Tagged with "study"
Natural Remedies to Help You Study Tags: natural remedies study research

Research shows that a frightening number of college students are relying on prescription drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall to get through long days of revision and cramming in order to successfully complete assignments or sit exams. However, what many students are unaware of is the potentially harmful side effects of this type of drug. Although some prescription drugs may be effective at helping you to study for your online nursing degree temporarily, chances are that afterwards you will feel extremely tired and experience the ‘crash’ or ‘comedown’ that is inevitably going to hit you after the high. Instead, there are many natural remedies that will help to raise your study abilities and focus without causing you any harm. We’ve listed some of the best here.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is one of the best choices to go for if you are looking for a natural study remedy, as numerous studies have shown the positive effects of this natural remedy on the brain. In fact, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center say that taking gingko could reduce the process of normal age-related memory loss whilst being effective for improving mental processes such as focus, attention and memory in younger people.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a tasty spice that can be added to many of your foods and it’s also possible to take this substance as a supplement. Circumin, which is a natural substance found in turmeric, has often been the highlight of studies for a number of different health benefits, including reducing ‘plaque’ in the brain which is thought to contribute towards Alzheimer’s disease. This potent antioxidant helps to improve the memory and can even have an antidepressant effect, allowing you to feel less stressed and clear your mind for better, more focused study.

Green Tea

Students who are completing an advanced degree such as an online RN to BSN degree often turn to coffee to keep them going throughout the day and keep their energy levels high. But, as anyone who’s ever taken too much caffeine before will know, the downside to drinking coffee is that it can give you the jitters and also keep you awake at night, which is the last thing that you need as a busy student as rest will help you to refresh your mind and body for better productivity. Green tea is an excellent drink to swap your coffee for as it contains an impressive amount of antioxidants which have been noted for improving both memory processes and general health and wellness.

Bacopa

Bacopa is said to be one of the best memory-enhancing herbs available and therefore it is naturally a popular choice with students who are trying to improve their study focus. Bacopa has been used for years in Ayurveda and is noted for its abilities to improve memory, enhance learning and concentration, and generally improving mental function. An Australian study on the benefits of this herb concluded that taking 300mg of Bacopa per day led to increased processing and memory speed and improved verbal learning ability in participants.

Why turn to harmful prescription drugs and caffeine to help you study, when these natural remedies can do an even better job whilst promoting your overall health at the same time?

 
Using Cannabis to Help You Study Tags: cannabis study brain effects stress college

You’ve already heard a lot about the benefits of cannabis when it comes to treating a variety of medical
conditions, but did you know that cannabis could also have a positive effect upon your brain?

It turns out that using cannabis can actually help you study more effectively. So if you’re currently attending a prestigious school like Boston University and you’re moving through a program to complete your masters in CIS, your online computer information systems degree, your nursing degree, your MBA, or any other tough curriculum, keep reading to learn about the benefits that cannabis can provide.

Protect Your Brain from the Effects of Stress

Going to college for any degree can put a lot of stress on your body and on your brain. But if you use cannabis, you can protect your brain from the effects of chronic stress, which means you can protect yourself from emotional ailments like depression and anxiety as well. This is because the cannabinoids that are found within marijuana can protect you from the deficits and disorders that commonly occur when the brain is under stress.

Improve Your Short-Term Memory

Do you have trouble remembering things, especially when you need to study for an upcoming exam or recall important facts to move along from one course to another? It turns out that a daily dose of THC, which is found naturally in cannabis, could improve your short-term memory. Researchers found that rats that received THC had better learning abilities, so it can help you study more easily and help you retain that information more clearly as well.

Assist Your Brain’s Growth

The human brain never stops growing because of a process known as neurogenesis that allows new brain cells to constantly be created. When you use cannabis, you’re helping this process along, according to recent studies that found CBC could improve the growth of brain cells. The developing brain cells that CBC supports are actually a vital component of your brain’s health and function. So just as you exercise your muscles to keep them growing and keep them strong, you can do the same for your brain.  

Slow Down the Brain’s Aging

Every part of your body, including your brain, will age, but if you use cannabis, you can slow down the brain’s aging process, thereby improving your memory and keeping your mind as healthy as possible. Studies have even suggested that cannabis might be able to reverse the effects of brain diseases that include Alzheimer’s disease. This is because cannabis can help remove damaged cells and boost the effectiveness of mitochondria in brain cells. This reduces inflammation within the brain and could result in a brain that functions better overall.

Researchers are finding a lot of positive effects that are associated with the use cannabis, so it is not a plant that should be feared any longer. As more states begin to legalize the use of marijuana, hopefully even more research will be possible and more will be discovered about the many ways that cannabis can help both the body and mind.

 
Study Finds Marijuana Users Have Better Cognitive Skills Tags: marijuana cognitive skills legalization study

The arguments about marijuana have raged on for a long time; should it be legalized? Can it help people manage pain? Is it addictive? Should it be classed the same as other much harder drugs? There have been many studies done into its different affects and uses, but it has generally been agreed upon that marijuana impairs user’s cognitive abilities, now there’s a study that seems to disprove that.

The Study

The study in question can be found here. The researchers, in 2014, at the University of Minnesota, compared the test results of those not using marijuana, with those who had been using since before the age of 17. The results found no difference in memory or verbal learning in the two groups, the users scored lower in tests on decision making, engagement and verbal memory, but the study claims users scored better when it came to processing speeds.

Criticisms of this Study

  • There were only 35 people in each group. This is a relatively small group, and cannot be said to give a true representation of users generally.
  • Everyone tested was between 18 and 20, it is stated that this is because those are the ages when marijuana is thought to affect cognitive abilities most, but no referencing is given to support this, nor is it fully explained for how long these people have been users. 
  • The group was told not to use for 12 hours before the study. While this is a fair way of testing in this case, generally those that use marijuana daily, won’t ever go 12 hours without, so will be affected differently.
  • No mention is made to the IQs of these people, how do we know the marijuana users weren’t just more intelligent than the other group?
  • The study seems to gloss over the fact that users scored lower in many areas, calling them “discrete” impairments. These impairments include verbal memory and decision making. These seem like quite important cognitive skills. This to me implies the researchers could be bias towards a use of marijuana. 

Further Discussion

All this study really suggests, is that more study is required to fully understand how marijuana use affects cognitive abilities. To give any definitive proof, more people would need to be tested, as well as different age ranges of people (perhaps against non-users in the same age bracket as themselves). It would also be useful if the users could be tested both while under the influence, and after a much longer period without. if these studies were done, there could be more definitive evidence of marijuana’s effects on cognitive abilities.

If you have an interest in healthcare issues such as these, and hold a relevant degree, you might want to consider a doctor of nursing practice online degree course to further your learning.

Marijuana usage will continue to be discussed, and researched for a long time, at the moment there is a lot of conflicting evidence and opinions. If you would like to be a part of this research, look into a doctorate in nursing practice.

Pot smokers skinnier than non-tokers, study says Tags: Pot smokers skinnier than non-tokers study says

We're all familiar with the stereotype of the typical pot smoker -- a lumpy, lazy couch potato with one hand wrapped around the remote and the other elbow-deep in a bag of nacho cheese Doritos.

But new research out of France gives a different spin to the stereotypical stoner.

"Cannabis is supposed to increase appetite," says Dr. Yann Le Strat, a psychiatrist at Louis-Mourier Hospital in Colombes, France and co-author of a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. "So we hypothesized that cannabis users would be more likely to have higher weight than non-users and be more likely to be obese."

Instead, Le Strat and his colleagues found just the opposite.

"We found that cannabis users are less likely to be obese than non-users," he says. "We were so surprised, we thought we had [made] a mistake. Or that our results were due to the sample we studied. So we turned to another completely independent sample and found exactly the same association."

Le Strat and his colleagues ended up using data from two epidemiologic studies of U.S. adults -- the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and the 2001-2003 National Comorbidity Survey-Replication -- to tally the weight differences between pot smokers and non-pot smokers.

Obesity rates among participants in the two surveys who reported no use of cannabis were 22 percent and 25.3 percent, respectively. Those who fessed up to smoking pot at least three days a week, however, had obesity rates of 14.3 percent and 17.2 percent, respectively. 

La Strat says there could be "confounding factors" which would explain the results -- such as the level of physical activity of the pot smokers, or the fact that they might also use tobacco -- but they tried to rule out such factors.

"We did our best to take them into account and still showed the association," he says. "Our findings are too preliminary to answer [what accounts for the disparity]. But there are a lot of different substances in cannabis. The observed association may be due to the effects of one of them."

An adjunct scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Le Strat was also quick to point out that his study might send the wrong message.

"The take-home message is certainly not 'smoke cannabis, it will help you lose weight,'" he says. "The possibility that cannabis is associated with a lower risk of obesity remains an interesting hypothesis, but certainly does not counterbalance its negative effects on health and mental health."

Andrea Giancoli, a Los Angeles-based registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, agrees that the study seems very preliminary.

"There could be many other reasons why pot smokers have less obesity," she says. "Maybe they're inclined to exercise more, be outdoors more, eat more fruits and vegetables. There could be all kinds of confounding factors that could make the results null and void. We can't look at this study and take it as a license to go out and smoke pot because we think it's going to help us lose weight. We need more information."

Giancoli does acknowledge one thing, though.

"I know when we think about smoking pot, one of the jokes is that it gives you the munchies and dry mouth so you drink a bunch of water and eat a bunch of Cheetos," she says. "Maybe we need to adjust the stereotype."

Study: Marijuana Not Linked With Long Term Cognitive Impairment Tags: Study: Marijuana Not Linked With Long Term Cognitive Impairment

The idea that “marijuana makes you dumb” has long been embodied in the stereotype of the slow, stupid stoner, seen in numerous Hollywood movies and TV comedies and going unquestioned by much of American culture. But a new study says no: the researchers followed nearly 2,000 young Australian adults for eight years and found that marijuana has little long-term effect on learning and memory— and any cognitive damage that does occur as a result of cannabis use is reversible.

Participants were aged 20-24 at the start of the study, which was part of a larger project on community health.  Researchers categorized them as light, heavy, former or non-users of cannabis based on their answers to questions about  marijuana habits.

Light use was defined as smoking monthly or less frequently; heavy use was weekly or more often. Former users had to have not smoked for at least a year. Fully 72% of the participants were non-users or former users; 18% were light users and 9% were heavy current users. Prior studies have found that drug users do accurately report their consumption levels in surveys like this as long as anonymity is guaranteed and there are no negative consequences for telling the truth.

MORE: U.S. Rules That Marijuana Has No Medical Use. What Does Science Say?

Participants took tests of memory and intelligence three times over the eight year period the study. They were also asked about how their marijuana use had changed. When the results were at last tabulated, researchers found that there were large initial differences between the groups, with the current marijuana smokers performing worse on tests that required them to recall lists of words after various periods of time or remember numbers in the reverse order from the one in which they were presented.

However, when the investigators controlled for factors like education and gender, almost all of these differences disappeared.  The lower education levels of the pot smokers — and their greater likelihood of being male — had made it look like marijuana had significantly affected their intelligence.  In fact, men simply tend to do worse than women on tests of verbal intelligence, while women generally underperform on math tests. The relative weighting of the tests made the impact of pot  look worse than it was.

Researchers then explored whether quitting cannabis would affect the one difference that remained, which was poorer performance by heavy users on a test that required immediate recall of a list of nouns.  They found that heavy users who had quit by the end of the study were no longer distinguishable on this measure from those who had never used.

The authors, who were led by Robert Tait at the Centre for Mental Health Research at Australian National University, conclude:

[T]he adverse impacts of cannabis use on cognitive functions either appear to be related to pre-existing factors or are reversible in this community cohort even after potentially extended periods of use. These findings may be useful in motivating individuals to lower cannabis use, even after an extensive history of heavy intake.

But what about all the prior research linking cannabis with lasting negative effects on cognition? Those studies may have been confounded by the fact that in many cases, heavy users were tested after being abstinent for only one day — so their performance could have been affected either by residual marijuana in their systems or by irritability or other effects of withdrawal.  Studies that have looked at heavy users after longer periods of abstinence generally concur with the new research, finding no lingering effect on cognition.

MORE: Are Stoners Really Dumb, or Do They Just Think They Are?

Other research concludes that the “stupid stoner” image itself can impair performance, with subjects essentially living down to what's expected of them.  But the literature overall now suggests that those “I'm not as think as you stoned I am,” moments are likely limited to the high itself.

The research was published in the journal Addiction.

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