How Neuroscience Could Explain the Rise of Addictions, Heart Disease and Diabetes in 21st Century America

The conditions of human life began to improve with the Enlightenment of the 18th century, and we are better off now by many measures: food access, health, lifespan, and so on. But it hasn’t been an unbroken line of advancement. In the last three decades, U.S. death rates have risen steeply from suicide and compulsive consumption of alcohol and drugs, which Princeton University professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton famously termed “deaths of despair.” Exceeding these deaths of despair by tenfold are rising deaths from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease—caused significantly by compulsive consumption of what we might call “foods of despair,” the extremely sweet, fatty, high-calorie foods that comprise much of the American diet. The medical community typically identifies each clinical manifestation as a separate “disease” or “disorder,” arising from internal “dysregulation.” Yet addictions, hypertension and type 2 diabetes are not dysregulations. Rather, they are predictable adaptations to life in a cage––a world-wide zoo where, deprived of challenges, we desperately seek distractions, quarrel, and grow fat. How did this happen? Our ancestor half a billion years ago was a marine worm equipped with a brain. The worm learned and remembered where to find food and mates, how to avoid danger, and so on. The key was a neural circuit that drove the creature to seek food, sex, and ...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Addiction diabetes Mental Health/Psychology neuroscience Source Type: news

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Authors: Bergland OU, Søraas CL, Larstorp ACK, Halvorsen LV, Hjørnholm U, Hoffman P, Høieggen A, Fadl Elmula FEM Abstract PURPOSE: The blood pressure (BP) lowering effect of renal sympathetic denervation (RDN) in treatment-resistant hypertension shows variation amongst the existing randomised studies. The long-term efficacy and safety of RDN require further investigation. For the first time, we report BP changes and safety up to 7 years after RDN, compared to drug adjustment in the randomised Oslo RDN study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with treatment-resistant hypertension, defined...
Source: Blood Pressure - Category: Hematology Tags: Blood Press Source Type: research
Authors: Zhang W, Xu JZ, Lu XH, Li H, Wang D, Wang JG Abstract PURPOSE: We hypothesise that dietary sodium intake interacts with serum uric acid to influence blood pressure (BP) in children and adolescents. In the present study, we investigated ambulatory BP in relation to hyperuricaemia, dietary sodium intake and their interaction in children and adolescents with hypertension. MATERIALS AND METHODS:  A total of 616 study participants were 10-24 years old and had primary hypertension diagnosed after admission in a specialised inpatient ward. Ambulatory BP monitoring was performed during hospitalisat...
Source: Blood Pressure - Category: Hematology Tags: Blood Press Source Type: research
Conclusion: These findings suggest that consumption of peanuts high in oleic acid (D7) may have the potential to delay primary fatty liver symptoms. PMID: 33033472 [PubMed]
Source: Food and Nutrition Research - Category: Nutrition Authors: Tags: Food Nutr Res Source Type: research
CONCLUSIONS: Immunohistochemistry seems to be a promising option not only in clinical recognition, but also in the selection and monitoring of treatment effects. However, these methods have not yet recommended for routine clinical use. PMID: 33032462 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology - Category: Gastroenterology Tags: Scand J Gastroenterol Source Type: research
Source: European Journal of Sport Science - Category: Sports Medicine Authors: Source Type: research
CONCLUSION: The proposed PHARMAC criteria will give access to these important drugs to those people with T2DM who will likely benefit the most. PMID: 33032305 [PubMed - in process]
Source: New Zealand Medical Journal - Category: General Medicine Tags: N Z Med J Source Type: research
CONCLUSIONS: Considering the low number of university students disclosing sexual assaults to health professionals or support services, the results of this survey suggest more work is needed to facilitate greater disclosures to health professionals enabling victims to access the services they need regardless of alcohol use. PMID: 33032303 [PubMed - in process]
Source: New Zealand Medical Journal - Category: General Medicine Tags: N Z Med J Source Type: research
CONCLUSION: The nurse practitioner workforce offers stability and flexibility in working across multiple clinical settings in primary healthcare. They provide the potential solution to the general practitioner workforce shortage by improving access to primary healthcare and reducing health inequalities. As authorised prescribers able to enrol patients, receive capitation payments and claim general medical services, it is timely to facilitate the expansion of the nurse practitioner workforce in New Zealand. PMID: 33032301 [PubMed - in process]
Source: New Zealand Medical Journal - Category: General Medicine Tags: N Z Med J Source Type: research
This study investigated the factors associated with the nutritional status of school children in a rural municipality in Cebu, Philippines. Children aged 6-12 years (n = 327) and their parents were asked to participate. Children's anthropometric measurements were taken in schools, while interviews and measurements of parents were conducted at home. Children's nutritional status was assessed using height-for-age (HAZ) and weight-for-age (WAZ) z scores, while body mass index (BMI) was used for parents. Children's dietary patterns and physical activity, and household characteristics, such as food insecurity, eating ...
Source: Ecology of Food and Nutrition - Category: Nutrition Tags: Ecol Food Nutr Source Type: research
Authors: Siamashvili M, Davis S Abstract INTRODUCTION: Bromocriptine mesylate quick release (QR) is a dopamine D2 receptor agonist and is the only oral, primarily centrally acting drug that can be used for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes. AREAS COVERED: The authors describe current recommendations on the use of bromocriptine mesylate QR. Major efficacy and safety parameters of the late phase trials, including The Cycloset Safety Trial, have been identified and presented. EXPERT OPINION: Efficacy of bromocriptine mesylate QR monotherapy appears to be low but is compensated by favorable safety pr...
Source: Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy - Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Tags: Expert Opin Pharmacother Source Type: research
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