LabBook October 10, 2014

The Comer Children's Hospital RBC Race for the Kids took place on Sunday, Oct. 5. This year's event raised more than $330,000 and had more than 1,900 participants.

The Comer RBC Race for the Kids took place on Sunday, Oct. 5. This year’s event raised more than $330,000 for research at Comer, and had more than 1,900 participants.

This week’s rundown of recent research publications of note from University of Chicago scientists and physicians:

Influence of energy drink ingredients on mood and cognitive performance: Emma Childs — Nutrition Reviews

From the abstract: “Sales of energy products have grown enormously in recent years. Manufacturers claim that the products, in the form of drinks, shots, supplements, and gels, enhance physical and cognitive performance, while users believe the products promote concentration, alertness, and fun. Most of these products contain caffeine, a mild psychostimulant, as their foremost active ingredient. However, they also contain additional ingredients, e.g., carbohydrates, amino acids, herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals, often in unspecified amounts and labeled as an “energy blend.” It is not clear whether these additional ingredients provide any physical or cognitive enhancement beyond that provided by caffeine alone. This article reviews the available empirical data on the interactive effects of these ingredients and caffeine on sleep and cognitive performance and suggests objectives for future study.”

MDMA: a social drug in a social context: Matthew Kirkpatrick, Harriet de Wit — Psychopharmacology

From the abstract: “The drug ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “ecstasy,” “molly”) is thought to produce prosocial effects and enhance social interaction. However, in most laboratory studies to date, the participants have been tested under nonsocial conditions, which may not simulate the effects the drug produces in more naturalistic social settings … These findings provide some support for the idea that drugs produce greater effects when they are used in the presence of other drug users. However, the influence of the social context was modest, and it remains to be determined whether other variables related to social context would substantially alter the effects of MDMA or other drugs.”

How Do Mobile Phone Diabetes Programs Drive Behavior Change? Evidence From a Mixed Methods Observational Cohort Study — including Anjuli Mishra, Patrick Hogan, Sang Mee Lee and Monica Peek — The Diabetes Educator

From the abstract: “The purpose of this study was to investigate the behavioral effects of a theory-driven, mobile phone–based intervention that combines automated text messaging and remote nursing, using an automated, interactive text messaging system … This study’s findings challenge the prevailing assumption that mobile phones largely affect behavior change through reminders and support the idea that behaviorally driven mobile health interventions can address multiple behavioral pathways associated with sustained behavior change.”

About Matt Wood (531 Articles)
Matt Wood is a senior science writer and manager of communications at the University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences Division.
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