A new study, performed by the researchers from the universities of Newcastle, Warwick, and Sheffield, finds that people living in a city within 984 ft, or 300 m, of green areas, park or playground, are happier.
For the study, the researchers examined the quality of life of more than 25,000 people living in London. Scientists combined responses from them with data on green spaces in relation to where they lived.
Lead author Dr. Victoria Houlden says: “We believe this it is the first study to demonstrate how urban greenspaces may improve a broader definition of mental wellbeing. What makes our work different is the way we consider multi-dimensional mental wellbeing, in terms of happiness, life satisfaction and worth.”
Recent research from the United Kingdom examined the link between social activity and dementia and found that social contact at the age of 60 may decrease the risk of developing dementia by 12% later on.
A team of researchers performed a retrospective analysis of the study Whitehall II which included 10,308 participants who were from 35 to 55 years old at the beginning of the study. The participants were followed for 28 years.
The first corresponding author of the study Andrew Sommerlad, Ph.D., from the Division of Psychiatry at University College London (UCL), says: “We’ve found that social contact in middle age and late-life appears to lower the risk of dementia. This finding could feed into strategies to reduce everyone’s risk of developing dementia, adding yet another reason to promote connected communities and find ways to reduce isolation and loneliness.”
A recent study from University College London (UCL), UK, finds another link between dark chocolate consumption and fewer depression symptoms.
To conduct the study, a team of researchers took data from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on 13,626 participants aged 20 and over.
They assessed depressive symptoms with the help of the Patient Health Questionnaire. Information on chocolate consumption came from two 24-hour dietary recalls. The scientists took the first one in a face-to-face interview and the second through a telephone interview 3–10 days later.
Having completed analysis, the authors of the study concluded: “Individuals who reported any dark chocolate consumption had 70% lower odds of reporting clinically relevant depressive symptoms than those who did not report any chocolate consumption.”
A new study in mice, conducted by the researchers from Xuzhou Medical University in China, suggests that resveratrol, a red wine compound, can be used for the treatment of depression and anxiety in the future.
In this study, the scientists used animal models and cultured mouse neurons (similar to those in the human hippocampus) to help explain the effect of the compound on rodent behaviors.
Resveratrol, which appears to reduce anxiety and depression in mice, seems to work by inhibiting PDE4D (a member of the PDE4 family that believed to be particularly important in cognition and depression) and activating cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) signaling.
Co-lead author Dr. Ying Xu, Ph.D. says: “Resveratrol may be an effective alternative to drugs for treating patients suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.”
A small clinical study, completed by the researchers from the University of Delaware in Newark, suggests that older adults who regularly drink tart cherry juice may improve cognitive function.
For the study, the researchers included 37 volunteers with normal cognitive function aged between 65 and 80 years. Study participants were divided into two groups, where the first group drank 2 cups of tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks and another group received a placebo drink.
Lead researcher Sheau Ching Chai, an assistant professor of behavioral health and nutrition comments the results of the study: “Cognitive function is a key determinant of independence and quality of life among older adults. The potential beneficial effects of tart cherries may be related to the bioactive compounds they possess, which include polyphenols, anthocyanins, and melanin.”