Exercise Can Counteract Gene for Alzheimer’s, and Other News

Senior men laugh after a workoutAlzheimer’s is caused by a number of genes, and many people who don’t have a genetic variant associated with the condition still contract the disease. A gene called APOE e4, though, doubles the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. People who have this gene may be overwhelmed by fear of developing Alzheimer’s, but new research suggests that one simple change can reduce the effects of the so-called Alzheimer’s gene. People who exercise are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, even if they have a gene for it.

One study, for example, found that exercising twice a week in middle age reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s 20 years later. Interestingly, people with the APOE e4 gene benefited even more from this regular exercise. Another study found that people at high risk for Alzheimer’s have increased brain activity and glucose uptake when performing a memory task if they exercise.

What Goes Around Comes Around: Victimization Leads to Bullying

Children who are bullied are more likely to become bullies themselves, according to a study of 695 Canadian children. Researchers followed the children from fifth grade through high school, asking them about bullying every year. Six percent of participants began as victims and then became bullies. This same group had a higher rate of mental health problems than other children. 

Teens Whose Parents Exert More Psychological Control Have Trouble With Closeness, Independence

A study of a diverse group of 184 teens found that when parents exerted strong control over their children at 13, the children were less likely to resist peer pressure. These same children also had trouble navigating close interpersonal relationships, and had more trouble becoming independent from their parents.

Walnuts Appear to Delay Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, New Study Finds

A study of mice links walnuts to a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s. Researchers gave mice the mouse-sized equivalent of a human serving (one ounce) of walnuts every day for a month. At the end of the month, the mice who ate walnuts performed better on memory tests. 

Family Acceptance Key for Curbing Teen Suicides, Study Shows

A study of 99 teens who had recently been discharged from a psychiatric hospital found that most of them reported feeling invalidated by their families. Researchers found that families who accepted the teens’ emotions, identity, and feelings had teens who were less likely to attempt suicide. While girls reported a higher rate of family rejection, boys were more likely to become suicidal when they felt invalidated by their families. 

Even Depressed People Believe That Life Gets Better

People typically believe that the future will be better than the present—a cognitive bias that can help people cope with emotional pain and stress. A study of middle-aged adults has found that while people with depression tend to view their lives more negatively than people without depression, even people who have depression believe that life will be better in the future. 

Panic Attacks Associated With Fear of Bright Daylight

A recent study comparing 33 people who do not experience panic attacks to 24 people who do has found that panic attacks are correlated with an aversion to bright daylight. Subjects responded to prompts such as, “My ideal house has large windows,” and then researchers calculated how study participants felt about bright light. Those who avoided bright light were more likely to have panic attacks. Previous research has found that bright fluorescent light can cause panic attacks in some people. 

Birth Season Linked to Risk of Later-Life Mood Disorders

According to a study that looked at the birth season of 400 participants, the season that people are born in may influence their temperaments. The study evaluated tendencies toward depression and irritability, and hyperthymic (high energy, cheerful)  and cyclothymic (sudden shifts between happy and sad) temperaments. People born in the summer, for example, were more likely to experience sudden and frequent mood changes than those born in winter.

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  • matthew

    matthew

    October 24th, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    What an awesome discovery in regards to Alzheimers and the gene that could possibly be put at bay through the use of regular exercise. I know how much I have benefitted form having exercise as a part of my daily life and to know that it can ward off a horrible disease such as this is even more reason to keep on keeping on!

  • Evelyn

    Evelyn

    October 24th, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    so heartbreaking that there are even kids out there who have to feel that rejection and shame at the hands of their families and the terrible things that this can then lead to

  • Paula

    Paula

    October 25th, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    Does this mean that exercise, even after a diagnosis, could then potentially slow the progression of the disease?

  • georgia

    georgia

    October 25th, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    The children who have been bullied are them the ones who in turn wind up bullying others. You would think that they of all people would remember how this hurt them and that they would not want someone else to hurt like this, but I suppose that in an effort to feel strong they decide to do what was done to them and find someone weaker to pick on so that they have someone to feel like they are in control over. A vicious cycle it seems.

  • Glenda

    Glenda

    October 26th, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    Well this does give us some sense of hope that even those who are depressed can see that there is the potential for life getting better. The thing is they may not be able to feel that in their own lives as quickly as they may like or at the exact moment when they need it the most, but at least that is a thought process that can be nurtured and hopefully made the most of by the people who are with them. You have to stoke that fire and give them the energy that they will need so that they can see that their own lives have this potential for improvement as well.

  • Cameron

    Cameron

    October 26th, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Walnuts
    Exercise
    Lots of great news on the Alzheimer’s front it seems

  • Susanna

    Susanna

    October 27th, 2014 at 3:47 AM

    That is so strange to me about bright light! I know that light can have a great deal to do with how you feel, and I guess I have heard about the sunshine triggering a sneeze but never a panic attack. That’s so interesting and I would love to know how researchers even came up with a theory that there could be some truth to that.

  • Burke

    Burke

    October 27th, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    so I was born in the fall, what does that mean?
    that I am the season that everyone loves the most so I am the one everyone wants to be around? ;)

  • tamy

    tamy

    October 28th, 2014 at 3:57 AM

    If even depressed people feel that life can be better, well don’t they need to use that to get out of their depression? or if the therapist realizes that there is this light that they see, how could this then be used as a part of their treatment?

  • Winston

    Winston

    October 28th, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    I have in the past read a lot about how birth order can influence the personality that you have and what not, but never have I read anything other than here implicating your birth season as being instrumental in sixths as well. Very interesting, especially if we start to see more planned pregnancies in certain months so that you can try to engineer what kind of person your child would turn out to be or even what kid of personality that they might have… or to even avoid certain things that you could be afraid of!

  • Joshalyn

    Joshalyn

    October 30th, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    You say that teens who have parents who have psychological control over them have trouble with both closeness and independence.
    I am very much the product of an upbringing like this where my parents wanted to micromanage every little thing that I did.
    As a result I knew how to do very little for myself or make decisions for myself once I moved out and at the same time I have always struggled with thinking that someone isn’t into me if they don’t try to have a part in every little thing that I do.

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