Wellbeing

One step closer to finding the root of depression

New research has revealed the physical root of depression, according to a study published in the journal Brain. The study,…

I couldn’t escape anxiety — then I learned to run from it

Last year I went through a rough patch. I felt constantly anxious and despondent. I struggled to see the point…

20 Oct 2016

Yet more reasons not to plonk your child in front of the telly

Young children who watch too much television are at risk of social isolation and violent behaviour at the age of…

Has human lifespan reached its natural limit?

It may not be possible to extend the lifespan of humans beyond 125 years, a study published in Nature has…

Caffeine addicts are less likely to develop dementia

Caffeine is associated with reduced odds of developing dementia and cognitive impairment in women, according to a study published in…

We ought to be sceptical about the pill’s apparent link with depression

Women who take hormonal contraceptives including the pill have an increased risk of depression, according to research published in the…

The perils of a potent painkiller: my stupid run-in with Tramadol

Prescription painkillers are now more widely used in the United States than tobacco, the Washington Post reported this month. Thirty-five…

30 Sep 2016

Napping ‘linked to type-2 diabetes’. But nappers, don’t worry

Researchers at the University of Tokyo say that napping for more than an hour during the day could be an…

Laughter yoga may sound weird but here’s why you should try it

I am dancing the hokey cokey on Hampstead Heath with a giggling group of strangers and a man with a…

7 Sep 2016

Smoking cannabis ‘dampens motivation in the short term’

Smoking just one cannabis cigarette makes people less willing to work for money while under the influence of the drug,…

iPads ‘as effective as a sedative’ in calming children before surgery

New research suggests that allowing children to use iPads before surgery is at least as effective at lowering anxiety as…

Older people ‘are happier than people in their 20s and 30s’

Old people are happier than young adults, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The research,…

Big assumptions, poor data: this time James Flynn won’t change your ideas about IQ

James Flynn’s career has always been about progress. As the first researcher who noticed that IQ scores were rising across…

11 Aug 2016

Diagnosing depression isn’t a simple matter of brain scanning

Scientists at Japan’s Centre for Life Science Technology have developed a new, non-invasive brain scanning technique that they say can…

People who go to church live longer. Here’s why

Over the last 20 years, research has gradually accumulated suggesting that religious service attendance is associated with better physical and…

Scheduling fun activities ‘just as effective as CBT’ for depression

New research claims that behavioural activation therapy — in which patients are encouraged to take part in scheduled activities —…

Fasting slows the ageing process. Sounds unlikely? Here’s the science

A drug that slowed ageing and protected the body from diseases such as cancer would no doubt cause considerable excitement…

15 Jul 2016

Sorry, eating vegetables probably won’t make you any happier

A higher intake of fruit and vegetables is linked to greater happiness, according to a study published in the American…

Theresa May: the first prime minister with a discreet need for jelly babies

To say that British politics is in a state of flux is rather like saying an otter’s pocket is a…

12 Jul 2016

Trees save lives: why doctors are prescribing forest walks

The sense of wellbeing that walking in a wood provides is tangible. Strolling through dappled sunlight, the peppery smell of…

11 Jul 2016

A brain therapy changed my life. It raises profound questions for the future

‘Transcranial magnetic stimulation’ — it sounds like something a nutty professor would develop in a science fiction movie. Yet this…

6 Jul 2016

Are all alternative therapies useless? Not quite. Here are three that work

In my last article I stated that alternative treatments are therapies that either have not been proven to work or…

Research in mice suggests diabetes drugs could slow down Alzheimer’s

Diabetes drugs could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research published in the journal Diabetologia. Researchers suggest…

Is a boring job really bad for the brain? It’s not as clear as you think

A lack of stimulation can have a long-term negative effect on the brain, according to a study published in the…

Fibre-rich diet ‘raises your chance of a long and healthy life’

People who have a fibre-rich diet have a better chance of ageing successfully, according to a study by scientists at…

Ignore the NHS propaganda: fat people aren’t to blame for its soaring costs

Of all the attempts of NHS mandarins to blame patients for the spiralling costs of their bureaucratic leviathan, Simon Stevens’…

9 Jun 2016