Newsletter Archive

Professor of the Practice of Law University of Denver Sturm College of Law

The Professional Brain Newsletter Archives

Join the email list for a weekly nudge designed to help professionals enhance their brain health and mental strength.  

Nature & Diet

Time spent in nature is associated with positive physical and mental health outcomes, as well as higher levels of environmental stewardship.  A recent study examined the relationship between nature relatedness, feeling connection to the natural world, and diet choices. Researchers surveyed 317 adults who live in Philadelphia, PA about their

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Vitamin D & Brain Health

A 2014 study concluded that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with smaller overall brain volumes.  Recent research used data from 427,690 participants, age 40-69, in the UK Biobank to examine Vitamin D’s association with dementia and stroke.  Brain imaging data for 33,523 participants was included in this study. Researchers found

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Dogs & Cortisol

Dogs, again?  I admit that my dogs are my most significant mental health intervention! The pandemic has been very challenging for K-12 school students, and their mental health declines have been significant.  Prolonged stress, including academic stress, has a negative impact on learning, behavior, and health across a person’s lifespan. 

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Magic of Polyphenols

Polyphenols are found in vegetables, fruits, green tea, coffee, and dark chocolate.  Because they are not absorbed easily, they accumulate in the intestine and interact with the microbiota in the gut.  Researchers examined the impact on gut microbiota of polyphenol intake in 51 participants over 60 years of age, who

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Vaping & Inflammation

Vaping nicotine may be considered less hazardous to health than cigarettes.  More than 12 million American adults use e-cigarettes, with the highest use among 18 to 24-year-olds. Researchers at the University of California San Diego Medical School exposed mice to JUUL aerosols 3 times a day for 3 months.  They

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Habits to Lower Dementia Risk

The Life’s Simple 7 habits of the American Heart Association have been linked to lowering the risk of dementia in populations with both low and high genetic risk: Stay Active Eat Healthfully Reduce Sugar Don’t Smoke Maintain Healthy Weight, Manage Blood Pressure, and Control Cholesterol. A diet rich in fruits

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Dogs & Mental Health

Mental health declined during the pandemic and interventions that improve mental health are important for individuals and society. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can

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Walking Pace & Longevity

Studies have shown that the habit of brisk walking can add up to 20 years to a life span, as compared to those with a slow walking pace.  One explanation might be because of a younger biological age of fast walkers, due to increased telomere length.  Telomeres are the end

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Plan to be Outside

Time spent in nature (TSN) is associated with better mental and physical health.  TSN includes urban greenspace, residential and neighborhood gardens, parks, beaches, fields, and forests.  Researchers developed and tested scales to measure TSN self-efficacy (confidence in the ability to take action and persist with an action plan to spend

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Grit & Well-being

Researchers synthesized 83 studies with 66, 518 participants to discover that grit skills are related to well-being.  Grit has been defined as the capacity to persevere in the face of adversity and to maintain a passion for long-term goals.  Well-being in this meta-analysis had two aspects: affect (the presence of

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Why Exercise Improves Mood

The mood boost, sometimes called the runner’s high, following exercise was thought to be due to an increase in endorphins.  Recent research shows that it is more likely to be attributed to endocannabinoids.  Cannabinoids you may already be familiar with include THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and CBD, an

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Alcohol & Brain Size

Alcohol use is a contributor to global disease burden, healthcare costs, and economic losses.  Heavy alcohol use, defined as 3 or more drinks for women and 4 or more drinks for men in a day, has indicated reduction in the thinking brain prefrontal cortex and the memory processing hippocampus in

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Copyright Debra Austin. All rights reserved.

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