NFL May Interfere in Concussion Research, and Other News

Football players locked in tackleWhen the Carolina Panthers’ Philly Brown suffered a possible concussion during the Super Bowl, he was taken out of the game. Doctors now know concussions are significantly more dangerous than previously believed, and a new study suggests even a mild concussion can triple the risk of suicide. In 2015, a post-mortem brain study found 87 of 91 former National Football League (NFL) players had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that can cause confusion, dementia, impulsive behavior, and depression.

The NFL is one of the largest funders of football-related brain research, ostensibly due to its interest in protecting players. A report by ESPN’s Outside the Lines questions the NFL’s motives, suggesting the research into football-related brain injuries may be subtly biased. According to the report, much of the $100 million dollars the NFL contributed to brain research went to scientists who have a direct connection to the league. When research produced data embarrassing to the NFL, the report alleges, the NFL threatened to remove funding.

In one case, the NFL supported research that justified ceasing use of impact-tracking sensors in helmets. Though the study suggested the sensors were 96% accurate at detecting impacts and their severity, the league argued that the sensors were too unreliable to be used.

Sleep Deprivation Contributes to False Confessions, Study Confirms

Studies increasingly confirm that memories are less reliable than we think they are. Now, a new study suggests sleep deprivation—a common tactic in police and military interrogations—increases the risk of false confessions by nearly 500%.

Why People Cheat

“Winners” may be more likely to cheat, according to a series of four experiments that looked at the behavior of 86 students. Using a series of games, researchers showed that a prior win increased the likelihood of cheating in subsequent games. Even encouraging participants to recall a time they felt successful increased their likelihood of cheating. Though the team did not directly test why this occurred, they speculate that people who win may think they are superior to others, thereby increasing their sense of entitlement and their willingness to cheat.

Short Answers to Hard Questions About Postpartum Depression

This week, the United States Preventive Services Task Force issued guidelines indicating that women should be screened for postpartum depression and other mental health issues during pregnancy and after giving birth. The screening usually involves a 10-question quiz and must be covered by insurance.

Adult Neurogenesis May Be Increased by Sustained Aerobic Exercise

The benefits of exercise include better overall health, reduced risk of cancer and diabetes, and even relief from depression symptoms. New research on how exercise affects the brain may shed more light on the physical and intellectual benefits by showing that exercise could promote the growth of brain cells. Researchers found that rats who were physically active had more neurons in their hippocampus at the end of the experiment than sedentary rats.

Your Brain Operates Differently Depending on the Time of Year

A small study of brain patterns in 28 study participants suggests the brain may behave differently depending on the season. Participants stayed in a lab for 4.5 days to control for environmental influences. Brain regions associated with working memory were most active in the fall and least active in the spring. Though brain activity changed, participants’ performance on cognitive tests did not.

What Keeps Couples Happy Long Term

A large study of nearly 39,000 married or cohabitating heterosexual men and women points to some recurring themes among happy couples. Three-quarters of satisfied men and women proclaimed their love during their last sexual encounter. Sixty-three percent of satisfied men and 55% of satisfied women scheduled date nights to ensure they had sex. Just 17% of unhappy men and 23% of unhappy women reported frequently having sex.

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  • Judith

    February 12th, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Can you really tell me why the NFL would even want to interfere with this research when ultimately any new things that we learn for it will be for the good of their players?

  • Landry

    February 12th, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    Well we are having a date night tonight so I am hoping that this means good things for us!

  • Margie l

    February 14th, 2016 at 4:14 PM

    Nothing that I hate worse than a cheater and one who then thinks that they are good enough to get away with it over and over again? Bugs me even more.

  • Maya

    February 15th, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    I know that PPD is a big thing but how many insurance companies do you think are going to step up and foot the bill for a quiz like this? And honestly do we think that simply taking a ten question quiz is going to be the answer to diagnosis? Sure it may give us an indication of how many women are suffering but then again there could be a lot of women who will still fall through the cracks. I think that we need something that will be more reliable than this.

  • posey

    February 15th, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    Now why as the police would I want to gain a confession that I knew to be false?

  • Joey

    February 16th, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    The NFL is a big old money maker and so why would they ever want to admit to anything or endorse anything that would deny them that ability to keep rolling in the big bucks?

  • Perry

    February 18th, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    I love my husband so much, and the work is not always easy holding it all together but I would never want to trade him and our marriage for anything else in this world. We always tell each other I love you, we hold hands and generally gross our kids out.

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