Breaking News

Well-timed exercise might improve learning

Aerobic exercise four hours after a memorization task, but not exercise right afterwards, was linked to improved recall in a series of Dutch experiments.

Newly-learned information turns into long-term knowledge through a process of stabilization and integration of memories, the study team writes in Current Biology. This requires certain brain chemicals that are also released during physical exercise, including dopamine, noradrenaline (norepinephrine) and a growth factor called BDNF, they explain, according to Reuters.

“The brain processes new memories for a while after learning. Physical exercise is able to improve these post-learning processes,” senior author Guillen Fernandez, director of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, told Reuters Health by email.

To explore when exercise would most improve learning, researchers recruited 72 participants and tasked them with learning to match a series of 90 locations with pictures over a 40-minute period.

The participants were split into three groups: one group exercised immediately after learning, one group exercised four hours later and one group did not exercise at all.

Cancer risk from coffee downgraded

The cancer risk of coffee has been downgraded, with experts concluding there is inadequate evidence to suggest it causes the disease.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, had classed coffee as "possibly" carcinogenic since 1991.

This was because of a link to bladder cancer, according to BBC.

But the expert group has now decided there is insufficient evidence to say whether it causes cancer or not.

Caffeine improves recognition of positive words

Caffeine perks up most coffee-lovers, but a new study shows a small dose of caffeine also increases their speed and accuracy for recognizing words with positive connotation. The research by Lars Kuchinke and colleagues, shows that caffeine enhances the neural processing of positive words, but not those with neutral or negative associations.

Previous research showed that caffeine increases activity in the central nervous system, and normal doses of caffeine improve performance on simple cognitive tasks and behavioral responses. It is also known that certain memories are enhanced when strong positive or negative emotions are associated with objects, but the link between caffeine consumption and these emotional biases was unknown.

Obesity boom 'fuelling rise in malnutrition'

Malnutrition is sweeping the world, fuelled by obesity as well as starvation, new research has suggested.

The 2016 Global Nutrition Report said 44% of countries were now experiencing "very serious levels" of both under-nutrition and obesity, according to BBC.

It means one in three people suffers from malnutrition in some form, according to the study of 129 countries.

Malnutrition has traditionally been associated with children who are starving, have stunted growth and are prone to infection.

Many with migraines have vitamin deficiencies, says study

A high percentage of children, teens and young adults with migraines appear to have mild deficiencies in vitamin D, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10 -- a vitamin-like substance found in every cell of the body that is used to produce energy for cell growth and maintenance.

These deficiencies may be involved in patients who experience migraines, but that is unclear based on existing studies.

"Further studies are needed to elucidate whether vitamin supplementation is effective in migraine patients in general, and whether patients with mild deficiency are more likely to benefit from supplementation," says Suzanne Hagler, MD, a Headache Medicine fellow and lead author of the study.