July 30, 2021
Owning a pet has been associated with many health benefits, ranging from decreased blood pressure and cholesterol levels to increased life expectancy. Pet dogs specifically provide opportunities for increased physical activity, socialization, and time spent outdoors while also improving emotional well-being by providing their owners with companionship. As a result, pet ownership is on the rise, according to data from the American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey. Per current estimates, 67% of households in the United States own at least one pet – which equals approximately 85 million homes across the country.
The full extent of the health benefits – and risks – of pet ownership is yet unknown, however, the latest research reveals that there may be positive neurologic implications of owning a dog. Published online in the journal PLOS One, a recent study from Johns Hopkins Medicine implicates that exposure to dogs at an early age may have psychiatric health benefits, including the lessening of the likelihood of schizophrenia development in adulthood.
November 18, 2019
One of the top causes of disability across the globe, schizophrenia can significantly diminish educational, occupational and psychosocial performance, impairing the lives of millions of people worldwide. Although the severe chronic neurological disorder affects a small proportion of the population – around 1% – it is one of the most disabling conditions, especially if left untreated. Schizophrenia carries a substantial disease burden; people with the disorder face increased risks of premature mortality, suicide, and physical illness.
While research has yet to identify a definitive cause of schizophrenia, many factors are thought to contribute to the development of schizophrenia, including genetics, environment, and neurological changes. Previous research implicates that estrogen may play a significant role in the condition’s progression, with a prior randomized controlled trial revealing symptom improvement in premenopausal female patients treated with transdermal estradiol. These initial positive findings have not been replicated by other studies, including ones without commercial involvement.