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Thursday 19 October 2017

The epigenetics of addiction

  Why do people slip back into unhealthy habits so often? Why is there such a high risk of relapse after abstaining from an addictive substance? A study published in Neuron reveals that the nucleus accumbens, epigenetics and the environment play a crucial role.   An addiction is an irresistible desire to search for rewarding or calming stimuli, irrespective of the negative consequences that these can have. Through repeated contact with the desired stimuli, the...

Monday 11 September 2017

Big data: correlation between migraine and IBS

A study involving anonymous patient data from 480,000 people reveals surprising genetic correlations between various disorders. These correlations– such as between IBS and migraine – do not appear in the current illness classification systems.   What is big data? In brief, this involves the use of statistical models on very large datasets. These tend to be performed by large companies to monitor online consumer behaviour and promote purchasing behaviour. But the...

Sunday 10 September 2017

Why caloric restriction increases longevity

Studies have been performed into ageing for more than seventy years and these reveal that caloric restriction is the most effective strategy for retarding it. But why does this work so well?   We take caloric restriction  to mean eating less energy dense, but not less nutrient rich foods. Caloric restriction is not to be obtained by crash dieting, or eating as little as possible for extended periods of time. Below, you will find means to work on caloric restriction in a...

Saturday 9 September 2017

How neuro-inflammation makes our brain ill

In scientific research into brain disorders, neuro-inflammation is increasingly identified as a cause. Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, MS and OCD: today’s sensitive PET scanner ruthlessly exposes brain inflammation. But what is the cause of the cause?   Take Alzheimer’s disease. In the past, this neurodegenerative disease was described as an accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles and beta-amyloid plaques, but recent research has...