UCLA In the News March 1, 2016

Turning your pet into a therapy dog | The  New York Times ‘ “Well”

In a controlled study of therapy dog visits among patients with heart disease, researchers at UCLA found a significant reduction in anxiety levels and blood pressure in the heart and lungs in those who spent 12 minutes with a visiting animal, but no such effect occurred among comparable patients not visited by a dog.

Supplements may not mix with medication, surgery | Wall Street Journal

According to Malcolm Taw, director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine-Westlake Village in Los Angeles, popular supplements known as the four Gs — ginger, garlic, ginseng and ginkgo — can interact with a number of medications, such as increasing the risk of bleeding in patients on blood thinners. For any patient preparing for elective surgery, he advises suspending use of supplements at least one or two weeks beforehand.

Despite purchasing power, nonwhite moviegoers are ignored | Vox

Perhaps that’s because among those making the ultimate decisions, 94 percent of film studio heads were white and 100 percent were male between 2012 and 2013, according to a University of California Los Angeles 2015 study on diversity…. From film schools to studios, decision-makers see movies with casts of color as too alienating. But half of frequent moviegoers are nonwhite, according to the UCLA study. What’s more, films with racially diverse casts had the highest median global box office receipt and the highest median return on investment.

UCLA class inspires students to work with the elderly | USA Today

With more than 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, there is a growing need, said Rita Effros, a professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine who teaches both  undergraduates and medical students…. “We try to make it clear that aging is going to be big business,” she said. “Whatever their interests are, they should think about serving the elderly.”

Parking apps could reduce congestion | Toronto Sun

Widespread use of parking apps will eliminate drivers who constantly hit the brakes while circling the block in search of parking. Research from UCLA found that from 10% to 30% of traffic in congested downtown areas was comprised of people cruising for a parking spot.

Gang rehabilitation in South Central | Viceland’s “Bompton with Kendrick Lamar”

“When people find out that I work here, they always say, ‘Aren’t you scared?’” said UCLA’s Jorja Leap. “And what is here is a vibrant, marginalized, troubled, interesting community. Poverty is the great marginalizer, let’s begin with that. These areas have always been lower income, under resourced, poor areas. Gangs are still here, underperforming schools are here, school dropout is here, guns are here, drugs are here, violence are here, and the wounds of incarceration are here.” [Leap is interviewed at 8:15, 31:35 and 35:35. This clip contains strong language.]

In teenage brains, centers for pleasure, anxiety grow fastest | Dallas Morning News

“This extra excitability in these areas of the brain helps teenagers learn about their environment,” [UCLA’s Adriana Galvan] says. “They’re seeking out more friends, and gaining the confidence to leave the family. These changes are in the service of allowing the teenager to explore. We need to value this period of development for the services it does for the individual. Imagine adolescents who aren’t excitable or who are uninterested in leaving the family unit. We’d have a much different society.”

Sleep apnea could affect brain function | HealthDay

“In previous studies, we’ve seen structural changes in the brain due to sleep apnea, but in this study we actually found substantial differences in ... two chemicals that influence how the brain is working,” said lead researcher Paul Macey. He is an associate professor at the UCLA School of Nursing in Los Angeles.

Outdated views on promiscuity tied to opposition of same-sex marriage | Health Canal

People who feel their way of life is most threatened by sexual promiscuity tend to be socially conservative and strongly believe in traditional gender roles. Among them are women who prioritize family over career and who view their marital vows as sacred, said Martie Haselton, a UCLA professor of psychology and communication studies, and the study’s senior author. The researchers surveyed 523 men and 562 women, 27 percent of whom oppose same-sex marriage.

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