Mount Sinai Launches the Brain and Body Research Center, Among the First in the U.S.to Focus Solely on How the Brain and Body Interact

Have you ever experienced a stressful time in your life and then caught a cold, or wondered why you feel sad and depressed when you’re sick? It turns out that it’s not all in your head.

Recent research spanning the fields of neuroscience and immunology suggests that when the brain senses a threat in the environment—whether it be physical, psychological, or social—it sends signals via a complex network of peripheral nerves that mobilize the immune system, readying it to protect us from injury.

A Game Changer: Virtual Reality Reduces Pain and Anxiety in Children

For nearly two decades, Jeffrey I. Gold, PhD, an investigator at The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, has been investigating the use of virtual reality (VR) as a technique to help children undergoing painful medical procedures. His research shows that the technology can have powerful effects. VR works so well that Children’s Hospital Los Angeles now offers it routinely for blood draws.

From ‘distress’ to ‘unscathed’ — mental health of UW students during spring 2020

To understand how the UW’s transition to online-only classes affected college students’ mental health in the spring of 2020, UW researchers surveyed 147 UW undergraduates over the 2020 spring quarter.

Healing from Post-Pandemic Trauma: Moving Forward After Lockdown

Dreams about unmasked crowds. Getting back to the routines of work, school or the everyday things we used to do. Shaking hands and hugging. Meeting without a computer screen separating the people in the conversation. Mourning the loss of lives.  Anxiety about re-entering society as the world continues to grapple with the pandemic is real.

Reopening Anxiety? Here’s How to Overcome it According to University of Kentucky Experts

For nearly a year, we relied on masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, many are removing the facial coverings, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to shed the anxiety that accompanies a global pandemic. If you’re having difficulty coping with this added stress, psychology experts at the University of Kentucky say you’re not alone.

COVID-19 pandemic drinking: increases among women, Black adults, and people with children

Risky drinking has been a public health concern in the U.S. for decades, but the significant increase in retail alcohol sales following COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders in particular raised red flags for alcohol researchers. New research has assessed changes in alcohol drinking patterns from before to after the enactment of stay-at-home orders. These results and others will be shared at the 44th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA), which will be held virtually this year from the 19th – 23rd of June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Low doses of “laughing gas” could be fast acting, highly effective treatment for severe depression

A new study at the University of Chicago Medicine and Washington University found that a single inhalation session with 25% nitrous oxide gas was nearly as effective as 50% nitrous oxide at rapidly relieving symptoms of treatment-resistant depression, with fewer adverse side effects.

Dip your toe – or dive right in: WVU psychologists spill advice on reentering the world post-COVID

A high percentage of the population may experience “re-entry anxiety” as more people get vaccinated, guidelines are loosened and the masks come off, according to WVU psychologists.

ACSM Announces 2020 Paper of the Year Selections

The ACSM Publications Committee established an annual Paper of the Year Award in 2020 to recognize one scientific article from each of ACSM’s five journals. Award-winning articles are selected based on impact, research significance, conceptual design and/or technical innovation.

The Pandemic Worsened Young Women’s Depression and Anxiety More than Young Men’s

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an uneven impact on mental health, affecting young women more adversely in some regards than young men, a new study suggests. Income loss likewise was associated with increases in depression. At the same time, however, the young people actually showed a reduction in binge drinking and alcohol problems. The combination of findings highlights the complexity of the pandemic’s behavioral health effects. The pandemic has raised widespread concern that its related stressors — such as social isolation, job loss, financial strain, and increased caregiving responsibilities — may have broadly aggravated substance use and mental health conditions. People age 18–25 were thought to be especially vulnerable, because of their transitional life stage and relative propensity to risky behaviors such as heavy drinking. While some studies have indicated that the pandemic was associated with intensifying mental illness symptoms and substance use in this age group, most did not

ASU health economist studies effects of mental illness disclosure in the workplace

A person with a serious mental illness must confront the difficult decision of whether to reveal their disorder in their workplace. Disclosing their diagnosis might create stigma, but it could also mean additional support. Adding to the delicate balancing act…

Large Number of Americans Reported Financial Anxiety and Stress Even Before the Pandemic

A substantial number of adults in the United States between the ages of 21 and 62 felt anxiety and stress about their personal finances well before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report published today by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at the George Washington University.

Young People and Those Without a High School Degree More Likely to Suffer Untreated Mental Health Disorders

People between ages 18 and 29 and those without a high school degree are more likely to experience anxiety or depression during the pandemic and also are least likely to seek mental health treatment, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that surveyed nearly 800,000 households from August 2020 to February 2021.

Women had “alarmingly high rates” of mental health problems during start of the pandemic

A study at the University of Chicago Medicine found U.S. women experienced increased incidence of health-related socioeconomic risks (HRSRs), such as food insecurity and interpersonal violence, early in the COVID-19 pandemic. This was associated with “alarmingly high rates” of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.

Predicting who may do best with psychedelic-assisted therapy

A new research review identifies personality traits that have been associated with positive and negative experiences on psychedelics being tested for therapeutic purposes in previous studies, information that could help predict how future clinical trial participants will respond to the drugs.

A Remote, Computerized Training Program Eases Anxiety in Children

Using a computerized and completely remote training program, researchers have found a way to mitigate negative emotions in children. Results support the link between inhibitory control dysfunction and anxiety/depression. EEG results also provide evidence of frontal alpha asymmetry shifting to the left after completing an emotional version of the training. Computerized cognitive training programs can be highly beneficial for children, not just for academics, but for psychological and emotional functioning during a challenging time in their development.

Science Snapshots From Berkeley Lab

These news briefs cover topics including gut microbes, tsetse flies in 3D, an energy use framework for heating and cooling, and new gravitational lensing candidates.

More Than Half of COVID-19 Health Care Workers at Risk for Mental Health Problems

A new study, led by University of Utah Health scientists, suggests more than half of doctors, nurses, and emergency responders involved in COVID-19 care could be at risk for one or more mental health problems, including acute traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, problematic alcohol use, and insomnia.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Stress Reduction Benefits of Exercise and Being Outdoors Following Election

New Brunswick, N.J. (Nov. 6, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Brandon L. Alderman is available for interviews on how being outdoors and exercise can reduce stress following the 2020 election and during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Time spent outdoors and…

Patients with Depression, Anxiety, and Bulimia at Heightened Risk of Unhealthy Drinking and Associated Health Issues

People experiencing depression, anxiety disorder, or bulimia are at heightened risk of unhealthy drinking, according to a new study involving more than two million patients. Unhealthy drinking is known to frequently co-occur with behavioral health conditions, potentially impeding disease management and leading to more serious problems such as alcohol use disorder (AUD) and chronic medical issues. Although one in four US adults drink beyond recommended limits, little is known about the relationship between particular psychiatric diagnoses and varying levels of alcohol consumption. The study in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research aimed to change that.

Alabama Symphony Orchestra musicians perform virtual concerts for sickest COVID-19 patients at UAB Hospital

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the sickest patients at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital have had their troubles eased, however briefly, thanks to an innovative musical project. Helping those patients recover — and keeping their spirits up amid the isolation the virus requires — is the motivation for the project, an effort between UAB health care staff and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Risk Perception in COVID-19 Era

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 26, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor William Hallman is available for interviews on the science of risk perception and its practical implications in the COVID-19 era – a time of fear and anxiety among millions of…

McLean Hospital Sponsors National Stop a Suicide Today Town Hall

October 21 is National Stop a Suicide Today. In a collaboration between Stop a Suicide Today, the American Psychiatric Association, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and McLean Hospital, have scheduled a virtual Town Hall featuring talks by leading experts on the rising suicide rate, stigma, safety, the impact of COVID-19, and more.