This week in health news was dominated by studies, rankings and new products addressing mental wellbeing by looking at marijuana, mood foods, new online survey, M-3, to measure risk for depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the role of stress in mate selection and list of top sane and insane cities in the United States.

Crazing-making cannabis
A study to be published in May's edition of Archives of General Psychiatry, a monthly medical journal by the American Medical Association, shows the constant use of marijuana over a long period of time beginning during adolescence makes delusions and psychosis more likely. "There was a ‘dose-response' relationship between the variables of interest: the longer the duration since first cannabis use, the higher the risk of psychosis-related outcomes," explained the researchers. "The nature of the relationship between psychosis and cannabis use is by no means simple." The AMA echoed the studies authors' sentiment and said the following with regards to this study, "concerns remain that this research has not adequately accounted for confounding variables".

Monitor your mood in three minutes with 27 questions
A new study proved that the My Mood Monitor (M-3) - an online one-page secure questionnaire used to self-gauge mood and "relative risk for depression, an anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)" - is a useful and effective diagnostic tool. Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine (UNC) published their findings in the March/April edition of Annals of Family Medicine, a peer-reviewed research journal. M-3:  http://www.mymoodmonitor.com/ Study: http://www.annfammed.org/

Men don't prefer blondes - under stress 'different' is preferred
On March 10, a new study published in the Proceedings of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, scientific journal devoted to biology, found men alter their mating choices based on stress levels. Researchers studied the stressed and relaxed states of a group of heterosexual males to determine if the subjects would change the common preference of "self-resembling mates." The findings revealed, "stress affects human mating preferences: unstressed individuals showed the expected preference for similar mates, but stressed individuals seem to prefer dissimilar mates." Co-author of the study, Christian Deuter, a psychobiologist at the University of Trier, told Relaxnews, "stress is known to have severe effects on many aspects of our behavior, mostly negative. Still, the fact that it also has an impact on our mating preferences in such a fundamental way was very astonishing." http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/03/04/rspb.2010.0258.abstract

Five foods to enhance your moods
According to Caring.com, a caregiver resource site, certain snack choices can change your mood for the better - essentially make you happier. Caring.com lists five snack foods that, because of their essential minerals, amino acids and vitamins, could help to enhance your mood, wellbeing and brain functions, making you happier. Tryptophan, a natural way to boost serotonin levels in the brain, is in four of the five snacks. The five snacks are bananas, walnuts, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds, and eggs.

Is your sanity linked to you city?
On March 11, The Daily Beast, a news and opinion blog, created America's Craziest Cities list by analyzing and measuring 57 urban US cities by psychiatrists per capita, eccentricity, stress and drinking levels. The Daily Beast's system for ranking all of the cities could have produced different outcomes if not linking alcohol intake and eccentricity as indicators of "crazy" however the list reveals insights into supply/demand of mental health professionals, Gallup-Healthway 2008 poll on stress and emotional/mental wellbeing of Americans city-by-city and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2008 alcohol intake prevalence. Top ‘crazy' city: Cincinnati, Ohio; top ‘sane' city: Salt Lake City, Utah. http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-03-11/americas-25-craziest-cities/

 

 

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