Health Benefits of Kindness

By Lynn Allison – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

That warm glow you feel after helping someone is a real thing according to recent studies. Researchers at the University of Sussex, England, found a physiological response in brains scanned by MRIs while people were making kind decisions.

It was found that the brain literally lit up, meaning that the certain regions of the brain were activated and used more oxygen. This phenomenon occurred whether or not the kind act was altruistic or the participant expected something in return for his or her kindness. However, researchers also observed a unique response when people were kind without expecting any gain from their actions, according to “Medical Daily.”

Discovered: Anti-Anxiety Circuit in Brain

By Bruce Goldman – Re-Blogged From Stanford Medicine

Stimulation of a distinct brain circuit that lies within a brain structure typically associated with fearfulness produces the opposite effect: Its activity, instead of triggering or increasing anxiety, counters it.

That’s the finding in a paper by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers published online March 9 in Nature. In the study, Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD, and his colleagues employed a mouse model to show that stimulating activity exclusively in this circuit enhances animals’ willingness to take risks, while inhibiting its activity renders them more risk-averse. This discovery could lead to new treatments for anxiety disorders, said Deisseroth, an associate professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.

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Living in Noisy Neighborhoods Can Cause Heart Attacks

By Health Day – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Living in noise-saturated neighborhoods might be more than simply annoying – it can increase your risk factors for serious health problems including heart attack, heart disease and stroke, new research.

Chronic noise from traffic and airports appears to trigger the amygdala, a brain region critically involved in stress regulation, brain scans have revealed.

Noise is also associated with increased inflammation of the arteries, which is a risk factor for stroke, heart attack and heart disease, said lead researcher Dr. Azar Radfar. She is a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.