Early childhood stress affects brain

A study has pinpointed how early childhood stress affects the adult brain's response to rewards. Their findings suggest a possible pathway by which childhood stress may increase risk of depression and other mental health problems in adulthood.

Many studies have connected early life stress to later mental health issues for adults, but little is understood about the reasons for this connection. The new study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the relations between early life stress and reward-related brain activity in adults.

Pain is in the brain

Chronic pain results from disease or trauma to the nervous system. Damaged nerve fibres with heightened responses to normal stimuli send incorrect messages to pain centres in the brain. This phenomenon, called "peripheral and central sensitization" is one of the key mechanisms involved in the condition which touches people with diabetes, cancer, and those suffering from multiple sclerosis, among others.

Exercise in a bottle could become a reality

Research finds around 1000 molecular reactions to exercise, opening the door for drug treatments to mirror the health benefits of exercise.

Drugs that mimic the benefits of exercise could soon become a reality thanks to breakthrough research.

The research exposed a thousand molecular changes that occur in our muscles when we exercise, providing the world's first comprehensive exercise blueprint.

"Exercise is the most powerful therapy for many human diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders," said Professor David James, Leonard P. Ullmann Chair of Metabolic Systems and the head of the research.

Asthma steroids 'could stunt growth'

Young children given asthma medication before the age of two may not grow to their full height in later life, a preliminary report suggests.

The study of 12,000 Finnish infants found that, on average, those who used inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) long-term showed signs of stunted growth, according to BBC.

Experts said the study was a reminder that steroids should be used with caution in pre-school children.

People struggle to tell their toes apart with their eyes closed

 

Most people can't tell their toes apart without looking. Some healthy people can 'lose' a toe if their eyes are closed.

While most of us would assume we've got a pretty good idea of where the various parts of our body are, research suggests we may have a problem telling our toes apart -- with implications for the way our brains see our bodies.

A paper in the journal Perception reports an experiment in which people were asked to close their eyes. The testers then gently prodded each toe or each finger and asked the people to identify which digit was being stimulated.