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Mind & Mood Archive
Can a little bit of exercise lower your depression risk?
A review of studies published online April 13, 2022, by JAMA Psychiatry found that people who did 75 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, had an 18% lower risk for depression, compared with people who didn't exercise.
What you need to know about aphasia
Brain damage can cause the language disorder aphasia. It affects a person's ability to understand or produce speech. Coping with aphasia requires treatment for the underlying cause and speech therapy to learn how to communicate despite language deficits. If the cause of the aphasia improves, so may the aphasia. But many people will continue to live with some level of aphasia, especially if the cause of brain damage is a progressive disease, such as Alzheimer's.
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is less common in summer, but a seasonal pattern of depressive symptoms can occur despite exposure to many hours of daylight. Many summertime SAD symptoms resemble overall depression markers, but eating and sleeping patterns can deviate. People can combat summertime SAD by sticking with antidepressants and psychotherapy, maintaining routines, exercising, and taking a break from social media.
I'm too young to have Alzheimer's disease or dementia, right?
Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia are something we think of as diseases of old age. Memory loss is a common symptom, and something that people in midlife also experience — but young onset dementia is very uncommon.
Cognitive effects in midlife of long-term cannabis use
As more US states have legalized recreational cannabis or passed medical cannabis laws, public perception that cannabis is a harmless substance is growing. But its long-term benefits and risks remain unclear, and research has revealed consistently that heavy long-term cannabis use can affect cognition in midlife.
If climate change keeps you up at night, here's how to cope
Climate anxiety is distress related to worries about how the effects of climate change. It's more likely to affect adolescents and young adults, leading to chronic stress, depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, and more. What can you do to manage climate anxiety in yourself or a young person in your life?
Protein intake associated with less cognitive decline
Compared with eating carbohydrates, eating protein—particularly protein from plants— was associated with lower odds of later developing cognitive declines, according to a Harvard study in the January 2022 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Magic mushrooms and toad venom
Psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin (found in "magic mushrooms") and 5-MeO-DMT (a compound derived from toad venom) are being tested for treating cases of depression that don't respond to standard treatments. New depression approaches are needed since current treatments don't work in nearly half of patients. Hallucinogenics may change longstanding thought patterns or promote new connections in brain neurons. Benefits of psilocybin on mood appear to be long-lasting. FDA approval for psilocybin will likely take several more years.
A high-fiber diet may reduce the risk of dementia
A new study suggests a high-fiber diet may protect against dementia. In a group of about 3,700 older adults, those who consumed the most fiber (about 20 grams daily) had the lowest rates of dementia, and those who ate the least fiber (8 grams daily) had the highest rates.
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