Robotic Trunk Support Trainer Improves Upper Body Control of Children with Cerebral Palsy

Columbia Engineering researchers report their innovative robotic Trunk Support Trainer, when combined with active practice of postural movements, improves trunk and reaching control in CP children with impaired sitting control. TruST helps physical therapists to not only support the children in the region of the trunk where they suffer from weakness and incoordination but also challenge them to perform rehabilitation tasks outside their base of support to improve their movement and coordination.

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One size does not fit all for young-adult binge-drinkers: Research reveals high-risk clusters that may inform future trajectories and treatment interventions

Young adults who binge drink can be categorized within distinct subgroups based on substance use and mental health symptoms, according to research reported in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Binge drinking in young people is very common and linked to adverse outcomes including academic underachievement, risky behaviors, alcohol poisoning, other substance use, and harm to the brain. While some ‘age out’ of binge-drinking in their mid-to-late 20s, others continue with harmful patterns of alcohol use. Previous research has shown that other substance use and mental health indicators vary widely among binge-drinking youth, and could help explain the differences in trajectories. It is also important to understand young people’s motivation for drinking alcohol to inform why some people naturally reduce and others persist or worsen. In the new study, researchers sought to identify distinct patterns of drinking, drug use, and mental health symptoms among young binge drinkers, an

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Vets Walking Pets: Strolls with Shelter Dogs May Reduce PTSD Symptoms in Military Veterans

About 6 to 8 million dogs end up in shelters in the U.S. each year. Researchers worked with two no-kill shelters on a study examining the effects of walking with a shelter dog on psychological and physiological stress indicators in military veterans. Results confirm the importance of the human-animal bond and provide evidence that walking with a shelter dog may affect psychological and physiological stress indicators in veterans – with particular potential benefits for those with an increase in PTSD symptom severity.

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Students Who Up Their Cannabis Use Face Increased Risk of Alcohol Problems

Cannabis use can worsen some consequences of alcohol use among young adult drinkers over time, according to a new study which tracked the frequency of cannabis use and negative drinking outcomes among college students over three years. More than one in five young drinkers use cannabis, often (but not always) at the same time as drinking alcohol. This is a concern because the effects of cannabis might combine with those of alcohol to increase negative outcomes of drinking, such as impaired driving or developing an alcohol use disorder Although previous research has suggested a link between cannabis use and alcohol consequences, there have been few long-term evaluations of the impact of fluctuations in cannabis use on alcohol consequences over time. The latest study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, was conducted by researchers in Toronto, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York.

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Severity and symptoms: Study links alcohol use disorder to other psychiatric conditions

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is more common among people who have another, co-occuring psychiatric condition (e.g., depression or ADHD), and vice versa. These links are well established, and are based on meeting diagnostic criteria for one or other disorder. However, investigating associations based on strict ‘yes/no’ diagnoses does not account for people who may have a range of psychiatric symptoms and yet do not meet the threshold for a diagnosis of any single disorder.

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Starting drinking young predicts hospital admission for acute intoxication

In studies, younger age at first alcohol use has been associated with later alcohol problems in adult life, including heavy drinking and alcohol use disorder. That is the reason why around the world, as in the Netherlands, a key aim of alcohol policy is to postpone the age at first alcohol use. In a report published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, researchers from the Netherlands have investigated whether age of drinking onset is a risk factor for alcohol intoxication among adolescents aged under 18 years.

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