How the Mental Health of College Students in China has been Affected by COVID-19

Yukta Kulkarni ’22 The COVID-19 pandemic has taken over the world in a way that disrupts almost everyone’s previous way of life. People can no longer leave their house without wearing a mask, socialize within 6 feet of friends and family, or go to work/school. These inconveniences are minor, though, compared to those that people diagnosed with, or know someone with, COVID-19 experience. This can … Continue reading How the Mental Health of College Students in China has been Affected by COVID-19

Comfort Eating and Cortisol Reactivity

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 “Comfort-eating,” or increased food intake, is one of the most common responses to stressful situations. Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone that regulates metabolism and the immune response to stressful situations. Cortisol reactivity under stress can predict stress-related eating behavior and how it affects the body mass index (BMI). Based on one’s cortisol reactivity to a stressor, a person may be … Continue reading Comfort Eating and Cortisol Reactivity

The Relationship Between Inflammation and Mental Sluggishness

Ellie Teng ‘21 Mental sluggishness or ‘brain fog’ is often comorbid with inflammation, the body’s response to  an illness. Previous research has shown the negative impact of inflammation on the brain’s alert state. Although it is still unclear as to how inflammation impacts specific processes of the brain, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Birmingham evaluated the impact of mild acute inflammation … Continue reading The Relationship Between Inflammation and Mental Sluggishness

Moderate consumption of alcohol linked to cardiovascular benefits

Nita Wong ’21 Nearly 85 years after the end of Prohibition, alcohol remains a controversial topic. While the excessive consumption of alcohol may disrupt communication pathways within the brain and damage the heart, liver, and pancreas, consumption in moderation can protect the heart from coronary disease. While the biochemical basis of the latter correlation has long remained a mystery, a recent study conducted by researchers … Continue reading Moderate consumption of alcohol linked to cardiovascular benefits

Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Prenatal Stress on Offspring Glucocorticoid Levels

By Maryna Mullerman’20 The Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA)-axis is an important pathway that mediates the relationship between prenatal stress and later offspring development. Glucocorticoids—the final steroid hormones in the HPA-axis released by the cortex of the adrenal gland — are closely associated with prenatal stress in humans. To investigate the strength of this association among different animal species, Zaneta M. Thayer and researchers from Dartmouth … Continue reading Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Prenatal Stress on Offspring Glucocorticoid Levels

Caption: Linear model of effects of teacher burnout and stress.

Do stressed teachers effect educational outcomes?

By: Ramanjot Singh 19′ Individual experiences of stress and burnout can have adverse effects on health and output. While much research has been conducted on the etiology of stress, its effects on teacher-student interactions is relatively unexplored. A group of researchers led by Dr. Venus Wong at the University of Kentucky conducted a study to examine potential direct effects of teacher burnout on teacher behavior … Continue reading Do stressed teachers effect educational outcomes?

Figure 1. The damaging effects of brain-activated inflammation can be mitigated through fasting

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

By Matthew Lee ’21 It is well known that distress can have negative effects on both the brain and immune system. Previous studies have established that intermittent fasting (IF) can have positive effects on brain function and possibly on lifespan extension. However, IF was never examined for its potential as a source of eustress. A team of researchers led by Dr. Marjan Shojaie of Hormozgan … Continue reading The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Figure 1. Expressive writing may be a helpful tool for those who suffer from clinical levels of anxiety.

The Effect of Expressive Writing on Brain Activity in Chronic Worriers

By Meenu Johnkutty ’21 Chronic worriers may have one less reason to worry. A research study conducted by Michigan State University recently revealed positive effects of expressive writing, or writing down one’s deepest worries and fears, on brain activity in worriers. In order to observe whether a correlation exists between expressive writing and chronic worrying, MSU researchers relied upon measurements of error-related negativity (ERN). ERN … Continue reading The Effect of Expressive Writing on Brain Activity in Chronic Worriers

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome May Just Be a Case of Persistent Burnout

by Jenna Mallon (’18) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) affects .0007 to 2.8% of the adult population and can be highly debilitating. Unfortunately, its etiology is unknown. The two current theories, the cognitive behavioral theory and the viral theory, do not fully explain the occurrence of certain symptoms of the syndrome. Current research focuses on dysfunction in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which can lead to hypocortisolism … Continue reading Chronic Fatigue Syndrome May Just Be a Case of Persistent Burnout