March 15, 2017

New Light On Antibiotic Use To Treat Infant Ear Infections

Sometimes when a piece of research lands in a reputable journal, it is heralded and celebrated. At the very least, it makes the science section of the big newspapers. Other times, research arrives with more of a whisper than a yell. Of the two categories, this piece of news fits more with the latter: it appears the use of an antibiotic in treating infant ear infections is only slight [1]. It’s a rare and lucky parent who hasn’t had to nurse a child through a painful ear infection (technically called ‘acute otitis media’ or AOM). The condition, marked by pain […]
March 14, 2017

People Who Don’t Like Music Are Neurologically Different

You only have to ask someone like Jerry Maguire, driving his car, flicking through the radio stations searching for just the right song, how important music is. Music when it hits that sweet spot makes your foot tap and your heart sing. It makes you want to jump up and dance, or sing loudly out of tune. Music can bring out the depths of your sadness and trigger long lost memories. It can make you laugh or it can touch your soul. Music has been prevalent in all human cultures since we first started scratching flint together to make flames. […]
March 9, 2017

Heavy School Bags Biggest Pain In The Neck

It’s that time of year again. Kids have been back at school a few weeks and parents are starting to see just how heavy their kid’s backpacks are. Half the weight seems to be in the school bag itself, even before it’s loaded up with books and laptops and sports shoes.  Whilst being stoic and resilient are all qualities we want to see in our children, injury isn’t one of them. Numerous studies have documented the effects of spinal, shoulder and neck pain not to mention the effect on their gait from school age kids lugging around heavy bags1,2,3,4,5,6.  “There […]
March 9, 2017

Hitting the Gym better than Antidepressants New Study Finds

Depression is a worldwide issue. To give you some idea, it’s the number one psychological disorder in the western world1. And not unlike the common cold, it doesn’t discriminate between age groups or gender assignment. Depression is growing in all age groups, the largest increase noted in the younger generations, in our teenagers. At the rate of knots this psychological issue is developing, by 2020, it is estimated to be the second most debilitating condition behind heart disease. Think about it, the neuroscientists at the University of Bern2, have. Traditional treatment for depression is usually with antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. […]
March 2, 2017

Chiropractic Care and the Management of ADHD

ADHD… If you don’t know a kid who’s been diagnosed with it, you’re in the minority. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most controversial topics in child behaviour today. Firstly, there’s the hotly debated question over its actual existence. Followed by the heavily contested views over the medical treatment employed to manage it – the use of psychotropic drugs treating children. We covered this topic at length here. Psychiatrist Peter Breggin wrote, “Hyperactivity is the most frequent justification for drugging children. The difficult-to-control male child is certainly not a new phenomenon, but attempts to give him a medical […]
February 28, 2017

New Study: Dyslexics Have Reduced Capacity To Adapt To Sensory Input

Scientist have been rubbing their foreheads in frustration over dyslexia, trying to find the underlying cause for dyslexics’ reading difficulties. But it’s not just dysfunction with reading that individuals with dyslexia present, they also frequently show behavioural deficits in perceptual adaptation. Or what neuroscientists call ‘rapid neural adaption’. However, a recent study by neuroscientist from MIT and Boston University may have made the first breakthrough in understanding the sensory processing path specific to people with dyslexia. Part of the dyslexia/reading issue that neuroscience has struggled with, is that the brain doesn’t have any specific area that is connected to reading. […]
February 21, 2017

Curcumin And Berberine – Offers New Hope In The Treatment Of Breast And Other Cancers?

  You would be hard pressed to meet someone who has not been affected by breast cancer either personally or through association. It’s an insidious disease that is ranked second in all new cancer cases worldwide. It is the leading cause of cancer death in women. And it’s showing no sign of abating. Instead it’s been growing by 2% a year. There is no doubt that surgery; chemotherapy, radiotherapy and endocrine therapy have reduced the rate of death from breast cancer. But we are all very much aware of the side effects too. Most anti-cancer drugs are cytotoxic and the […]
February 21, 2017

Adrenal Exhaustion The Curse Of The 21st Century? Part 2

In our last article we discussed the nature of adrenal exhaustion and the different stages leading up to it.  Fortunately this state can be reversed once adrenal health is regulated and normalised.  It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of people in the world suffer from adrenal fatigue.  What we want to be careful about is failing to recognise the symptoms in the early stages.  Body aches, trouble concentrating, racing thoughts, irritability and moodiness, tired all the time, overwhelmed, hormonal imbalance and cravings for stimulants to help increase our energy levels are all symptoms of adrenal exhaustion and […]
February 16, 2017

Adrenal Exhaustion The Curse of the 21st Century? Part 1

Unless you’ve been sequestered to mars over the last five years, you’ve heard about it. Adrenal Exhaustion. It’s the by-product of our busy, non stop, super-productive, incredibly overwhelming lives. Like most big issues facing our time, it’s the light bulb’s fault. Before we had 24 hour availability to light, we used to go to bed early, get up early and pretty much eat our veggies and keep a circadian rhythm in tune with the cows. Not so much now.  In fact, not very much at all now.  Our lives are driven by our mental ability to keep pushing ourselves forward, irrespective of […]
February 14, 2017

New Study Links The Pill With Depression

Over 2.5 million Australian women use some form of contraception. The pill, or the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) remains the most popular method of choice. But with IUD’s and hormonal implant popularity on the rise, the ‘set and forget’ method is proving a popular choice amongst younger women and older women alike. This new found popularity may be as simple as the IUD’s and implants ease of use. Once the doctor has inserted the devise that’s about as high maintenance as it gets. It’s quite a different experience from having to remember to take a pill every day.   Hormonal […]
February 9, 2017

Pain-Free Breastfeeding: It Is Possible

“The highly intelligent and healthy baby mammal is capable of instinctively breastfeeding with only the gentle assistance of its mother,” says Dr Robyn Thompson. You see this everywhere you look in nature. No forceful or complicated techniques are required. Just instinct. This observation leads to a very poignant question though: Why do so many women struggle with the practice of breastfeeding? Many a new mother has battled with breastfeeding; something they feel should come naturally. The complications can be many and varied – from nipple trauma and upper back and wrist pain to engorgement issues and mastitis problems. This says […]
February 7, 2017
Frontal Lobe

Mirror Neurons: The Great Connector

An emerging area of study spiking interest across the globe is the brain and how it constructs reality. How does the brain, essentially a lump of tissue in the body, construct meaning, ponder the wonders of the universe, learn, manage the functions of the body and communicate with the world around us? Some time ago, researchers in Italy discovered a group of neurons in the frontal lobe called mirror neurons. As research advances in this area, the discovery is shedding light on how skills are developed and how empathy works on a neuronal level. Mirror neurons are essentially a subset […]
January 31, 2017

New Study Reveals Impact of Spinal Manipulation on Cortical Drive to Limb Muscles

The team at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic have done it again! A new study looking at whether chiropractic adjustments lead to changes in the way the brain controls muscles was recently accepted for publication in the Journal ‘Brain Sciences.’ The study was made possible by funding from the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, the Hamblin Chiropractic Research Fund Trust, the New Zealand College of Chiropractic and Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. This latest piece adds to an important body of evidence surrounding chiropractic care, and examines whether changes in muscle drive occurred at a brain or spinal cord level. […]
January 26, 2017

An Apple A Day May Make Your Baby Smarter

We’ve all heard the saying about apples but there may be more truth in the expression than first suspected. Women who eat fruit during their pregnancy have been shown to have smarter kids. Who knew by scoffing back a few extra bananas you could have such a positive affect? The study recently published in the journal EbioMedicine has found that mothers who eat more fruit give birth to children who perform better on developmental testing at one years old. Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Alberta, Piush Mandhane, found the link by reviewing the data from the Canadian […]
January 24, 2017
Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science Can Tell Us Why We Repeat Mistakes

“If you want to avoid repeating history, its best not to try and learn from it [1].” That might seem like a counterintuitive statement, but as researchers look into the cognitive science behind why we repeat mistakes, it seems to be the conclusion they are arriving at. There appears to be three key elements that play into the repetition of mistakes: post error slowing, mistake pathways in the brain, and the old feel-good hormone dopamine. The latter is an easy correlation to explain: if there was an element of reward or enjoyment tied up with your mistake, then it’s likely […]
January 19, 2017

The Neuroscience Behind Carrying Babies Keeps Them Calm

Countless tired parents across the globe know the story. Walking around for hours on end, patting their over tired baby, trying to get them off to sleep. Then ever so gently lowering them into the cot only for them to open their eyes, wide-awake to start crying again! Ahh the sheer frustration! What researchers1 have discovered is that your little one may not be some devious wee creature with aims to take over the whole household. Instead it’s a biological and physical response to being carried. When they’re carried they fall asleep and when you stop walking with them, well, […]
January 17, 2017

Depression Theory Faces Scrutiny: Could It Be An Immune System Issue?

For a long time, the prevailing theory regarding depression held that it was a brain issue to do with serotonin. The treatment – SSRI medication (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Yet this theory is facing increasing scrutiny with experts such as New York Psychiatrist and author, Dr Kelly Brogan, proposing that it may instead be an immune system issue. Dr Kelly Brogan takes a critical look at the theories, causes and scientific evidence surrounding depression in her recently published book A Mind of Your Own [1]. Brogan, a board-certified psychiatrist with a degree in cognitive neuroscience from […]
January 12, 2017

What If We Don’t Have Enough Dopamine? Part 2

In our last article we looked at the two neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. We also looked at the different types of depression that manifest when one is depleted in one or the other.We also had a look at the nature of substances of addiction and how they interact and interfere with the regulation of dopamine in your brain. You can read Part 1 of the article here. In this article we’re going to have a look at what happens to your mind, mood and body when you’re depleted in dopamine. In essence, what does it look like if you’re low in […]