Pregnancy May Make You Smarter + Other Stories
Every week, we corral the best wellness stories from around the internet—just in time for your weekend bookmarking. This week: rampant thyroid diseases in cats are linked to common household chemicals; how depression may be contributing to our nations biggest opioid epidemic; and an interesting study on how scientists are unraveling the mysteries of aging.
Could understanding the “epigenetic clock” unlock the mysteries of aging? New genetic research is shedding light on the molecular mechanism of growing older. For more on epigenetics, see our interview with Richard C. Francis—for what to do with all the info, Elissa Epel’s primer on telomeres is helpful, too.
The rapidly growing opioid epidemic in America may be fueled by another underlining epidemic that’s even more grossly under-diagnosed and lacking treatment—depression.
In what (at first) seems like alarming news, a study out of Nature Neuroscience found that pregnancy shrinks the grey matter in women’s brains. The good news: It may actually make them smarter. According to the authors, the shrinkage could “represent a fine-tuning of synapses into more efficient neural networks.” Sounds pretty smart to us.
Weirdly, a story that’s equally important for new parents and cat ladies: Researchers suspect that an epidemic of hyperthyroidism in cats has been linked to household chemicals. As it turns out, if they’re bad for your cat, they’re probably bad for you, too.