A new study suggests that adolescents who have committed one or more homicides have significantly different brain structures than those who have not. The results were gathered using MRI findings on 20 brains of youths who committed at least one homicide and 135 youth offenders (criminals) who had not committed a homicide. Among homicide offenders, the MRI scans revealed a significant reduction in gray matter in the areas of the brain associated with impulse control and emotional processing.
NeuroImage: Clinical, May 2014
More than 12% of kids in the United States experience beatings, neglect, or sexual or emotional abuse. Although lower than 25 years ago, the number of affected children is higher than researchers anticipated. The authors of the study note that the risk of childhood maltreatment is approximately four times higher during their first year of life and to reduce the risk of mistreatment, they recommend that friends and family pay special attention to the needs of parents of very young children.
JAMA Pediatrics, May 2014
Contrary to expectations, fish with more diverse diets have a less diverse population of gut microbes. If this holds true for humans, it could mean that the variety of foods individuals eat can impact their gut microbe diversity.
Ecology Letters, May 2014
Researchers at the University of Indiana have found that whole-body vibration exercise may reduce pain symptoms as well as improve the quality of life of individuals with fibromyalgia. Regular exercise is one of the best known therapies for fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Unfortunately, many fibromyalgia patients are reluctant to exercise due to fear of pain increasing with physical activity. Whole-body vibration exercise involves standing, sitting, or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform that causes muscles to contract and relax as the machine vibrates.
Indiana University, May 2014
Regardless of symptom severity, low back pain patients with more positive expectations appear to achieve better outcomes than patients who are neutral or negative about what to expect from chiropractic treatment.
European Spine Journal, June 2014
A study has identified a gene expression profile associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular death. Combined with other indicators such as biochemical markers and family history, a simple blood test may identify patients who could benefit from early treatment and counseling to reduce their heart attack risk. Senior author Dr. Gregory Gibson explains, “We envision that with our gene expression-based marker, plus some biochemical markers, genotype information and family history, we could produce a tiered evaluation of people’s risks of adverse coronary events.”
Genome Medicine, May 2014