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Youth are disproportionately affected by mental disorders

About 20 percent of U.S. youth during their lifetime are affected by some type of mental disorder to an extent that they have difficulty functioning, according to a new NIMH survey published in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The data support the observation from surveys of adults that mental disorders most commonly start in early life.

The price of popularity: Drug and alcohol consumption

The consumption of drugs and alcohol by teenagers is not just about rebellion or emotional troubles. It’s about being one of the cool kids, according to a study by led by researchers at the Université de Montréal.

Tendency to cooperate effectively is linked to the number of women in a group

When it comes to intelligence, the whole can indeed be greater than the sum of its parts. A new study co-authored by MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Union College researchers documents the existence of collective intelligence among groups of people who cooperate well, showing that such intelligence extends beyond the cognitive abilities of the groups’ individual members.

Young teens who play sports feel healthier and happier about life

Taking part in sports is good all round for young teens: physically, socially, and mentally, according to a new study1 by Dr. Keith Zullig and Rebecca White from West Virginia University in the US. Their research shows that middle-school teenagers who are physically active and play on sports teams are more satisfied with their life and feel healthier.

Abnormalities in brain histamine may be key factor in Tourette syndrome

Since the first case description in the 19th century, the causes of Tourette syndrome have been a mystery. Now researchers have identified a rare gene mutation responsible for the disorder in one family. The gene is needed for producing histamine, a small molecule with many roles in the body, including signaling in the brain.

Spinal cord injury, spasms, and serotonin

When people think of spinal cord injury, they tend to think of paralysis. But a spinal cord injury can also cause debilitating muscle spasms. Although the drug baclofen can control these spasms, many patients cannot tolerate its side effects, which include general sedation and dizziness. A new study sheds light on how a spinal cord injury leads to spasms, and on the promise of more precisely targeted drugs with fewer side effects.

Just two drinks slow reactions in older people

Blood alcohol levels below the current legal limit for driving have a significant negative effect on a person’s dexterity. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Research Notes found that just two single vodka and orange drinks were enough to make senior volunteers struggle at an obstacle avoidance test while walking.

Current decisions shape your future preferences

Psychologists have known for a long time that after you make a choice, you adjust your opinion to think better of the thing you chose. Now a new study has found that this is true even if you don’t know the options that you’re choosing between.

Mental abilities decline with age, but drops not as steep as previously noted

A new look at tests of mental aging reveals a good news-bad news situation. The bad news is all mental abilities appear to decline with age, to varying degrees. The good news is the drops are not as steep as some research showed, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

Perception of emotion is culture-specific

Want to know how a Japanese person is feeling? Pay attention to the tone of his voice, not his face. That’s what other Japanese people would do, anyway. A new study examines how Dutch and Japanese people assess others’ emotions and finds that Dutch people pay attention to the facial expression more than Japanese people do.

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