Nicotine Blocks Estrogen Production in Women’s Brains

The production of estrogen in the thalamus appears to be curtailed by just one dose of nicotine, equivalent to that in a cigarette, reveals a whole brain analysis of healthy women in the first study of its kind. The findings were presented at the 35th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress. The researchers performed both … Read more

Wake-up Call on Sleep and Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular health (CVH) scores that include sleep predicted CV disease risk among older US adults, supporting the American Heart Association (AHA)’s recent inclusion of sleep in its own checklist. Sleep duration is now considered “an essential component for ideal heart and brain health,” according to the AHA’s updated checklist, now called Life’s Essential 8. “Our … Read more

Treating the Growing Population of Centenarians

For about the past year, Priya Goel, MD, can be seen cruising around the island of Manhattan as she makes her way between visits to some of New York City’s most treasured residents: a small but essential group of patients born before the Empire State Building scraped the sky and the old Yankee Stadium had … Read more

People May Have Smoked Less During Pandemic

Regular smokers in Denmark purchased fewer cigarettes during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic than they had previously, according to research published earlier this month in Communications Medicine. Dr Sally Sadoff “We think of this as a potential bright spot from the pandemic,” said Sally Sadoff, PhD, an economist at the University of California, … Read more

Quitting Smoking Can Halt Dangerous Drinking, Too

Medications that help smokers quit appear to have another benefit: reducing heavy drinking. Researchers in the United States and Russia have found that a variety of therapies to reduce the craving for nicotine ― including prescription and over-the-counter medications ― cut smoking and drinking levels in tandem. People who stopped smoking entirely reduced their drinking … Read more

How Physicians Can Combat Gun Violence: Lessons From Tobacco

Emotion not reason drives belief. People defend their feelings with reasons, but they are really rationalizations —conscious explanations for unconscious causes. That’s how we vote; that’s how we believe or disbelieve in religion; that’s how we take sides on a myriad of social and cultural issues. A century of psychiatric knowledge and research, including twin … Read more

Opioid Use in the Elderly a Dementia Risk Factor?

Opioid use in the elderly is associated with an almost 40% increased risk of dementia, in new findings that suggest exposure to these drugs may be another modifiable risk factor for dementia. “Clinicians and others may want to consider that opioid exposure in those aged 75-80 increases dementia risk, and to balance the potential benefits … Read more

Lithium May Lower Osteoporosis Risk in Bipolar Disorder

NEW ORLEANS — People with bipolar disorder – particularly men – show a significantly increased risk of osteoporosis, compared with the general population, but treatment with lithium appears to offer a significant protective effect against the bone disease, according to results from the largest study of its kind. Dr Soren Ostergaard “Our findings emphasize that … Read more

Long-Term Cannabis Use Linked to Dementia Risk Factors

Long-term cannabis use is linked to hippocampal atrophy and poorer cognitive function in midlife — known risk factors for dementia. A large prospective, longitudinal study showed long-term cannabis users had an intelligence quotient (IQ) decline from age 18 to midlife (mean 5.5 IQ points), poorer learning and processing speed compared to childhood, and self-reported memory … Read more

Microdosing Psychedelics: Untapped Potential in Psychiatry?

In her month-long memoir, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life (Knopf, 2017), author Ayelet Waldman turns herself into a one-woman experiment. Over a single month she takes one tenth of a recreational dose of LSD every third day. She plots her emotions, her … Read more