AADT's Session Wrap-Up
> 8/27/2007 9:24:31 AM

We covered some promising drug breakthroughs last week. A virus to combat Alzheimer's was successfully administered through the nose, an entire city's water-supply was drug-tested, and the addictive properties of pain medication were shown to be separate from its palliative properties. With all that pharmaceutical hullabaloo, we left out a few articles, which we present to you now. Get ready to read about the stress of a broken heart, high-school, and Tetris.

Academic Performance Top Cause of Teen Stress
- This article summarizes the results of a joint Associated Press/MTV survey of young people about the stress in their lives. The survey found that worry shifts focus from academic for 13-17 year-olds to economic for 18-24 year-olds. 45% of women felt stress frequently while only 32% of men did. This gender gap has long been documented, but the additional finding that middle income participants had more stress than both lower and upper class respondents is noteworthy.

Advice to the Lovelorn: You Will Survive - Reuters covers a study of college students in relationships conducted by Dr. Eli Finkel. The students predicted how much they would suffer if they broke up, and then filled out periodic evaluations both before and after the breakup. It turns out that for all the despair that lovers contemplate, their breakups are not nearly as bad as they anticipate. Interestingly, while those deepest in love did suffer slightly more, they were the ones with the biggest over-estimation of their suffering. Reuters misunderstands this part of the study in their article.

Michigan Bill Would Establish MH Courts - The avoidable death of a young prisoner with bipolar disorder galvanized Michigan into establishing mental health courts. Senator Liz Brater backed two bills designed to give judges the option of ordering treatment instead of incarceration. The state already has smoothly-running drug courts, so the MH courts have a good chance of success.

Major Imaging Study Paints Detailed Picture of Healthy Brain - The results are in from a massive NIH project to create a public database of healthy instead of abnormal brain-scans. While the scans will take a long time to analyze, a few interesting findings came out of the cognitive tests that were given alongside the scans. Researchers found that cognitive performance leveled off around ages 10-12, indicating that children develop adult-level abilities quite early. In addition, children from higher-income families scored higher on IQ and social skill tests.

Tetris Variation Soothes Players - The panic-inducing game Tetris has been transformed into a stress-reducer with the introduction of a biofeedback device. The altered Tetris game monitors the player's heart-rate and rewards them with slower blocks if they can keep calm. Taken together with the study we covered last week about biofeedback training children with ADHD, this may signal that the biofeedback field is maturing.

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