Sleep-deprived people are more likely to eat unhealthy food

People deprived of proper sleep are more likely to crave for high-calorie snacks than healthy food, shows a University of Chicago study. The study found that lack of sleep activates endocannabinoid system (ECS) which in turn enhances the pleasure one gets from eating sweet or salty, high-fat snack foods. It was also found the urge to eat among sleep-deprived people was the strongest in late afternoon and early evening. ECS is responsible for a variety of physiological processes such as appetite, mood, pain and memory. The study was published in the journal Sleep. Read more here.

Keeping mum can trigger a chain of unfair behaviour

People who express their displeasure at being treated unfairly by their superior or others are less likely to unload their anger at innocent people, a German study claims. Researchers from University of Bonn enlisted 237 people for a behavioural game where a few were asked to assume the role of superior person. Of the 24 superiors, 83% kept most of the money for themselves. When the other players could not do anything, they started behaving unfairly towards their peers. But when they were allowed to complain about the unfair treatment to the superior, they started behaving fairly towards others. Researchers call this phenomenon “generalized negative reciprocity" where those who are unfairly treated pay back with unfair behaviour. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. Read more here.

Cardiovascular risk factors linked to dementia risk

People diagnosed with certain cardiovascular risk factors (metabolic syndrome) are more likely than others to develop mild cognitive impairment or dementia within a time period of six years from the time when the risk factor was found, a study by the National University of Singapore suggests. They studied 1,500 adult men and women, and found that the presence of metabolic syndrome such as obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are related to cardiovascular diseases, increased the risk of cognitive impairment by about 50%. The study was published in JAMA Neurology. Read more here.

Parents can catch errors made by doctors

Children living with their parents are less likely to suffer due to errors made by their doctors, a US study suggests. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s School reviewed data on 383 kids hospitalized in 2013 and 2014. Parents were asked to detail all safety incidents their children experienced in the hospital. The incidents were classified as medical errors, quality issues, or situations that weren’t safety problems. A review by qualified doctors showed that 62% of the incidents were medical mistakes, while 24% were quality issues. The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics. Read more here.

Flushing away inflammatory cells can help Alzheimer’s patients

A study by University of California has identified an inflammatory cell called microglia, which increases neuronal and memory deficits associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. The study shows that flushing away these cells can restore memory function. Microglia acts as the first and main form of defence mechanism for the central nervous system. But in case of Alzheimer’s, it turns against the healthy tissue it was supposed to protect, causing inflammation in the brain. The study was published in the journal Brain. Read more here.

Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar