Today’s Headlines: Education and Brain Injury, Depression and Wine

College-educated brains recover better from injury, study suggests: A history of more education may help brains recover from traumatic injury, according to a new study. The study found that “one year after a traumatic brain injury, people with a college education were nearly four times as likely as those who hadn’t finished high school to return to work or school with no disability.” Researchers reported that 39% of people with a college degree were able to return to work or school without any disability following a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, compared to only 10% of people with no high school diploma. “Scientists have theorized that education leads to greater ‘cognitive reserve,’ which allows people to overcome or compensate for brain damage.” (NBC News

Breakthroughs could lead to ‘powerful treatment for depression’: Researchers in a new study “say they have uncovered an important mechanism by which ghrelin – a natural antidepressant hormone – works inside the brain,” and have also identified a protective drug that may be a new potent treatment for depression. Ghrelin, which is also known as the “hunger hormone” for its ability to stimulate appetite, appears to also have natural antidepressant properties and may be able to “trigger the formation of new neurons, known as neurogenesis, in the hippocampus – the brain region that regulates mood, memory and complex eating behaviors.” Moreover, the team found that a compound called P7C3 may support ghrelin’s neuroprotective abilities, leading to improvements in depression.  This could lead to a whole new class of antidepressant drugs, according to the researchers. (Medical News Today) 

Moderate wine consumption may benefit kidneys: “New research links moderate wine consumption with a lower prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD); and, for those who already have CKD, the study indicates some wine consumption may be linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.” Researchers examined data from 5,582 people included in the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination survey and found that rates of CKD were lower in people who drank a glass of wine a day or less (on average), compared to people who did not drink at all. One glass of wine is four ounces, according to the American Heart Association. (Fox News