In The News

Medscape: Youth Internet addiction linked to serious mental health issues

September 26, 2016

Excessive Internet use, particularly excessive use of video streaming, social networking, and instant messaging, may be associated with severe mental health problems in younger people, results of a Canadian survey indicate. The prevalence of symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as poorer executive functioning, was significantly increased in students who met diagnostic criteria for Internet addiction, revealed researchers at the 29th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress. "This leads us to a couple of questions: firstly, are we grossly underestimating the prevalence of internet addiction? And, secondly, are these other mental health issues a cause or consequence of this excessive reliance on the Internet?" said lead researcher Michael Van Ameringen, MD, FRCPC, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. "This may have practical medical implications. If you are trying to treat someone for an addiction when, in fact, they are anxious or depressed, then you may be going down the wrong route. We need to understand this more, so we need a bigger sample, drawn from a wider, more varied population," he added. Read the full article here.

The Suburban: York University concussion research shows lasting brain damage in elite level athletes

September 26, 2016

York University concussion experts report that young elite level athletes, who have suffered from a concussion, may have lingering neurological consequences that affect their movement control. While young athletes typically go back as players after a few weeks, researchers at York University’s Centre for Vision Research say these athletes may in fact have sustained neurological deficits that are not detected using standard clinical assessments. Professor Lauren E. Sergio led the research at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science with doctoral candidate Johanna Hurtubise. It is their first study looking at asymptomatic elite-level athletes who are National Hockey League draft prospects with a history of concussion, and shows that even in this group there is a small amount of impairment. Read the full article here.

Erie Media: Scientists say ‘Marsquakes’ are another clue to life on Mars

September 23, 2016

Scientists believe the detection of earthquake-like seismic activity on Mars could be another sign of life. Recent research by an international team of scientists that included Brock University geologist Nigel Blamey suggests that hydrogen gas arising from ‘Marsquakes’ could help sustain life on the Red Planet. Through their analysis of rocks in Sudbury, Scotland and South Africa, the three-member group found that friction occurring during an earthquake produces hydrogen. “Seismic activity has been detected on Mars,” said Blamey, assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences. “The question was, can earthquakes on Earth and Mars have anything to do with hydrogen generation, which could then act as an energy source for bacteria? The answer is yes.” Read the full article here.

CTV: University of Guelph uses simple idea to cut AC bill, carbon emissions

September 21, 2016

An Ontario university has cut its greenhouse gas emissions -- not to mention its air conditioning bill -- using a relatively simple technology. The University of Guelph built a 30-metre-high tank that cools 22 million litres of water each night. The water is piped around campus during the day, cooling classrooms, offices and labs. The thermal energy system cost about $15 million to build but the university says it already has saved about $2.5 million on its electricity bills since the system went online earlier this summer. John Kuri, who works for the energy consultancy MCW, said the savings come partly from the fact that it takes less energy to cool things at night, and partly from the fact that Ontario electricity is cheaper from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Read the full article here.

Globe and Mail: Your internal monologue during a workout determines success: study

September 19, 2016

If you exercised outdoors this summer, there’s a good chance you cursed the record-breaking heat – and in doing so, you made it feel worse.

According to a new study from environmental physiologists at Brock University, the internal monologue running through your head as you struggle through a workout in hot conditions has measurable effects on how well your mind and muscles function. The results add to growing evidence that seemingly immutable physical limits are actually governed by the brain –and that, with some simple changes, we can alter those limits.

The study, led by Dr. Stephen Cheung and his student Phillip Wallace, explored the use of “motivational self-talk.” A group of 18 trained cyclists performed a series of tests that included a timed bike ride to exhaustion while maintaining a constant pedalling power, and a battery of cognitive tests in 35 C heat. Half of the group then received two weeks of self-talk training, and then they repeated the same series of physical and cognitive tests.

Read the full article here.

Hamilton Spectator: McMaster researchers study fecal transplants in kids

September 16, 2016

Hamilton researchers will do the most reliable study to date on fecal transplants in children with inflammatory bowel disease.

It comes at a time when parents are being warned to stop trying to do the promising but unproven treatment themselves using step-by-step guides from the Internet.

"Families are asking questions about this and doing this ad hoc in their kitchens — that is not safe," said Dr. Nikhil Pai, principal investigator of the pediatric fecal transplant for ulcerative colitis trial or PediFETCh. "This offers a chance to do this in a proper way where we can ask the right questions and monitor patients. There is a ton of pre-screening that is done on the donors to make sure they don't have infectious pathogens."

The new investigator fund at Hamilton Health Sciences is footing the $50,000 bill to do the study on the increasingly common disease in children which is particularly high in Ontario.

Read the article here.