Tag Archives: University of Iowa

Memory Loss Does Not Wipe Out Emotions

New research from the US suggests that emotions triggered by events can endure longer than factual recollection in patients with severe amnesia; the researchers hope their findings will increase understanding of Alzheimer’s and related diseases and also bring comfort to caregivers and families in the knowledge that their loved ones may continue to feel the warmth of visits and conversations even if they can’t remember what happened.

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You can read about the research by scientists at the University of Iowa (UI) in Iowa City in the 12 April early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS.

Lead author Justin Feinstein, a student in the UI graduate programs of neuroscience and psychology, told the media that:

“A simple visit or phone call from family members might have a lingering positive influence on a patient’s happiness even though the patient may quickly forget the visit or phone call.”

However, he also described the downside:

“On the other hand, routine neglect from staff at nursing homes may leave the patient feeling sad, frustrated and lonely even though the patient can’t remember why,” said Feinstein.

Feinstein and colleagues studied five patients with a rare case of memory loss due to damage to their their hippocampus that caused new memories to disappear.

The hippocampus is critical for transferring memories from short-term to long-term storage, and is one of the first regions of the brain to suffer damage in Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers showed the patients short extracts of sad and happy films; although they couldn’t remember details of the films, they retained the emotions elicited by what they had watched.

Each patient watched 20 minutes of a sad film, underwent memory and mood tests, then on another day, they watched 20 minutes of a happy film and had the same tests.

The researchers observed that the films induced the appropriate emotion in the patients, ranging from laughing out loud while watching the happy films to tears during the sad films.

About 10 minutes after watching a film clip, Feinstein and colleagues tested the patients’ factual memories to see how much they could remember about it.

A person with a non-impaired memory would be expected to remember about 30 details from each film clip, but these patients’ memories were severely imparied: one patient couldn’t recall a single detail.

Then they asked the patients another set of questions to gauge their emotional state.

Feinstein said that they still felt the emotion, explaining that “sadness tended to last a bit longer than happiness, but both emotions lasted well beyond their memory of the films”.

“With healthy people, you see feelings decay as time goes on. In two patients, the feelings didn’t decay; in fact, their sadness lingered,” he added.

The researchers concluded that the findings suggest “both positive and negative emotional experiences can persist independent of explicit memory for the inducing event,” and provide “direct evidence that a feeling of emotion can endure beyond the conscious recollection for the events that initially triggered the emotion”.

These results appear to challenge the idea that wiping out a painful memory abolishes the associated emotional suffering, and stress the importance of attending to the needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

According to a 2009 report from Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), 35 million people worldwide will have dementia this year, and the number is set to double every 20 years, reaching 115.4 million by 2050.

The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is age, and there is currently no cure, said Feinstein.

“What we’re about to face is an epidemic. We’re going to have more and more baby boomers getting older, and more and more people with Alzheimer’s disease. The burden of care for these individuals is enormous,” he added, urging that:

“… we need to start setting a scientifically-informed standard of care for patients with memory disorders. Here is clear evidence showing that the reasons for treating Alzheimer’s patients with respect and dignity go beyond simple human morals.”

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Kiwanis International Foundation, funded the research.

“Sustained experience of emotion after loss of memory in patients with amnesia.”

Source: Today’s Health News: 13th. April.2010

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Algae May Harbour SARS Cure

A protein from algae might help in treating Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) infections, suggests a new study.

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Researchers from University of Iowa have found that mice treated with the protein, Griffithsin (GRFT), had a 100 percent survival rate after exposure to the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), as compared to a 30 percent survival for untreated mice.

GRFT is believed to exert its anti-viral effects by altering the shape of the sugar molecules that line the virus‘ envelope, allowing it to attach to and invade human cells, where it takes over the cells’ reproductive machinery to replicate itself.

Without that crucial ability, the virus is unable to cause disease.

“While preliminary, these results are very exciting and indicate a possible therapeutic approach to future SARS or other coronaviral outbreaks,” said Christine Wohlford-Lenane, senior research assistant at the department of pediatrics University of Iowa and the lead author of the study.

GRFT not only stop the virus from replicating, but also prevented secondary outcomes, such as weight loss, that are associated with infection.

“We are planning future studies to investigate prophylaxis, versus treatment interventions with GRFT, in the SARS mouse model in collaboration with Barry O’Keefe at the National Cancer Institute,” she said.

“In addition, we want to learn whether mice protected from SARS by GRFT develop protective immunity against future infection,” she added.

The research was presented at the American Thoracic Society‘s 105th International Conference in San Diego.

Source: The Times Of India

 

Salt May Improve Your Mood

 

Many people consume too much salt, but new research may have uncovered one reason people crave it — it might lead to a better mood.

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Researchers found that when rats are deficient in sodium chloride (common table salt), they shy away from activities they normally enjoy. A loss of pleasure in normally pleasing actitvities is one of the most important features of psychological depression.

If salt is a natural mood-elevating substance, it could help explain why so many are tempted to over-ingest it, even though it’s known to contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease and other health problems.

Resources :
Science Blog March 10, 2009
Physiology & Behavior August 6, 2009; 94(5):709-21

Sadness & Depression is Unhealthy

What contributes frowning to one’s face? Is it not sadness? This state of being is one of the many reasons why people who have emotional breakdown put their lives at risk. When deeper sadness or depression consumes the individual, illness and disturbance clog his mind and feelings.

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Most people who suffer from depression or extreme sadness are affected with the way they deal with their fellow man. Depressed people are sensitive and demand special attention. At times, depression swallows them and affects their relationship with other people, particularly their families and those who stay closer to them.

You have your ups and downs, but for the most part, you are moderately happy. There’s no burning desire to change your life. You’d probably have an uplifting effect on someone who is less happy than you, but at the same time, you could benefit if you associated with those happier than yourself.

Enthusiasm is a feeling similar to happiness but the emotion involved is intense. Enthusiasm is often associated with divine inspiration, an intense emotion deeper than happiness itself. However, our society’s status these days hinders people from being enthusiasts. Instead, many are grieving and saddened with what they see in the surroundings and in the whole world. Most people who were victimized by wars and social problems find enthusiasm impossible to feel. Why, even the richest people on earth feel sad at times. If this is the case, is it true that enthusiasm is elusive?

Many sigh because of sadness and bad experiences. We can say that indeed, happiness or enthusiasm is a relative state of being. This is the reason why many people resort to illicit drugs, thinking that they can escape the bitter experiences they are experiencing. They thought they can fake happiness for a few hours. Little did they know that no matter how difficult life is, happiness is still available and waiting to be rediscovered.

How can you promote and contribute to enthusiasm and happiness?

1. Set goals and seek life’s purpose. Happiness cannot be achieved overnight so starting early means experiencing happiness the soonest.

2. Take away all the bitterness you kept for years. Learn to say sorry and accept your limitations.

3. Keep your life simple by allotting time for you to relax and enjoy wholesome recreation.

4. Learn to develop self-worth. Love your deeds and do favors for yourself. Adopt changes if necessary and if you feel like you are bored in doing routines.

5. Humbly accept others support and appreciate small gifts from them.

6. Try rendering support or reciprocating the kindness shown to you.

7. Develop hobbies that will contribute to your self-worth. Some women and housewives, for instance, love gardening. They at times talk to their plants. They find this rewarding in most ways.

8. Read some inspirational books. Keep simple but inspiring messages and share these to others. Remember that giving brings joy to every person; learn the value of generosity at all times.

9. Constantly communicate to others your inspiring and up building stories. Learn to accept feedbacks from your listeners.

10. Learn to be flexible, accept the fact that everything does not just happen the way you think everything should be.

Keeping these simple things in mind, I can say that happiness and enthusiasm are not that difficult to find. Many people pay huge amounts of money just to have the opportunity to gain worthwhile experiences. In the end, these people are convinced that the real happiness they seek cannot be bought. It can be achieved in many ways; but to find it, they must be humble enough to compromise some wants in exchange of the need to be happy.Always try to get rid of GRID. Grid and desire are not same.Grid will make you unhappy but desire will encourage you to succeed and success will give you happiness.

DOING REGULAR YOGA EXERCISE & PRANAYAMA  UNDER THE GUIDELINES  OF AN EXPERT WILL BE THE BEST MEDICINE FOR GETTING OUT OF MENTAL DEPRESSION.