Tag Archives: Science Daily

Princeton University study: Baby and adult brains ‘sync up’ during play

11 Jan

Children are not “mini mes” or short adults. They are children and they should have time to play, to dream, and to use their imagination. Dan Childs of ABC News reports in the story, Recess ‘Crucial’ for Kids, Pediatricians’ Group Says:

The statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics is the latest salvo in the long-running debate over how much of a young child’s time at school should be devoted to academics — and how much should go to free, unstructured playtime.
The authors of the policy statement write that the AAP “believes that recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons.”
“The AAP has, in recent years, tried to focus the attention of parents, school officials and policymakers on the fact that kids are losing their free play,” said the AAP’s Dr. Robert Murray, one of the lead authors of the statement. “We are overstructuring their day. … They lose that creative free play, which we think is so important.”
The statement, which cites two decades worth of scientific evidence, points to the various benefits of recess. While physical activity is among these, so too are some less obvious boons such as cognitive benefits, better attention during class, and enhanced social and emotional development. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/recess-crucial-kids-aap-policy-statement/story?id=18083935#.UOZ606zIlIq

The goal of this society should be to raise healthy and happy children who will grow into concerned and involved adults who care about their fellow citizens and environment. In order to accomplish this goal, all children must receive a good basic education and in order to achieve that goal, children must arrive at school, ready to learn.

Debbie Rhea wrote the thoughtful Education Week commentary, Give Students Time to Play:

It seems counterintuitive to think that less classroom time and more outdoor play would lead to a better education for kids. After all, what many in our country, including most recently New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have prescribed are longer days in the classroom. But longer days on task don’t equate to better results. Instead, they translate into more burnout, lower test scores, and more of the same. All work and no play really does make dull boys and girls.
For years, educators have tried different strategies of more testing and of more time on task to reverse these trends, but they have proved to be unsuccessful. The answer is not additional in-class sitting time. What kids need is time to move and have unstructured play.
On a recent sabbatical, I spent six weeks in Finland studying how that country practices education. Reading, science, and math are important in the Finnish education system, but so are social studies, physical education, arts, music, foreign languages, and a number of practical skills. The school day in Finland looks much different from the school day in the United States.
“We should not sacrifice recess time for classroom time, and neither should be used to discipline students.”
In the United States, for example, a 1st grader attends school 35 hours a week, seven hours a day. In Finland, a 1st grader spends 22.5 hours a week in school, or 4.5 hours a day. Three hours each day are spent on content in the classroom, and another 1.5 hours are spent on recess or “unstructured outdoor play.” Some elementary schools in the United States do not have recess time built into their schedules, let alone outdoor recess.
Kids are built to move. Having more time for unstructured outdoor play is like handing them a reset button. It not only helps to break up their day, but it also allows them to blow off steam, while giving them an opportunity to move and redirect their energy to something more meaningful once they return to the classroom.
When a human sits for longer than about 20 minutes, the physiology of the brain and body changes. Gravity begins to pool blood into the hamstrings, robbing the brain of needed oxygen and glucose, or brain fuel. The brain essentially just falls asleep when we sit for too long. Moving and being active stimulates the neurons that fire in the brain. When you are sitting, those neurons don’t fire.
Getting students out of their chairs and moving outdoors is essential. A 2008 study published in JAMA Opthamology found that 42 percent of people in the United States between the ages of 12 and 54 are nearsighted. But 40 years ago, that number was only 25 percent, a change that can’t be explained by heredity. Time indoors can weaken our vision, especially if we are staring at computer screens and not looking away for long periods of time. Additional studies have also shown that when people have inadequate daylight exposure at work, particularly in areas that have poor indoor lighting, it can disrupt their circadian rhythms—the cycle that allows for healthy sleep. When these rhythms are thrown off, it can have a negative impact on academic performance.
I’m such a believer in more unstructured outdoor play and recess throughout the day that I’ve launched a pilot program called Project ISIS—Innovating Strategies, Inspiring Students—that is being implemented in two Texas private schools, with an additional three public elementary schools in that state coming on board by the fall. While the program doesn’t reduce the number of hours spent at school, it does build in more outside recess time. Students get two 15-minute unstructured outdoor-play breaks in the morning (one is right before lunch, the other is a full lunch with a short recess afterward), and then two more 15-minute recess breaks in the afternoon. These schools will continue to have physical education as a content area.
We should not sacrifice recess time for classroom time, and neither should be used to discipline students. The more movement children have throughout the day, the better they will be with attentional focus, behavioral issues, and academic performance…. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/02/26/22rhea.h33.html?tkn=VRYFMBKESIDvZIGHetFWpKk1lBN%2FPqxFrjSh&intc=es
We must not so over-schedule children that they have no time to play and to dream.

Related:

The ‘whole child’ approach to education
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

Science Daily reported in Baby and adult brains ‘sync up’ during play: It’s not your imagination — you and your baby really are on the same wavelength:

Have you ever played with a baby and felt a sense of connection, even though they couldn’t yet talk to you? New research suggests that you might quite literally be “on the same wavelength,” experiencing similar brain activity in the same brain regions.
A team of Princeton researchers has conducted the first study of how baby and adult brains interact during natural play, and they found measurable similarities in their neural activity. In other words, baby and adult brain activity rose and fell together as they shared toys and eye contact. The research was conducted at the Princeton Baby Lab, where University researchers study how babies learn to see, talk and understand the world.
“Previous research has shown that adults’ brains sync up when they watch movies and listen to stories, but little is known about how this ‘neural synchrony’ develops in the first years of life,” said Elise Piazza, an associate research scholar in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI) and the first author on a paper published Dec. 17, 2019, in Psychological Science.
Piazza and her co-authors — Liat Hasenfratz, an associate research scholar in PNI; Uri Hasson, a professor of psychology and neuroscience; and Casey Lew-Williams, an associate professor of psychology — posited that neural synchrony has important implications for social development and language learning.
Studying real-life, face-to-face communication between babies and adults is quite difficult. Most past studies of neural coupling, many of which were conducted in Hasson’s lab, involved scanning adults’ brains with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), in separate sessions, while the adults lay down and watched movies or listened to stories….https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200109163956.htm

Here is the press release from Princeton:

Baby and adult brains ‘sync up’ during play, finds Princeton Baby Lab
Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications
Jan. 9, 2020 12:44 p.m.
Have you ever played with a baby and felt a sense of connection, even though they couldn’t yet talk to you? New research suggests that you might quite literally be “on the same wavelength,” experiencing similar brain activity in the same brain regions.
A team of Princeton researchers has conducted the first study of how baby and adult brains interact during natural play, and they found measurable similarities in their neural activity. In other words, baby and adult brain activity rose and fell together as they shared toys and eye contact. The research was conducted at the Princeton Baby Lab, where University researchers study how babies learn to see, talk and understand the world.
“Previous research has shown that adults’ brains sync up when they watch movies and listen to stories, but little is known about how this ‘neural synchrony’ develops in the first years of life,” said Elise Piazza, an associate research scholar in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI) and the first author on a paper published Dec. 17, 2019, in Psychological Science.
Piazza and her co-authors — Liat Hasenfratz, an associate research scholar in PNI; Uri Hasson, a professor of psychology and neuroscience; and Casey Lew-Williams, an associate professor of psychology — posited that neural synchrony has important implications for social development and language learning.
Studying real-life, face-to-face communication between babies and adults is quite difficult. Most past studies of neural coupling, many of which were conducted in Hasson’s lab, involved scanning adults’ brains with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), in separate sessions, while the adults lay down and watched movies or listened to stories.
But to study real-time communication, the researchers needed to create a child-friendly method of recording brain activity simultaneously from baby and adult brains. With funding from the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Grant, the researchers developed a new dual-brain neuroimaging system that uses functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), which is highly safe and records oxygenation in the blood as a proxy for neural activity. The setup allowed the researchers to record the neural coordination between babies and an adult while they played with toys, sang songs and read a book.
The same adult interacted with all 42 infants and toddlers who participated in the study. Of those, 21 had to be excluded because they “squirmed excessively,” and three others flat-out refused to wear the cap, leaving 18 children, ranging in age from 9 months to 15 months.
The experiment had two portions. In one, the adult experimenter spent five minutes interacting directly with a child — playing with toys, singing nursery rhymes or reading Goodnight Moon — while the child sat on their parent’s lap. In the other, the experimenter turned to the side and told a story to another adult while the child played quietly with their parent.
The caps collected data from 57 channels of the brain known to be involved in prediction, language processing and understanding other people’s perspectives.
When they looked at the data, the researchers found that during the face-to-face sessions, the babies’ brains were synchronized with the adult’s brain in several areas known to be involved in high-level understanding of the world — perhaps helping the children decode the overall meaning of a story or analyze the motives of the adult reading to them.
When the adult and infant were turned away from each other and engaging with other people, the coupling between them disappeared.
That fit with researchers’ expectations, but the data also had surprises in store. For example, the strongest coupling occurred in the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in learning, planning and executive functioning and was previously thought to be quite underdeveloped during infancy.
“We were also surprised to find that the infant brain was often ‘leading’ the adult brain by a few seconds, suggesting that babies do not just passively receive input but may guide adults toward the next thing they’re going to focus on: which toy to pick up, which words to say,” said Lew-Williams, who is a co-director of the Princeton Baby Lab.
“While communicating, the adult and child seem to form a feedback loop,” Piazza added. “That is, the adult’s brain seemed to predict when the infants would smile, the infants’ brains anticipated when the adult would use more ‘baby talk,’ and both brains tracked joint eye contact and joint attention to toys. So, when a baby and adult play together, their brains influence each other in dynamic ways.”
This two-brain approach to neuroscience could open doors to understanding how coupling with caregivers breaks down in atypical development — such as in children diagnosed with autism — as well as how educators can optimize their teaching approaches to accommodate children’s diverse brains.
The researchers are continuing to investigate how this neural coupling relates to preschoolers’ early language learning.
“Infant and adult brains are coupled to the dynamics of natural communication,” by Elise A. Piazza, Liat Hasenfratz, Uri Hasson and Casey Lew-Williams, was published Dec. 17, 2019, in Psychological Science. This work was supported by the Princeton University C. V. Starr Fellowship to E. A. Piazza; the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Transformative Technology Award to E. A. Piazza, U. Hasson and C. Lew-Williams; National Institutes of Health Grant 5DP1HD091948 to U. Hasson; and NIH Grants R01HD095912 and R03HD079779 to C. Lew-Williams.

Citation:

Baby and adult brains ‘sync up’ during play
It’s not your imagination — you and your baby really are on the same wavelength
Date: January 9, 2020
Source: Princeton University
Summary:
A team of researchers has conducted the first study of how baby and adult brains interact during natural play, and they found measurable connections in their neural activity. In other words, baby and adult brain activity rose and fell together as they shared toys and eye contact.

Journal Reference:
Elise A. Piazza, Liat Hasenfratz, Uri Hasson, Casey Lew-Williams. Infant and Adult Brains Are Coupled to the Dynamics of Natural Communication. Psychological Science, 2019; 095679761987869 DOI: 10.1177/0956797619878698

Our goal as a society should be:

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Related:

The ‘whole child’ approach to education https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

Childhood obesity: Recess is being cut in low-income schools https://drwilda.com/2011/12/15/childhood-obesity-recess-is-being-cut-in-low-income-schools/

Louisiana study: Fit children score higher on standardized tests https://drwilda.com/2012/05/08/louisiana-study-fit-children-score-higher-on-standardized-tests/

Seattle Research Institute study about outside play https://drwilda.wordpress.com/tag/childrens-physical-activity/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

John Hopkins Medicine study: Early-life exposure to dogs may lessen risk of developing schizophrenia

27 Dec

The American Psychiatric Association wrote in What Is Schizophrenia?

What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects less than one percent of the U.S. population. When schizophrenia is active, symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration, and lack of motivation. However, with treatment, most symptoms of schizophrenia will greatly improve.
While there is no cure for schizophrenia, research is leading to new, safer treatments. Experts also are unraveling the causes of the disease by studying genetics, conducting behavioral research, and using advanced imaging to look at the brain’s structure and function. These approaches hold the promise of new, more effective therapies.
The complexity of schizophrenia may help explain why there are misconceptions about the disease. Schizophrenia does not mean split personality or multiple-personality. Most people with schizophrenia are not dangerous or violent. They also are not homeless nor do they live in hospitals. Most people with schizophrenia live with family, in group homes or on their own.
Research has shown that schizophrenia affects men and women about equally but may have an earlier onset in males. Rates are similar around the world. People with schizophrenia are more likely to die younger than the general population, in part because of high rates of co-occurring medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes…. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/schizophrenia/what-is-schizophrenia

WebMD wrote a concise description of schizophrenia in Schizophrenia: An Overview:

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. Though schizophrenia isn’t as common as other major mental illnesses, it can be the most chronic and disabling.
People with schizophrenia often have problems doing well in society, at work, at school, and in relationships. They might feel frightened and withdrawn, and could appear to have lost touch with reality. This lifelong disease can’t be cured but can be controlled with proper treatment.
Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a split or multiple personality. Schizophrenia involves a psychosis, a type of mental illness in which a person can’t tell what’s real from what’s imagined. At times, people with psychotic disorders lose touch with reality. The world may seem like a jumble of confusing thoughts, images, and sounds. Their behavior may be very strange and even shocking. A sudden change in personality and behavior, which happens when people who have it lose touch with reality, is called a psychotic episode.
How severe schizophrenia is varies from person to person. Some people have only one psychotic episode, while others have many episodes during a lifetime but lead relatively normal lives in between. Still others may have more trouble functioning over time, with little improvement between full-blown psychotic episodes. Schizophrenia symptoms seem to worsen and improve in cycles known as relapses and remissions.
What Are the Early Symptoms of Schizophrenia?
The condition usually shows its first signs in men in their late teens or early 20s. It mostly affects women in their early 20s and 30s. The period when symptoms first start and before full psychosis is called the prodromal period. It can last days, weeks, or even years. It can be hard to spot because there’s usually no specific trigger. You might only notice subtle behavioral changes, especially in teens. This includes:
• A change in grades
• Social withdrawal
• Trouble concentrating
• Temper flares
• Difficulty sleeping
https://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/mental-health-schizophrenia#1

Johns Hopkins Medicine reported that exposure to dogs may lessen the risk of developing schizophrenia.

Science Daily reported in Early-life exposure to dogs may lessen risk of developing schizophrenia

Ever since humans domesticated the dog, the faithful, obedient and protective animal has provided its owner with companionship and emotional well-being. Now, a study from Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests that being around “man’s best friend” from an early age may have a health benefit as well — lessening the chance of developing schizophrenia as an adult.
And while Fido may help prevent that condition, the jury is still out on whether or not there’s any link, positive or negative, between being raised with Fluffy the cat and later developing either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
“Serious psychiatric disorders have been associated with alterations in the immune system linked to environmental exposures in early life, and since household pets are often among the first things with which children have close contact, it was logical for us to explore the possibilities of a connection between the two,” says Robert Yolken, M.D., chair of the Stanley Division of Pediatric Neurovirology and professor of neurovirology in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and lead author of a research paper recently posted online in the journal PLOS One.
In the study, Yolken and colleagues at Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore investigated the relationship between exposure to a household pet cat or dog during the first 12 years of life and a later diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. For schizophrenia, the researchers were surprised to see a statistically significant decrease in the risk of a person developing the disorder if exposed to a dog early in life. Across the entire age range studied, there was no significant link between dogs and bipolar disorder, or between cats and either psychiatric disorder.
The researchers caution that more studies are needed to confirm these findings, to search for the factors behind any strongly supported links, and to more precisely define the actual risks of developing psychiatric disorders from exposing infants and children under age 13 to pet cats and dogs.
According to the American Pet Products Association’s most recent National Pet Owners Survey, there are 94 million pet cats and 90 million pet dogs in the United States. Previous studies have identified early life exposures to pet cats and dogs as environmental factors that may alter the immune system through various means, including allergic responses, contact with zoonotic (animal) bacteria and viruses, changes in a home’s microbiome, and pet-induced stress reduction effects on human brain chemistry.
Some investigators, Yolken notes, suspect that this “immune modulation” may alter the risk of developing psychiatric disorders to which a person is genetically or otherwise predisposed.
In their current study, Yolken and colleagues looked at a population of 1,371 men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 that consisted of 396 people with schizophrenia, 381 with bipolar disorder and 594 controls. Information documented about each person included age, gender, race/ethnicity, place of birth and highest level of parental education (as a measure of socioeconomic status). Patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were recruited from inpatient, day hospital and rehabilitation programs of Sheppard Pratt Health System. Control group members were recruited from the Baltimore area and were screened to rule out any current or past psychiatric disorders.
All study participants were asked if they had a household pet cat or dog or both during their first 12 years of life. Those who reported that a pet cat or dog was in their house when they were born were considered to be exposed to that animal since birth.
The relationship between the age of first household pet exposure and psychiatric diagnosis was defined using a statistical model that produces a hazard ratio — a measure over time of how often specific events (in this case, exposure to a household pet and development of a psychiatric disorder) happen in a study group compared to their frequency in a control group. A hazard ratio of 1 suggests no difference between groups, while a ratio greater than 1 indicates an increased likelihood of developing schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Likewise, a ratio less than 1 shows a decreased chance.
Analyses were conducted for four age ranges: birth to 3, 4 to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 12.
Surprisingly, Yolken says, the findings suggests that people who are exposed to a pet dog before their 13th birthday are significantly less likely — as much as 24% — to be diagnosed later with schizophrenia.
“The largest apparent protective effect was found for children who had a household pet dog at birth or were first exposed after birth but before age 3,” he says…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191218153448.htm

Citation:

Early-life exposure to dogs may lessen risk of developing schizophrenia
Findings do not link similar contact with cats to either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder

Date: December 18, 2019
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
Ever since humans domesticated the dog, the faithful, obedient and protective animal has provided its owner with companionship and emotional well-being. Now, a study suggests that being around ‘man’s best friend’ from an early age may have a health benefit as well — lessening the chance of developing schizophrenia as an adult.

Journal Reference:
Robert Yolken, Cassie Stallings, Andrea Origoni, Emily Katsafanas, Kevin Sweeney, Amalia Squire, Faith Dickerson. Exposure to household pet cats and dogs in childhood and risk of subsequent diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. PLOS ONE, 2019; 14 (12): e0225320 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225320

Here is the press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine:

Study suggests early-life exposure to dogs may lessen risk of developing schizophrenia
by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Ever since humans domesticated the dog, the faithful, obedient and protective animal has provided its owner with companionship and emotional well-being. Now, a study from Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests that being around “man’s best friend” from an early age may have a health benefit as well—lessening the chance of developing schizophrenia as an adult.
And while Fido may help prevent that condition, the jury is still out on whether or not there’s any link, positive or negative, between being raised with Fluffy the cat and later developing either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
“Serious psychiatric disorders have been associated with alterations in the immune system linked to environmental exposures in early life, and since household pets are often among the first things with which children have close contact, it was logical for us to explore the possibilities of a connection between the two,” says Robert Yolken, M.D., chair of the Stanley Division of Pediatric Neurovirology and professor of neurovirology in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and lead author of a research paper recently posted online in the journal PLOS One.
In the study, Yolken and colleagues at Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore investigated the relationship between exposure to a household pet cat or dog during the first 12 years of life and a later diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. For schizophrenia, the researchers were surprised to see a statistically significant decrease in the risk of a person developing the disorder if exposed to a dog early in life. Across the entire age range studied, there was no significant link between dogs and bipolar disorder, or between cats and either psychiatric disorder.
The researchers caution that more studies are needed to confirm these findings, to search for the factors behind any strongly supported links, and to more precisely define the actual risks of developing psychiatric disorders from exposing infants and children under age 13 to pet cats and dogs.
According to the American Pet Products Association’s most recent National Pet Owners Survey, there are 94 million pet cats and 90 million pet dogs in the United States. Previous studies have identified early life exposures to pet cats and dogs as environmental factors that may alter the immune system through various means, including allergic responses, contact with zoonotic (animal) bacteria and viruses, changes in a home’s microbiome, and pet-induced stress reduction effects on human brain chemistry.
Some investigators, Yolken notes, suspect that this “immune modulation” may alter the risk of developing psychiatric disorders to which a person is genetically or otherwise predisposed.
In their current study, Yolken and colleagues looked at a population of 1,371 men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 that consisted of 396 people with schizophrenia, 381 with bipolar disorder and 594 controls. Information documented about each person included age, gender, race/ethnicity, place of birth and highest level of parental education (as a measure of socioeconomic status). Patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were recruited from inpatient, day hospital and rehabilitation programs of Sheppard Pratt Health System. Control group members were recruited from the Baltimore area and were screened to rule out any current or past psychiatric disorders.
All study participants were asked if they had a household pet cat or dog or both during their first 12 years of life. Those who reported that a pet cat or dog was in their house when they were born were considered to be exposed to that animal since birth.
The relationship between the age of first household pet exposure and psychiatric diagnosis was defined using a statistical model that produces a hazard ratio—a measure over time of how often specific events (in this case, exposure to a household pet and development of a psychiatric disorder) happen in a study group compared to their frequency in a control group. A hazard ratio of 1 suggests no difference between groups, while a ratio greater than 1 indicates an increased likelihood of developing schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Likewise, a ratio less than 1 shows a decreased chance.
Analyses were conducted for four age ranges: birth to 3, 4 to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 12.
Surprisingly, Yolken says, the findings suggests that people who are exposed to a pet dog before their 13th birthday are significantly less likely—as much as 24%—to be diagnosed later with schizophrenia.
“The largest apparent protective effect was found for children who had a household pet dog at birth or were first exposed after birth but before age 3,” he says.
Yolken adds that if it is assumed that the hazard ratio is an accurate reflection of relative risk, then some 840,000 cases of schizophrenia (24% of the 3.5 million people diagnosed with the disorder in the United States) might be prevented by pet dog exposure or other factors associated with pet dog exposure.
“There are several plausible explanations for this possible ‘protective’ effect from contact with dogs—perhaps something in the canine microbiome that gets passed to humans and bolsters the immune system against or subdues a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia,” Yolken says.
For bipolar disorder, the study results suggest there is no risk association, either positive or negative, with being around dogs as an infant or young child.
Overall for all ages examined, early exposure to pet cats was neutral as the study could not link felines with either an increased or decreased risk of developing schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
“However, we did find a slightly increased risk of developing both disorders for those who were first in contact with cats between the ages of 9 and 12,” Yolken says. “This indicates that the time of exposure may be critical to whether or not it alters the risk.”
One example of a suspected pet-borne trigger for schizophrenia is the disease toxoplasmosis, a condition in which cats are the primary hosts of a parasite transmitted to humans via the animals’ feces. Pregnant women have been advised for years not to change cat litter boxes to eliminate the risk of the illness passing through the placenta to their fetuses and causing a miscarriage, stillbirth, or potentially, psychiatric disorders in a child born with the infection.
In a 2003 review paper, Yolken and colleague E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., associate director of research at the Stanley Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, provided evidence from multiple epidemiological studies conducted since 1953 that showed there also is a statistical connection between a person exposed to the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis and an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. The researchers found that a large number of people in those studies who were diagnosed with serious psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, also had high levels of antibodies to the toxoplasmosis parasite.
Because of this finding and others like it, most research has focused on investigating a potential link between early exposure to cats and psychiatric disorder development. Yolken says the most recent study is among the first to consider contact with dogs as well.
“A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the associations between pet exposure and psychiatric disorders would allow us to develop appropriate prevention and treatment strategies,” Yolken says.
________________________________________
Explore further
Schizophrenia linked with abnormal immune response to Epstein-Barr virus
________________________________________
More information: Robert Yolken et al, Exposure to household pet cats and dogs in childhood and risk of subsequent diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, PLOS ONE (2019). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225320
Journal information: PLoS ONE
Provided by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Our goal as a society should be a healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

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Columbia University Irving Medical Center study: Brain differences detected in children with depressed parents

8 Dec

Moi said in Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children:

Both the culture and the economy are experiencing turmoil. For some communities, the unsettled environment is a new phenomenon, for other communities, children have been stressed for generations. According to the article, Understanding Depression which was posted at the Kids Health site:

Depression is the most common mental health problem in the United States. Each year it affects 17 million people of all age groups, races, and economic backgrounds.
As many as 1 in every 33 children may have depression; in teens, that number may be as high as 1 in 8. http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/understanding_depression.html

Schools are developing strategies to deal with troubled kids.

Andrew M. Seaman of Reuters reported in Parents’ depression may affect kids’ school performance:

Children perform worse in school when their parents are diagnosed with depression, suggests a study from Sweden.
The study found a significant negative link between parents’ depression and kids’ school performance, said senior author Brian Lee, of the Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia.
“We obviously know that depression is a bad thing like any other mental health outcome,” Lee said. “It’s less recognized that mental health outcomes affect other people than the people themselves. So for parents or guardians, a vulnerable population would be their children.”
Previous studies found children with depressed parents are more likely to have problems with brain development, behavior and emotions, along with other psychiatric problems, Lee and his colleagues write in JAMA Psychiatry. Few studies have looked at school performance, however.
For the new study, they used data from more than 1.1 million children born in Sweden between 1984 and 1994.
Three percent of the mothers and about 2 percent of fathers were diagnosed with depression before their children finished their last required year of school, which occurs around age 16 in Sweden.
Overall, when parents were diagnosed with depression during their children’s lifetime, the kids’ grades suffered. A mother’s depression appeared to affect daughters more than sons, they note.
Lee characterized the link between parental depression and children’s school performance as “moderate.”
On the range of factors that influence a child’s school performance, Lee said parental depression falls between a family’s economic status and parental education, which is one of the biggest factors in determining a child’s success in school.
The researchers caution that depression may have been undermeasured in the population. Also, they can’t say that a parent’s depression actually causes children to perform worse in school…. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-school-depression-parents-idUSKCN0VC2VS

Citation:

Parental depression associated with worse school performance by children

Date: February 3, 2016

Source: The JAMA Network Journals

Summary:
Having parents diagnosed with depression during a child’s life was associated with worse school performance at age 16 a new study of children born in Sweden reports.

Journal References:
1. Hanyang Shen, Cecilia Magnusson, Dheeraj Rai, Michael Lundberg, Félice Lê-Scherban, Christina Dalman, Brian K. Lee. Associations of Parental Depression With Child School Performance at Age 16 Years in Sweden. JAMA Psychiatry, 2016; DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2917
2. Myrna M. Weissman. Children of Depressed Parents—A Public Health Opportunity. JAMA Psychiatry, 2016; DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2967

A Columbia University study that there are brain differences in children with depressed parents.

Science Daily reported in Brain differences detected in children with depressed parents:

The largest brain imaging study of children ever conducted in the United States has revealed structural differences in the brains of those whose parents have depression.
Depression is a common and debilitating mental health condition that typically arises during adolescence. While the causes of depression are complex, having a parent with depression is one of the biggest known risk factors. Studies have consistently shown that adolescent children of parents with depression are two to three times more likely to develop depression than those with no parental history of depression. However, the brain mechanisms that underlie this familial risk are unclear.
A new study, led by David Pagliaccio, PhD, assistant professor of clinical neurobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, found structural differences in the brains of children at high risk for depression due to parental depressive history.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
The researchers analyzed brain images from over 7,000 children participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive development (ABCD) study, led by the NIH. About one-third of the children were in the high-risk group because they had a parent with depression.
In the high-risk children, the right putamen — a brain structure linked to reward, motivation, and the experience of pleasure — was smaller than in children with no parental history of depression.
Randy P. Auerbach, PhD, associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and senior author of the study, notes, “These findings highlight a potential risk factor that may lead to the development of depressive disorders during a peak period of onset. However, in our prior research, smaller putamen volumes also has been linked to anhedonia — a reduced ability to experience pleasure — which is implicated in depression, substance use, psychosis, and suicidal behaviors. Thus, it may be that smaller putamen volume is a transdiagnostic risk factor that may confer vulnerability to broad-based mental disorders….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191205130534.htm

Citation:

Brain differences detected in children with depressed parents
Date: December 5, 2019
Source: Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Summary:
The largest brain imaging study of children ever conducted in the United States has revealed structural differences in the brains of those whose parents have depression.

Journal Reference:
David Pagliaccio, Kira L. Alqueza, Rachel Marsh, Randy P. Auerbach. Brain Volume Abnormalities in Youth at High Risk for Depression: Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2019.09.032

Here is the press release from Columbia University:

NEWS RELEASE 5-DEC-2019

Brain differences detected in children with depressed parents

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IRVING MEDICAL CENTER

The largest brain imaging study of children ever conducted in the United States has revealed structural differences in the brains of those whose parents have depression.
In Brief
Depression is a common and debilitating mental health condition that typically arises during adolescence. While the causes of depression are complex, having a parent with depression is one of the biggest known risk factors. Studies have consistently shown that adolescent children of parents with depression are two to three times more likely to develop depression than those with no parental history of depression. However, the brain mechanisms that underlie this familial risk are unclear.
A new study, led by David Pagliaccio, PhD, assistant professor of clinical neurobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, found structural differences in the brains of children at high risk for depression due to parental depressive history.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
What the Study Found
The researchers analyzed brain images from over 7,000 children participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive development (ABCD) study, led by the NIH. About one-third of the children were in the high-risk group because they had a parent with depression.
In the high-risk children, the right putamen–a brain structure linked to reward, motivation, and the experience of pleasure–was smaller than in children with no parental history of depression.
What the Study Means
Randy P. Auerbach, PhD, associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and senior author of the study, notes, “These findings highlight a potential risk factor that may lead to the development of depressive disorders during a peak period of onset. However, in our prior research, smaller putamen volumes also has been linked to anhedonia–a reduced ability to experience pleasure–which is implicated in depression, substance use, psychosis, and suicidal behaviors. Thus, it may be that smaller putamen volume is a transdiagnostic risk factor that may confer vulnerability to broad-based mental disorders.”
Dr. Pagliaccio adds that, “Understanding differences in the brains of children with familial risk factors for depression may help to improve early identification of those at greatest risk for developing depression themselves, and lead to improved diagnosis and treatment. As children will be followed for a 10-year period during one of the greatest periods of risk, we have a unique opportunity to determine whether reduced putamen volumes are associated with depression specifically or mental disorders more generally.”
###
More Details
The paper is titled “Brain Volume Abnormalities in Youth at High Risk for Depression: Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study.” Its findings were published online October 18, 2019 in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
Additional authors are Kira L. Alqueza, BA, Rachel Marsh, PhD.
The ABCD Study is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and additional federal partners under award numbers U01DA041022, U01DA041028, U01DA041048, U01DA041089, U01DA041106, U01DA041117, U01DA041120, U01DA041134, U01DA041148, U01DA041156, U01DA041174, U24DA041123, and U24DA041147.
Columbia University Irving Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Irving Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit cuimc.columbia.edu or columbiadoctors.org.
The Columbia University Department of Psychiatry is among the top ranked psychiatry departments in the nation and has contributed greatly to the understanding and treatment of brain disorders. Co-located at the New York State Psychiatric Institute on the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center campus in Washington Heights, the department enjoys a rich and productive collaborative relationship with physicians in various disciplines at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Columbia Psychiatry is home to distinguished clinicians and researchers noted for their clinical and research advances in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, suicide, schizophrenia, bipolar and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and childhood psychiatric disorders.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

If you or your child needs help for depression or another illness, then go to a reputable medical provider. There is nothing wrong with taking the steps necessary to get well.

Related:

Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/schools-have-to-deal-with-depressed-and-troubled-children/

School psychologists are needed to treat troubled children
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/school-psychologists-are-needed-to-treat-troubled-children/

Battling teen addiction: ‘Recovery high schools’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/battling-teen-addiction-recovery-high-schools/

Resources:

1. About.Com’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

2. Psych Central’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

3. Psychiatric News’ Study Helps Pinpoint Children With Depression http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=106034

4. Family Doctor’s What Is Depression? http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/depression.html

5. WebMD’s Depression In Children http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-children

6. Healthline’s Is Your Child Depressed?
http://www.healthline.com/hlvideo-5min/how-to-help-your-child-through-depression-517095449

7. Medicine.Net’s Depression In Children http://www.onhealth.com/depression_in_children/article.htm

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COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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West Virginia University study: Helicopter parents and ‘hothouse children’ — exploring the high stakes of family dynamics

24 Nov

Tyler Kingkade wrote in the Town and Country article, How the College Admissions Scandal Is Different From the Other Ways Rich Parents Help Their Kids Get Into School:What Lori Laughlin, Felicity Huffman, and other wealthy parents did to game the system—and why it’s a crime:

• On Tuesday, March 12, 2019, the Federal government indicted William Singer, a college admissions consultant based out of Newport Beach, California, and 33 other parents including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, for crimes that included bribery and racketeering for purpose of fraudulently getting children into college.
• While there is a culture of paying one’s way into an upper echelon school that is quite pervasive, the Varsity Blues bribery scheme explicitly sought to find spaces for the children in exchange for money, via Singer as conduit.
• William Singer pleaded guilty in a federal court on Tuesday, March 12, while Felicity Huffman was indicted that same day. Lori Loughlin turned herself into federal authorities on Wednesday, March 13. https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/money-and-power/a26813202/college-admissions-scandal-celebrity-names-list-lori-loughlin-felicity-huffman/

Kingkade went on to explain what was different about this scandal.

How Is This Different From the Usual Ways Wealthy Parents Help Their Kids Get Into College?

Lelling’s quote contrasting the alleged bribery scheme with buying a building caught significant attention. Journalists called it “illuminating,” and some reacted with snarky tweets: If the FBI wants to continue its investigation, they might start by looking at names of buildings on a campus, which is how “rich people buy their way into the Ivy League the old fashioned way.” The whole episode touches on an existing undercurrent that too much of society is rigged for the benefit of the rich and privileged in what is supposed to be a meritocracy….
Kingkade concludes:
Wealthy families often donate to colleges with the hope, or expectation, that it’ll get their kids a leg up in the admissions process. The recent affirmative action trial involving Harvard put this on display. Documents in the trial revealed how deans celebrated that because of who the university’s admissions office brought in, donors committed to buying a building. But what is different about the alleged bribery scheme, dubbed “Varsity Blues” by the FBI, is that it was much more explicit exchange of holding a recruitment spot for a student in exchange for a set amount of money.
“Neither one of them may be commendable but it seems to me there is a difference between a bribe and a hope,” Shaw told Town & Country.
It’s typically acceptable for a college to favor the kids of donors as long as it’s only one of multiple factors for admission, and because schools promise to use the money to help fund scholarships for low-income students…. https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/money-and-power/a26813202/college-admissions-scandal-celebrity-names-list-lori-loughlin-felicity-huffman/

The “College Admissions Scandal” is Exhibit A in the operative behavior of helicopter parents.

Science Daily reported in Helicopter parents and ‘hothouse children’ — exploring the high stakes of family dynamics:

True helicopter parents talk a good game in making their actions all about their children, but according to one West Virginia University researcher, what they’re doing is reaping — and heaping — the rewards for themselves.
Kristin Moilanen, associate professor of child development and family studies, said the phenomenon of helicopter parenting most often occurs in middle- to upper-class families where stakes are high for parents to be able to show off their children’s success. Her research, which focuses on young adults 18- to 24- years-old, indicates that high helicopter parenting leads to “low mastery, self-regulation and social competence.”
“Unfortunately, I think the term for those children is ‘hothouse children,'” Moilanen said. “I think they’ve been raised to be these sort of delicate flowers under these very well-controlled conditions and — just like a tropical plant — they’re vulnerable whenever those conditions are exceeded, which is a scary thought.”
The college admissions scandal, which led to the arrest and incarceration of two Hollywood actresses who had bribed high-profile universities to admit their children by falsifying admissions test scores or outright lying about athletic abilities, might be the most currently-famous example of helicopter parenting gone wrong.
“Their stakes were different than, maybe for average people, but maybe [the fear was] they wouldn’t have access to the spotlight or that the college wouldn’t be prestigious enough, maybe that it wouldn’t be in keeping with their lifestyle they were accustomed to,” Moilanen said.
The motivation for “the right” college or university rounds out the helicopter parents’ career guidance, for example, forcing a choice in medicine when the child may want to be an artist, she continued. Helicopter parenting, Moilanen said, isn’t done for what the child wants; it can be done for what the parent wants for the child.
The dichotomy does more harm that just resentment toward an interfering parent. Moilanen said children take parents’ repeated over-involvement in their decisions to heart, undermining their sense of self-concept and their ability to self-regulate.
Moilanen said when those students come to college, where their parents have a financial stake, they have struggles they don’t necessarily know how to manage. Some of them handle the pressure with dangerous behaviors, including episodic drinking that they hide from their parents.
“It can get messy for those kids really fast,” she said. “In a sense, they get caught between their parents’ desires, even if [the child] knows what’s best for themselves….”
Moilanen noted that some children may need more oversight than others, and those situations vary from family-to-family and even from child-to-child within a family. Also, she said, “most kids turn out just fine and learn to ‘adult’ on their own.”
There’s no research yet that shows what kind of parents these “hothouse children” are or will be, Moilanen said…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191118140319.htm

Citation:

Helicopter parents and ‘hothouse children’ — exploring the high stakes of family dynamics
Date: November 18, 2019
Source: West Virginia University
Summary:
The phenomenon of helicopter parenting most often occurs in middle- to upper-class families where stakes are high for parents to be able to show off their children’s success. Her research, which focuses on young adults 18- to 24- years-old, indicates that high helicopter parenting leads to ‘low mastery, self-regulation and social competence.’

Journal Reference:
Kristin L. Moilanen, Mary Lynn Manuel. Helicopter Parenting and Adjustment Outcomes in Young Adulthood: A Consideration of the Mediating Roles of Mastery and Self-Regulation. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 2019; 28 (8): 2145 DOI: 10.1007/s10826-019-01433-5

Here is the press release from West Virginia University:

NEWS RELEASE 18-NOV-2019
Helicopter parents and ‘hothouse children’ — exploring the high stakes of family dynamics
WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
True helicopter parents talk a good game in making their actions all about their children, but according to one West Virginia University researcher, what they’re doing is reaping–and heaping–the rewards for themselves.
Kristin Moilanen, associate professor of child development and family studies, said the phenomena of helicopter parenting most often occurs in middle- to upper-class families where stakes are high for parents to be able to show off their children’s success. Her research, which focuses on young adults 18- to 24- years-old, indicates that high helicopter parenting leads to “low mastery, self-regulation and social competence.”
“Unfortunately, I think the term for those children is ‘hothouse children,'” Moilanen said. “I think they’ve been raised to be these sort of delicate flowers under these very well-controlled conditions and –just like a tropical plant– they’re vulnerable whenever those conditions are exceeded, which is a scary thought.”
The college admissions scandal, which led to the arrest and incarceration of two Hollywood actresses who had bribed high-profile universities to admit their children by falsifying admissions test scores or outright lying about athletic abilities, might be the most currently-famous example of helicopter parenting gone wrong.
“Their stakes were different than, maybe for average people, but maybe [the fear was] they wouldn’t have access to the spotlight or that the college wouldn’t be prestigious enough, maybe that it wouldn’t be in keeping with their lifestyle they were accustomed to,” Moilanen said.
The motivation for “the right” college or university rounds out the helicopter parents’ career guidance, for example, forcing a choice in medicine when the child may want to be an artist, she continued. Helicopter parenting, Moilanen said, isn’t done for what the child wants; it can be done for what the parent wants for the child.
The dichotomy does more harm that just resentment toward an interfering parent. Moilanen said children take parents’ repeated over-involvement in their decisions to heart, undermining their sense of self-concept and their ability to self-regulate.
Moilanen said when those students come to college, where their parents have a financial stake, they have struggles they don’t necessarily know how to manage. Some of them handle the pressure with dangerous behaviors, including episodic drinking that they hide from their parents
“It can get messy for those kids really fast,” she said. “In a sense, they get caught between their parents’ desires, even if [the child] knows what’s best for themselves.”
Moilanen said children might figure out problems on their own, but the parent swoops in before they have the opportunity to learn for themselves. Collateral side effects of the child’s continued lack of autonomy could be heightened anxiety and internalizing problems, as well as leading to the belief that they are incapable of living independently and their outcomes are primarily shaped by external forces instead of their own decisions, the research said.
Moilanen noted that some children may need more oversight than others, and those situations vary from family-to-family and even from child-to-child within a family. Also, she said, “most kids turn out just fine and learn to ‘adult’ on their own.”
There’s no research yet that shows what kind of parents these “hothouse children” are or will be, Moilanen said.
“We do know that people tend to repeat the parenting that they receive, so I would say the chances are good that those children who were raised by helicopter parents would probably act in kind,” she said.
###
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Paul Tough wrote a very thoughtful New York Times piece about the importance of failure in developing character, not characters.

In What If the Secret to Success Is Failure? Tough writes:

Dominic Randolph can seem a little out of place at Riverdale Country School — which is odd, because he’s the headmaster. Riverdale is one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools, with a 104-year-old campus that looks down grandly on Van Cortlandt Park from the top of a steep hill in the richest part of the Bronx. On the discussion boards of UrbanBaby.com, worked-up moms from the Upper East Side argue over whether Riverdale sends enough seniors to Harvard, Yale and Princeton to be considered truly “TT” (top-tier, in UrbanBabyese), or whether it is more accurately labeled “2T” (second-tier), but it is, certainly, part of the city’s private-school elite, a place members of the establishment send their kids to learn to be members of the establishment. Tuition starts at $38,500 a year, and that’s for prekindergarten.
Randolph, by contrast, comes across as an iconoclast, a disrupter, even a bit of an eccentric. He dresses for work every day in a black suit with a narrow tie, and the outfit, plus his cool demeanor and sweep of graying hair, makes you wonder, when you first meet him, if he might have played sax in a ska band in the ’80s. (The English accent helps.) He is a big thinker, always chasing new ideas, and a conversation with him can feel like a one-man TED conference, dotted with references to the latest work by behavioral psychologists and management gurus and design theorists. When he became headmaster in 2007, he swapped offices with his secretary, giving her the reclusive inner sanctum where previous headmasters sat and remodeling the small outer reception area into his own open-concept work space, its walls covered with whiteboard paint on which he sketches ideas and slogans. One day when I visited, one wall was bare except for a white sheet of paper. On it was printed a single black question mark.
For the headmaster of an intensely competitive school, Randolph, who is 49, is surprisingly skeptical about many of the basic elements of a contemporary high-stakes American education. He did away with Advanced Placement classes in the high school soon after he arrived at Riverdale; he encourages his teachers to limit the homework they assign; and he says that the standardized tests that Riverdale and other private schools require for admission to kindergarten and to middle school are “a patently unfair system” because they evaluate students almost entirely by I.Q. “This push on tests,” he told me, “is missing out on some serious parts of what it means to be a successful human.”
The most critical missing piece, Randolph explained as we sat in his office last fall, is character — those essential traits of mind and habit that were drilled into him at boarding school in England and that also have deep roots in American history. “Whether it’s the pioneer in the Conestoga wagon or someone coming here in the 1920s from southern Italy, there was this idea in America that if you worked hard and you showed real grit, that you could be successful,” he said. “Strangely, we’ve now forgotten that. People who have an easy time of things, who get 800s on their SAT’s, I worry that those people get feedback that everything they’re doing is great. And I think as a result, we are actually setting them up for long-term failure. When that person suddenly has to face up to a difficult moment, then I think they’re screwed, to be honest. I don’t think they’ve grown the capacities to be able to handle that….” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/what-if-the-secret-to-success-is-failure.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

See, Two studies: The value of honest praise https://drwilda.com/2014/01/05/two-studies-the-value-of-honest-praise/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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Elsevier study: At what point does click-bait susceptibility become a mental health disorder?

17 Nov

Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. wrote in the Psychology Today article, 5 Patterns of Compulsive Buying: How do you know you have an addiction?

About 6% of the U.S. population can be said to have compulsive buying behavior with 80% of compulsive buyers being women. Many women have been socialized from a very young age to enjoy shopping with their mothers and friends (Workman & Paper, 2010). However, compulsive buying is likely to increase for men with the evolution of digital commerce. It is much faster and easier now to find what you are looking for.
Compulsive buying is similar to behavioral addiction, such as binge eating and gambling (Lawrence et al., 2014). Compulsive spending frequently co-occurs with other mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Unlike other addictions, which take hold in the teens, spending addictions mostly develop in the 30s when people achieve financial independence.
Compulsive buying is not listed as an addiction in the DSM-5. However, the impulse problem appears to share certain characteristics common in addictive disorders (Black, 2012).
1. Impulse purchase. Compulsive buyers often purchase things on impulse that they can do without. And they often try to conceal their shopping habits…. Compulsive buyers may develop into hoarders later in life after their products have accumulated with time (Mueller, 2007).
2. Buyers high. Compulsive shoppers experience a rush of excitement when they buy. The euphoric experience is not from owning something but from the act of buying it…. And this excitement can become addictive.
3. Shopping to dampen unpleasant emotions. Compulsive shopping is an attempt to fill an emotional void, like loneliness, lack of control, or lack of self-esteem. Often, a negative mood, such as an argument or frustration triggers an urge to shop. However, the decrease in negative emotions is temporary and it is replaced by an increase in anxiety or guilt (Donnelly et al., 2016).
4. Guilt and remorse. Purchases are followed by feelings of remorse. They feel guilty and irresponsible for purchases that they perceive as indulges. The result may be a vicious cycle, that is, negative feeling fuel another “fix,” purchasing something else.
5. The pain of paying. Paying with cash is more painful than paying with credit cards (Ariely and Kreisler, 2017). The main psychological force of credit cards is that they separate the pleasure of buying from the pain of paying. Credit cards seduce us into thinking about the positive aspects of a purchase. In fact, CBD is only prevalent in developed countries where there is a system of credit and a consumer culture. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/science-choice/201806/5-patterns-compulsive-buying

See, Compulsive Shopping https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/compulsive-shopping.asp and Compulsive Spending / Shopping https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/compulsive-shopping

Science Daily reported the Elsevier study: At what point does click-bait susceptibility become a mental health disorder?

A new study in Comprehensive Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, found that one third of a group of patients seeking treatment for buying-shopping disorder (BSD) also reported symptoms of addictive online shopping. These patients tended to be younger than the others in the study sample, experienced greater levels of anxiety and depression, and were likely to exhibit a higher severity of BSD symptoms.
“It really is time to recognize BSD as separate mental health condition and to accumulate further knowledge about BSD on the Internet,” explained lead investigator Astrid Müller, MD, PhD, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. At present, BSD is not categorized as a separate mental health condition; it is characterized as “other specified impulse control disorder” in the recently released 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases.
BSD is a cross-national problem that afflicts an estimated five percent of the population. It is characterized by extreme preoccupation with and craving for buying and/or shopping, as well as irresistible and identity-seeking urges to possess consumer goods. Patients with BSD buy more consumer goods than they can afford, need, or use. Their excessive purchasing serves to regulate emotions, e.g., to get pleasure, relief from negative feelings or cope with self-discrepancy. In the long run, the recurrent breakdown in self-control leads to extreme distress, psychiatric comorbidity, familial discord, clutter due to pathological hoarding of goods, and indebtedness and/or deception and embezzlement to enable continued spending despite insufficient finances.
As e-commerce has gained increasing popularity as a primary method for buying and shopping for goods over the past decade, a need has developed for mental health experts to explore whether traditional BSD manifests differently in the online retail market. The Internet offers a vast variety of shopping information and simultaneous access to many online stores, thereby meeting expectations for immediate reward, emotional enhancement, and identity gain.
Previous studies showed that certain Internet-specific aspects of buying and shopping, such as availability, anonymity, accessibility, and affordability, contribute to the development of an online subtype of BSD. However, there is a paucity of studies investigating addictive online shopping as a phenotype of BSD related to the problematic use of the Internet. This study, which analyzed data from earlier studies reporting on 122 treatment-seeking patients, is among the first to quantify and explore the phenomenon of online shopping in BSD diagnosed-patients…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191114100911.htm

Citation:

At what point does click-bait susceptibility become a mental health disorder?
Date: November 14, 2019
Source: Elsevier
Summary:
A new study found that one third of a group of patients seeking treatment for buying-shopping disorder (BSD) also reported symptoms of addictive online shopping. These patients tended to be younger than the others in the study sample, experienced greater levels of anxiety and depression, and were likely to exhibit a higher severity of BSD symptoms.
Journal Reference:
Astrid Müller, Sabine Steins-Loeber, Patrick Trotzke, Birte Vogel, Ekaterini Georgiadou, Martina de Zwaan. Online shopping in treatment-seeking patients with buying-shopping disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 2019; 94: 152120 DOI: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2019.152120

Here is the press release from Elsevier:

At what point does click-bait susceptibility become a mental health disorder?
One third of patients seeking treatment for buying-shopping disorder report symptoms of online shopping addiction, according to a new study published in Comprehensive Psychiatry

Philadelphia, November 13, 2019
A new study in Comprehensive Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, found that one third of a group of patients seeking treatment for buying-shopping disorder (BSD) also reported symptoms of addictive online shopping. These patients tended to be younger than the others in the study sample, experienced greater levels of anxiety and depression, and were likely to exhibit a higher severity of BSD symptoms.
“It really is time to recognize BSD as separate mental health condition and to accumulate further knowledge about BSD on the Internet,” explained lead investigator Astrid Müller, MD, PhD, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. At present, BSD is not categorized as a separate mental health condition; it is characterized as “other specified impulse control disorder” in the recently released 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases.
BSD is a cross-national problem that afflicts an estimated five percent of the population. It is characterized by extreme preoccupation with and craving for buying and/or shopping, as well as irresistible and identity-seeking urges to possess consumer goods. Patients with BSD buy more consumer goods than they can afford, need, or use. Their excessive purchasing serves to regulate emotions (e.g., to get pleasure, relief from negative feelings or cope with self-discrepancy). In the long run, the recurrent breakdown in self-control leads to extreme distress, psychiatric comorbidity, familial discord, clutter due to pathological hoarding of goods, and indebtedness and/or deception and embezzlement to enable continued spending despite insufficient finances.
As e-commerce has gained increasing popularity as a primary method for buying and shopping for goods over the past decade, a need has developed for mental health experts to explore whether traditional BSD manifests differently in the online retail market. The Internet offers a vast variety of shopping information and simultaneous access to many online stores, thereby meeting expectations for immediate reward, emotional enhancement, and identity gain.
Previous studies showed that certain Internet-specific aspects of buying and shopping, such as availability, anonymity, accessibility, and affordability, contribute to the development of an online subtype of BSD. However, there is a paucity of studies investigating addictive online shopping as a phenotype of BSD related to the problematic use of the Internet. This study, which analyzed data from earlier studies reporting on 122 treatment-seeking patients, is among the first to quantify and explore the phenomenon of online shopping in BSD diagnosed-patients.
Dr. Müller added, “We hope that our results showing that the prevalence of addictive online shopping among treatment-seeking patients with BSD will encourage future research addressing the distinct phenomenological characteristics, underlying features, associated comorbidity, and specific treatment concepts.”
Notes for editors
The article is “Online shopping in treatment-seeking patients with buying-shopping disorder,”by Astrid Müller, Sabine Steins-Loeber, Patrick Trotzke, Birte Vogel, Ekaterini Georgiadou, and Martina de Zwaan (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2019.152120). It appears in Comprehensive Psychiatry, volume 94 published by Elsevier.
This study is published open access and can be downloaded by following the DOI link above.
Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request. Contact Eileen Leahy at +1 732 238 3628or hmsmedia@elsevier.com to obtain copies. Journalists wishing to speak to the authors should contact Astrid Müller at mueller.astrid@mh-hannover.de.
About Comprehensive Psychiatry
Comprehensive Psychiatry is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that publishes on all aspects of psychiatry and mental health with a mission to disseminate cutting-edge knowledge in order to improve patient care and advance the understanding of mental illness. The Journal aims to publish high quality papers with a particular emphasis on the clinical implications of the work including an improved understanding of psychopathology.
About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray’s Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. http://www.elsevier.com
Media contact
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Dr. April Benson wrote in Compulsive Shopping Treatment Overview:

As with most other addictive, impulse control, or compulsive disorders, there is a wide range of effective treatment options: drug treatment, individual, group, and couples therapy, counseling for compulsive buying, Debtors Anonymous, and Simplicity Circles can all be effective. The choice of what form or forms of compulsive shopping treatment to use with a particular person is a complex decision that goes well beyond the scope of this overview. For further information about making treatment decisions, consult my own writings, the For Therapists page of this website, as well as the bibliographic references at the end of each chapter in I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self.
Psychotropic medications, including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and opiod antagonists have been used to treat compulsive buying, with varying effectiveness. For further details, see McElroy and Goldsmith-Chapter 10 of I Shop, Therefore I Am and in Benson, April L. and Gengler, Marie. “Treatment of Compulsive Buying,” in Handbook of Addictive Disorders: A Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment Handbook, Robert Coombs, (ed.), Wiley (2004).
Group therapy for compulsive buyers has been reported since the late 1980s. At least five different forms of group therapy have been utilized with this population. My own group compulsive shopping treatment model is an amalgam of three things: useful techniques from existing models; didactic and experiential material used in group treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder; and material I’ve found effective in my clinical practice. A study of the efficacy of this model has been submitted for publication to the Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery and two additional papers, one about the model itself, and the second, a case illustration of the model, will appear in Volume 8, Number 1, of the Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery (2013).
There are chapters about two of the existing group therapy models in my book, I Shop, Therefore I Am and I describe all five in detail in Benson, April L. and Gengler, Marie. “Treatment of Compulsive Buying,” in Handbook of Addictive Disorders: A Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment Handbook, Robert Coombs, (ed.), Wiley (2004).
Couples therapy for compulsive buying is an extremely important treatment modality, because couples act as a financial unit and generally blend income as well as spending. Money issues are an intrinsic part of marriage and are often a source of intense and pervasive friction that can seep into other aspects of the relationship. Couples therapy is indicated when the compulsive spending problem can’t be dealt with adequately on an individual basis. Olivia Mellan, the country’s foremost expert in this area, discusses the treatment in Chapter 15, “Overcoming Overspending in Couples”, of I Shop, Therefore I Am.
How Does Compulsive Shopping Treatment Work?
Compulsive shopping treatment targets the specific problem and creates an action plan to stop the behavior. Targeted counseling for this problem alters the negative actions of compulsive buying and concurrently works toward healing the underlying emotions, although less emphasis is placed on exploring the emotional significance of compulsive buying than in traditional individual psychotherapy. The major premise of compulsive shopping treatment is the idea that insight alone will not stop the behavior. All stages in the compulsive buying cycle must be identified: the triggers, the feelings, the dysfunctional thoughts, the behaviors, the consequences of the behavior, as well as the meaning of the compulsive buying. Creating and using a spending plan is a cornerstone of compulsive shopping treatment. More information about compulsive buying counseling can be found in Karen McCall’s chapter “Financial Recovery Counseling”, as well as in my treatment chapter in Handbook of Addictive Disorders: A Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment Handbook, Robert Coombs, (ed.), Wiley (2004).
Debtors Anonymous (D.A.) can be a powerful tool in recovery from compulsive buying, especially for compulsive buyers who have problems with debt. D.A. sees debting as a disease similar to alcoholism that can be cured with solvency, which means abstinence from any new debt. Since individuals are trying to control their lives with addictive debting, D.A. offers a regimented program of surrender and recovery, a program with a spiritual emphasis. Individual debtors work through the steps of the program with a sponsor, a more experienced member of the group, using newly acquired tools in conjunction with the steps. How Debtors Anonymous and psychotherapy can work synergistically is the topic of Kellen and Levine’s chapter of I Shop, Therefore I Am….. https://www.shopaholicnomore.com/complusive-shopping-treatment/

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Helen Keller

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Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study: Screen-based media associated with structural differences in brains of young children

10 Nov

Andrew Stevensen wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald article, The screens that are stealing childhood:

Australians have smartphones and tablet computers gripped in their sweaty embrace, adopting the new internet-enabled technology as the standard operating platform for their lives, at work, home and play.
But it is not only adults who are on the iWay to permanent connection. As parents readily testify, many children don’t just use the devices, they are consumed by them.
”These devices have an almost obsessive pull towards them,” says Larry Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University and author of iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming its Hold on Us.
”How can you expect the world to compete with something like an iPad3 with a high-definition screen, clear video and lots of interactivity? How can anything compete with that? There’s certainly no toy that can.
”Even old people like me can’t stop themselves from tapping their pocket to make sure their iPhone is there. Imagine a teenager, even a pre-teen, who’s grown up with these devices attached at the hip 24/7 and you end up with what I think is a problem.”
The technology has been absorbed so comprehensively that the jury on the potential impact on young people is not just out, it’s yet to be empanelled.
”The million-dollar question is whether there are risks in the transfer of real time to online time and the answer is that we just don’t know,” says Andrew Campbell, a child and adolescent psychologist….
Authoritative standards on appropriate levels of use are limited. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends parents discourage TV for children under two and limit screen time for older children to less than two hours a day.
The guidelines, says Professor Rosen, are ”ludicrous” but the need for them and constant communication with young people about technology and how they use it, remains. ”It’s no longer OK to start talking to your kids about technology when they’re in their teens. You have to start talking to them about it as soon as you hand them your iPhone or let them watch television or Skype with grandma,” he says.
He suggests a ratio of screen time to other activities of 1:5 for very young children, 1:1 for pre-teens and 5:1 for teenagers. Parents should have weekly talks with their children from the start, looking for signs of obsession, addiction and lack of attention. http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/the-screens-that-are-stealing-childhood-20120528-1zffr.html

See, Technology Could Lead to Overstimulation in Kids http://www.educationnews.org/parenting/technology-could-lead-to-overstimulation-in-kids/

Science Daily reported in Screen-based media associated with structural differences in brains of young children:

A new study documents structural differences in the brains of preschool-age children related to screen-based media use.
The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows that children who have more screen time have lower structural integrity of white matter tracts in parts of the brain that support language and other emergent literacy skills. These skills include imagery and executive function — the process involving mental control and self-regulation. These children also have lower scores on language and literacy measures.
The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study assessed screen time in terms of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations. The AAP recommendations not only take into account time spent in front of screens but also access to screens, including portable devices; content; and who children are with and how they interact when they are looking at screens.
“This study raises questions as to whether at least some aspects of screen-based media use in early childhood may provide sub-optimal stimulation during this rapid, formative state of brain development,” says John Hutton, MD, director of the, Reading & Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children’s and lead author of the study. “While we can’t yet determine whether screen time causes these structural changes or implies long-term neurodevelopmental risks, these findings warrant further study to understand what they mean and how to set appropriate limits on technology use….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191104112918.htm

Citation:

Screen-based media associated with structural differences in brains of young children
Date: November 4, 2019
Source: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Summary:
A new study documents structural differences in the brains of preschool-age children related to screen-based media use.

Journal Reference:
John S. Hutton, Jonathan Dudley, Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus, Tom DeWitt, Scott K. Holland. Associations Between Screen-Based Media Use and Brain White Matter Integrity in Preschool-Aged Children. JAMA Pediatrics, 2019; e193869 DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.3869

Here is the press release from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center:

Screen-based media associated with structural differences in brains of young children
by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows that children who have more screen time have lower structural integrity of white matter tracts in parts of the brain that support language and other emergent literacy skills. These skills include imagery and executive function—the process involving mental control and self-regulation. These children also have lower scores on language and literacy measures.
The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study assessed screen time in terms of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations. The AAP recommendations not only take into account time spent in front of screens but also access to screens, including portable devices; content; and who children are with and how they interact when they are looking at screens.
“This study raises questions as to whether at least some aspects of screen-based media use in early childhood may provide sub-optimal stimulation during this rapid, formative state of brain development,” says John Hutton, MD, director of the, Reading & Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children’s and lead author of the study. “While we can’t yet determine whether screen time causes these structural changes or implies long-term neurodevelopmental risks, these findings warrant further study to understand what they mean and how to set appropriate limits on technology use.”
Among the AAP recommendations:
• For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.
• For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
• Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
• Higher ScreenQ scores were associated with lower brain white matter integrity, which affects organization and myelination—the process of forming a myelin sheath around a nerve to allow nerve impulses to move more quickly—in tracts involving language executive function and other literacy skills.
“Screen-based media use is prevalent and increasing in home, childcare and school settings at ever younger ages,” says Dr. Hutton. “These findings highlight the need to understand effects of screen time on the brain, particularly during stages of dynamic brain development in early childhood, so that providers, policymakers and parents can set healthy limits.”
________________________________________
Explore further
New studies measure screen-based media use in children https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-05-screen-based-media-children.html
________________________________________
Journal information: JAMA Pediatrics
Provided by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-11-screen-based-media-differences-brains-young.html

There is something to be said for Cafe Society where people actually meet face-to-face for conversation or the custom of families eating at least one meal together. Time has a good article on The Magic of the Family Meal http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1200760,00.html See, also Family Dinner: The Value of Sharing Meals http://www.ivillage.com/family-dinner-value-sharing-meals/6-a-128491
Perhaps, acting like the power is out from time to time and using Helen Robin’s suggestions is not such a bad idea.

Related:

Two studies: Social media and social dysfunction https://drwilda.com/2013/04/13/two-studies-social-media-and-social-dysfunction/

Common Sense Media report: Kids migrating away from Facebook
https://drwilda.com/tag/the-impact-of-social-media-use-on-children/

Is ‘texting’ destroying literacy skills https://drwilda.com/2012/07/30/is-texting-destroying-literacy-skills/

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Yale School of Medicine study: Living skin can now be 3D-printed with blood vessels included

2 Nov

Debra Stang wrote in the Heathline article, Skin Graft, which was Medically reviewed by Catherine Hannan, MD on May 30, 2017:

What is a skin graft?
Skin grafting is a surgical procedure that involves removing skin from one area of the body and moving it, or transplanting it, to a different area of the body. This surgery may be done if a part of your body has lost its protective covering of skin due to burns, injury, or illness.
Skin grafts are performed in a hospital. Most skin grafts are done using general anesthesia, which means you’ll be asleep throughout the procedure and won’t feel any pain.
Why are skin grafts done?
A skin graft is placed over an area of the body where skin has been lost. Common reasons for a skin graft include:
• skin infections
• deep burns
• large, open wounds
• bed sores or other ulcers on the skin that haven’t healed well
• skin cancer surgery
Types of skin grafts
There are two basic types of skin grafts: split-thickness and full-thickness grafts.
Split-thickness grafts
A split-thickness graft involves removing the top layer of the skin — the epidermis — as well as a portion of the deeper layer of the skin, called the dermis. These layers are taken from the donor site, which is the area where the healthy skin is located. Split-thickness skin grafts are usually harvested from the front or outer thigh, abdomen, buttocks, or back.
Split-thickness grafts are used to cover large areas. These grafts tend to be fragile and typically have a shiny or smooth appearance. They may also appear paler than the adjoining skin. Split-thickness grafts don’t grow as readily as ungrafted skin, so children who get them may need additional grafts as they grow older.
Full-thickness grafts
A full-thickness graft involves removing all of the epidermis and dermis from the donor site. These are usually taken from the abdomen, groin, forearm, or area above the clavicle (collarbone). They tend to be smaller pieces of skin, as the donor site from where it’s harvested is usually pulled together and closed in a straight-line incision with stitches or staples.
Full-thickness grafts are generally used for small wounds on highly visible parts of the body, such as the face. Unlike split-thickness grafts, full-thickness grafts blend in well with the skin around them and tend to have a better cosmetic outcome…. https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-graft#types
See, Skin Graft Ruka Shimizu and Kazuo Kishi* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3335647/
Tyler Lacoma wrote in What is 3D printing? Here’s everything you need to know:
3D printing is a manufacturing process that creates a three dimensional object by incrementally adding material until the object is complete (this contrasts with subtractive manufacturing techniques such as carving or milling, in which an object is created by selectively removing parts from a piece of raw material). A 3D printer is simply a machine that can take a digital 3D model and turn it into a tangible 3D object via additive manufacturing. While these printers come in many forms, they all have three basic parts….
It’s hard to find a sector that hasn’t been affected by 3D printing. Manufacturing processes around the world have adopted 3D printing techniques to help solve their problems and improve efficiency. When used in mass production, 3D printing tends to be cheaper than any other method. When used to create prototypes, it’s typically the fastest option. But that’s just the beginning! Check just a few of the incredible ways that 3D printing is currently being used.
 Shoes: Companies like Feetz and 3D Shoes manufacture 3D-printed shoes on demand, with plenty of customization options. Bigger brands are getting into the business, too!
 Houses: Yes, we are printing 3D houses now, too! In fact, manufacturer Apis Ctor has developed a house that can be printed and painted in 24 hours.
 Healthcare materials: Common, disposable healthcare objectives, like sample cups, now often come from 3D printing systems. In the prosthetics world, 3D printing is used to create customized prosthetics for individual’s unique bodies and requirements. Advanced systems are even creating 3D skin grafts made out of biological ink.
 Custom ordering: At home or work and feeling left out of the 3D printing business? Thousands of printing companies now offer 3D printing where you specify objects, materials, and place your order online.
 Set Design: Set design and prop-making have fully embraced 3D printing as a far cheaper, faster way to create very specific props for today’s shows and theater. Think how much easier it is to create an alien environment when you can draw, program, and print a usable version of even the most outlandish or historical objects in no time at all! https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/what-is-3d-printing/

Resources:

Medical Applications of 3D Printing https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/3d-printing-medical-devices/medical-applications-3d-printing
3D printing in medicine: How the technology is increasingly being used to save lives https://binged.it/2WJ7WsA

3D Printing in Medicine: The Best Applications in 2019                                https://all3dp.com/2/3d-printing-in-medicine-the-best-applications/

Science Daily reported the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute study: Living skin can now be 3D-printed with blood vessels included

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a way to 3D print living skin, complete with blood vessels. The advancement, published online today in Tissue Engineering Part A, is a significant step toward creating grafts that are more like the skin our bodies produce naturally.
“Right now, whatever is available as a clinical product is more like a fancy Band-Aid,” said Pankaj Karande, an associate professor of chemical and biological engineering and member of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), who led this research at Rensselaer. “It provides some accelerated wound healing, but eventually it just falls off; it never really integrates with the host cells.”
A significant barrier to that integration has been the absence of a functioning vascular system in the skin grafts.
Karande has been working on this challenge for several years, previously publishing one of the first papers showing that researchers could take two types of living human cells, make them into “bio-inks,” and print them into a skin-like structure. Since then, he and his team have been working with researchers from Yale School of Medicine to incorporate vasculature.
In this paper, the researchers show that if they add key elements — including human endothelial cells, which line the inside of blood vessels, and human pericyte cells, which wrap around the endothelial cells — with animal collagen and other structural cells typically found in a skin graft, the cells start communicating and forming a biologically relevant vascular structure within the span of a few weeks. You can watch Karande explain this development here.
“As engineers working to recreate biology, we’ve always appreciated and been aware of the fact that biology is far more complex than the simple systems we make in the lab,” Karande said. “We were pleasantly surprised to find that, once we start approaching that complexity, biology takes over and starts getting closer and closer to what exists in nature.”
Once the Yale team grafted it onto a special type of mouse, the vessels from the skin printed by the Rensselaer team began to communicate and connect with the mouse’s own vessels.
“That’s extremely important, because we know there is actually a transfer of blood and nutrients to the graft which is keeping the graft alive,” Karande said.
In order to make this usable at a clinical level, researchers need to be able to edit the donor cells using something like the CRISPR technology, so that the vessels can integrate and be accepted by the patient’s body.
“We are still not at that step, but we are one step closer,” Karande said.
“This significant development highlights the vast potential of 3D bioprinting in precision medicine, where solutions can be tailored to specific situations and eventually to individuals,” said Deepak Vashishth, the director CBIS. “This is a perfect example of how engineers at Rensselaer are solving challenges related to human health….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191101111556.htm

Citation:

Living skin can now be 3D-printed with blood vessels included
Development is significant step toward skin grafts that can be integrated into patient’s skin
Date: November 1, 2019
Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Summary:
Researchers have developed a way to 3D print living skin, complete with blood vessels. The advancement is a significant step toward creating grafts that are more like the skin our bodies produce naturally.

Journal Reference:
Tânia Baltazar, Jonathan Merola, Carolina Motter Catarino, Catherine Bingchan Xie, Nancy Kirkiles-Smith, Vivian Lee, Stéphanie Yuki Kolbeck Hotta, Guohao Dai, Xiaowei Xu, Frederico Castelo Ferreira, W Mark Saltzman, Jordan S Pober, Pankaj Karande. 3D bioprinting of a vascularized and perfusable skin graft using human keratinocytes, (..). Tissue Engineering Part A, 2019; DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2019.0201

Here is the press release from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:

November 1, 2019
Living Skin Can Now be 3D-Printed With Blood Vessels Included
Development is significant step toward skin grafts that can be integrated into patient’s skin

TROY, N.Y. — Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a way to 3D print living skin, complete with blood vessels. The advancement, published online today in Tissue Engineering Part A, is a significant step toward creating grafts that are more like the skin our bodies produce naturally.
“Right now, whatever is available as a clinical product is more like a fancy Band-Aid,” said Pankaj Karande, an associate professor of chemical and biological engineering and member of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), who led this research at Rensselaer. “It provides some accelerated wound healing, but eventually it just falls off; it never really integrates with the host cells.”
A significant barrier to that integration has been the absence of a functioning vascular system in the skin grafts.
Karande has been working on this challenge for several years, previously publishing one of the first papers showing that researchers could take two types of living human cells, make them into “bio-inks,” and print them into a skin-like structure. Since then, he and his team have been working with researchers from Yale School of Medicine to incorporate vasculature.
In this paper, the researchers show that if they add key elements — including human endothelial cells, which line the inside of blood vessels, and human pericyte cells, which wrap around the endothelial cells — with animal collagen and other structural cells typically found in a skin graft, the cells start communicating and forming a biologically relevant vascular structure within the span of a few weeks.
Watch Karande explain this development:
“As engineers working to recreate biology, we’ve always appreciated and been aware of the fact that biology is far more complex than the simple systems we make in the lab,” Karande said. “We were pleasantly surprised to find that, once we start approaching that complexity, biology takes over and starts getting closer and closer to what exists in nature.”
Once the Yale team grafted it onto a special type of mouse, the vessels from the skin printed by the Rensselaer team began to communicate and connect with the mouse’s own vessels.
“That’s extremely important, because we know there is actually a transfer of blood and nutrients to the graft which is keeping the graft alive,” Karande said.
In order to make this usable at a clinical level, researchers need to be able to edit the donor cells using something like the CRISPR technology, so that the vessels can integrate and be accepted by the patient’s body.
“We are still not at that step, but we are one step closer,” Karande said.
“This significant development highlights the vast potential of 3D bioprinting in precision medicine, where solutions can be tailored to specific situations and eventually to individuals,” said Deepak Vashishth, the director CBIS. “This is a perfect example of how engineers at Rensselaer are solving challenges related to human health.”
Karande said more work will need to be done to address the challenges associated with burn patients, which include the loss of nerve and vascular endings. But the grafts his team has created bring researchers closer to helping people with more discrete issues, like diabetic or pressure ulcers.
“For those patients, these would be perfect, because ulcers usually appear at distinct locations on the body and can be addressed with smaller pieces of skin,” Karande said. “Wound healing typically takes longer in diabetic patients, and this could also help to accelerate that process.”
At Rensselaer, Karande’s team also includes Carolina Catarino, doctoral student in chemical and biological engineering. The Yale team includes Tania Baltazar, a postdoctoral researcher who previously worked on this project at Rensselaer; Dr. Jordan Pober, a professor of immunobiology; and Mark Saltzman, a professor of biomedical engineering.
This work was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.
CONTACT
Reeve Hamilton
Director of Media Relations and Communications
(518) 833-4277
hamilr5@rpi.edu
For general inquiries: newsmedia@rpi.edu
ABOUT RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.

Jeff Kerns wrote in A Look at the Future of Medical 3D Printing, Part 1: Science fiction continues to become reality as 3D printing cuts deeper into the medical industry:

Available Soon
Unveiled at the Radiological Society of North America’s 2017 show, Stratasys unveiled 3D-printed anatomical structures, including disease pathologies that mimic the look and feel of biological parts to accelerate guidance, testing, and education. Engineered in conjunction with top researchers and manufacturers, service initially includes fully functional bone and heart models, with vascular structures expected in early 2018. This technology will eliminate restrictions associated with research on animal, mannequin, or cadaver models—BioMimics effectively mirrors intricacies of both soft tissue and hard bones via multi-material 3D printing.
These are only models, so regulations are fewer than if you were 3D printing the actual organs to go into a patient. While there are recently published reviews describing the use of 3D printing to produce bones, ears, windpipes, jawbones, cells, blood vessels, and more, it will take time before this technology is common practice. An estimate published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health says that we are less than 20 years from a fully functioning printable heart.
However, it should be cautioned that despite recent significant and exciting medical advances involving 3D printing, notable scientific and regulatory challenges remain, and the most transformative applications for this technology will need time to evolve.
In our next installment, the future of 3D printing tissues, organs, and custom pharmaceuticals will be discussed. Many professionals say 3D printing is getting a lot of hype, but it will be a long time before we start seeing 3D-printed organs. However, the fact that they seem to be saying “It will take a long time,” and not “This will never happen,” is exciting enough. Also, the idea that we may see printed bone and tissue earlier than when organ printing was predicted make it hard not to justify the hype around this technology.
But for the time being, we’ll just need to keep eating right and exercising.
https://www.machinedesign.com/3d-printing/look-future-medical-3d-printing-part-1

Exploration is the engine that drives innovation. Innovation drives economic growth. So let’s all go exploring.
Edith Widder

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