Grey Weather, Grey Mood: Cortisol Levels May Underlie Seasonal Affective Disorder

The relationship between season and psychological health in terms of mood has been greatly researched. A recent study shows the cortisol function differs over season in people reporting “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or SAD [1]. This may finally help us to understand any biological mechanism underlying of SAD.

Seasonal affective disorder

National Survey Tracks Rates of Common Mental Disorders Among American Youth

Only about half of American children and teenagers who have certain mental disorders receive professional services, according to a nationally representative survey funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The survey also provides a comprehensive look at the prevalence of common mental disorders.

The results are part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a collaboration between NIMH and the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey conducted from 2001 to 2004 had 3,042 participants. These most recent results include data from children and adolescents ages 8 to 15, and were published online ahead of print December 14, 2009, in the journal Pediatrics [1].

Metabolic Changes in Human Brain Evolution and Schizophrenia

Earlier this year, researchers at the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, the Shanghai branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Cambridge University published a study in the journal Genome Biology providing further evidence that the evolution of human cognitive abilities was accompanied by adaptive changes in brain metabolism, potentially pushing the human brain to the limit of its metabolic capabilities [1]. The results support the theory that schizophrenia is a consequence of human brain evolution.

Improve Your Financial Health, Reduce Stress and Help Save the Planet

With crude oil hitting a record high this week, gas prices here in the U.S. are soaring. According to, the $100 fill-up has arrived in the United States.

Want to reduce your stress level, spend less money at the pump and do your part to help save the planet? Here’s one of the most simple yet effective tips that will accomplish all three: Slow Down.