Experts have believed that autism affects four times as many boys as girls, but the ratio may not actually be quite that high. Doctors are learning that autism shows up differently in girls’ behavior as a result of brain differences. This leaves many girls with autism undiagnosed. Experts discuss how it appears in girls and the consequences of those differences.
Dr. Thomas Frazier, Chief Science Officer, Autism Speaks
Dr. Rachel Loftin, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Northwestern University
Dr. Kevin Pelphrey, Jefferson Scholars Foundation, Professor of Neurology, University of Virginia
Experts say incest is the most common of all sexual abuse, but the least discussed openly. This can leave victims isolated and less able to reveal abuse, which can have further psychological ramifications later on. A noted expert on sexual abuse discusses how incest makes girls feel particularly responsible and unable to come forward, and a non-profit organization that seeks to help them.
Dr. Patti Feuereisen, clinical psychologist and author, Invisible Girls: Speaking the Truth About Sexual Abuse
It’s well known that the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is rising… but the speed of the increase is stunning researchers. A study in the journal Lancet Neurology finds that the number of people with dementia around the world has more than doubled since 1990. Researchers estimate that within about 30 years… more than 100 million people will be affected with dementia.
Air pollution is bad for your health… but researchers haven’t been able to quantify just how bad until now. A Danish study in the journal Environment International used advanced models to simulate the effects of pollution on large populations. It shows that cutting city pollution to the level found in the country could increase the lifespan of the average urban dweller by one full year.
And finally… it doesn’t take long to believe your own lies. And the older you are, the less time it takes. A study in the journal Brain and Cognition used EEG’s to monitor brain activity of people purposely telling lies… then telling the truth to the same questions 45 minutes later. Researchers found that people over 60 are much more likely than young people to accept as the truth a lie they had told less than an hour earlier. Apparently, scientists say, telling a lie scrambles the memory so people ultimately accept it as what really happened.
Drug and alcohol addiction and abuse is rising. Researchers have found that “fear mongering” educational efforts to combat it in adolescents doesn’t work. New science has discovered that certain personality types are predictably predisposed to addiction risk, and that educational efforts can be targeted to them effectively. Experts discuss.
Dr. Natalie Castellanos-Ryan, Assistant Professor of Psychoeducation, University of Montreal
Maia Szalavitz, author, Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction
Does addiction affect all of us in some degree? A noted addiction specialist and author believes we are all somewhere on the addiction spectrum, from bad habits to full-blown addiction. He discusses how small triggers can push people to seek relief, producing deepening decline.
Dr. Paul Thomas, author, The Addiction Spectrum: A Compassionate, Holistic Approach to Recovery
After serious injury, the leading cause of death is blood loss. But a new study shows that if a person needs massive transfusions, the fresher the blood, the better. The study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine finds that people receiving large transfusions of packed blood more than about three weeks old have about a five percent higher death risk… and the more blood transfused, the higher the risk. Experts say more blood and plasma donors are needed to overcome shortages… and shelf life limits.
If you didn’t sleep well last night, you’re more likely to be angry today. That sounds intuitive, but a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology proves it– losing just a couple hours of sleep makes you much more likely to react with anger to a frustrating situation. Researchers used annoying noises in the lab to measure anger responses… and found that anger was substantially higher in people who were sleep-deprived. The next step is to see if sleep loss makes people act more aggressively toward others.
And finally… people who grow up in an abusive home are more likely to repeat the behavior themselves. But a new study shows that it’s the opposite in the workplace. The study in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that people who’ve been abused and mistreated by their bosses are much more likely to become good bosses themselves. Apparently, abused employees learn what not to do when they’re running things.