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ANECDOTES

TEASE YOUR BRAIN
Mental exercises could boost your brain power by 40% in a week, research suggests! Doing puzzles, memorising lists and controlling your computer mouse with the "wrong" hand all dramatically boost thinking skills, according to tests on 100 volunteers for a new BBC show. The volunteers had to switch mouse hands, move around their homes blindfolded, play games such as Scrabble, get a good night's sleep and plenty of exercise, and stay away from junk food. Researchers expected volunteers' scores in mental ability tests to rise by around 10% after a week .... but they found the scores of some rose by 40%. (Herald-Sun, Melbourne, March 10, 2006)


DOLPHIN SWIM CURE
Patients with mild or moderate depression can be successfully treated by swimming with the dolphins. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that swimming with the creatures led to falling levels of depressive symptoms in patients. The findings support the theory of biophilia - showing how human health and well-being are dependent on relationships with the natural environment.


RED ALERT
It has long been suspected that red cordial sends children into a frenzy - but now there's proof. British researchers found substantial increases in hyperactivity levels among 227 3-year-olds when their diets were supplemented with an artificially coloured drink. Removing artificial colouring and preservatives from pre-schoolers' diets dramatically reduced hyperactivity levels. (Melbourne Herald Sun, December 16, 2004)


HYPERACTIVITY
It has long been suspected that artificial colourings and preservatives send children into a frenzy - now there is PROOF. British researchers found substantial increases in hyperactivity levels among 227 3-year-olds when their diets were supplemented with an artificially coloured drink. Removing artificial colourings and preservatives from pre-schoolers' diets dramatically reduced hyperactivity levels. (Melbourne Herald Sun, December 16, 2004)


STAY CALM
Cardiac arrhythmias brought on by anger and more deadly than those not caused by extreme emotion. US researchers found the electrical characteristics of arrhythmias triggered by stress and anger were more disorganised and unstable, perhaps caused by higher adrenalin levels. They said this could help explain why sudden death rates increased during natural disasters and war. (Melbourne Herald Sun)


     
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