For Obsessive Behavior, an Electric Finding
New research suggests low-frequency electrical stimulation of the brain may help people reduce obsessive behaviors, such as hoarding. It's estimated the neurological disorder affects nearly 1 billion people worldwide.
Scientists believe obsessive behaviors are the result of abnormal habit-learning. Something goes wrong in the brain where choices are made and rewards reinforced. In a recently published study, 124 volunteers underwent brain scans while performing varying degrees of obsessive-compulsive behaviors, then for five days they received 30 minutes of transcranial alternating current stimulation targeting the brain's reward network.
Obsessive-compulsive behaviors dropped for up to three months, declining most in people with more severe symptoms.
The Terrors of Tailgating
Tailgating is an American ritual, but maybe not a healthy one.
Researchers simulated the intense eating and drinking of a tailgating session with a small group of healthy men who were overweight. Then, researchers assessed participants' livers using blood tests and a liver scan. Study participants consumed an average of 5,087 calories.
"Surprisingly, we found that in overweight men, after an afternoon of eating and drinking, how their bodies reacted to food and drink was not uniform," said Elizabeth Parks, professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri.
"In some people, the body responded in a unique way to take the stress off the liver. These findings reveal that both genetics and lifestyle can work together to protect us from overconsumption of nutrients."
Nine men showed increased fat in the liver (bad), five showed a decrease in liver fat and one man experienced no change at all. Unexpectedly, those with more liver fat drank 90% less alcohol and tended to eat more carbohydrates compared to the other participants.
"A potential explanation is that high carbohydrate consumption may have a greater impact on liver fat than alcohol in some people," Parks said.