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

Sleep Apnea Tied to Increased Risk of Stroke

Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of stroke in middle-aged and older adults, especially men, according to new results from a landmark study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. Overall, sleep apnea more than doubles the risk of stroke in men. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder in which the upper airway is intermittently narrowed or blocked, disrupting sleep and breathing during sleep.

Sleep apnea and snoring

Health Highlights – March 11th, 2010

Health Highlights is a biweekly summary of particularly interesting articles from credible sources of health and medical information that we follow & read. For a complete list of recommeded sources, see our links page.

Health Highlights

SIDS Linked to Low Levels of Serotonin

The brains of infants who die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) produce low levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that conveys messages between cells and plays a vital role in regulating breathing, heart rate, and sleep, reported researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

SIDS is the death of an infant before his or her first birthday that cannot be explained after a complete autopsy, an investigation of the scene and circumstances of the death, and a review of the medical history of the infant and of his or her family. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, SIDS is the third leading cause of infant death, claiming more than 2,300 lives in 2006.

Infant sleeping

Need For Less Sleep Associated with Gene Mutation

ResearchBlogging.org

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, have discovered the first gene involved in regulating the length of human sleep. The study, published recently in the journal Science, identified a genetic mutation that is associated with a short human sleep phenotype [1]. The finding may help scientists better understand the regulatory mechanisms of sleep and lead to treatments for a variety of sleep disorders.