Showing posts from September, 2015

Think Karma's to Blame For Your Illness? You May Feel More Pain

OK.  So you don't go to church.  But you may pay a price for that.

A new study has found that people who have negative spiritual beliefs, or, as put its, blame karma for their pain feel it, well, more.

"In general, the more religious or spiritual you are, the healthier you are, which makes sense,” says Brick Johnstone, a neuropsychologist and professor of health psychology in the MU School of Health Professions. “But for some individuals, even if they have even the smallest degree of negative spirituality – basically, when individuals believe they’re ill because they’ve done something wrong and God is punishing them – their health is worse.”

Johnstone and his colleagues studied nearly 200 individuals to find out how their spiritual beliefs affected their health outcomes. Individuals in the study had a range of health conditions, such as cancer, traumatic brain injury or chronic pain, and others were healthy.

The researchers divided the individuals into…

Take Food Advice From a Fattie? Maybe Not

And yet one more cross for overweight people to bear.

Not only are they often shunned and made fun of but now a new study has found that those who blog may be found less credible for readers seeking food advice.

I guess it stands to reason.  Would you take driving advice from someone with DUIs? 

The Cornell study revealed that when a blogger is overweight, as shown in the blogger’s photo, readers are far more skeptical of the information that blogger provides when compared with a thin blogger’s recommendations, even when the content is exactly the same, according to

The findings are increasingly important as more than half of smartphone users report that they use their device to look up health-related information, making the Internet one of the top places people get informed about health issues.

"When we dramatically increased the fat and calorie content, it had just as much impact as when we said the food was posted by a heavy person,”says Jonathon Schuldt, …

Are You Quantum Probabilistic?

Who knew?

Quantum physics is behind our irrational decisions.

According to a new report, when you decide to buy $300 worth of shoes when you can't pay your cell phone bill (like me), you're not acting irrationally.  You're just being quantum probabilistic.

Say what?

The next time someone accuses you of making an irrational decision, just explain that you’re obeying the laws of quantum physics.

A new trend taking shape in psychological science not only uses quantum physics to explain humans’ (sometimes) paradoxical thinking, but may also help researchers resolve certain contradictions among the results of previous psychological studies, according to

For those who try to model our decision-making processes mathematically, the equations and axioms that most closely match human behavior may be ones that are rooted in quantum physics.

“Whenever something comes up that isn’t consistent with classical theories, we often label it as ‘irrational,'" sa…

How Good is Your Sense of Smell? Your Life May Depend on It

Whether you can smell that bread baking or not may determine how much longer you live.

According to a new study, a defective sense of smell appears to be a good predictor of dying within five years.

I remember my grandmother, who lived into her early 80's, complaining that she just couldn't taste food anymore.  But now it looks like this loss applies to smell, as well.

Now, some of us -- stuck in traffic or on a crowded subway or in line behind someone whose shirt bears last night's meal -- might be grateful for that.

I suffer from allergies that stuff up my nose and I used to believe that was a good thing -- if I couldn't taste food, it would help me lose weight.

But just the opposite happens.  You eat more in the hopes that you will taste (or smell) something.

The good news is that researchers believe that the decline in the ability to smell is an indicator of some other age-related degeneration, and is not itself a cause of death.  But let's face it.  It may …

Does Your Doc Feel Your Pain? Some Mad He Doesn't

I remember it well.  A week before Christmas, an ice storm.  And a fall out running that broke my wrist.

Now a new study says that patients with immediate medical needs tend to perceive doctors as emotionless.

Mine was really a funny story.  I hit a bus on my way to the ER (it pulled out in front of me).  I was in such pain I just kept going.

But sitting in the exam room, waiting for the doctor, two cops walked in to tell me I was being investigated for hitting a bus.  It turned out to be minor -- we had clicked mirrors, no damage -- but that added to the enjoyment of the day.

Anyway, since I was at an immediate care center that didn't offer surgery (if needed) or high-caliber pain-killers, I was told to drive myself to the local hospital, that did.  Back in the car I went, only to arrive there to wait 13 hours to have my wristbone yanked three times to try to put it back in place.

Oh my God.

So I'm not sure it mattered too much whether my doc was wincing along with me, I just…

The Math Proves It: Depression Not Contagious Among Teens

Here's an interesting thought.  Happiness spreads, but depression doesn't.

According to a new study, having friends who suffer from depression doesn’t affect the mental health of others.

Research led by the University of Warwick found that just the fact of having friends can help teenagers recover from depression or even avoid becoming depressed in the first instance, reports.

The findings are the result of a study of the way teenagers in a group of US high schools influenced each others’ moods. The academics used a mathematical model to establish if depression spreads from friend to friend.

“Depression is a major public health concern worldwide," says professor Frances Griffiths, head of social science and systems in health at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick. "But the good news is we’ve found that a healthy mood among friends is linked with a significantly reduced risk of developing and increased chance of recovering from depressi…

Who Fares Better In High-Intensity Training? You Guessed It, Men!

It figures.  High-intensity training works for older men, but not for older women.

According to a new study, researchers focused on obese senior males and females 62 and older. The subjects were assigned a regimen of high-intensity exercise that occurred three times per week for six weeks. Each session included five one-minute bursts of exercise performed at 125 percent of a measurement of how how cells metabolize energy. 

A different type of scoring was used to measure the subjects’ muscle and abdominal fat, along with how the cells used this energy, body composition and several other metabolic measurements before and after the exercise regimens were performed.

While males increased both the ways their cells metabolize energy and other measurements of the fat in their muscles, they were able to reduce their body fat percentage by the end of the six weeks.   But no changes were seen in females. The researchers did note, however, that one measurement of female capacity in abdomi…

Express Your Love? Email, Not Leave Voicemail

Now this may shock you, as it did me.  When you're in love, experts say, it's better to email than to leave a voicemail.


According to a new research study from Indiana University, people might be more successful in finding love if they get an email rather than a message.

The research suggests that, in this digital age, an email can be more effective in expressing romantic feelings than leaving a voicemail message, reports.

Previous research and conventional wisdom suggested the opposite, that a voicemail message is a more intimate way to connect with others, but that may not be true, particularly among millennials.
“The bottom line is that email is much better when you want to convey some information that you want someone to think about,” says one of the authors, Alan R. Dennis, the John T. Chambers Chair of Internet Systems in IU’s Kelley School of Business.

 Now keep in mind -- you can't take things back on email.  It's always there, for no…

Runner's High A Spiritual Thing? Nah, It's Just Chemicals

Say it ain't so!  But that euphoric high you get from running is all chemical, not the least bit spiritual.

According to a new survey, apparently that sense of freedom and joy we get from running is not just from endorphins but from a hormone called leptin (which also supposedly causes us to lose -- or not lose -- weight, but that's a story for another day).

The "runner’s high" phenomenon is also caused by dopamine, an important neurotransmitter for motivation, reports. 

"We discovered that the rewarding effects of endurance activity are modulated by leptin, a key hormone in metabolism. Leptin inhibits physical activity through dopamine neurons in the brain," Stephanie Fulton, a researcher at the CRCHUM and lead author of an article published today in the journal Cell Metabolism, tells newswise.

Secreted by adipose tissue, leptin helps control the feeling of satiety. This hormone also influences physical activity. "The more fat there…

Only Six Hours of Sleep? Better Grab a Tissue

I absolutely hate this.  My husband is right.  Not enough sleep can lead to colds.

We've fought for years over this, mostly because our son seems to get sick every time he misses a couple of hours of sleep.  I've always felt that it was mostly myth, or just Larry's crazy view of just about everything (he also believes lack of exercise makes you sick and that tomatoes will stop prostate cancer in its tracks -- and meanwhile, never goes to the doctor).

But anyway, now that Phillip's in high school, missing a day here and there is a serious thing.  No longer can he have the three-day stretches where he recovers from strep throat, or a cold.  (I admit, I'm a little scared, too.)

But a new study has found that "short" sleepers are four times more likely to get a cold.

Makes sense, I guess. People who sleep less than six hours a night are the ones most likely to have this happen to them.

This is the first study to use objective sleep measures to connect people’…

Obsessed with Your Phone? There's a Name For You

Admit it.  You're never farther away from your smart phone than your wrist.  You eat with it right next to your plate.  You take it with you into the bathroom when you shower.  You sleep with it under your pillow (well, maybe not quite).

But it's true.  We're all obsessed with our smart phones -- and the information they provide every second.  Where is my kid now?  What happened with the market?  Pizza for dinner?.

Face it.  We can't live without them.

But now there's a name for it.  We're all nomophobes.

Say what?  It's a fear of being without your phone.

Researchers recently did a study that asked 300 undergrads some of these questions:

I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone. I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so.Being unable to get the news (news, weather, etc.) on my smartphone would make me nervous.Running out of battery in my smartphone would scare …