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July 2020 Newsletter

July 2020 Newsletter

High-fat diets affect your brain, not just your physical appearance

Much research has pointed to how an unhealthy diet correlates to obesity, but has not explored how diet can bring about neurological changes in the brain. A recent Yale study has discovered that high-fat diets contribute to irregularities in the hypothalamus region of the brain, which regulates body weight homeostasis and metabolism. The study evaluated how the consumption of a high-fat diet — specifically diets that include high amounts of fats and carbohydrates — stimulates hypothalamic inflammation, a physiological response to obesity and malnutrition.

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Exercise boosts memory, thinking abilities in older adults

A recent study revealed that constant exercise positively and significantly affects human brain functions. It also uncovered that concrete short-term benefits could also point to who benefit from long-term exercise. Researchers conducted brain scans and memory tests on 34 people, with an average age of 67, while they were exercising. They used the acute exercise paradigm to analyze exercise’s effects on brain physiology and performance.

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If you get the chills from music, you may have a unique brain

When Alissa Der Sarkissian hears the song “Nude” by Radiohead, her body changes.“I sort of feel that my breathing is going with the song, my heart is beating slower and I’m feeling just more aware of the song — both the emotions of the song and my body’s response to it,” said Der Sarkissian, a research assistant at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute. Der Sarkissian is a friend of Matthew Sachs, a PhD student at USC who published a study last year investigating people like her, who get the chills from music.

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