MDNews - Mid Penn

CEO Edition 2018

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Dads of Preemies Highly Prone to Stress in Early Going FAT H E R S O F P R E M AT U R E BABIES arriving home from the neonatal ICU may suffer greater stress than mothers but may not fully acknowledge the strain, according to researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Both parents typically have high levels of cortisol in their saliva before their infants are d i s c h a rg e d . H o w e v e r, t h e researchers discovered that cortisol levels rise in fathers over the subsequent two weeks but remain constant in mothers. Participants underwent sali- vary and written tests for stress the day before discharge and on days one, five and 14 after returning home. Fathers may not grasp the extent of the stress they are experiencing during this time: Their salivary tests showed higher stress levels than what they reported. Some stress may be averted i f fa t h e rs b u i l d co n f i d e n ce dealing with their premature children while they are still in the hospital, researchers say. T h e s t u d y a p p e a r s i n the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing. ■ — Steve Barrett Study Links Insuffi cient Sleep to Mood Disorders A S T U DY O F 11.5- to 15-year- o l d s s u g g e s t s i n a d e q u a t e sleep heightens young people's chances of depression. Half of the participants who were involved in the University of Pittsburgh research slept 10 hours two nights in a row; the other half slept four hours. A week later, they reversed those schedules for two more nights. Participants also underwent brain scans while playing a game for monetary rewards. Lack of sleep affected an area of the brain, the puta- m e n , t h a t i s i m p o r t a n t fo r learning related to rewards. Participants who slept fewer h o u r s h a d l e s s a c t i v a t i o n o f t h e p u t a m e n eve n w h e n t h e r e w a r d s w e r e l a r g e r, and they were more likely to report depression symptoms, according to a news release from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. "This is consistent with [ear- lier] fi ndings ... that depression is characterized by less activity in the brain's reward system," the release states. ■ — Steve Barrett A Blood Test for Suicide Risk? LEVELS OF A certain protein in the blood may one day help predict the potential for sui- cidal behavior. Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York, tested women w h o h a d a h i s t o r y o f s u i - c i d e a t t e m p t s a n d w o m e n who had no such history for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF aids the function of neurons and plays a role in synapse strength. Women with a history of suicide attempts had lower c i rc u l a t i n g le v e l s o f t h i s protein than those who had not attempted suicide. The lower level was observed even though the women were not in a suicidal crisis at the time of the study, suggesting BDNF is "a stable marker that may be able to predict risk" of suicide attempts, a researcher said in a news release. The study appears in Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. ■ — Steve Barrett M D N E W S . C O M /// M D N E W S M I D ž P E N N ■ 2 018 1 5

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