Brain

Superficial but deliberate changes in someone’s facial appearance – such as a new hairstyle or complexion - are surprisingly effective in identity deception, new research suggests.

In the study, led by researchers at the universities of York and Huddersfield, participants were often fooled by disguises when asked to judge whether two photographs showed the same or different people.

Virtual reality has been shown to help children with autism with nearly 45% remaining free from their fears and phobias six months after treatment.

A separate study also published tomorrow, has shown for the first time that the treatment works for some autistic adults.

The Blue Room, developed by specialists at Newcastle University working alongside innovative technology firm Third Eye NeuroTech, allows the team to create a personalised 360 degree environment involving the fear which may debilitate the person with autism in real life.

Support from managers and colleagues, as well as a positive attitude, are most likely to enable a more long-term return to work for employees after a sickness absence, according to a new review of research led by the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The review evaluated the impact of personal and social factors on sustainable return to work after ill-health due to musculoskeletal disorders, such as joint and back pain, and common mental health conditions, for example stress, depression or anxiety.

Students are more likely to rate male university teachers higher than their female counterparts in some areas of STEM and Business, according to Australia's largest review of student experience surveys.

The study, published today in PLOS ONE, examined almost 525,000 individual student experience surveys from UNSW Sydney students from 2010-2016 across five faculties. It is the first study to examine the interaction between gender and cultural bias.

A new Personal Relationships study documents how the quality of a person's romantic relationship and the life stress he or she experiences at two key points in early adulthood (at age 23 and 32) are related to sleep quality and quantity in middle adulthood (at age 37).

The article is available free with open access from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jgs.15731

Children who have more conflict in relationships with their mothers during early years of elementary school may find it more difficult to find a sense of purpose in life as they reach adulthood, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

"One of the biggest takeaway messages from these findings is that the path to a purposeful life starts very early, well before we start to consider different goals for life," said Patrick Hill, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences and co-author of the study.

Women who have undergone infertility treatment, such as in vitro fertilization, are more likely to experience severe pregnancy complications, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.181124

These include severe postpartum hemorrhage, admission to the intensive care unit and sepsis.

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati (UC) examined common medications prescribed for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders, to determine which are the most effective and best-tolerated. This study revealed that the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) performed best overall compared to other types of medications.

Many mothers have to navigate a sea of advice from family and experts when it comes to feeding their babies. Nonetheless, nutrition educators typically focus only on the mother, even in Latino communities where grandmothers and other older female relatives often play major roles in caring for children.

A new study shows programs to reduce childhood obesity and other nutrition programs should incorporate all family members who regularly take care of children, not just their mothers.

A meta-analysis finds that despite less evidence in the over 75s than in younger patients, statins reduce the risk of vascular events in older people. The research found no adverse effects of statin therapy on non-vascular mortality or cancer.
Statin therapy reduces major vascular events, and a new meta-analysis shows this is the case even in patients over 75 years of age. The research, published in The Lancet, summarises evidence from 28 randomised controlled trials, including 186,854 patients, 14,483 of whom were aged over 75.

E-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as nicotine replacement treatments, such as patches and gum, at helping smokers to quit, according to a clinical trial led by Queen Mary University of London.

The multi-centre trial, which involved almost 900 smokers who also received additional behavioural support, found that 18.0 per cent of e-cigarette users were smoke-free after a year, compared to 9.9 per cent of participants who were using other nicotine replacement therapies.

A study of people who inject drugs found a significant increase in the risk of infective endocarditis, a serious infection of the lining of the heart, possibly linked to increasing use of the opioid hydromorphone. The study is published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Infective endocarditis can be life-threatening.

Inmates want to quit smoking but don't have access to smoking cessation programs in state prisons, increasing the risk - especially among black male inmates -- of cancer, heart disease, stroke and other smoking-related diseases, according to Rutgers researchers.

Anyone who has ever put a small child to bed or drifted off in a gently swaying hammock will know that a rocking motion makes getting to sleep seem easier. Now, two new studies reported in Current Biology on January 24, one conducted in young adults and the other in mice, add to evidence for the broad benefits of a rocking motion during sleep. In fact, the studies in people show that rocking not only leads to better sleep, but it also boosts memory consolidation during sleep.