Stress a Common Trigger for Epileptic Seizures, and Other News

Stressed woman working at nightResearch shows stress can play a key role in seizures. Studies have linked chronic stress to the emergence of epilepsy, identifying stress as a major factor in seizure susceptibility. Now, new research published in the journal Seizure affirms stress is a common trigger for seizures in people with epilepsy.

The study analyzed previous research on the topic and consistently found a strong association between stress and seizures. Researchers included 21 previous studies—beginning in the 1980s and continuing through the present day—in their analysis. Early studies, which used daily logs, found participants reported more seizures on high-stress days. A 2002 study found children living during the early 1990s war in Croatia had more seizures than those living in other areas. Ten years after the first seizure, children no longer living in a war zone had fewer seizures.

People who experienced stress-related seizures reported higher overall levels of anxiety. The study’s authors highlight the role of stress management in managing epilepsy.

Study Suggests a Short Nap Can Make You Happier

Previous research links naps of 30 minutes or less to greater productivity. A new survey of more than 1,000 people has found people who take short naps during the day are more likely to feel happy than those who take long naps or no naps.

Distracted Driving: Urging Companies to Crack Down

The pressure to always be working can encourage employees to drive while talking or texting on a cell phone. A new campaign by David Teater, who lost his son to distracted driving, asks businesses to ban the use of phones while driving. Teater says targeting businesses expands the reach of the message, potentially saving lives. More than eight people are killed and 1,000 are injured in distracted driving car crashes each day.

Blood Test Unlocks New Frontier in Treating Depression

Forty percent of people who take antidepressants stop taking them within the first three months, often due to side effects or inadequate improvement. A blood test may help clinicians choose treatment that is more likely to be effective. According to a study of 100 people, testing C-reactive protein (CRP) levels can help clinicians determine a medication that is more likely to be effective for an individual person with depression.

It’s Spring! Take a Walk With Your Therapist

“Walk and talk” therapy, which blends light outdoor exercise with traditional psychotherapy, is increasingly popular. Therapists who offer this program say it can help people in therapy get unstuck, offering a change of environment and pace that can support greater insight. Little research exists on “walk and talk” therapy, but the American Psychological Association lists some benefits and potential drawbacks.

Bad Cold? If You’re Lonely, It May Feel Worse

According to a study of 159 people, common cold symptoms may feel worse when people are lonely. The size of a person’s social network did not matter in the study. Instead, the experience of loneliness, as measured by the Short Loneliness Scale, was the relevant factor.

Turning Negative Thinkers into Positive Ones

Chronic negative thinking can harm mental health, triggering depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. But research suggests it is possible to change people’s thought habits, helping negative thinkers become more positive. Approaches that change thought patterns can offer improvements in both mental and physical health.

Inside the Hole: What Happens to the Mind in Isolation?

Many prisons and jails use solitary confinement, leaving prisoners isolated for long stretches of time—sometimes for years. The effects of life in solitary confinement can be devastating for mental health, lasting well beyond the period of confinement.

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  • Mark

    April 7th, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    It isn’t up to the companies or the cars to keep us from driving while texting or whatever. It is up to US to be smart enough to know better!

    This one is on all of us. I will admit that I have been guilty of doing this too, and it was by choice. A dumb choice, but a choice that I made.

  • eliot

    April 10th, 2017 at 11:18 AM

    My neurologist has actually just started talking to me about perhaps trying yoga or EMDR to reduce stress and so that could possibly help with my seizures. I thought that it was curious until I saw this here.

  • Lorraine

    April 12th, 2017 at 6:55 AM

    So I will admit that taking a walk with my counselor sounds like it would be a great idea on the surface. But how is she then supposed to notate the walk and make sure that she gets down any thing relevant that the two of us may talk about. Also it would be difficult for her to then reference anything that we have discussed in the past because carrying around all of that would probably take away from the free feeling that walking would generate. I don’t know, it is one of those things that definitely sounds good in theory but then you have to wonder would anything get lost just from being outside? Also confidentiality could be a problem too when out in public. I don’t know, several things I can think of that could be problematic.

  • Kaia

    April 14th, 2017 at 7:54 AM

    My little afternoon snooze is what helps me get through every single day. I mean, we are talking 30 minutes here, but I can’t tell you how much more focused and energetic I feel after I get that in for the day.

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