Supporting Maternal Mental Health + Other Stories
Every week, we corral our favorite wellness stories from around the internet—just in time for your weekend reading.
Most women struggling with mental and emotional health after having a child will tell their doctors they are doing fine—which makes helping them exceptionally difficult. And with maternal suicides and accidental overdoses taking place at alarming rates, the medical professionals who care for pregnant and postnatal women are racing to find interventions that work.
The psychological component of a cancer diagnosis can be just as debilitating as the physical aspect, so scientists are studying new therapies that can help. In an initial 2016 clinical trial, researchers found that a single dose of psilocybin immediately improved symptoms of anxiety, distress, and depression in participants who had been diagnosed with life-threatening cancer. When researchers followed up with the patients nearly five years later, they found that there were also significant long-term effects.
Scientists have historically viewed glial cells—cells in the nervous system that intertwine with nerve endings—as just the glue that holds neurons together and takes a backseat to the important neuronal work. But in recent years, researchers have begun to identify the value of glia for all sorts of functions, like memory, immunity, brain development, and neuronal communication.
R0 stands for basic reproduction number: The average number of people who will catch a disease from an infected person. In the case of coronavirus, R0 values have been used and abused on social media, overstating health concerns and causing upset among public health officials. Ed Yong sets the record straight, writing how R0 should really be interpreted during this health pandemic.