Junk Food and Addiction – How Cheesecake and Bacon are Like Heroin and Cocaine

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps produce a reward response in the brain. This response kicks into action when we do something pleasurable- like eating highly palatable food. It is known that there is a reduction in this reward response in obese people. However, it is unclear whether the reduction in reward precedes obesity and…

Oxytocin and Autism

Science magazine is reporting on a new study that found that oxytocin, the so-called “trust hormone”, may be beneficial in dealing with the symptoms of autism. In two small studies conducted in Toronto, researchers administered oxytocin inhalers to children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Following the oxytocin dose, the children, who previously had difficulty interacting…

Move Aside, Drugs: Non-invasive Brain Therapies

Recently, scientists at MIT tested a specially-designed nutritional drink to see whether it could improve cognitive function in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease. (Here’s an article in CNN on the subject.) The drink includes three key nutrients: uridine, choline (part of the vitamin B family) and DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid). These are nutrients that…