Mental Health

Common Pesticide Linked to Increase in ADHD

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects approximately 11 percent of children aged four to 17—that’s 6.4 million children diagnosed as of 2011. Boys are three to four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls. While there are certain hereditary factors that make some children more likely to develop ADHD more than others, environmental factors are also thought to play an…

Diabetes Linked to Memory Decline

According to recent statistics, 29.1 million people—that’s 9.3 percent of the population—have diabetes. Almost 30 percent of these people have not been diagnosed, however. It gets worse. Fully 86 million more people—that’s over one third of U.S. adults—have prediabetes (high blood sugar, the precursor to diabetes), yet ninety percent of them don’t know it. Truly, these numbers reveal the epidemic…

Breastfeeding May Protect Against ADHD and Improve IQ

The beneficial effects of breastfeeding are many. Children who are breastfed are at less risk of developing ear infections, colds, asthma, obesity, diabetes, and even leukemia.1 Breastfeeding has also been linked to improved brain development and lower risk for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavioral problems. Because ADHD and other behavioral problems are also linked to the child’s IQ—which…

Depression Reconsidered as an Infectious Disease

Major depressive disorder is the most common type of depression and involves severe symptoms that interfere with an individual’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. Each year, about 6.7 percent of U.S. adults are affected by the condition, with women 70 percent more likely to be affected than men. Scientists do not have a good handle on…

Broccoli Sprout Compound Shows Promise for Autism

An interesting study in children with autism was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal. Researchers tested the effects of a daily dose of sulforaphane, a chemical derived from broccoli sprouts, on children with autism. They found that many of the children receiving sulforaphane experienced significant improvements in social interaction and verbal communication, as…

Gut Bacteria and Leaky Brain Syndrome

You may have already heard about leaky gut syndrome (increased intestinal permeability)—damage to the intestinal lining that creates holes through which travel toxins, bacteria, and large food particles from the digestive tract—all of which are not meant to cross the intestinal lining and can trigger an inflammatory immune response that enters systemic circulation and can manifest disease processes in virtually…

Mental Illness Is Not All in Your Head

Mental illness is often thought to be isolated in the brain, separated from the rest of the body by the blood brain barrier and not at all related to other physiological occurrences elsewhere in the body. This notion is falling by the wayside, however, as study after study links mental illnesses with biological manifestations throughout the body. A recent study…

Memory Impairment During Adolescence—Sugar to Blame

Sugar-sweetened beverages, most notably soft drinks and sweetened juices, are a regular part of the diets of many adolescents. Sugar-sweetened beverages make up 48 percent of added sugars in the diet, most coming from soft drinks. Adolescents enjoy more freedom than they experienced during earlier childhood, which may lead to the increased consumption of such beverages. A recent study presented…