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Light at Night may Contribute to Depression

By Nika Soon-Shiong Los Angeles Times

Exposure to light at night may contribute to depression, study saysTV sets, laptops, iPads and iPhones are modern society’s instruments for increased productivity, social connectedness and entertainment after a long day’s work. Ironically, a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry shows that these devices also contribute to an increase of major depressive disorder.

The 24-hour society made possible by the advent of the electric light bulb has come at a significant biological cost. Light at night disrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythms and has been linked to breast cancer, heart disease  and obesity.

The new experiment, led by Tracy Bedrosian, a doctoral student in neuroscience at Ohio State University, analyzed the relationship between exposure to artificial light at night and mood disorder. The subjects of the study were adult female hamsters, since females — both rodent and human — are twice as likely as males to develop major depressive disorder. One group of hamsters was kept on a cycle of 16 hours of normal light and eight hours of dim light, which was five times brighter than the maximum light power of a full moon and comparable to light pollution in urban centers. The control group of hamsters was on a schedule of 16 hours of daylight and eight hours of darkness.

The researchers tested the hamsters in the nighttime light group for signs of depression. After four weeks of sleeping with light at night, the hamsters lost some of their appetite for sugar. In addition, when forced to swim, the animals spent more time immobile in the water and less time trying to reach safety.

According to the research team, the results show that there was some physiological change in the hamsters’ brains when they were exposed to light at night.

For instance, they produced more of a protein called TNF, or tumor necrosis factor. This is one of a family of proteins called cytokines — chemical messengers in the body that are released in response to injury or inflammation. If they are released constantly — such as during exposure to light at night — damage occurs that could result in depression. In the brain, the hippocampus is extremely vulnerable because it has many receptors for these cytokines. The hippocampus plays a critical role in major depressive disorder.

Furthermore, the amount of nighttime light used in the study is enough to suppress the release of melatonin, which is linked to depressive effects. Melatonin is a hormone secreted during the dark, and when that doesn’t happen, the body’s time-of-day information is distorted. In rodents, melatonin prevents stress-induced, depression-like behaviors.

The study authors noted that 99% of people in the United States and Europe deal with light pollution on a nightly basis. This could account for some of the increase in the incidence of major depression over the last few decades, they wrote, adding that further research is necessary to explore the extent of the link.

There was some good news: The negative effects of exposure to light at night are reversible if that exposure is decreased. Within two weeks of returning the hamsters to a standard light/dark cycle, the hamsters regained their taste for sugar and were more willing to swim, the researchers reported. Also, hamsters that were forced to endure the nighttime light but allowed to take a drug that inhibited their production of TNF swam just as much as the control hamsters on the normal light/dark schedule.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-light-at-night-depression-20120725,0,7482402.story

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What the Heck are ‘Test Only’ Courses?

‘Test Only’ CE courses are just that. The CE test. Only. No course materials are included. Nothing is shipped.

They were originally designed so that colleagues could share a course book, or online PDF, and all earn credit without having to pay the full course price.

They provide a means for earning CE credit after reading a published course book (which may be purchased through Amazon, or another source).

Here’s how it works:

  1. Purchase the ‘test only’ @ www.pdresources.org and print it out
  2. Purchase the book (or e-book) @ Amazon.com (or another source)
  3. Read the book and mark your answers on the printed test
  4. Login to your account @ www.pdresources.org to submit your test
  5. Receive a certificate of completion

The biggest benefit of purchasing books through Amazon is the cost savings. Amazon is able to offer course books at greater discounts than almost anyone else. They also provide free shipping on orders over $25 (in most cases). AND they are offering more and more books as kindle edition, meaning you can have instant access to the book to read on your computer or other reader (iPad, Kindle, Android, etc.).

Here’s an example:

We are offering the ‘test only’ for a book titled Autism Spectrum Disorders in Infants and Toddlers on closeout for $40. Completion of the book and test will earn you 7 hours of continuing education credit.

Autism Spectrum Disorders in Infants & Toddlers

So you can purchase the ‘test only’ from us for $40. Then head over to Amazon to download the e-book for $14.30. You’ll have instant access to both the CE ‘test only’ and the book.

Best of all, your total cost for 7-hours of CE credit is only $54.30!

(This is a savings $54.70 from when we used to provide the book and test together.)

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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in General

 

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Earn CE Credit from Your iPad!

iBooks

Earn CE Credits on your iPad!

Looking for a more convenient way to earn continuing education credits? Do you have an iPad? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you’re in luck! You can now purchase and complete online continuing education courses right from your iPad! Here’s how:

  1. Visit www.pdresources.org to browse courses for your profession
  2. Add courses to cart and checkout
  3. Attend courses from your account

Online courses provide you with instant access to the course PDF and online CE test. Both can easily be viewed on your iPad.

Web-based online courses provide you with instant access to the course test PDF. This document contains links to the online course materials.

We recommend opening course PDFs in iBooks to enable links and store in your library. This also makes toggling between the CE test and course materials easier.

When ready to receive credit, you can submit your answers online from your account page. Results are instantly shown. Certificates are stored in your account for access whenever you need it.

How convenient is that? Visit www.pdresources.org today to get started!

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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in General

 

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Beware iPad Scams on Facebook

iPad Scam Ad on Facebook

iPad Scam Ad Found on Facebook

This company claims to have the iPad 2 available, at lower than retail prices, for a limited time only. The ad was found on Facebook. The company website asks that you transfer funds to their account for payment. SCAM. Please be cautious and always pay with credit cards when making online purchases!

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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in General

 

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