Do Evidence Therapy Animals Help? Not Really

 Therapy animals are on trend, everyone is getting some sort of certification so they can take their pets on the plane and into restaurants, but though no one in business wants to mess with mental illness, there is not much evidence they are more than placebo.

Food tastes better if you look in a mirror

A new paper claims that when study participants ate alone, the food tasted better and they ate more if they could see themselves reflected in a mirror. This was true of both elderly and young adult participants.

In elderly Japanese, a similar increase in the appeal of food was seen when the mirror was replaced with a photo.

Don't be intimidated: Even one exercise session can have positive brain effects

Exercise can be intimidating. Like not calling your grandmother because you don't want to be berated for not calling for so long, it can be hard to stop. But even if you only exercise once, it can have positive effects on mood, memory, attention, motor/reaction times, and even creativity. Understanding the immediate effects of a single bout of exercise is the first step to understanding how the positive effects of exercise may accrue over time to cause long-lasting changes in select brain circuits.

The surprising benefits of sadness

The surprising benefits of sadness

Homo sapiens is a very moody species. Even though sadness and bad moods have always been part of the human experience, we now live in an age that ignores or devalues these feelings.

Nocebo: Patients aware they're taking statins report more side effects

Nocebo: Patients aware they're taking statins report more side effects

Who is most likely to report side effects from taking statins? People who know they are taking statins and have read about side effects. As many as 20 percent of patients may stop taking or refuse the drug due to reported side effects, which include muscle pain, cataracts, memory loss, erectile dysfunction and disrupted sleep.

Yet in clinical trials people who don't know they are taking statins don't report side effects any more than a placebo group. 

Sympathetic nervous system: Your brain, not your white blood cells, keeps you warm

The common belief is that macrophages, a class of white blood cells, play a major role in thermogenesis, how the body regulates its production of heat, but a new study suggests that the main driver of thermogenesis is the sympathetic nervous system, which is chiefly controlled by the brain.

Gender Dysphoria, Psychosis And Gender Affirmative Treatment

Gender dysphoria in individuals with psychotic disorders can be adequately diagnosed and safely treated with gender affirming psychological, endocrine, and surgical therapies, finds a new paper using a few case studies in LGBT Health.

How gamers get good

How gamers get good

Data from online video games has been used to study what kinds of practice and habits help people acquire skill. Basically, what does it take to get good? 10,000 hours? Nope, not even close. But there are reasons why some people are great in The Division and you die in the Dark Zone within seconds after meeting another player. Basically, they learned shortcuts and before they ever met you, they warmed up.

Teens with autism go to the ER 400 percent more, but why?

Adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) use 400 percent more emergency-department services than peers without autism, which puts more strain on an over-burdened health care system. It may be that they need better access to primary care.

Genetic risk factors for anxiety disorders

Genetic risk factors for anxiety disorders

Some people have an extreme fear of spiders or other objects while others have breathing difficulties and accelerated heart beat in small rooms or large gatherings of people. Some anxiety attacks occur for no apparent cause. Some patients suffer from the detrimental impacts on their everyday lives, they have problems at work and withdraw from social contacts.