Body’s Defenses Against Common Viruses May Mess Up Neurons, Spark Depression

Getting sick is definitely a bummer. But besides feeling icky and being stuck in bed, viral infections may cause us to actually be depressed. While scientists have been clued into this connection for a while, there was little data on how everyday viral infections, like the flu, might mess with our moods.

Source: Body’s defenses against common viruses may mess up neurons, spark depression

Note that sickness behavior might be adaptive, helping sick animals clear their infections faster.  Lethargy and depression is a very effective way to redirect an animal’s energy away away from everyday expenditure and towards its immune system, where it’s most needed.

Might seem obvious, but the best way to fight off many illnesses is to take a day off and stay in bed. Feeling bad could be just Mother Nature’s way of prodding us to do that.

New App Aims to Help Researchers Look for a Genetic Link to Postpartum Depression

With mothers and medical providers clamoring for answers about postpartum depression, scientists are beginning a major effort to understand the genetic underpinnings of mood disorders that afflict millions of women during and after pregnancy.

Source: Hunting the Genetic Signs of Postpartum Depression With an iPhone App

Women with high scores will be asked if they’d like to submit a DNA sample to researchers at UNC. If users agree, they will be mailed an oral kit. Researchers assured the Times that even though personal information like name and address are required, that data will be encrypted in order to preserve privacy.

The Music That You are Listening to is Impacting Your Mental Health

A study conducted at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Music Research at the University of Jyväskylä, Aalto University in Finland and Aarhus University in Denmark was done to see what is the link between your music listening habits, your mental health and your neural responses to the different types of musics through a combination of behavioural and neuroimaging data.

Source: The Music That You are Listening to is Impacting Your Mental Health

Don’t most people seek out music that reflects their mood, not the other way around?  Years back, I remember a news piece on a setup that would apply electrodes/whatever and based on your brainwaves – construct music for playback.  The subjects enjoyed the result…

Ever wondered if the categorization of the music has less to do with the lyrics and more to do with ambient noise, structure, beat etc?  It is about how a person is using music, not what they are listening to.  Additionally, listening to ‘extreme’ music makes you more positive (study):

…psychologists have found that rather than increasing anger or aggression, listening to loud and chaotic music actually helps listeners feel inspired and calm.