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April 2020 Newsletter

April 2020 Newsletter

How long should we stay outside to reduce stress?

Researchers have discovered the right dose of outdoor exposure that healthcare providers can use to help people reduce mental stress. The team suggested spending at least 20 minutes in places where you feel in contact with nature can significantly lower stress hormone levels. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, is the first to provide a specific dose of urban nature experience, which researchers said medical practitioners can use to prescribe “nature-pills” in the future.

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Wearing hearing aid may help protect brain in later life

A new study has concluded that people who wear a hearing aid for age-related hearing problems maintain better brain function over time than those who do not. It builds on important research in recent years pulled together by the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care, through which hearing loss emerged as an important risk factor for dementia. This research suggests that wearing a hearing aid may mitigate that risk.

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Our brain uses a not-so-instant replay to make decisions

The hippocampus is a small curl of brain, which nests beneath each temple. It plays a crucial role in memory formation, taking our experiences and interactions and setting them in proverbial stone by creating new connections among neurons. A report published in Science reveals how the hippocampus learns and hard wires certain experiences into memory. The authors show that following a particular behavior, the hippocampus replays that behavior repeatedly until it is internalized and tracks our brain’s decision-making centers to remember our past choices.

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