News Bites brings you 5 weekly news in bite sized forms.

1. Pay attention to mental health in early puberty

In a study published by the University of Michigan’s Department of Paediatrics, a link was suggested between girls going through early puberty and troubles with mental health later in adulthood. The team looked at more than 7,000 women – and found that those who underwent early puberty had a higher chance of developing depression and behavioural problems in their adulthood. The study also found a correlation between age and severity wherein girls who hit puberty earlier suffered more severe symptoms of depression.

“Interestingly, the magnitude of the association between puberty and these psychological difficulties remains stable – further attesting that puberty is as strongly associated with depressive symptoms and anti-social behaviour during adulthood as it is during adolescence,” said lead study author Jane Mendle, a researcher at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

While the exact reason for these manifestations are unknown, researchers have linked it to an early hormone imbalance, namely oestrogen.

The researchers emphasised that the current study was not designed to prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship; rather, to create awareness about the mood and behaviour disturbances that girls face during puberty – in order to provide the necessary care.

2. Calcium and vitamin D not protective factors against fractures

Consuming calcium or vitamin D may not help in preventing fractures, contrary to popular belief.
Consuming calcium or vitamin D may not help in preventing fractures, contrary to popular belief.

Once thought to be an important protective factor against bone fractures, a group of researchers from Tianjin, China have turned the tables on the standard practice of prescribing vitamin D and calcium. The study looked at more than 50,000 adults over the age of 50 and found no positive association between vitamin D and calcium in preventing bone fractures.

Focusing on hip fractures, the team found no reduced risk of fracture occurrences in patients who took vitamin D and calcium supplements regardless of age, gender or dosage. These findings go against a long-accepted recommendation to prescribe vitamin D and calcium supplements to individuals who are at an increased risk of fractures.

While the reception to the conclusion of the study has been polarising, the results do reaffirm that the perceived benefits of vitamin D and calcium supplementation have to be re-examined under more scrutiny.

3. Peers of type 1 diabetes patients affect treatment outcomes

Children and young adults with type 1 diabetes are often alone in coping with their condition.
Children and young adults with type 1 diabetes are often alone in coping with their condition.

For young patients diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, they often find their conditions difficult to understand, and with no one to relate to – many often end up neglecting their own treatment.

Now, a study by University of Leuven in Belgium that was published in the American Diabetes Association, has found that peers play a very big role in the success of type 1 diabetes treatment. Studying 400 Dutch-speaking young people aged 14 to 25 in Belgium, the team found that patients with type 1 diabetes were found to be strongly affected by the impressions that their peers had towards their disease.

Positive reinforcement and understanding of the disease among friends were found to help many patients in adhering to their treatment, as well as accepting their condition. These findings were true for both children and young adults showcasing the importance of positive peer relationships when it comes to managing type 1 diabetes.

“Our study indicates that as a parent/grandparent/caregiver it may be informative to ask about patients’ peer relations,” highlighted lead author Koen Raymaekers. He added, however, that there is a need for more research pertaining to the topic.

4. Excessive video gaming may be a disorder

The International Classification of Disease (ICD) may have a new addition to their list. Brought forth by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it was suggested that a “gaming disorder” where playing video games for a 12-hour streak may be a mental health problem – and one that needs to be addressed officially.

In its draft, the WHO has described the disorder as, “The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.”

Being in the ICD means that it will officially become a health condition, where healthcare professionals and insurance companies need to address.

While yet to be finalised, the decision to include video gaming related disorders in the ICD will no doubt put a lot of light on the hobby that millions around the world indulge in.

5. Can hot tea prevent glaucoma?

Drinking hot tea has been shown to reduce the risk of glaucoma.
Drinking hot tea has been shown to reduce the risk of glaucoma.

Aside from being a popular drink, the health benefits of tea have always been known and well-studied. Now, a new study from the United States, suggests one more benefit; a reduced risk of developing glaucoma.

The small study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, found that drinking hot tea, reduced the risk of developing glaucoma by up to 74%. But, oddly enough, these benefits were only present when drinking hot tea. The study did not specify factors such as cup size, tea type, or length of brewing time, which might have influenced the results.

According to the researchers, the antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective chemicals in tea were attributed to the protective factor against glaucoma. While the initial results of the study are interesting, even the team acknowledges that more research is required to better understand the link between hot tea and glaucoma. MIMS

Read more:
News Bites: Link between father’s and teenage children’s depression, Higher menopause risk for underweight women
News Bites: Research unveils new drug to tackle maternal obesity; Understanding wound healing and the effects of air pollution on osteoporosis
News Bites: A more comfortable mammogram, Scientists recreate virtual brain cells