Infographic: How social isolation forced by the coronavirus affects the brain?

file ija
Credit: Boston Globe

[B]efore COVID-19 began its global spread, millions of people were already what researchers consider to be socially isolated—separated from society, with few personal relationships and little communication with the outside world. According to European Union statistics, more than 7 percent of residents say they meet up with friends or relatives less than once a year.

These figures are concerning to public health experts, because scientific research has revealed a link between social isolation—along with negative emotions such as loneliness that often accompany it—and poor health… Alongside myriad connections to poor physical health, including obesity and cardiovascular problems, a range of possible effects on the human brain have now been documented: Social isolation is associated with increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia, as well as mental health consequences such as depression and anxiety.

Related article:  How do antidepressants work? We still don’t know

It’ll be years before researchers understand whether and how measures enacted during the pandemic play into any of these risks. The sort of isolation people are experiencing right now is unprecedented, and is compounded with other pressures, such as fear of disease and financial strain. But now more than ever, it’s important to study the effects of social isolation, and potential means to mitigate it, says Stephanie Cacioppo, a social neuroscientist and cognitive psychologist at the University of Chicago.  “We’re a social species,” she says. “We really need others to survive.”

isolated brain

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend