How a “leaky brain” raises your risk of dementia

It has been a hundred years since a Nobel Prize winner discovered the thin barrier that surrounds and protects brain. Since then, we’ve learned this mesh of tightly joined cells, called the blood-brain barrier, is highly selective in a healthy person. It allows the transport of compounds back and forth through an intricate transport system…

Ritalin risks in kids; functional neurology alternatives

New research shows the use of methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, prior to the maturation of the brain around age 23 can lead to long-term changes in how the brain functions. Methylphenidate appears to cause permanent alterations in how GABA, the neurotransmitter responsible for calming the brain, functions in the medial prefrontal cortex. This area of the…

Student BSMU at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Concussions and whiplash can damage the inner ear

Although most people worry about skull fractures and brain damage when they sustain a head injury, the inner ear, or vestibular system, also is frequently damaged and causes long-term problems if neglected. Vestibular injury frequently goes undiagnosed and underestimated despite causing symptoms such as dizziness, anxiety, depression, moodiness, tinnitus, balance problems, irritability, and more. Vestibular…

The neuroscience of why diets make you fatter

Many studies over many years show diets have steadily made Americans fatter. Why does dieting cause obesity? Blame the brain and its influence on emotional, hormonal, and neurochemical responses to dieting, deprivation, satiety, and shame. Dieting is rarely effective, it doesn’t improve health, and it does more harm than good. Studies show regardless of the…