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We’re Lucky If We Get to Be Old, Scientists Move Closer to Understanding Schizophrenia’s Cause, For Older Adults Serious Depression Symptoms Increase Risk for Stroke and Heart Disease, and more – In Case You Missed It – February 5th, 2016

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Welcome back to In Case You Missed It (our weekly roundup of articles touching on psychology, health, mental health and social justice issues from multiple news and commentary websites). This week, we look at why we may be lucky if we get to be old, scientists getting closer to understanding schizophrenia’s cause, for older adults serious depression symptoms increase risk for stroke and heart disease and more.

We’re lucky if we get to be old, physician and professor believes The Washington Post

Dr. Bill Thomas, a geriatrician and theater performer is traveling the country trying to change people’s attitudes about aging. In an age of Botox and celebrity teenagers, old age is not an easy sell and something to be feared. Dr. Thomas believes the correct message is that we are lucky if we get to grow old, this “third” phase of life beyond adulthood that can be as rich and rewarding. He argues, the goal is “normalizing the entire lifespan instead of separating and stigmatizing one part as something different.” Research has shown that people with negative conceptions of aging are more likely to experience dementia later in life. Dr. Thomas argues that maybe it is time to challenge the status quo.

Scientists Move Closer to Understanding Schizophrenia’s Cause – The New York Times

Scientists have taken a significant step toward understanding the cause of schizophrenia; a new study provides the first rigorously tested insight into the biology behind any common psychiatric disorder. The findings, published in the journal Nature, provide researchers with their first biological handle on schizophrenia. The findings also help to explain some other mysteries, including why the disorder often begins in adolescence or young adulthood. Eric S. Lander, the director of the Broad Institute said “We’re all very excited and proud of this work, but I’m not ready to call it a victory until we have something that can help patients.”

American Geriatrics Society Exclusive – For older adults, serious depression symptoms increase risk for stroke and heart disease

A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society sheds light on whether depression or its symptoms affect heart disease and stroke in older adults. The researchers discovered that adults 65 years and older who had high levels of depressive symptoms during the study were at greater risk of experiencing heart disease or stroke events over the course of the study. This supported the researchers’ hypothesis that depression could be a risk factor for heart disease or stroke.

Middle school: The new high school for moms – CNN

A new study published in the journal, Developmental Psychology, by Arizona State University researchers, shows the most stressful time for moms is middle school. Results showed that across the board, mothers of only middle-school-age children reported the highest levels of stress, loneliness, emptiness, and the lowest levels of life satisfaction and fulfillment. Cynthia Tobias, co-author of the book “Middle School: The Inside Story: What Kids Tell Us, But Don’t Tell You” believes the biggest conflicts come when parents don’t realize their children are starting to see themselves as young adults and don’t respond accordingly. Suniya Luthar, professor of psychology at Arizona State University and lead researcher, urges mothers to reach out to other moms of middle-schoolers for support, she says “It’s not ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ It takes a village to raise a preteen.”

What do you think of these stories? What did we leave out?

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