Although stressed mothers passed along binge eating-related epigenetic tags on their DNA, the mouse pups’ tendency to binge surfaced only when they too were subjected to stressful situations, the researchers said.

“The price we pay later in life — whether it’s psychiatric disorders, metabolic syndromes, or heart-related illnesses — is heavily impacted by the way your brain was programmed early in life,” said Alon Chen, a neurobiologist at the Weizmann Institute in Israel.

“We have established a model where we can actually show that early life stress increases the likelihood of binge eating in females,” Chen said.

For the study, detailed in the journal Cell Metabolism, the researchers genetically engineered a line of mice, where they manipulated the hormone system that controls cortisol — stress hormones — release to increase the anxiety levels of pregnant mothers during their third trimester.

The mouse pups’ tendency to binge only surfaced when they were placed in a stressful situation where the researchers restricted their access to food.

In addition, measuring the eating habits of stressed mice showed that those born to stressed mothers were more likely to eat large amounts of food during short windows of time.

However, putting the young mice on a diet with “balanced” levels of nutrients such as Vitamin B12 and folate, the researchers were able to prevent their binge eating.

All of this underscores the importance of avoiding stressful situations as much as possible during pregnancy, the researchers added. (IANS)

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Why is Kalki Koechlin Reading about Pregnancy and Post-birth Behavioral Changes? Should we expect ‘good news’ soon?

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Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin. Wikimedia

Mumbai, October 22, 2017: Actress Kalki Koechlin, who will next be seen in “Ribbon” where she is playing a young mother of a newborn baby girl, took some training on how to take care of a baby including changing nappies, for her role.

Kalki said that since she is playing a mother for the first time, it was quite fascinating for her prepare for the role, especially spending time with the baby girl, as a co-actor of the film.

ALSO READ Just in! Kalki has a crush on this Bollywood actor!

“I read various books on pregnancy and post birth behavioral changes because of that time, a woman body goes through hormonal changes. Rakhee (Sandilya, the director of the film) has a friend who is a new mother, so I used to spend a lot of time with her, learnt how to change nappy, how to give oil massage to the baby, a lot of things, I think I am a pro on that,” Kalki told IANS.

The story of “Ribbon” revolves around a young couple of where Kalki Koechlin is playing a girl, who has a journey from being single to a mother of a four-year-old daughter.

The film also features Sumeet Vyas and is scheduled to release on November 3. (IANS)

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A Strong Social Network Helps Reduce Marital Conflicts and Stress

Social networks may help provide protection against health problems brought about by ordinary tension between spouses

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Marital conflict between a couple. Pixabay

New York, Sep 17, 2017: Marital conflicts can take a toll on your health, but having even a few close friends and family members to turn to can help reduce the stress associated with such conflicts, new research suggests.

Social networks may help provide protection against health problems brought about by ordinary tension between spouses, said the study published online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

“We found that having a satisfying social network buffers spouses from the harmful physiological effects of everyday marital conflicts,” said Lisa Neff, Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the US.

“Maintaining a few good friends is important to weathering the storms of your marriage,” Neff said.

The research looked at 105 newlywed couples who kept daily records of marital conflict in their home environment and completed questionnaires about the number, quality and characteristics of their connections with friends and family.

In addition, the couples participating in the study collected morning and evening saliva samples for cortisol testing every day for six days.

Cortisol levels over the course of the day are a measure of the stress response.

The overall number of friends and family members that study participants reported having did not appear to affect couples’ ability to handle conflicts nearly as much as the quality of those outside relationships.

Also Read: Married Trans Couples Experience Less Discrimination: Study 

The researchers found that people who reported having even a few close friends or family members to talk to outside of their marriage experienced lower levels of stress when marital conflicts arose.

“Even everyday conflict takes a toll on people physiologically,” Neff said.

“But we found that the association between marital conflict and cortisol responses completely disappears when people are happy and satisfied with their available social network,” Neff added. (IANS)

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Stressing Over Work? A New Study Says Expressive Writing Can help Brain Relax and Perform Tasks Efficiently

Expressive writing can not only help individuals process past traumas or stressful event but also prepare for stressful tasks in the future

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Stressing over tasks is not going to help achieve targets. But turns out writing about it can. (Representational Image ), Pixabay

New York, September 15, 2017 : If the anxiety of performing an upcoming task is giving you stress, simply writing about your feelings may help you perform the task more efficiently, suggests new research.

The research – published online in the journal Psychophysiology — provides the first neural evidence for the benefits of expressive writing, said lead author Hans Schroder, a doctoral student in psychology at Michigan State University (MSU) in the US.

“Worrying takes up cognitive resources; it’s kind of like people who struggle with worry are constantly multitasking — they are doing one task and trying to monitor and suppress their worries at the same time,” Schroder said.

“Our findings show that if you get these worries out of your head through expressive writing, those cognitive resources are freed up to work toward the task you’re completing and you become more efficient,” Schroder said.

For the study, college students identified as chronically anxious through a validated screening measure completed a computer-based “flanker task” that measured their response accuracy and reaction times.

Before the task, about half of the participants wrote about their deepest thoughts and feelings about the upcoming task for eight minutes. The other half, in the control condition, wrote about what they did the day before.

While the two groups performed at about the same level for speed and accuracy, the expressive-writing group performed the flanker task more efficiently, meaning they used fewer brain resources, measured with electroencephalography, or EEG, in the process.

While much previous research has shown that expressive writing can help individuals process past traumas or stressful events, the current study suggests the same technique can help people — especially worriers — prepare for stressful tasks in the future.

“Expressive writing makes the mind work less hard on upcoming stressful tasks, which is what worriers often get ‘burned out’ over, their worried minds working harder and hotter,” Jason Moser, Associate Professor at MSU.

“This technique takes the edge off their brains so they can perform the task with a ‘cooler head,'” Moser added. (IANS)