I hope you are enjoying the three Bank Holidays we are having this month. The Summer Term is always a busy one so I am sure you are welcoming these breaks.
EFFECTS OF VAPING ON CHILDREN
The number of 11-17 year olds vaping has doubled in past two years.
9% of 11-14 year olds have admitted vaping, this figure rising to 18% by 15 years old.
In 2022 7% of 11-17 year old students admitted to regularly vaping.
These figures are concerning given that it is illegal to sell vapes to Under 18’s in UK. Often no punitive action is taken against sellers.
Vaping has an impact on developing brains. Nicotine in vapes can affect synapses and disrupt brain connecting cells with resultant problems with memory, the ability to manage moods and impulse control. Respiratory systems can be affected.
There are a lot of misconceptions about vaping and there needs to be greater education about the effects.
The addictive nature of nicotine which can lead to other addictions eg alcohol and drugs needs to be highlighted.
Peer pressure to use vapes is immense. It is often presented as the trendy in thing to do the the misconception that popular people do it.
Some children have found it difficult to access vapes and have taken to getting used ones from waste bins. To counteract this some schools have introduced sealed boxes for the disposal of vapes.
Some schools have also introduced which detect when vapes are being used.
DISCOVERY OF ANXIETY GENE
Scientists have discovered increased amounts of the molecule miR483-5p in the amygdala area of the brain after acute stress which suppressed the expression of Pgap2 another gene that drives changes in brain which acts as a molecular break that prevents feelings of anxiety.
The discovery of the miR483-5p/ Pgap2 pathway offers huge potential for the development of anti-anxiety therapies and treatments for anxiety. The study was conducted by scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter.